Archive for Home Routine Planning

5 Tips from a lunch bag – organizing school lunches

Reading time- 3 minutes

It is time for packing lunches for school.  Are you dreading it?  Children learn better when they are not hungry so the task is to pack food they will eat and not throw out, hide or trade.

1. You know what your child likes and doesn’t like.

Children will food jag, eat the same thing over and over and never get tired of it.  If there is a lunch they like, give it to them, a fruit, a vegetable, a protein and a carbohydrate.   When I went to school I would eat a cold chicken sandwich, bread butter and chicken, an apple, a cookie and drink usually milk every day for months.  My mom couldn’t understand why I didn’t get bored but I just loved it.  Life was easy she made it for me and I enjoyed it.

A drawing of a lunch box with an aple, banana , thermos and sandwich.

2. I hate sandwiches.

Some children don’t like sandwiches so give them leftovers.  Heat up the leftovers and put them in a Thermos.  I had a child who hated sandwiches, I would heat up taco meat and send the shell and toppings cold, a baked potato with butter or cheese, soup, stew, homemade macaroni and cheese. Pack warm chilli with taco chips, cheese and salsa. When you are cooking make extra and freeze it in individual meals and then you have a supply of lunches in your freezer.

3 thermos, black, blue and pink

Send warm foods to school in an unbreakable thermos.

3. Get lunches packed after supper when the food is out.

As part of our evening routine, each child would pack the food for their lunch that didn’t need to be refrigerated.  They packed veggies, pickles, crackers, and cookies.  In the morning I would add a sandwich or hot food to the lunch bag.  If you have more than one child this really makes life easy because you don’t need to remember which child likes what.

Lunch bags

Pick a size and shape of lunch bag that makes it easy to pack and send the correct amount of food to school, not too much, not too little

4. Finger foods are great but you might want to send a fork

Some schools have schedules where children eat smaller meals a couple of times a day.  Pack things that your child can eat a few items at a time.  Cut up cheese, meat, and bread into cubes.  Send nuts, hard-boiled eggs, veggies or cut-up fruit.  If you have a container with lots of sections they can open one box and see all their choices.  It makes it easier to pack and the child doesn’t have to struggle with lots of containers.  There is less to wash at the end of the day.  Children are not good at washing their hands before every meal so encourage them to use a fork, send a plastic one in their favourite colour.

Box with finger foods

Send a variety of foods in small quantities for quick snacks throughout the day.

5.  Leftover lunches – plan differently

When your child brings their lunch home remember it has been unrefrigerated all day, 8 hours, and dirty hands have been in the container touching all the food. Compost the leftovers.  Re-evaluate what you are sending and how much food you are putting in their lunch.

Plastic counter top compost bin

At the end of the day, compost leftovers to prevent a mild case of food poisoning.

Don’t use school lunches as a time to introduce new foods or worry about variety in their diet.  Use supper time or weekend meals to introduce them to new foods.  You want them to eat a healthy lunch every day.  Since you are not there to supervise them when they are eating, make a plan with your child so you can all be happy.

I think I have covered the basics.  Share your tips about school lunches in the comments.

If you need help with menu planning book a complimentary appointment with me. 

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

Share this:

10 Tips to help keep your home organized when kids are out of school

Summer fun with 5 children swimming at a lake.

Putting some planning into the time when your children are out of school will make life at home easier.  Don’t over plan activities for the children. Give them time to appreciate being at home and then going back to school. Share the planning and the fun.  Make it a special time together full of joy, learning and excitement not stress, tension and arguments.

10. Make a list of things that need to be done around the house.  For example, sweep out the garage/shed, break down boxes and put them in recycling, etc.  When the children start fighting or complain about being bored, tell them to pick a task from the list.  You get small jobs done and they are separated and not fighting.  I used this one summer.  It worked so well that they only fought once.  They found things to do so they were not bored.  Three things got completed from the list.

