Organizing your photos, how many do you have?

Quick Tip: Estimating Photos from APPO

Association of Personal Photo Organizers www.appo.org

No need to count every photo in the box, especially if you are working with hundreds of printed photos for a job. Instead, use a ruler or a scale. Did you know 1 inch of printed photos stacked is about 100 photos? If you are estimating a shoebox packed full of printed photos, get your ruler out and measure the length of the box for a reasonable estimate of quantity. And 1000 photos weigh between 6 and 7 lbs, so set the tub of  photos on a scale instead!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Quick Tip: Sorting Photos

Instead of trying to sort photos chronologically sort them by topics.  Photos tell stories. By sorting using topics you will get stories on vacations, cars you’ve owned, children’s lives, pets, flowers, scenery etc.  Pick any topics that suit your life and start making piles.  As you’re sorting, get rid of ones that are out of focus, duplicates, one you don’t recognize the people or setting.

Share how  you store your photos?

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing your goals for the new year.

When you hire me, I don’t come to your office or home with the Mind over Clutter organizing system, install it and then leave.  I come and see what is working for you and how you do things so I can find solutions that work for you, how you think, feel and your lifestyle. I want you to accomplish your organizing project so you meets your goals.

January is usually the time for goal setting and so I want to present three ways of setting goals.

Pick one  area and improve it

I am a person who is motivated by a fear of failure, I don’t want to fail, so I am a cautious. My system of setting goals is to look at my business or life and see where I think it could be improved, what types of skills I need to improve so my business or life will improve.  I pick one thing and then work on it all year to get better at it.  For example I didn’t like social media so I decided to start working at becoming better at it and setting up a system that works for my day and philosophy about the importance of social media.  I picked a platform, got good at it and continued to add more and more platforms. I organized workshops on Twitter and Google+, I listened to webinars.   A vague plan works for me because  I am self motivated,  I am not a procrastinator.  I read an interesting article by Ravi Venkatesan about the importance of  learning new things, “What skill will you acquire this year? What new activity will you start? Perhaps learning to play a new instrument, going on an adventure or taking on a new role- anything that causes you to move out of your comfort zone and allow new neural connections to form” would be a good new year’s goal.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Set goals that you can attain

That  vague framework of deciding what you want to do to improve your business or life  would not for everyone.  We are all different.  So there is a goal setting system called SMART.  You pick a specific goal, with measurable outcomes, that are  achievable, realistic and timely.  When you use this system of goal setting it gives you a step by step plan to follow.  For example with my social media goal, if it had been a SMART goal, would be something like

I will learn how to post on Facebook,

S (specific) – I will post 3 times a week, one original content, one a picture, one comment on someone else’s post

M(measureable) – Did I post 3 times/week?

A (achievable)  – I have that much time in my week

R(realistic) – If I only have to do it 3 times a week I will not become frustrated and stop

T(timely)- I have 3 mornings a week when I can do these post. Tues, Thurs and Sat

This will work for some people who like to have a step by step plan and follow it.  It can cause problems if  people stop following the plan they may give up and not start again or some people may feel like it is too rigid.

Turn desire into intention

Be intentional about your plan

I read an article that reveals a simple trick that doubles the chance for success of obtaining goals.  Earlier I commented on what motivates me.  Sometimes we say, I need to motivate myself to get working on….,  In this article it says motivation is not the key to reaching your goals it is intention .

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology divided 248 adult into 3 groups exercise groups.

  • Group  1 had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
  • Group 2 where told “ most young adults who have stuck to a regular exercise program have found it to be very effective in reducing their chances of developing coronary heart disease. ” ( motivation to exercise) and had to record how often they exercise during a 3 week period
  • Group 3  recorded when and where they would exercise (intention to exercise), they were given the same motivation as group 2  and they recorded  how often they exercised during a 3 week period

Results

  • Control group 1 38% exercised at least once per week
  • The motivated group 2 35% exercised at least once per week
  • The intentional group 3 91% exercised at least once per week

We all have some level of desire or will power or motivation but what turns desire into action is a written plan for implementation.  When you have a goal to do something, record when and how you will do that behaviour or activity. It will be the  environment that triggers you to do your new behaviour or activity and not motivation or will power.

