New Years resolution; the best time to declutter

Every year you set yourself resolutions, some you keep some you might not but if there is one resolution that should be attainable for everyone is the January de-clutter. In fact, there really is no better time to have a sort through, organize, and de-clutter than post-Christmas holidays. You and your family have no doubt accumulated an awful lot of new stuff and you need to make room for it. Don’t let your new belongings sit on top of the old ones, use this time to donate the stuff you no longer use or need and make room for your appreciately received new goodies. 

a women with a laptop sitting on the floor among many boxes

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How to start your New Year declutter

To successfully undertake a declutter you need to be organized with a plan and agenda, and you need to stick to it. Here are some ways to help you organize your decluttering.

  1. List your areas for decluttering; do not just wander aimlessly around your house opening random cupboard doors looking for inspiration. List where you want to declutter and start with the easiest area first or the area that bothers you the most.  
  2. Have a deadline; decide on a time that you want each area decluttered by and give yourself sufficient time to do the work. It could be an hour, 10 minutes a day, or a full afternoon dedicated to one space. Whatever works for you.  
  3. Develop a system; when it comes to going through all of your stuff put in place a system of what you are going to do with your items. A good place to start is by having four stations, donate/recycle, sell, trash, keep. Everything should go into one of these piles but your keep pile should be dramatically reduced. Remember if you haven’t used it in a year – donate it. 
  4. Make sure everything has a place; if you are keeping it make sure it has a place to live and it stays there without causing mess or clutter. If it doesn’t have a place then make a place that is easily accessible and close to where you use it or don’t keep it. 

Benefits of decluttering

If you still are not tempted to declutter, consider some of these benefits to help persuade you.

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety. Mess, clutter, and chaos in your home can have a negative impact on your stress and comfort levels. It can cause a sensory overload, you might feel embarrassed or stressed at the prospect of not knowing where things are.  
  2. Easier to clean and tidy. With so much less stuff in the way, it will be easier to keep your home in order and keep things clean and tidy, which will inevitably make life easier when hosting and entertaining. 
  3. Positive impact on selling your home. Having a clean, tidy,  decluttered home will make selling your home easier. If listing your home is something you are considering doing a declutter is essential as all top realtors such as https://jenjewell.ca/ will conclude. 
  4. Help to remove allergens. Dust, pet hair, and pollen can gather in all kinds of places and there is no better place than on tops of items sitting around taking up space and gathering dust. Getting rid of clutter should help to improve the airflow of your home and remove gathering dust and allergens.

If you need help with decluttering and organizing your home, purchase my online course, Create an organized home. 

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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Season’s Greetings

Reading time – 1 minute

The longest day of darkness or light is December 21

A happy woman on a beach.

I have passed the longest day of darkness in 2021 and moved into more light coming into my life each day. I visited the Northwest Territories in July one year.  There were 22 hours of bright sun and 2 hours of dusk.  At this time I think of those people with 22 hours of darkness and 2 hours of dusk.  Whether you are moving into a time of more light or a time of increasing darkness:

I hope your holiday season is filled with :

  • joy for all the things you have learned and conquered in 2021
  • light to see a new way of building relationships and
  • happy expectations for 2022.

Wishing you a season where you can feel joy, light and happiness.

Share how you overcome the darkness to fill it with light.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

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5 Tips for organizing a H.A.P.P.Y. holiday

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Here are some tips for holiday planning to make a H A P P Y month.

Holiday Decorating

You may be feeling overwhelmed or disorganized by the number of items on display in your house.  Try putting the non-seasonal items away to reduce the number of items on display.

Keep decorations simple

Decorate with flowers

Think about decorating with fewer items but larger size items.  This means there are fewer items to pack and unpack which will reduce the amount of time you need to prepare your home.

Take advantage of using linens to cover tables or end tables and pillows to decorate couches.  They may be less bulky to store and cover a larger area making your home seem completely decorated while taking less time to get the job done.

Use items that self-destruct so you don’t need to pack them away, flowers, paper towels, tissue boxes all give your house a festival spirit but don’t need to be packed away and stored.

When you go through your decorations part with the ones you no longer need early in the month so thrift stores have an opportunity to sell them and so they don’t need to store them until next year.  Some stores don’t take holiday décor in January and then you will be stuck storing them for another year.