9. Pack the backpack with the necessary items for the next day the night before and place it near the door. Make your morning going off to day camps, activities or childcare easy to get out the door quickly.

8. Have a routine for wet swimming towels and bathing suits. They might hang them up, give them to you or place them in a specific spot. It is an easy way to help them learn about responsibility. No one wants to get into a wet bathing suit or reuse a damp towel.

7. Have an agreement about snacks and dirty dishes.  May a list and post it with snack choices.  Set a timer for snack time if you have young children.  Are dirty dishes put in a dishwasher, placed in the sink, washed or left on a table?  If the agreement is not kept then have them decide on a consequence.  Children are very good at deciding on consequences you might never have considered.

6. Determine a schedule for their activities, whether they are in programs or at home. Include screen time, outdoor time, reading time, and creative time. Also included in that schedule, is a time when you will be “unavailable to them” when you are all at home.  Use this “unavailable time” to get necessary tasks done around the house so things don’t get disorganized.  It is easy to always put off household tasks and to help, to play, or be constantly interrupted by your children so that things don’t get completed.

5. Have a routine for getting meals on the table and food and dishes put away. There are a number of tasks involved at mealtime: setting the table, food preparation, cleaning up leftovers, clearing dishes from the table and washing dishes.  Give everyone a task to do.  Record the tasks on a calendar and assign a person to each task.  The task assigned each day will depend on who is home before supper and who may have an activity after supper and they have to quickly get ready to leave.

4. Have a morning routine. Getting things done in the morning before the day gets busy is the best way to keep things organized.  Set a time for the latest children can sleep in.  Waiting for people to get up can be very frustrating if people are on very different schedules.  This agreed upon time may be different for each day of the week.   Tasks may include making their beds, making, eating and cleaning up their breakfast, tidying up things that were left out from the previous day, and completing a household chore.  Pick tasks that will help to make the day easier and keep the living space neat and tidy.

3. Declutter as you go.  If children aren’t interested in some toys (inside or outdoor) collected them and donate them.  If their clothing is too small or they won’t wear it, start a bag or box so they know where to put things they no longer need. They may have books or craft supplies that they have outgrown, collect them too.  You may decide to give them a challenge, find 5 things each day that you no longer need, use or love.

2. Try new ways of getting things done at home that is fun, simple and easy.  Summer is the perfect time to change the way things are done.  There is a little more time to teach children new skills and routines because there isn’t the pressure of getting homework done and getting to bed.

1. Sit down and have a family conversation about the expectations for the summer. Include when bedtime will be, responsibilities, consequences, special trips, activities and events that everyone would like to do.  Let the children help with the summer plan and take ownership in developing it.  When everyone is happy, things go a lot smoother.  Enjoy the time together.

Add tip number 11 in the comments. What do you do to help stay organized with the kids around the home? 

A family walking in the trees enjoying time together in the summer.

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 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?

Share this:

Moving students home? Make home life simple with a contract

Reading time – 5 minutes

It is that time of year when your young adult moves back home or the summer.  You might think of them as your kid.  They might think of themselves as an adult now that they have been living on their own for a year.  Each of you has changed over the year and so has your relationship.  Here are some tips on avoiding the conflict that might happen.

Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectations are. Click To Tweet

Expectations

It is a big change in lifestyle when students move home for the summer, for the students and the parents.  Sometimes students think

Share your ideas

What are your expectations?

  • It will be just like before I left
  • I will have the same responsibilities as I did living away from home
  • I am on vacation for 4 months
  • and so on…

Sometimes parents think

  • they have lived on their own so they should have no problem contributing around the home without being asked
  • now I have someone to help with all the work
  •  things have changed and we do things differently now
  • and so on…

Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectations are.  My daughter presented me with some rules when she moved back home for a few months.  She asked me to look at them and see if they were suitable and to add any rules.  It made things very easy and simple because there were fewer misunderstandings.

Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.

Sharing the car

May I have the car?