These are just 3 systems

  • Having an all encompassing vision or
  • Setting SMART goals or
  • Intentionally deciding  when you will do something and blocking off time

that can help you establish new behaviours to accomplish a goal for 2019.  Pick the one that works for you.

Set goals to help you move out of your comfort zone, learn new skills and grow. Click To Tweet

Want help in 2019 to get your Mind and Space Organized, join my facebook group full of free tips 

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organizing my continuing education, take a fresh approach to conferences

I support continuing education for everyone in whatever field you are interested in.  I know that you agree because you are reading blogs to learn more about organizing and to improve your skills.  I continue to do that too.

This year I attended 3 conferences.Conferences help you to expand your horizons, learn new information, meet new people, travel to new places and improve your skill set. Click To Tweet

Association of Professional Declutterers and Organizers Conference

This is the professional organization in Britain.  It was held in London England in March.  I had a chance to learn from and share ideas with Professional Organizers from Scotland, Wales, Dubai, United States and the Netherlands.  I enjoyed the sessions on Minimalism, Chronic Disorganization,  learning about the brain- executive function system, making videos with your cellphone and becoming a better speaker.  Not so enjoyable but very necessary was a session on the new information privacy policies in Europe which also affect us in Canada. At the conference they were organizing their yearly Spring Clearing Week.  I really liked the idea of Spring Clearing instead of Spring Cleaning  and started using this term in my information.   We really don’t do a big spring cleaning anymore because our houses, furnaces, air quality and society are much cleaner. In the past it was important to clean thoroughly after being shut inside with fireplaces burning, dirt floors, wooden walls, unpaved streets.  Now it is important to take control of the clutter that develops as we move from season to season changing clothing and activities. Clutter affects our well-being so remember to do spring and fall clearing.  Lastly, the food was delicious and networking fantastic.

Association of Russian Professional Organizer Conference

Association of Russian Professional Organizers

I was contacted to be a surprise North American speaker for their conference in April.  We connected over Skype and they interviewed me about how I operate my business and how the industry of Professional Organizing runs in Canada. Russia is a big country.  To give you a feel for the size, it has 10 time zones, Canada has 5 time zones.  There were 84 participants from many parts of Russia and Japan.  It was a fun experience and so rewarding to see their smiles and hear their gasps when I was introduced.   The conference organizer would ask a question in Russian, the interpreter asked it to me in English, I answered in English, the interpreter translated to Russian and then the audience laughed.  They run their businesses very similarly to the way most organizers in North American setup their businesses.  They have the same difficulties as we do  marketing effectively and  getting clients.  I was so excited to learn from their enthusiasm, joy and dedication.

Professional Organizers in Canada Conference

This year the conference was in Kelowna, British Columbia in November. The theme was Renew and Recharge. Many of the presentations built on each other.  We started with a session about dealing with fears that hold you back from taking the next step.  Write down your fears, determine how to overcome them and what steps you will take.  This theme continued in a marketing session and a session on Minimalism about taking steps to change your lifestyle.  In a session on bullet journaling one of the things that was touched on was about how to reflect on success and failures.  It was a interesting thread that carried through a number of sessions, accidentally.  This year I went to conference as a presenter for the first time.  It was nerve racking but rewarding and fun.  I talked about how to make your office  more productive, creative, inspired and healthy but making small changes to the workplace environment.  Make conscious decisions about the type of lighting, paint colour , room temperature, drinking water, having plants in your office. Stop multitasking, use music to help you focus on tasks, identify productivity pit-stops, things that draw your attention away from the task you are doing.  Apply good ergonomic design concepts in your office, get enough sleep, change you working position every 30 minutes from standing to sitting, change the type of task you are doing to avoid repetitive strain injuries  and change the location of where you are working because your posture will change and that causes you to use different muscle groups. The food was fantastic and it was fun to start each morning with a yoga class.