What tips do you have for a H.A.P.P.Y holiday season? Click To Tweet

 Accept Help

Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed and when people offer to do things say yes.  We all love to help people so let people feel good about themselves by allowing them to help you.

Parties may be much smaller this year. It is a good time to try a new way of doing things.  Allow people to help clean up dishes on their way out the door.  In fact, be ready for it.  Have a place to put cutlery to soak.  Have out a container for compost.  Put glasses or coffee mugs directly into the dishwasher.

You may need to accept help with setting up an online party.  Put one of those “youngsters” in charge.

Planning is important

Use a to-do list. Divide your to-do list into to pick up, to e-mail, to call, to buy then you can plan your day and route to get things done and not be driving back and forth all over town.  The trick here is to actually look at the list and use it not just make it.

Keep your plans from year to year, record your menu, grocery list quantities, timelines.  Each year you can reuse, revise and update the plan.  This year’s plan may need a lot of updating.  Look at it as a way to try new things.

 People and relationships are the reason for the season

Some people like to send cards in December.  I keep my cards and addresses and stamps altogether.  When I am going somewhere where I will be waiting I pick up the supplies and take them along and write my cards.  I have done it in many places including my van.   I usually leave replies to someone who has sent me a longer letter until January.

Use your spare moments to write cards

If you want to automate the card-sending operation there is a company called Send Out Cards.

Gift-giving may be an area where you are developing a system. Have you thought about Clutter-free gift giving?

Consider the idea of a gift that self-destructs.  See my post on Clutter Free Gift Giving .

Yes you can 

Being organized is more about an attitude than how something looks.  It is not about having the perfect home, party or gift. It is doing the best you can with the time and resources that you have. The only way to get better at organizing is to practice. It is a skill that can be learned and with practice, it becomes easier and easier.  This year’s challenge maybe technology.  Ask for help and practice ahead of time.  You might want to play Yahtzee at your gathering.  Try using these 2 sites.

Score sheet http://www.playonlinedicegames.com/scoresheet/yahtzee

Dice roller https://www.elversonpuzzle.com/yahtzee-dice-roller.html

 

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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Clutter free Christmas gift of organizing

Looking for a Gift of Time to give this Holiday Season?

Mind over Clutter.ca has 3-hour packages designed to help with any number of tasks in the home and office.  Consider purchasing an:

  • Income tax receipt organizing package
  • Holiday cleanup package
  • Streamlining your office package
  • Organizing for the New Year

New this year a virtual organizing package consisting of:

  • An initial meeting to discuss the project and make a schedule
  • Followed by 3 guided work sessions to coach and mentor you through the work

Value 

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the recipient.  This gift helps remove stress and clutter without creating more clutter.  Working with a professional will help them to meet their goals successfully. Purchase your introductory package in 2021 for $150.00.

Contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca  to purchase your clutter-free gift of time.

What is the best holiday gift you received this year? 

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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Organize a bucket list for the holiday season

Reading time – 3 minutes

have never been a person to make a bucket list.  Mostly because I feel I don’t have anything to put in it, the bucket.

Water going over Niagara Falls with a stone wall and railing covered in ice

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

However, during December I sometimes get depressed.  It is mostly because of the lack of light.  It is also because there are a lot of expectations leading up to December 25th and then it is all over.  Sometimes it went well and some years it didn’t go very smoothly.  This can lead to dreading the holiday season and having your spirits drop.  So over the years, I have been incorporating many fun events through the month of December so there is less emphasis on one day.  So this year I am making a bucket list.Incorporate many fun events through the month of December so there is less emphasis on one day. Click To Tweet

  1. go to a holiday  concert
  2. go to a candlelight walk sponsored by a town
  3. go to a mall and don’t shop just enjoy people watching and the decorations
  4. go on a tour of outdoor skating rinks
  5. go tobogganing /snowshoeing /cross country skiing
  6. have the neighbours over for an open house evening
  7. go to a dinner theatre
  8. walk around your neighbourhood and enjoy the holiday  lights every night
  9. play holiday music
  10. participate in a gift-giving program, help the less fortunate
  11. watch the world junior hockey tournament on  television
  12. buy a poinsettia from a fundraising group
  13. grow an amaryllis plant
  14. buy an advent calendar for yourself
  15. light some candles each evening
  16. visit Niagara Falls in the winter – cold but amazing
  17. visit the CP holiday train US  or  CP holiday train canada

Let me know what would be on your bucket list.

