Archive for Organizing Tips

Moving a student to school – 5 bathroom organizing tips

Make everything as portable as possible.   It may have been a while since your child had to share a bathroom and/or not had a bathroom attached to their bedroom.  Here are some tips.

1. Have a basket for transporting all shower items from their room to the bathroom. The basket should have ventilation so it will dry out and not get moldy.

Make it portable

Make it portable

Use a well ventilated container

Use a well ventilated container

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

 

2. In some residence, the students need to supply toilet paper.  Extra supplies can be stored under the bed. Send all shower essentials shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving, etc in a convenient portable size.

Use small bottles in the shower store extras under the bed

Use under the bed storage for extra supplies

3.  Include over the door hooks that the student can use to hang their towel while showering so it is convenient and use in their room to hang the towel to dry.

Make everything as portable as possible so it is quick to pick up and go and easy to put away. Click To Tweet

4. Send a bathrobe.  They may not use one at home but might find it useful at residence.  Pack one that they will wear not one that has been around for a long time.

5. Send 2 bath sheets and 2 or 3 hand towels and 2 washcloths. Don’t send red towels that will turn a load of laundry pink, if they wash their towels.

Need help planning how to organize your dorm room? Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual appointment 

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?

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Moving a Student to School – 6 Closet Organizing Tips

Bring lots of hangers, you can never have enough.  It is a great way to make new friends by sharing the extra hangers.

Bring lots of hangers

Buy thin hangers because the closet space is limited

Use a second hanging bar to make more room in the closet

Use a second hanging bar to make more room in the closet

1. Store your clothes in the closet.  Double your hanging space by purchasing a lower hanging bar.  Add an extra shelf up high in the closet to store off-season items mitts, hats.

2. Under-bed storage containers are very helpful for sports equipment, food, laundry detergent, musical instruments, etc

3. Use vertical space to add more storage.  There are many types of carts with drawers which can be used to store school supplies, cosmetics, food etc.

4. Use the inside of the bedroom and closet doors to hang items.  Over-the-door rack and hook products accommodate coats, clothes, etc

Over the door hooks

Lots of hooks can be very useful

over door hooks

Use the space on the front and inside of the doors

5. There are many pocket style items that hang from the closet bar.  Buy one or a shelf for shoes to use to double the shoe space storage.

6. Make sure anything you buy is returnable because you won’t exactly what you need until you get there.

Need some help planning your move book  a 30 minute complimentary appointment to get help planning the space in your new room. 

 

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?

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The organization diet: cut the clutter & improve your life

If you enjoy informatics you will enjoy this blog.  Cut the clutter a little each day.  Some tasks feel overwhelming.  Begin by dividing them into bite-size pieces. Start with the piece that is easiest to tackle, build your confidence and continue on your daily diet making small changes that you can sustain.

My guest blogger this is Tom Happ is President of Closet Works based out of Elmhurst, IL which for the past 32 years serves the Chicagoland area with customized Closet and Storage Solutions. With a team of over 100 staff, each Solution is Designed, Fabricated and Installed to optimize the storage for every room within the home.

Graphic created by Closet Works.

Contact Closet Works or Julie Stobbe for help with planning your organization diet. 

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?

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How to organize your shopping

Now that some of the restrictions on your life are eased and stores are opening do you want to shop?  With fewer activities available to participate in, do you find that shopping is away to pass your time?    Especially during these difficult times, it is easy to use retail therapy as a way to temporarily feel better. Shop with a purpose and a list.  This will help you to only buy what you need, stay within your budget and keep the clutter under control.

A girl in a shopping aisle with an armfull of junk food.

If you find that you spend too much time or money shopping, here are some ideas from “Don’t Agonize Organize your Office” by Diane A Hatcher.

Buying for the Wrong Reasons                                                                                           

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

How to Buy

  • Shop for things you need not want
  • Shop for things that fit into the space you have
  • What am I going to use it for?
  • Where am I going to put it?
  • When you buy something new, give 2 things away.

Whenever you buy, make a plan first. 

Signs can encourage to purchase items, so follow your plan not their plan

What habits have you set for yourself so you don’t buy unnecessary items?

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?

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10 Easy Ways to Find More Space in Your Home

My guest blogger this month is Laura McHolm, an organizational, moving and storage expert, and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award-winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Many believe that to lead a more organized and inspired life, the clutter around you must be cleared. It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.

A clean and balanced home is actually a launching pad for many other goals and resolutions. So if you’re already starting to fail at some of your other 2020 resolutions, try this home resolution instead: find more space in your home by clearing out the clutter! Follow these ten tips and I promise you it will inspire you to complete your other resolutions and lead you to a more organized and happier year!