Car                                                                                                                                                

  1. Who pays for gas?
  2. When can they use it?
  3. Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?

Food/ Groceries

  1. Who buys the groceries?
  2. Who pays for the groceries?
  3. Do you buy everything on the list?
  4. Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?

Cooking

  1. Who cooks?
  2. Who plans the meals?
  3. Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?

    Where do I start cleaning?

    What needs to be cleaned?

Kitchen

  1. Who cleans up the kitchen?
  2. What needs to be cleaned,  floors counters, stove, sink?
  3. Who does the dishes?
  4. Who empties the dishwasher?

Schedule

  1. Do you record your activities in a specific place, electronic or paper?
  2. Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
  3. Are there any activities you are expected to attend?

Your young adult may feel like you are trying to “keep tabs” on their activities.  They have not had curfews and anyone to report to in a year.  Explain that you want to know when to expect them back for safety reasons.  If they don’t return when they are expected then it is time to start worrying and start looking for them.

Laundry

  1. Who is responsible for laundry?
  2. May they use the supplies at home or do they purchase their own supplies?

Cleaning

  1. Who does the cleaning, is it a shared task?

This checklist of ideas makes it seem like working out an agreement will be a lot of work.  The agreement only needs to cover areas that cause conflict, tension or have changed since the student last lived with you.

Our agreement looked like this:

Food                                                                                                                                                                                 

Family agreements about house rules

Make a contract/agreement with everyone in the family to reduce stress and misunderstandings

  • Buy groceries: give Mom the bill,  buy everything on the list
  • Weekday meals:  First one home cooks, Mom will try to plan the meals for the week

Car

  •  Mom will pay for gas

Kitchen:

  • Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
  • No dishes in the sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed

Schedule:

  • Record your evening activities and times when you won’t be home for supper on the calendar
  • Politely and conversational let us know where you are going and when you plan on returning. This is for safety reasons, if you don’t return we need to know where and when to start looking for you

2 weeks ago I wrote about Moving a Student Back Home 

Tell me what items you put on your contract in the comments below.

 

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

Share this:

3 Work Life Balance Tips

Reading time – 3 minutes

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

Share this:

Back to school organization for your household

Reading time 5 minutes

The fall season is here! For many households, now’s the time to prepare for the new pace of life. Back to school and back to the office routines bring a whole lot of stress to the household. If you and your child are heading back respectively to the office and school after several months of remote working from home, you may find it overwhelming at first. How can you manage to run your household when your routine is changing again? The truth is that for a lot of people, remote working has introduced new time management habits. So, you will need some time to find your ground when you need to commute again. But thankfully, here are some organizational tips that can save you a lot of time and stress.

Clear the garden and outdoor

Commuting is exhausting, especially after a long period spent at home. So, you want to make sure you can tackle some essential maintenance jobs rapidly before they affect your home. As the first leaves will soon fall and turn our garden into a beautiful red and orange carpet, you need to arrange for fall gutter cleaning soon. Gorilla Property Services has many locations across the country. Indeed, there is nothing worse than a clogged-up gutter on a rainy day. As fall is renowned for being a wet season, you can’t afford to wait for long. Clogged-up gutters can increase the risks of water infiltration through the walls and the roof. It’s going to be messy, costly, and stressful to arrange for repairs. But you can keep up with the autumnal challenges by outsourcing essential jobs to professionals, from gutter emptying to garden checks.

Have a plan for college students 

College students are packing or have just packed to head to the campus for the first time. It is an exciting time for them, but it can be daunting too. A lot of college students are unprepared for household challenges. It can be helpful to arrange a simple schedule of chores with them. For instance, you can decide how to care for their dirty laundry, especially if they don’t have easy access to washing machines. Similarly, nothing beats a healthy family meal.  Students don’t also have the opportunity to cook. For example, you can arrange for pre-made dishes they can pick up on weekends and bring back to the campus. Decide what meals they enjoyed at home and make a quick and easy recipe book of their favourite meals.