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

What would you put on your bucket list?

 

 

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse.Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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What is the most stressful part of organizing the holiday season for you?

During the holiday season expectations are raised.  The food needs to be perfect, the gift needs to be thoughtfully purchased, the house needs to be tastefully decorated, and everyone needs to be happy all the time.  Record your expectations for the season.  Everything you can think of.  Look through your list and decide on a plan that makes each expectation manageable for you.  If your expectations align with practicality, this holiday will be less stressful and more fun.

Planning Food

Could you:

Make a simple Holiday meal.

Make a simple Holiday meal.

  1. Cook ahead of time and freeze the food
  2. Plan a potluck with everyone contributing
  3. Buy your holiday baking
  4. Simplify your menu,prepare fewer items

 

Gift Giving

Could you:

  1. Reduce the number of people you buy for
  2. Draw names so everyone gets one gift
  3. Set a price limit on the value of the gift
  4. Plan an experience instead of buying a gift: go to a play, go out for dinner, and go to a movie

 

 

If your expectations align with practicality, holidays will be less stressful and more fun. Click To Tweet

Decorating

Could you:

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Use flowers to decorate.

  1.   Put out fewer items
  2.   Use larger items to make the space look decorated instead of using  lots of small                 items
  3.   Decorate with flowers; you don’t have to pack them away when the season is over

 

 

 

Be Happy

Could you:

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

Spend time together doing things you enjoy

  1. Plan your schedule so you don’t get over tired
  2. Plan down time so each member of the group can spend time alone
  3. Plan things you like to do, not have to do
  4. Plan to exercise and get fresh air

Can you learn to ask for help and accept help?

Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

A blue and white striped tunnel in the background with Julie Stobbe in the foreground wearing a white blouse. Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Beat Black Friday, avoid the chaos

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. There may be some deals you can find.  Ask yourself:

  1. Will you be spending a lot of your valuable time looking for that special holiday deal?
  2. Will you end up purchasing things that cause clutter for you or a friend?
  3. Will you overspend on your budget?
  4. Will you be happy with your purchases?

Fun Facts 

Here are some fun facts.  The term Black Friday first became used widely in the 1990’s and refers to retailers reaching profitability or in the black – black ink, as opposed to losses that were originally recorded in red ink.

Black Friday sales declined only once in recent years. It was 2008 during the  Recession. Only 263,820 seasonal workers were hired in 2008 – staggering low compared to the record 764,750 workers hired in 2013.

Here’s an idea you don’t have to wait in line for. 

Mind over Clutter.ca has 3 hour packages designed to help with any number of tasks in the home and office. Considering purchasing an

  • Income Tax Receipt Organizing Package
  • Holiday Cleanup Package
  • Streamlining Your Office Package.

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the person receiving the gift.  Purchase your gift package for $150.00. Contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca to purchase your clutter-free gift of time.

A clutter free gift of time

Give the gift of time

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Is multitasking productive?

Reading time 10 minutes

Multitasking is a myth. The brain can’t complete 2 high-level tasks at the same time states Chris Adams, in  “Can People Really Multitask?”  So what are we really doing when we work on 2 things at the same time?

Task layering 

People believe they can multi-task because the body can do a physical activity and a cognitive activity at the same time.  So people are able to walk and talk, run and listen to a book etc.   The new term I have heard for this is task layering.  We certainly can do task layering, don’t get it confused with multitasking. Task “layering” is defined as strategically deciding to do tasks that require different “channels” of mental functioning such as visual, auditory, manual or language.  Read more about task laying that actually works in this article

Multitasking 

The brain does not do two cognitive tasks at the same time.  The brain switches between tasks, very quickly.  Every time the brain switches tasks it must determine how much of the task has been completed and what the next step would be and then continue with the task.  This time contributes to the slowing down of completing the two tasks.  If the brain works on one task at a time it completes it without delay.  Try it, put an article in front of you and something to write.  Do them both at the same time and record how long it takes you to get the two tasks done. You will notice that you will keep going over the material to see where you left off as your concentration shifts between the tasks.   Next, do each task separately and time how long it takes to complete both tasks.

