Archive for Organizing Tips

How to organize your wardrobe (with a change in the season)

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Fall is here, at least on the calendar. It used to be that people would stop wearing lightweight, sleeveless tops and lightweight pants in the fall.  With climate change, more people are wearing most of their clothes year-round.  They add a sweater or a pant liner to lightweight clothes for the fall. There will be some clothes you won’t wear in the colder weather because of the colour or pattern on the cloth.  Besides, it is fun to change up your clothing and feel like you have a new wardrobe without spending time or money shopping. You will learn many ways to declutter your clothing and 4 ways to organize your wardrobe.

Start wearing outfits for the last time this season 

Now is a good time to start wearing those items of clothing that you won’t wear in the colder weather one last time, wash it and put it away until the warmer weather is back.  You can put clothing in a secondary closet, in bins,  towards the back of your primary closet, set aside a drawer in your dresser or put them on a shelf.  Some people don’t like putting away clothing because they forget they did and buy new clothes in the spring.  If this sounds like you put a reminder in your calendar on your phone that tells you where to look for your warmer weather clothing.

Which clothing should I keep?

Whether you put some clothing away or keep all your clothing available year-round it is a good idea to organize your clothes every once and a while.  See if they fit, if they are in good repair, if you feel good wearing them and if you get compliments then you should keep it.  Donate clothes you don’t like wearing before they go out of style or become dusty.  Let someone else enjoy them.

Find a decluttering style 

Find a decluttering style that works for you. Some people like to declutter their clothes by:
  • category,  one category at a time eg. look at all your pants, then shirts etc
  • as they wear them – you put it on, don’t like it,  donate it
  • spending a little time every day and remove a few pieces of clothing
  • having a box in their closet and when they find something they don’t like put it in the donation box
  • spending an afternoon or evening and going through all their clothes at one time
  • one room at a time – you may have clothes in a number of places

Consolidate: only clothing in your closet. 

Sometimes organizing your clothes is more about organizing your closet.
Take everything out of the closet. Use the closet for clothes and not for other things.
Collect all your clothes together. Many people have clothes stored in multiple closets and don’t really know what they own.

Organize based on your activities

Group your clothes into categories by activity/lifestyle eg- work, party, pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, skirts, exercise, formal, gardening etc. Decide how much of your week you do these activities and keep a proportional amount of clothing in that category. For example, work 40 hrs/ week, exercise 3 hours/week, formal 4 times/ year, pants/ tops/sweaters 80% of the time, skirts 10% of the time. You can see you need pants tops and sweaters that suit work and casual, not many skirts, a couple of formal outfits with different accessories to change their appearance, 1- 3 exercise outfits ( not 15 because they feel good and are fun).

Organize a colour palette.

Build your wardrobe based on a colour palette, eg, blue, grey, black than tops sweaters, jackets will be mixed and matched to have a large number of outfits without a large number of clothes. Consider the Pareto Principle you will wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time.  Reduce the number of items you almost never wear by donating them so someone else can enjoy them before they go out of style, get mouldy and dusty.
Now you know what types of activities you do, and you have a colour palette in mind.  Sort your clothes by category.  Pull out all your pants and decide how many you need and which colours.  Next look at sweaters, shirts, skirts, dresses, suits etc.

Decide what percentage of clothing to declutter. 

If you need a simpler way to start organizing your wardrobe, look at how much space you have to store your clothes.  Look at how many clothes you have.  Pick a  percentage that you need to reduce your clothing by.  Look at each category of clothing and reduce each category by the percentage you have chosen.  For example, if you choose to reduce your clothing by 25% and you have 16 pairs of pants,  24 sweaters, 32 pairs of shoes, 8 dresses, 40 exercises outfits.  You would let go of 4 pairs of pants, 6 sweaters, 8 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses and 10 exercise outfits.

Capsule Wardrobe

You may have heard of capsule wardrobes. Wikipedia explains a “Capsule wardrobe is a term used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in colour and line. The term capsule wardrobe was revived by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s.”  If you want to further reduce the amount of clothing you own, you may want to organize a capsule wardrobe.  Here is an article to help you design it in 5 easy steps.  The less clothing you have the easier it is to care for.

What do I do with the things I don’t need?