Make your lunch boxes go further

For the first time in months, you have to think about lunch boxes. Planning and packing lunchboxes can take a lot of time. Without appropriate organization, you might even end up wasting a lot of money. Some households prefer to map out the lunches for the week to get ahead with grocery shopping on a budget. Others love to prepare individual ingredients separately, so they can pack a lunch box in a few seconds. You can even create a lunch packing station in your fridge and pantry, storing specific items to make boxes rapidly.

Keep everyone’s schedule visible

Last but not least, pop everybody’s schedules in a visible area at home. Pinned on a corkboard in the entryway or attached to the front of the fridge with a magnet, you’ve got many options! Sharing schedules will save you planning time, so you know when everybody is free.

Going back to your pre-pandemic lifestyle after spending many months at home can be daunting. You find yourself running out of time to maintain your household! But hopefully, these simple tips can help save you time and hassle in the long term.

If you need help developing routines to organize your household book a complimentary appointment with me.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices,  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

Share this:

Back to school – making homework easy

Reading time: 3 minutes

No more arguments, plan the best time to do homework. 

Helping your child to be successful with their homework is about planning.  Plan a time when your child can concentrate and an adult is available to lend support to the task.  Some children will be able to do homework right after they finish school other children will need time to do some physical activity  before they can concentrate and yet other children will need to eat first.

Mother and child and after school homework

Have a quiet area near an adult . Children may need support from an adult at times to be successful

 

Plan the best space for doing homework 

You will need a spot that has limited distractions, minimize stimulation from video screens and phones and reduce loud conversations with other family members in the homework area.

Plan a schedule for completing large projects 

Large projects take more than one night to complete.  Help your child learn how to plan ahead.  Look at the week and weekend and see what time is available to work on the project.  Divide the project into smaller sections that can be completed a little at a time during the week and on the weekend.  At first it takes a lot of discipline from the parent and the child but as the family gets used to planning ahead your child will tell you that they need your help with some homework and the only night you are both home is Wednesday.  It will be great when they take over the time management of homework.

Large projects can be broken down into smaller sections and a little parts can be completed each day.

Teach your child management so they will have enough time to complete large projects.

Each child will be different, some will like quiet spaces and others will like to be around people. Some tasks will need large spaces and others will need hardly any space. Click To Tweet

Have a portable homework station that can move with you. 

Many families have shared custody of children between parents and some families are always on the move taking children to after school events where children need to do homework while they are waiting for siblings to finish an activity.

have supplies on hand that can be taken with you so your child can complete their homework on the move.

Help your child be able to complete their homework quickly

 

Help your child be prepared so they can complete their homework quickly

Have a portable homework station that can be taken anywhere

Taking into consideration all the variables, homework areas need to be portable.  Children need have a container with all the pens, pencils, markers, erasers, rulers, a stapler, tape, glue, paper, calculator etc. they need.  This container can be used in any room in the house allowing for flexibility.  Let your child organize the container since they know what they need.   This container can be put in the car and taken along to activities, babysitters, parent’s homes.  It is important that children have the supplies they need and learn to take care of them so they can get their work done.  If you choose to have one room or area for homework make sure to consult your child about what it should look like so they want to work in that area.

Share your tip for making homework an enjoyable 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 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

 

Share this:

4 easy ways to organize your meal planning – Is it possible?

Meal planning can seem like a difficult chore.  I am going to talk about 4 ways to simplify your menu planning. Organizing your menu will give you a healthier diet, save money on food and create a relaxed mealtime.   

Shuffle the Deck

Make menu planning into a game. Compile recipes for 20 to 30 easy-to-prepare main dishes and the same number of side dishes and desserts. Cut them out of magazines, download them the internet.  Get together with friends and each bring 10 recipes and share them.