Bar graph showing error made during multitasking activities

More errors are made when people multitask

How to stop multitasking

In order to stop multitasking, plan your work schedule and remove the distraction of other work, e-mails, tweeting, phone calls, televisions, music etc.  Your work schedule may have lots of shifts in tasks.  Some people like to schedule a 60 -90 minute work session and then change tasks.  Other people may schedule 30-minute sessions and change tasks.  What works for you? Some people need to have music or white noise on to help them concentrate and block out distractions.  Other people find music distracting.  What helps you to keep your focus on one task at a time?

What do you think? Is multitasking productive? 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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3 Work Life Balance Tips

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Work-life balance is a big catchphrase right now.  At times, it seems impossible when you are working from home.  Work is always there and home is now a workplace, a relaxing space, and an entertaining center.

Schedule everything

1. The best way to gain/have/maintain work-life balance is to schedule everything.  It will seem daunting at first because you need to schedule exercise, work, your children’s activities, beauty appointments, laundry, grocery, shopping, time off, cleaning, yard work, sports, entertainment etc.  Once you have completed this activity you have a better understanding of what your day is like, how your week will function and what is going on in the month.

Follow the plan

2. In order to be successful you must be ridge with yourself and stick to your schedule.  If you allow yourself to give up “life ” time for work you will probably never get it back.  Some people say they can’t be creative if they are scheduled.  Think closely about that argument. Perhaps you don’t know how to schedule your time or maybe you don’t want to have enough time to get everything done.  Remember scheduling allows you to be creative within each block of time and activity. Scheduling helps you to set up routines for getting tasks completed.  This helps you to spend less mental energy worrying.  Use that time and energy on more important things.

Create happiness in your life

3. Work-life balance is important because it allows you to be functioning at your best.   Your stress is reduced if you can accomplish the things that are important to you, have the relationships you want, and are accountable to those that are depending on you. Happiness and contentment can be yours for the taking.

women isting on a chair with her knees up to her chest with a cup of coffee

What would be your 4th tip to create a better work-life balance?  Post it in the comments. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Organizing Your Mind (6 Steps)

 Reading time – 3 minutes

In Harold Taylor’s newsletter www.taylorintime.com , May 2014,  he talked about Organizing your Mind to create the life you want.  His advice is still true today.  Getting your mind in the right place so you can concentrate on the things that bring you joy, fulfillment and contentment will help you create that life that brings out the best part of you.

By Harold Taylor

Organize your mind than your desk or house

It’s more important to organize your mind than your desk or house. You can always walk away from your desk or house, but you can never walk away from your mind. We must first accept the fact that time is not life, as many of us in the past may have suggested; it is merely the medium through which life passes. And life, as you experience it, is not something that happens to you, but something that happens because of you. You create the life you will experience – good, bad or indifferent – by what you believe, how you think, and what you do.

Mind-clearing session

To create the life that you want, you must first organize your mind. And you do this by clearing it of all the worldly clutter that keeps it preoccupied and constantly distracted. One way of doing this is to engage in a 15 or 20-minute mind-clearing session each morning after you get up and are fully dressed. Don’t do it while you are still in bed and half asleep. This is too important. It will determine how the rest of the day goes. And life takes place in a series of days.

Complete your morning ritual of breakfast, getting the kids off to school, putting out the garbage or whatever your morning routine entails. Then sit comfortably in your favourite chair, and without trying to rid your mind of the random thoughts that will invariably invade it, do the following six things in succession.

6 Steps 

  1.  Relax, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and just be aware of the miracle that is you.
  2. Give thanks for all that you have and have had in the past. Don’t rack your brain trying to think of everything – just those that come to mind quickly.
  3. Forgive anyone who has hurt or offended you.
  4. Offer up ten-second prayers, blessings or good wishes for at least three other people each day.
  5. Think positive thoughts about all your future plans, opportunities and endeavours,
  6. Decide and confirm how you will spend the next hour of your life. This may already be scheduled in your planner or you may choose something different.

The reason for doing these six things will be explained in the next article in this series on holistic time management. But the reason will probably become clear to you as you progress through each day.

Whether you call this session meditation, mindfulness, or “being in the now” is immaterial. What is important is that you continue to do it each day, modifying it as you go along, until it becomes your unique morning routine. And how you spend the next hour of each day will eventually create the life that you will lead.

Organize your mind than your office or home. Harold Taylor Click To Tweet

I think there are some great suggestions to help you focus on the life you want to create.  Is anything missing?   Let me know in the comments. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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