Take a fresh approach to conferences

A common thread in my conference experience is great people, food and information. But going to conferences in your professional field may start to feel unproductive after a number of years. I took a fresh approach this year.  Focus on the participants and share ideas and learn from each other. Watch how other people network and improve your networking skills.   Look at presentations with a new eye and learn how to improve your presentations and speaking style. Conquer a fear, become one of the presenters at your national conference.  It will help you grow in knowledge and expertise. Combine your conference experience with travel.  I enjoyed traveling on the tube and exploring London, England and seeing the Harry Potter movie set.  Kelowna is a lovely town to walk around, hike up a local mountain or go on a wine tour. Expand your horizons learn new information, meet new people, travel to new places and improve your skill set.

Tell me about your conference experience. 

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

Give the Gift of Time

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

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

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

Gift a gift of time to someone who is busy

  • Income Tax Receipt Organizing Package
  • Holiday Cleanup Package
  • Streamlining Your Office Package.
  • Organizing for the New Year

Packages can be designed to fit the individual needs of the person receiving the gift.  Purchase your introductory gift package in 2018 for $150.00. Contact julie@mindoverclutter.ca to purchase your clutter free 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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer

 

Organize your shopping guide

The holiday season is here and Black Friday has come and gone and Cyber Monday is completed. Why talk about shopping now?

Do you need it or want it?

Do you need it or want it?

Developing good shopping habits will save you money.  Now is the time of the year when you can get lots of practice developing good shopping habits.Developing good buying habits will save you money. Click To Tweet

Buying for the Wrong Reasons

  • It was on sale
  • Too good a bargain to pass up
  • I may find a use for it some day
  • Someone else I know may need it one day
  • It feels good to shop

I am sure we have all experienced these reasons for purchasing items at one time or another.  Usually these types of purchases are items we don’t need, use, want or even like.  They cost us money, not save money.  If you have made a purchase for the wrong reason, you can return it.

How to Buy

  • Shop for things you need not want
  • Shop for things that fit into the space you have
  • Shop for things within your budget
  • Determine how you will use the item
  • Know where you are going to store it or display it
  • When you buy something new, give something away.

Do you plan a budget for your holiday shopping?

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Organize a bucket list for the holiday season

I 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.

Enjoy a walk and view Niagara Falls, dress warmly

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 is a lot of expectation leading up to December 25th and then it is all over.  Some times 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

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

Listen to choirs at the Niagara on the Lake candle light walk

  1. go to a holiday  concert
  2. go to a candle light 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
  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

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

    Visit your local dinner theatre like Oh Canada Eh!

  12. buy a poinsettia from a fund raising group
  13. grow an amaryllis plant
  14. buy an advent calendar for yourself
  15. visit Niagara Falls in the winter – cold but amazing

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?

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space /

 

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 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

 

 

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?

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

 

Sick of your old home? 5 Ways to fall in love all over again

Photo Credit: Bruce Mars on Pexels

My guest blogger is Haley Kieser of Zog Digital.  She always shares an inspiring fresh approach  to solving problems in your home.

Our homes are supposed to be the place we go and feel relaxed and inspired. Unfortunately, there are times where it feels very cluttered and closed in. After so much time, we can end up feeling sick of it. It’s time to get you to fall in love with your house again! You deserve an inspirational sanctuary that takes your stress away. Here are 5 ways to get there.

Decluttering

One of the biggest reasons why we feel that we’re getting sick and tired of our place is because we get buried in the clutter. Our home can be a representation of our minds. Therefore, we must professionally take care of both! We can start with professional organizing. The first step is assessing your clutter and really considering what you can let go of. This can be trash or receipts that are unnecessary. Once you identify the trash and trouble spots, you can move onto creating a functional environment that will work with you. Take note on how you feel once you take care of the decluttering. It’s like a brand-new home to obsess with, followed by a brand new you!

[Need help? Let us lend a hand. Read more about our organizing services.]

Painting

Photo Credit: Rawpixel on Pexels

After you’ve decluttered your home, you might be inspired to take things further. What better thing to pursue next than repainting your interior? Assess what colors give you the feeling that you desire and find the complementary interior colors as well. If you’re having a hard time trying to find the right colors on your walls, use your smartphone to visualize what different colors can do for your home. It might not be perfect, but you can get a sense of what it may look like after its painted.

Refurnish

Sometimes the furniture can be old and can drag you down. This can be a sign that it’s time to reassess some of your furniture. A new couch or table can reignite the passion for your home and have you looking forward to inviting guests or going home every day! Maybe try sprucing up your media center while you are at it. After all, the living room is where most households spend the majority of their time.