1.  Put each recipe on a 5 x 8 card, noting any special ingredients that require a stop at a specialty shop.

2.  File all the recipe cards in a card box.

Each week:

1. Select your required number of main dishes.

Pasta and Broccoli

Mix and Match side dishes to give each meal a new appearance

2. Mix and match them with side dishes and desserts.

Pita Sandwich

Meal Planning can be easy if you make it into a game

Your menu is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

Plan a month of meals

I like to plan a month of meals and then take the plan and repeat it for 6 months.  I find there are different meals made in the winter than in the summer.  Make one menu plan for the colder months and one menu plan for the warmer months.  Each year review it, add a few new items.  The easiest way to do this is to write down everything you make for one month.  Now you have a plan.  You might want to look through books, or websites and collect ideas. I used to do my planning while I was waiting for one of my children to finish a sports practice.   With this system, you will only eat each item 6 times.  If you didn’t plan the menu I think there would be some meals you would eat a lot more times than just 6.

Plan using a grid 

I like to make a grid with categories across the top.  The categories might be based on food, ways of cooking or time limits.  It may be a combination of these categories.  When my kids were at home, I needed some meals to be ready quickly because they came home and left for work or a sport.  Other days I would arrive home from work later so I prepared supper in a crockpot.

Under each category (column), you fill in meal ideas, record where to find the recipe and if there are any unusual ingredients that need to be put on the grocery list.

Each week you read across (row) and you have your menu and your grocery list. This provides lots of variety in the menu and it is adaptable to your needs each week.

As my children got older one of the categories became new food. After the new meal, we would evaluate it and see if it stayed on the grid or was voted off. If it stayed on the grid, it would be move to the appropriate category, after all, it isn’t a new meal anymore.

Adapt the categories to suit your family and culture.  This grid has 7 rows so it is a menu plan for 2 months.  Repeat it 6 times and you have a year of meals planned.Save money on food, save time on deciding what's for supper and have less stressful mealtimes by planning once and using your plans over and over. Click To Tweet

Apps

The other ideas lent themselves to paper.  I like paper because you can post it in the kitchen and everyone knows what is for supper and can help.  Apps are wonderful. You can select your menu and the app will generate the shopping list.  Big Oven is one of many apps.

Breakfast and Lunch

You can plan your breakfast and lunch menus in the same way.  I find those meals to be more repetitious and easy to just have groceries on hand and let people decide what they feel like.  I always make more supper servings than are needed at the meal (2-4 more) so they are available for lunches and late night snacks for the hard-working athletes in the home.  Sometimes I would remove those extra servings before the group sat down to supper.

However you like to plan, paper or digital or a combination use your plans over and over.  Do the planning once a month, twice a year or yearly.  Take the stress out of “what’s for supper” and you will end up spending less money eating out, less money wasting food and less time worrying.

Coupon Tip

If you like clipping coupons, write your shopping list on the back of an envelope, and stuff the envelope with the appropriate coupons.

Leaving the decision about what to eat for the last minute makes every meal stressful. Do you like menu planning? If you want help book a virtual menu planning meeting with me.

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?

 

Share this:

Organizing your new normal

These times of living with the pandemic have shown us that material possessions are not as important as we thought. Having lots of possessions is not creating happiness and contentment.  It is a good time to examine what parts of your life bring you satisfaction while staying at home.

Routines

More time is being spent at home and fewer activities take you away from your house.  Everyone can help with work around the house.  Things can get done quickly if everyone knows the routines.

Meal preparation takes time and is a constant consideration. How have you handled this task?

Consider what will work for you:

  • Giving everyone 1 meal/week to make.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, older children can help younger children.
  • Give everyone some responsibility for the meal – meal preparation, meal preparation assistant, cleaning up the food from the table, putting leftovers away, doing the dishes.  Rotate the jobs each day or week.

Keeping the house clean with everyone home all day takes more time.  Consider:

  •  A quick clean up after supper, tidying things up to their correct place, sweep/mop/vacuum the major travelled and used spaces.
  • Set up a cleaning schedule so everyone has a job to do to get the home cleaned.  Divide up dusting, washing floors, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces.  Pick a day when it needs to be done and they can pick the best time to do it.