Here is an article to help you know what to do with the clothing you no longer want to wear.  Don’t keep it in your closet let others enjoy it.
Take time to clean up your closet while you are removing your clothes.  Wash the walls, vacuum or wash the floor.  You might want to add lighting or paint or a shelf.  Make it a space you can take pride in.

Did I miss anything? Now I’d like to hear from you. 

Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favourite ways to declutter your clothing.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Need help?

If you need help decluttering and organizing your wardrobe book a virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home. https://mindoverclutter.ca/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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Have you applied the 80/20 rule to your life?

The 80/20 rule can be applied in many situations and states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.  It is also known as the Pareto Principle. The principle has been named after Vilfredo Pareto—an Italian economist—who, in 1895, noticed that about 80% of Italy’s land belonged to 20% of the country’s population.  Maciej Duszyński states in his article Pareto Principle & the 80/20 Rule, “Pareto’s principle is more of an observation than a full-fledged scientific theory. It is commonly noticeable in a variety of contexts—but it’s not applicable to each and every scenario. Plus, the numbers 80 and 20 should not be added up to 100. The fact it’s called the 80/20 rule is a simply a catchy, historical catchphrase.” As an organizer the 80/20 helps people to easily, subjectively analyze what they use the most, how they spend their time and how to manage their projects.

Possessions

Many times Professional Organizers will talk to clients about the 80/20 rule.  I will say, you use 20% of your stuff, 80% of the time.  This means most of your stuff (80%)  is not used very often.  Think about your clothing.  Do you have some outfits you wear a lot?  You love how they look, feel and you get a lot of compliments. If you apply the 80/20 rule you can let go of 80% of your clothing because you don’t wear them very often.  Think about your other possessions.  Do you have DVDs, books, jewelry, tools, toys and dishes filling your closets and cupboards?  Let go of the 80% that you almost never use.  Organize, enjoy and respect the 20% that you use frequently.

Time Management

Once you realize that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of the time and effort you spend on them, the importance of prioritizing becomes obvious. If you have a To-Do List, prioritize the top 2 items (20%) and complete them first. Although the other items, of less importance, might not be completed the ones you did complete will have a big impact (80%) on your accomplishments.   Don’t neglect the other tasks. Move on to doing them once you clear the big ones. You can delegate the other tasks. The 80/20 rule will help you to use your time efficiently.

Projects

It is important to understand when a project is finished.   The first 20% of the time you spend on a project will get you to 80% finished. Trying to get the final small amount completed perfectly may not be a good use of your time.  When you have 80% of your project perfected should you move on and publish it, institute the changes or present it for discussion?  I have a saying on my bulletin board that says, “good enough” + “published” is 1000 times more valuable than “perfect” + “not quite ready yet”.  I have seen weeks, months and years spent focusing on making the last 20% perfect.  It can be a stumbling block to your success if it allows you to procrastinate and lets you hide behind the fear of accomplishing a new challenge.  The feedback you receive on your project will be more valuable in perfecting your work than you spending more time on it.

Paper

An organizer, Linda Samuels reminded me that the 80/20 rule can help you with your filing.  She says, “Applying the rule to papers is a good one too. We only retrieve 20% of the papers we file. And since most people (other than organizers) dislike filing, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Perhaps recycling rather than filing is a better option for that other 80%.”  You usually keep more paper than you need and that makes it difficult to find the 20% that is important in our files.   This is true for emails also.

Kevin Kruse states in his article in Forbes, “No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.”

What 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your satisfaction? 

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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9 Tips for organizing with children in mind

Reading time – 5 minutes

With school out for summer and children around more of the time think about organizing things so they can keep their stuff put away.  Too many times children can only do half of the job because the shelf is too high for them to reach and an adult needs to finish the job.  Organize things so they can do the entire job of putting things away or getting things out.  It will be less frustrating for everyone.

1. Place hooks so children can reach them and as children grow, the placement of their items should change with their higher reach.

Hooks are great for keeping things off the floor

Have hooks at a variety of heights so each child can reach a hook

2. Organizing items for children to use should be kept within their reach.  If a child constantly needs help accessing these items this will cause frustration for both parent and child.  Keep books, toys, dishes, coat hooks, clothes closet bars and towels at age/size-appropriate level.