Pantries

Create room by removing the large and awkward food packaging. Purchase clear, air-tight containers, take the box of your food item, and cut out the product name, nutritional facts and expiration date. Tape them to the inside of your clear container and then seal the food.

Pantry Shelves

Arrange the food on your shelves to help keep your resolutions. Make “first choice” shelves for the food that you want to stay on that diet. Make shelves that are for the kids snacks or foods that you’re just not going to have on a regular basis anymore… You get the idea –some shelves are just for the once a week treat. Some are for every day.

Pantry Storage

If you like to buy in bulk, put the bulk of your paper goods in another location, perhaps a closet or the garage, and place only what you need in your pantry— restock as needed. Tape a note to the shelf stating the location of the extra supplies.  When you use the last item it will remind you of the location where more are stored.

In the Kitchen

When storing pots, pans and other durable items, stack them on their sides like files. This simple step not only creates more room, it also allows you to see exactly what you need. Caddies or sorters from a shelf or container store have great tools for vertical organizing. Have all this in mind in when planning your next kitchen remodeling.

It’s simple: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too. Click To Tweet

Dressers

Place clothing in drawers vertically (not the traditional horizontal piles) because it not only maximizes space, it allows you to find items more quickly. You can purchase wooden planks or plastic planks to use as dividers. This way you can see all of your clothes at once when you open the drawer.

Closets

If your shoes don’t have a place they end up in a pile taking up valuable space. Place shoes and accessories in clear plastic containers so you can see everything and tape their photo to the inside of their container with photo facing out. This little step gives you triple duty: more space, you can find it easier and better still you can put it away in the exact same spot for next time that hot date rolls around…

Our Shoe Box, Container Store

Organize by Color

Organize your closet and drawers dark to light. It can be a great way to find out that you really have way too many black blouses… and you can keep your resolution of being a kinder gentler you by donating the extras!

Kids’ Rooms

Purchase bed raisers for under-the-bed storage. Make sure they are sturdy and the bed can’t be knocked off the raisers during a game of hide and seek.  You can also purchase under the bed drawers. You can store everything from shoes, laundry basket, books and any bulky items that might otherwise clutter their room.

A Baby’s Closet

Is there room to add another bar? Take advantage of the fact that baby clothing is smaller and if you can, add an additional bar to hang the clothing to maximize space. You can purchase pre-made closet organizers that you can customize to make the most out of baby’s closet.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

The best trick to more space in your home, less is more! So if you find you have extra things laying around, throw a reverse housewarming party! You’ll be starting a new party trend. Set aside your unwanted items and instead of having your friends bring a housewarming gift, they are to pick one of your items and take it home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home, and de-clutter all at the same time!

Originally posted on porch.com 

If you need help implementing these suggestions book a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment.  

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?

 

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Spring Clearing A B Cs

Yes, you read it correctly, spring clearing, not spring cleaning.  I attended a conference in London, England offered by the  Association of Professional Declutterers and  Organizers. (APDO).  This is where I first heard about spring clearing.  The idea made so much sense to me.  We no longer have to do the seasonal cleaning.  Our homes are much cleaner because of high-efficiency furnaces, paved roads, washing machines, vacuum cleaners.  Long gone are days of mud floors, dirt roads, open fires to heat your home and brooms for sweeping.

Activities

Clearing is a process that involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want.  It is also more than that.  Clearing is about examining schedules, activities and commitments   Activities change with the seasons and that affects your schedule.  Some of those activities you may not be interested in anymore.  Clear them from your life and try something new. Revise your schedule to suit your new interests.

Commitments

There might be a lot of commitments in your life.  You might be volunteering, doing things out of guilt, involved in things that are no longer a priority in your life. Look at all the commitments and clear the ones that no longer interest you, you have outgrown or can be shared or delegated to someone else. Use your time in a way that allows you to you feel, fulfilled, passionate about the cause and excited to contribute.

Spring clearing involves clearing out things you no longer need, use or want. Also clear out schedules, activities and commitments that no longer suit your life. Click To Tweet

Possessions 

Clear items that you no longer need, use or want.  Decide how much is enough and start to let go of the excess.  Make contributions to charities, sell items, donate them to worthy causes.  Don’t pass things on to other people unless they want them.  Check first before you drop something off. Recycle broken, damaged or very old items.  Keep as much as you can out of the landfill.

Download your Spring Clearing Guide

Here is a sheet to help you with your Spring or Fall Clearing, download it and use it as your guide.
Spring Clearing 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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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10 Tips to keep your entranceway clear of clutter

Controlling the clutter at the entrance to your home can be a nightmare. With many people using the same area and all having different organizing styles clutter can develop.  Together decide on what will be stored near the doorway and how it will be stored.  When everyone knows the plan, everyone can participate in keeping the entranceway clutter-free.