Kitchen

Photo Credit: Sarah Jane on Pexels

One way to get back into the groove of your home is by making it a place where you are excited to invite company. This can begin with the kitchen! The kitchen tends to be a place where most guests start their evening in your home. Whether it’s eating or sharing a glass of wine, you want conversations to be able to flow here. Creating an open environment with an island you can sit at with guests is where most would start. You can even start by changing up the cabinets entirely. The cabinets breathe a lot of life into a home.Small changes in your home, decluttering, painting or updating furniture can give you and your home a new vibrant feeling. Click To Tweet

Smart home

The times are flying by – maybe it’s time to try to keep up! Getting a smart home is easier than you think and can be less expensive than renovation. Just start by picking up a smart assistant and placing it in your home. You can then ask the assistant questions and get instant answers. If you find yourself liking it, you can then dive deeper by getting smart lights, smart thermostats, and smart tv’s. All of which will be commanded by your voice! Imagine turning on your television to your favorite Netflix show without having to grab the remote across the room. Pretty awesome, right?

There is a whole assortment of ways to tackle the stale image one has on their home. The most important thing is just trying. In no time the love for your home will be reignited!

Share one way you make a change in your home to it feels fresh and new again. 

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter –  Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

 

4 Organizing tips for getting rid of piles of paper

A lovely colleague sent me this first tip.  Marie Mushing runs a networking group called People in Connection

1.Make the area a showcase

See what working with a professional organizer can do for you? Professional Organizers rub out junk. Where there was once chaos and huge piles of paper, is now a showcase. Thank you Julie! Replace the junk pile with something pretty as I did, then you won’t want to pile junk on that again. Great motivation to keep the filing done!
Keep your filing cabinets free of paper?

2.Prevent drop zones from forming

If you have an empty flat surface it sometimes  calls to people, “to fill me with stuff.” To prevent that area from becoming cluttered put a large object or two in that spot.  It will make the area feel full and then you won’t drop things there.  With only 2 larger objects, it is easy to pick them up and dust and clean.  If you use a number of smaller items it may make the area harder to clean.

3.Designate a paper collection spot

Assign a place to put papers that need to be read, filed, signed etc.  Place  a tray, lovely baskets, eye catching red container etc in a convenient location. Why red?  Red is a high energy colour, it increases your heartrate, your eye is drawn to red items.  Buy using a red basket it can help to  make dealing with paperwork a high priority activity.  Keeping paperwork consolidated in one spot makes it easier to find and work with.  When paper is all over the office or house it becomes visual clutter, causing anxiety, the release of cortisol and you feel stress.  Cut the visual clutter, collect the paper in one spot, and complete the tasks.

4.Avoid the L word – later

Piles of paper will continue to build up if you leave them for later.  Later will never come.  Schedule time to deal with paperwork: schedule time to read, file, and reply to paperwork that generates more work.  Schedule these activities according to your level of energy at different times of the day.  Scheduling reading after lunch at a low energy time of the day may not be productive but scheduling file after lunch maybe perfect because it gets you up and activity. Scheduling time at the beginning of each day to concentrate on work generated by email, letters, documents might work well when you are able to focus on single tasks.  Remember not to multi-task.

Schedule time for paperwork

If you’re interested in learning how colour can affect your productivity, this guide is free and you can find it here .

What tricks do you use to help you complete paperwork?

Related articles The truth about multitasking 

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces distracting clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

 

Time saving window cleaning tips

Clean your windows without leaving the ground

Need to wash your windows but you don’t want to spend the time doing it because the next rain will wash away the time you spent shining those windows.  Try using a window cleaning product that attaches to your garden hose.  First you rinse the window with water then switch the setting to soap continuing to spray the window and then switch it back to rinse.  You can clean your windows without your feet leaving the ground.  One such product is Windex Outdoor spray.

For cleaning the inside or outside of your windows try using Norwex cloths.  You use water and the cloth, no chemicals.  They do a fantastic streak free job.  Norwex has many chemical free cleaning solutions.  I have been using them since 1995.

Share the method you use for cleaning your windows.

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 enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – Facebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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

 

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