3. Designate a place for sporting gear, helmets, pads, shoes etc. It may be a shelf or a pegboard with hooks or a mess bag.  These 3 options allow the sporting gear to dry out before the next usage. It is important to air out damp items so they don’t get mouldy.  When the children arrive home they won’t need to ask a parent what to do with their stuff and when an adult asks them to get ready they can easily collect everything they need.  No more piles of gear left on the floor by the door.

4. Establish a routine for water bottles and lunch bags.  Make sure the children know how to empty and recycle items from their lunch bag and where to put the bag for storing or use the next day.  Do water bottles need to be washed every day or refilled?  What is the rule in your household?

5. Wet swimwear needs to be hung up and dried or washed.  Make a place for towels to be hung and bathing suits to be dried.  Teach your children to wring out or roll their bathing suit in their towel before hanging it up.  This will prevent a puddle of water from forming on the floor.  Placing swimwear and towels on a hanger to dry may be easier to reach than putting it on a line.  You may want to set up a portable clothes drier so it is easy for the children to reach.

 

6. Remember to always keep cleaning supplies and medicines out of the reach of children.

7. If children are permitted to use the microwave oven unsupervised, place the unit at a height where children can remove food easily without climbing on counters or standing on chairs.  This will help prevent injuries from hot food spilling on the child or a child falling.

8. Label bins, drawers, and shelves with pictures or words to make tidying up quick and easy.

Labels with pictures and words

Label containers to make clean up easy

9. Establish a bulletin board, magnet board, or a wall covered with magnetic paint as an area to display children’s work.  As new work comes home, remove items from the display area and put them in a box.  When the school year is over, go through the box and decide which pieces to save and put away and which to recycle.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments.

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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11 Tips for organizing your lists

paper or electronic To Do lists?

Do you spend valuable time making a to-do list and it doesn’t seem to help you get anything done? Does that list keep getting longer and longer? There are many ways to keep track of tasks you need to complete.  Bullet Journaling, apps, notebooks, lists or recording a list on your phone.  No matter how you record your list here are some tips to help you become more productive.

11 To-Do List Tips 

These suggestions are from “Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office” by Diane A. Hatcher.

  1. Make an Action list, Today’s Goals list or give it a title that motivates you.
  2. Make a tomorrow’s list before you finish your day and throw out the old list and start fresh daily.
  3. Lists help you to focus and this increases productivity.
  4. For lists or calendars to help you be more productive you need to use them consistently.
  5. Write down anything on your list you don’t want to forget and cross off items as they are completed to help you achieve a sense of satisfaction.
  6. If a list is longer than 10 items focus on priorities and meeting due dates.
  7. Record individual tasks on your list, not projects.
  8. Look at the list often and keep it visible in the same location every day.
  9. Double the amount of time you think each task will take to prevent over scheduling.
  10. Use one calendar to record all your appointments, due dates and deadlines. Refer to the calendar when you prepare the action list for the next day.
  11. Prioritize by time blocks. Choose tasks off your list that can be accomplished in the time you have at hand. Also, consider your energy level when you are selecting the task to complete.

Kanban System

digite.com

What happens if your list has more than 10 items and you’re afraid you will forget something if it is not on the list. There is a Japanese system called kanban.  This is a good system for visual people and for projects.

  • Place your list of items you don’t want to forget about in the To-Do column
  • You pick 3 tasks you will be working on at any one time and move them to the doing column.
  • You can only add a task from the To-Do column to the Doing column when you complete one.
  • Using Post-its on a whiteboard, arrange in columns:  “To-Do”,  “Doing”,   “Done”.  There should never be more than three notes in “Doing”.
  • You can add a “Waiting” column if you are waiting on other people to send you information.

Let me give you an example.  During the pandemic when my area has a stay at home order, lockdown, I work on my new online course, Create an Organized Home.  At the beginning of the project, all of these items were in the To-Do column,  I picked items to work on and move them to the Doing column and as they are completed they are moved to the Done column.  The nice thing about the Done column is I can check and see if I missed something and put it on my To-Do Column.

To-Do                               Doing                             Done

Update my website         Proofread the material      Learn to write a course

Market my course           Check settings               Write the course

Add SEO to each page                                              Find the best software

Determine price                                                        Put course on software

Release course                                                         Make videos

Your To-Do column is a holding area for all those things you need to get done not just related to one project as in my example. The Doing column are the high priority items to work on that day.  The Done column lets you know you are meeting your deadlines and gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Using this system you don’t need to keep rewriting your list.  Move the post-it note from one column to the next.