1. A place for coats

Place hooks low enough that everyone can hang up his or her own coats, sweaters, and jackets.

2. A spot for bags and backpacks

Establish a space that can be reached without help for each person’s backpack or gym bag.  This could be a shelf, cupboard or hook.

Entranceway organzing

Organizing Backpacks

3. Use vertical space

Have enough space near the entrance for shoes that are used regularly.  Buy stackable shoe racks and use vertical space efficiently.  Footwear worn occasionally should be stored elsewhere and brought out as needed.

4. Use the inside of doors

Have a place for seasonal hats, gloves and scarves.  A hanging shoe organizer is ideal for this purpose.  Put regularly-worn hats, scarves and pairs of gloves into the pockets, where you can easily see each item and quickly select what you need.   Storing hats, mitts and scarves directly with a jacket also helps to keep everything together. During the warmer months put sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses and hats in the pockets

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

Use a shoe organizer for hats baseball caps gloves sunglasses

5. Have a collection basket

Have a basket to collect mail, newspapers, schoolwork as you come in the door.  It will keep all the paperwork in one place and you can easily take the basket to your work area to sort it and deal with items quickly.

Samsill Pop,n Store Container

6. Collect garbage and recycling

Do you need a garbage can and recycling bin near the entranceway?  Some people do and some people don’t. It helps to keep the area clean.  Garbage from the car, a backpack,  gym bag or snack can be easily tidied up and not left lying around.  I saw this wastebasket with  4 compartments on one of my trips.

7. Protect your personal property

It is tempting to store keys, phones and purses near the door.  Don’t do it.  Find a more secure location for those items so no one picks them up and walks away with them when you’re distracted.

8. Have multi-use furniture

It is nice to have a place a person can sit to put on their shoes or boots. Have a stool that also has storage space.  It can be a good place to put a blanket for sitting outside when it gets cool, cushions for chairs, small toys for children or pet supplies.

Nebel Foldable 15″ Tufted Square Storage Ottoman

9. Re-purpose furniture 

Add a deacon’s bench, buffet, or dresser that is sitting around your home.  Place it by your entranceway to provide additional storage with no additional cost.

Mickelsen Entryway Hall Tree with Bench

Use verticle spaces in your entranceway to get more storage space. Click To Tweet

10. Declutter often

Declutter your entranceway often.  Place items back in their correct storage place, let go of items you no longer need, store off season items way from the entrance and remove garbage and recycling.

Book a virtual organizing appointment and work with Julie to get your entranceway working well for you. Click here for more information  about Virtual organizing services 

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?

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7 Tips for organizing your laundry routine

No matter how beautiful and organized your laundry area looks, if you don’t have a routine for getting laundry to the washer, into the dry and back to bedrooms you will still have a problem.  These tips will help you establish a routine that will work in your household.

Collect the laundry

1. Keep a central collection area for your laundry close to where people change.  The main bathroom, near the bedrooms, is often a good choice. Keep three hampers – one each for light, medium and dark-coloured clothing. Make sure everyone knows to empty pockets, because no one else is going to check. You may prefer to have each person have their own bin in their room.

Have everyone in the family sort their laundry and put it in the hamper.

2. Keep a stain remover nearby so that everyone can treat the stains on their own clothing.  Children may need help with the most difficult, like blood.  Use shampoo without conditioner on grease stains. Once stains are treated, fold the clothing to prevent stain remover from touching the hamper. Remember to place clothing in the correct laundry hamper.

Schedule time

3. Establish a day when the laundry will be washed.  Clothing will need to be in the hamper and someone will bring it to the laundry room. You may need to establish a day or time for each member  to do their own laundry.

Set timers

4.  As you’re placing clothing into the washer or dryer set a time on your phone, stove, clock so you remember to switch the clothing to the dryer or take it out of the dryer.  It is easy to forget that the washer or dryer has completed the cycle if it isn’t near where you are working.  Then time passes and you didn’t get much laundry done that day, the clothing in the dryer is very wrinkled  or the damp clothing has an unpleasant oder.Setting up routines makes it easier to accomplish tasks taking less energy and time to complete them Click To Tweet

Organize an area 

5.   Have a table or space available so you can fold and pile items as they are removed from the dryer. Making piles of clothing allows people to come and pick up their clothes and put them away.  If you have small children in the home place their piles of clothing on their bed, pants, tops, underware, socks etc and help them to learn to put it away in the correct spot.  It is a skill that will last them a life time.

6. Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack.  Don’t spend your time folding clothes that get unfolded once they reach the bedroom.  Hang them up straight out of the dryer.

7. Establish a laundry supply shelf or cupboard.  Be sure to have a variety of supplies available so you can easily handle any stain – detergent, bleach, shampoo, stain remover, a bar of laundry soap – and quick hand-washing items.  Include a basin so you can conveniently soak or hand wash items.

For tips and articles to help you organize your mind and space  join Julie’s Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

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?

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7 Tips to Reduce Paper Clutter

Harry Potter Film Studio, England 2017

We use 20% of the stuff we own. Keep the 20% of paper that is important and discard the other 80% . Click To Tweet

1. Don’t allow paper to build up

  • Handle paper daily, don`t let it grow into a pile
  • Place all paper in one location, don’t let it travel all over the home
  • Open mail and discard the envelop and advertising
  • Schedule a time to file, make calls, pay bills etc

 

2. Make a decision on each paper the first time you touch it

  • If it can be done in 60 seconds or less to it now, otherwise R.A.F.T it
  • Set up 3 files, bins or trays and sort your paper into:
  • R – read later
  • A – action required
  • F – file
  • T – toss it / shred it now

3. Follow through on work

  • Each time you pick a sheet of paper put a small dot on the top corner.
  • Three dots or more means it is time to take action on that piece of paper.
  • If you are procrastinating about what to do, it probably means you are not sure how to solve the problem in the paperwork.  Ask for advise, designate it to someone else, research the issue or break it into smaller parts you can complete.

4.  Be ruthless

  • 80% of what is filed is never accessed again, so 80% or more of the paper you receive on a daily basis can be discarded
  • Clear out your files once or twice a year
  • Remove yourself from subscription lists

5. Think before you print

  • File e-mails  in a folder on the computer
  • Print only the selection of the e-mail or webpage you need

6. Store inactive files in boxes indicating a destroy date

7.  Follow retention guidelines

  • Retain files as specified by your company or accountant
  • Put inactive files in boxes and place them in storage indicating a destroy date on the box
  • Clear out outdated files

For more great office organizing ideas  read “Don’t Agonize Organize Your Office” by Diane A Hatcher

If you need help with your paper organizing  book a complimentary discovery organizing session with me.  Organizing Session

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?

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Filing options to keep your papers organized

1. Traditional Filing Cabinets

They come in many sizes and colours.  Make sure to get one with drawer sliders so you can easily reach to the back of each drawer.  Some come with locks others do not.  They can be vertical or horizontal.  Horizontal cabinets provide a space to set things on, a printer, plant etc.  You can buy a stand that has wheels to set under the filing cabinet to make it easier to relocate.

grey metal 2 drawer vertical filing cabinet

 

2. Binders 

Binders are a good solution for visual people.  You can have them on a shelf and easily see all your files.  The binders can be colour coded to make it simple to find the correct binder. Use dividers, pocket dividers or sheet protectors to file papers. Set up the categories you need:  household bills, bank statements, warranties etc  Some binders also have a set of acordion files attached to the binder.  Here is a review of this product. 

Black 3 ring binder with attached accordian file

3 Rolling Crates/ File Boxes on Wheels. 

Use hanging folders and file folders. The advantage to this is you can take them to whatever room you want and the top is open so you can see the files easily.  With the crates, you can stack them for easy storage. 

Whtie plastic crate with hangin file folers

Crates make your files portable

black metal box on wheels with red, orange and yellow hanging file folders.

Crates on wheels make it easy to store away and then move close to your desk

4. Expandable Files

Use one section for each category of paperwork. For example household bills, income tax, financial documents,  insurance policies, warranties, etc.  They are great to have one for each member of the family to store papers relating to them, report cards/school documents , immunization/health records, passport and other documents, certificates etc.  You can also colour code these files.

Blue accordian file with clear sections for papers

Some come with special hooks so you can store them in a filing cabinet or crate.

Blue accordian file with hooks to hang in a black filing cabinet drawer

5. Magazine holders

Magazine holders come in paper and plastic.  They are avalable in many colours and patterns. Try to buy ones with solid sides so papers will not get caught and be hard to slide in.  Use a holder for each category of paper you need to file.  You can colour code your systems making it easier to quickly access the files you need.  You can turn them so the spines is facing out, label them, to reduce the vsiual clutter of seeing all the papers in each box. 

White cardboard magazine holder with papers and file folders in them.

 

What is your preferred method for filing paperwork?

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

 Twitter – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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On-line Lifestyle Organizing Coaching leading professionals From Clutter to Freedom
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