There may be less dirty clothing around the home since people are inside more and doing less.  It is a  good time to establish a laundry routine.  Consider what is best for you:

  • Doing one load a day
  • Teaching everyone to do their own laundry
  • Setting one day to do  laundry

Now is a good time to evaluate what new routines are working well, which ones need to be revised and what needs to be established to keep the home working well.  When the pandemic is over keep reinforcing the newly established routines for the new times ahead.

Possessions

Shopping is down, clothing store sales dropped 78.8%.  Electronics and appliances declined 60.6% furniture and home furnishing sales dropped 58.7% and sporting goods 38%. Source 

Homes are filled with many things.  This time is a good opportunity for exploring some of the things you own and seeing if they add value to your life.  It will help you know what you need and what you don’t need anymore.

Explore new activities to fill your time.  Introduce health and wellness activities, learn new skills and participate in outdoor activities that can replace shopping.  The pandemic is reinforcing that having an overabundance of stuff doesn’t bring contentment. It is possible to live without shopping.  Think about how you will control what comes into your home after the pandemic is over. Do you have a new normal? What if everything you wanted isn't what you want now? Click To Tweet

Priorities

I wasn’t sure what to call this section. It could be titled time management, relationships or activities.  Before the pandemic would you focus on:

  • meeting deadlines over playtime
  • being perfect over enjoyment
  • an advancement over vacation time
  • answering text messages over your sanity

During the pandemic, it is possible to have time for things other than work.  Learn how to balance all the priorities, relationships and activities you have experienced. Don’t let all this learning about the type of life you want to have to get swept out of your reach when life changes again after the pandemic is over.

Do you have a new normal?

What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want?

In 2010, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus  both abandoned the majority of their material possessions and created TheMinimalists.com. In 2011, they walked away from successful six-figure careers to live more intentionally. Then, in 2012, they moved to Montana and started writing a book  Everything That Remains .  Remember to minimize once you’re finished—pass it on, donate it, or sell it.

Everything That Remains, photo by Spyr Media

Everything That remains 

Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. … For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions.

In the comments share what the pandemic has taught you?

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie 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?

 

 

 

Share this:

5 Tips for getting the food onto the table

Y0u might be using an app to help you plan your meals and make your grocery list or paper and pen.  Here are a few tips to help you take that plan and make it happen.  The easier it is to get the meal onto the table the less likely it is that you will eat out.

 

grocery planning

menu planning

                 

1. Plan meals for a month or more and then repeat the plan.

2. Cook double portions so you can use the planned-overs on another day.

3. Have each family member participate in simple meal preparations that are age appropriate.

4. Cook together on weekends and prepare a number of meals for the week.

5. Partially prepare meat – dice it, brown it and then freeze it.

Share your best tip for making meal preparation easy.

POC Gold Leaf MemberJulie 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?

 

Share this:

Spring into action – Attack the winter clothes

Spring is here.  As winter slowly leaves so should your winter clothes.  As you wear something for the last time this season,  a warm sweater, scarf, pants etc.

  1.  decide if you like it,
  2. does it fit,
  3. do you get compliments when you wear it?

If the answer is yes then wash it and store it away for next year.  Continue with the process until all your warm clothing has been cleaned and put away making space and easy access for your spring wardrobe.  Any clothing that doesn’t fit, you don’t like, or is too complicated or expensive to launder can be donated.  Clothing with stains and holes can be donated to textile recycling

Winter clothing

Spring into action and pack away warm clothing after each load of laundry

 

Spring clothes

Make your spring wardrobe accessible, remove your winter clothes

If you need help decluttering your wardrobe book a virtual appointment with me.

Tell us your tips for organizing your clothing 

 

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie 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

Share this:
On-line Lifestyle Organizing Coaching leading professionals From Clutter to Freedom
Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area