Task- Board

Instead of having a list, you might like to have your items on a task board.  Here is a link to an infographic about what a task board is, the benefits of using a task board, and tips to create a customizable task board.

However you structure your list you can only do a small number of tasks at once. Whether it is a list on paper, a digital list, journal or post-it notes,  set your priorities for the day, work on them first so you don’t get distracted by less important tasks and refer to your list frequently.

Let me know in the comments how you structure your To-Do lists. 

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. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Organizing your storage unit for frequent access

This week my guest blogger is Sophia Perry from Arizona Moving Professionals

There comes a point when any household or a business needs additional storage space. Many people use it during a move or for decluttering and organizing purposes. While storage units are often a necessity when running a business, in recent times, they are becoming increasingly popular for people who recognize the importance of having a tidy living space. Hoarding items can lead to feeling snowed under and consequently anxious and frustrated. Hence, storage units are a practical solution. However, if you intend to use storage and free up some work or living space, be aware that, without a mindful approach, you’re risking turning your unit into the ‘land of lost and found’. Therefore, you need a good strategy for organizing your storage unit for frequent access to optimize the experience of your stressless, clutter-free lifestyle.

It starts with setting your priorities

Storage units are a multifaceted solution for storing a variety of items. Apart from helping with organizing a business inventory or a loved one’s belongings and heirlooms, people also use storage units to keep their cars and vehicles during the off-season, such as boats or motorcycles. If you’re moving, planning a home remodelling, or have a knack for interior design and decorating, a storage space is a guaranteed way to simplify your life. First and foremost, it’s important to consider the intent and purpose of the unit you’re using or planning to use. Click To Tweet

Create a mindful picture, and even better, an inventory list, of what type of items you plan to store. This will help you adopt a more organized approach towards your storage solution from the get-go. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself piling up unnecessary odds and ends and just spreading the enchanted hoarding circle outside your home or office. A storage unit is a fantastic way to declutter and harmonize your space or offset the stress of a move, as long as you prioritize keeping your items organized and easily accessible.

To organize your storage unit with success, create a master inventory list and set priorities regarding the importance of your items.

A productivity planner next to a keyboard

 

Plan the layout of the unit

The idea of vast space available to be used for storing your items might be tempting. However, you’ll need to consider what goes where to ensure you’re organizing your storage unit for untroubled access to your items. With this approach, you might realize that you have a lot of clutter to let go of and will surely provide you with a perspective on your priorities. All it takes is some pragmatic consideration of how quickly and how often you will need something.

Items that you use less frequently, or hardly ever, should go at the back of the storage. For a smooth transition, let movers load these last in the truck, as they will be unloaded first and consequently dropped off at the back of the storage unit. This is a good chance to give these items a second thought. Try to determine why you are keeping them and what do you need them for. Not only will this help you to arrange your unit for efficient access, but it will also give you a clear picture of the scope of your possessions.

Have a practical idea about the layout of your storage unit to ensure quick and easy access to your items.

A man’s hands, papers, mobile phones, markers, and a PC monitor

 

Decluttering a storage unit

If you’ve been using a storage unit for a while, you know how fast and easy it fills up. However, with an effective decluttering and organizing method, you can have it sorted for smooth access to your storage unit. Without a doubt, decluttering is the toughest task, but it’s also rewarding in so many ways. A functionally organized, clutter-free storage area will enable you to find anything you need with ease, and you’ll save time and enjoy peace of mind. You can ask friends to lend you a helping hand or hire a professional junk removal company. Depending on the size of your storage unit inventory, you should plan accordingly on how much time you will need to get the job done. You can book a full day in your calendar to dedicate to decluttering your unit. Challenge yourself, commit and stay on task. The reward is a feeling of ease and relief once you see it through, and ultimately, effortless access to your needed items.

Decluttering a depot is a daunting task, so asking friends or hiring professional services can be of great help.

A woman in a uniform with cleaning supplies

 

Find creative ways to sort out items

Although decluttering can be a challenging task, with a good plan and a mindful approach, everything is achievable. Give yourself a little pep talk on the importance of organizing your space for some healthy motivation. Since the purpose of a storage unit is to keep your items, their safety and easy access to them can impact your mood. Hoarding or not even knowing what things you possess can lead you to feel overburdened. Use your master inventory list to determine what is relevant for keeping and what’s worth parting from. Divide your excess items into groups, and decide what to toss, donate or sell. For a smooth and efficient decluttering project, take out the items you intend to dispose of first. Subsequently, it’ll be much easier to deal with things you plan to sell or donate. With that being done, you’re one step away from fruitfully organizing your storage unit for frequent access.

Divide your items into categories to efficiently declutter and organize your storage unit.

Boxes stacked on shelves in a storage unit

 

A neatly organized storage unit

If you run a business, frequent access to your storage unit is a given. As a matter of fact, even if you use it to store items other than office inventory, an organized storage space will help you feel more in control of your life. Once you’ve carried out the decluttering project, you may have noticed how relaxed you feel. With no junk to obstruct your way, you’ll be able to organize your storage unit neatly and have everything you need on hand, without having to waste precious time and energy searching through the mounds. In your recently created clean storage space, stack and group your boxes from the least needed at the back to the ones you need more frequently accessed toward the unit’s front entrance. Allow some space in between rows of boxes to create aisles for easy navigation. Last but not least, label the boxes according to their contents, and make sure the tags are facing outward and are easy to read. This is the most efficient method for organizing your storage unit for frequent access, which will make the chaotic mess and clutter, and the anxiety that comes along with it, a thing of the past.

Share your tips for keeping a storage unit organized. 

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 your 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. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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How to organize a yard sale

Yard sales are an excellent way to meet people, make some money and have fun.  There are many ways to organize a yard sale.  Timing of the sale is important to the success of the sale.  You need to be flexible about pricing if you want to have less stuff at the end of the day.  Let’s start with the easiest way to prepare for a yard sale. 

This way takes less time and energy to set up.

Get a number of boxes or bins to collect your items.  Mark each container with a price $1.00 $2:00 $0.25 $0.50 $5.00 etc.  As you are collecting your items for the sale decide how much you will sell the item for  and put the objects of the same price into the same box.    You are pricing items as you sort them so there is less work to do later. Using boxes means you don’t need to price every item individually with a sticker. Many charities will not take items leftover from a yard sale.  Part of the reason is they would need to remove all of the stickers.

Have separate display areas /tables for each price grouping.    Place a sign on the front of each of the tables explaining everything on this table costs _______.  You are finished and ready to have a great day.

This way will help you to have less stuff at the end of the day

Group your items into batches.  For example a set of dishes, all the hand tools, groups of 10 books, baby clothing of the same size, CDs DVDs.   The person needs to buy the entire batch not just part of it.  This way helps you to move more items on each purchase.   They buy 10 CDs for $5.00  instead of 1 for $0.50.  Place batches of items in boxes or see-through bags.

This way makes sure you get the correct price for the item

If you want to use tags the easiest way is to:

  • use one tag colour per price group.
  • red for $10.00, blue for $5.00 etc.
  • place a colour-coded sticker on each item and when the person buys it, you know exactly what to charge.
  • Make a sign explaining that each colour represents a specific price

If you want to do more work you can price items individually.

  • Place a sticker on the item and write on it the cost of the item.
  • This is good for large items that you will be priced higher.

In special circumstances, tags are very helpful if:

  •  the garage sale is for multiple families you can assign each group their own colour and you know which cash box to put the money in.
  • multiple family members are selling items at the same sale you can assign each person their own colour and you know which cash box to put the money in.

You will need to remove the stickers after the sale before you can donate items.

How much should it sell for?

Pricing

If your goal is to sell stuff so you have less at the end of day price items:

  • 50% of the original price for brand new or barely used items
  • 25% – 30% of the original price for the older items
  • You can always ask them to make you an offer.  You might get more than you expected or less.

If you have more expensive items to sell do your research to determine a fair price for the article.

Sometimes a yard sale seems like a great way to make money.  Make sure you are the type of person who likes to barter and is not offended when people tell you that something is not worth the value you have placed on it.

If you will be offended and not make a sale, a yard sale is not for you.

To ensure you get the sale by having change.

Make sure to never leave the money unattended. Keep the money in a waist pouch so it can’t be stolen.

Change

  • have $25 in change
  • $20 in $1, $4 in quarters, $1 in dimes and nickels
  • If you don’t have change people will not buy from you.

Timeline for preparing for a yard sale

It takes time to set up and clean up from a yard sale.

  • sort, clean, price                      1 – 2 days
  • advertising                                2 hrs
  • arrange and display wares    4 hrs
  • get change                                 1 hr
  • tag sale itself                             1 or 2 days
  • take unsold items to charity  3 hrs

Advertising

Advertising is a big part of the success of the sale.  There are lots of Facebook sites, Kijiji and Craigslist where you can advertise for free.  You may also have a local paper where you can place an ad.  Put up signs to let people know where the yard sale is located especially if you are not on welled travelled streets with lots of cars and foot traffic.

Pick your date wisely.  Spring and fall are the best times of the year.  Long weekends are times when people travel.  Weekends are usually better than weekdays.  If you can do it with a number of families from your street at the same time you will get better results.

Is a Yard Sale for You?

Yard sales can be a fun way to get rid of your clutter, make some money and meet people if the weather is good.  If you feel you don’t have the time, energy, a good location, great items for sale or don’t like bartering you may want to donate your items to a charity and spend the day doing something else.

How will you organize your yard sale?  Maybe I didn’t mention your favourite way.  Either way, leave me a comment.

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Spring Clearing A B Cs

Yes, you read it correctly, spring clearing, not spring cleaning.   I first heard about it at an organizing conference in London, England.  The idea made so much sense to me.  We no longer have to do 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. Organizing and clearing your life on a seasonal basis will help you to maintain your home and lifestyle.

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.  When you’re decluttering 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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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5 Organizing myths

People have preconceived ideas about what it means to be organized. Being organized means you can find what you are looking for in a reasonable amount of time.  The myths about being organized are what stop people from moving forward and organizing their lives.  Here is the fallacy in 5 myths.

Myth 1 Organizing is a born talent 

Organization is a skill. You can learn techniques to apply to your situation to get you organized.  If you have the right resources and support it is easy.  Hire a Professional Organizer, read books, watch Youtube and you can learn the steps.  Some tasks at home can be simplified so they are not so overwhelming and time-consuming.  Here is one small example about meal planning.

  1. Pick your menu for the week
  2. From the menu make your shopping list
  3. Now you don’t need to decide what to make each morning or evening and you can take out of the freezer the items you need for later in the day.
  4. After you have done this for a number of weeks or months you can start recycling your plan.  This makes it even easier as you just pull up an already completed menu plan.blue clipboard with a piece of paper titled Meal Plan

Myth 2 – Organized space is neat, tidy, minimal and boring.

Everything needs to have a space, a home, so you know where to put it back.  Some people are visual and will have things displayed other people like things stored behind doors.  Organized spaces should reflect your personality and lifestyle. If you can’t enjoy the space then you won’t take care of it.

Myth 3 – Getting organized is an overwhelming, hopeless chore 

No matter what you’re organizing, no matter how daunting the task or how huge the backlog, getting organized boils down to developing a predictable process that you can reproduce. You follow your process and organize the current things you are using and then each time you’re organizing, work for a little time on the backlog.  Divide the job into smaller tasks, organize one cupboard, one drawer, one table or one closet.  Eventually, the entire room will be organized one small step at a time.

A man sitting at a desk with paperwork spread all around.

Develop processes that work for you, so you can stay organized.

Myth 4 – It’s impossible to stay organized

Organizing is sustainable if your system is built around the way you think and designed to grow and adapt with you.  Here are some tips:

  1. If it only takes 30 seconds, do it right away if not add it to your to-do list
  2. Most unorganized people don’t notice things are in the “wrong place.” Look and do a mental check to see if everything has been returned to its assigned space.
  3. Use spare minutes wisely.  Have a list of small tasks that can be completed quickly when you are waiting for meetings, appointments, trains, planes, children, elderly parents.
  4. Use your lists to record: things to do, to call, to e-mail and errands.  Check the list don’t just write it down.

Myth 5 Organizing is a non-productive use of your time

You can’t afford to not be organized. A national survey conducted by Professional Organizers in Canada indicates 91% of disorganized Canadians feel that disorganization negatively impacts their lives – with a large focus on feelings of stress, frustration and even failure. According to a study by a Boston marketing firm, the average American loses 55 minutes a day, roughly 12 weeks a year, looking for things they know they own but can’t find.

Did I miss any organizing myths? Share your favourite myth 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, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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These are the steps, decluttering then organizing

Just because something brought you joy in the past doesn’t mean you should carry it forever. The possessions you keep should represent the person you are trying to become, not the person you were.  Keep this in mind when you start your decluttering journey. As you start to let go of things it will become easier and easier.  Here are steps to help you on your path to finding your treasures.

 Planning the space 

1. Decide what the goal is for the room.  Is it to have a:

  • Beautiful compact space
  • Functional workshop
  • Sense of freedom and control
  • the Joy of financially exchanging stuff for new experiences and pleasures.
  • Clear out a parent’s home
  • Make things easier for the next generation
  • Streamline your lifestyle

2. Decide what you want the room to look like and be used for. Draw a floor plan and make a list of activities that happen in that space.  It will help you to know what to keep.

3. Decision criteria

Set up some questions to help you with your decision making.  Here are some examples:

  • How many of these do I have? How many is enough?
  • Does the item fit in with my values?
  • Is this item current?
  • Is this item really valuable?
  • Will owning this help to resolve my clutter?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t have it?
  • Can I borrow it from somewhere?
  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Do you need it?

4. How much is enough?

Look around the room and decide what percentage of stuff you need to give away so everything will fit into the room.  25% 50% 75%?

5. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t get done.

Schedule time do it when you are not rushed.   Do one area, room, box or even corner of a room depending on how much stuff you have to go through and your deadline.

6. Prepare the room for working.

You will need a series of boxes, bins , bags or containers. for garbage, recycling, donations, items to go to other rooms, items to return to people.

5 Methods  for decluttering the room 

I’m going to go through a number of ways to sort through your items and you can decide what method works best for you.  At first, decluttering is easy because you find items that you know you don’t want and just haven’t given them away yet.  Then it becomes more challenging. You must chip away at identifying which items are true treasures versus those you feel guilty about giving away.  Remember to reduce by the percentage you choose in your planning.

1. Have a box 

The simplest way to start is to keep a box in your closet and whenever you find something you don’t need put it into the box and you can start decluttering right away.

2.Skimming

  • Go to a closet/cupboard and select the best items in each that category.
  • Most cupboards/closets will have more than one category.
  • For example, in a kitchen, the cupboard might have baking dishes, casserole dishes, muffins tins, loaf pans.  Pick the best 1 or 2 of each of these 4 categories and donate the rest.
  • Continue to open each cupboard and drawer skimming the contents and selecting 1 or 2 items from each category.

3. Sort then declutter

  • Go clockwise around the room sorting items into groups by function
  • Do the surfaces first and then the drawers and cupboards next
  • When you are done, the garbage and recycling will be collected and removed from the room
  • All the items in the room will be in groups
  • Each room will have different categories/groups of items. Here are some examples, books, electronics, tools, dishes, home decor, games, clothing, photos  etc

Look at one category/group and apply the questions and percentage you determined in the planning stage.  Start removing items.

If that method doesn’t work for you and you are keeping everything, try a different method.

4.Grouping

Keep the Best of the Best. Instead of thinking about giving things away, it might be easier to think about keeping the best.

  • After you have sorted the room make sure you are keeping the best one.  You need to see all of the items in one group together and keep only as many as you need or the percentage you set in the planning stage, keep the best ones.

5.Triage

  • Gather all your items from one category
  • Pick up the first three and remove the one you like the least.
  • Pick up 3 more and remove one again
  • After you have gone through the category/group you will have decluttered  by 1/3

If you are sentimental

  • Try taking a picture of the items so you have the memory and let go of the item go.
  • Find a good home for the thing you are letting go of,  they are still useful just not to you anymore.
  • “Shrink it”, only keep one item from a collection instead of the entire collection, you will still have the memory
  • Ask yourself, what would be best, having a number of boxes with large quantities of unsorted keepsakes or a carefully assembled box of very precious treasures?

Decluttering is about having a mindset of letting go and having less. Once you experience the joy of being unburdened from cleaning, organizing, buying, repairing stuff you don’t need, want, use or like you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.   Enjoy the journey. Set your goals, develop your decision criteria and then begin decluttering your space. Click To Tweet

Did I miss anything?

If you need help to start your decluttering project work with me virtually on zoom. 

 

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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How a messy person can learn to be neat

Welcome to 2021.  I hope you have challenges you conquer, joys you share and fun to revitalize yourself.

I am a naturally organized person.  It comes very easily to me. Many people find getting and staying organized difficult.  You will enjoy reading my guest blogger’s article on how to become neat by Sophia Perry of Arizona Moving Professionals.

Trust me when I tell you that a messy person can learn to be neat. As a former slob who daily transferred a ginormous pile of semi-dirty clothes from bed (when it’s sleep time) to the work desk, and vice versa, I can tell you, you too can transform. I don’t even know how it used to get to the point of having almost the entire content of my wardrobe on the bed. But it did.

And the story doesn’t end there. The most frustrating thing was the laundry. I wash one round. While it dries, the second is being washed. I still haven’t folded the first one, and the second is drying. Soon there is the third round. And the rest of my wardrobe is now clean but wrinkled beyond recognition, on an armchair waiting for something to happen. And when I finally get round to dealing with those mountains of clothes, I end up with a closet so messy that I don’t even know what clothes I have. I wish I could say these were my greatest issues, but… There were also dishes. Technically, the situation was the same as with the laundry. It’s just that I never managed to empty the dishwasher, so new dirty dishes piled up in the sink, and… Well, you get the picture. However, there is help! Much like the 12-step program, here too, there are steps to take to get on the path of tidiness.

1. Designate a place for each and every item you possess.

After a long day at work, believe me, I understand the tiredness. But don’t drop your pants, key, and shoes wherever you see fit and leave them lying there until you need them again. If you know that shoes belong in the hallway, keys on a peg next to the door, and jeans in the closet, go put them there. Repeat every day. It will start feeling normal. It will become an automatic thing.

2. Eyes on the prize – visualize the outcome and work on the road to get there.

To stay motivated, it’s vital to be realistic. Start small. Set a few attainable goals every day, and cross them off the list once you’ve done them. The crossing off will create a feeling of accomplishment and get you incentivized to keep going. It’s like training yourself. In addition to daily plans, start making weekly and monthly plans as well. Put them up on your fridge, so you remind yourself of what needs doing. It will bring some organization to your life.

Motivation can come unexpectedly. For example, once I heard a motivational speaker, whose name I can’t recollect, say: “If your bed is a mess, your life is a mess.” He explained that it’s his morning routine that makes him successful. He gets up, works out, and makes his bed. Making the bed is a task he completed early in the morning. So he set himself for success. He already accomplished something. Needless to say, I have made a habit of making my bed every morning now.

Set small goals every day and cross them off the list. It will make you feel like you have accomplished something.

3. Stop with the hoarding.

Stop piling up clutter. Having too many things is what complicates the cleaning process. And not just that, to many items to wipe, move, dust are downright overwhelming. As Marie Kondo says, and I’m paraphrasing – if it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it. Also, if you haven’t used it for a long time – get rid of it. If you don’t need it – you’ve guessed it, it goes out. Finally, don’t accumulate sentimental knickknacks. Don’t get attached to things. They are just things. Many have fallen into this trap. If you don’t enjoy, need, or use something, lose it. A messy person can learn to be neat if they learn to declutter mercilessly! I have come to despise ornaments with no purpose, just because they add to the cleaning time. And time is precious.

Moreover, clutter can get in the way of productivity. Therefore, tidying up your workspace is very important. This is especially crucial if you work from home. There are already too many distractors. And several dirty coffee mugs, a mountain of clothes on your chair, dirty socks on the floor are not helpful. Also, too many things on your desk, such as purposeless ornaments, don’t make for a suitable working environment.

Clutter can get in the way of productivity. Keep your workspace tidy and organized.

4. Simplify cleaning.

How can cleaning be simplified, you wonder? Well, simple. Organize your home so that it’s easier to tidy. Decluttering is one way to do it. But you can do more. For instance, I’ve realized that curtains really make my life difficult. So I got rid of them and replaced them with zebra blinds. They are stylish, modern, and, most importantly, easy to maintain. There is no washing, ironing, hanging. Just occasional wipe with a wet cloth and a bit of dusting. Good quality ones are antistatic, so even dusting is optional. Think of the areas in your home that cause you the most headaches, and figure out ways to make them more manageable.

5. It all boils down to making new habits.

Make yourself do something, even the smallest thing, every day. Not every week or every few days, but every single day. The point is to make it a habit to keep your home neat and tidy. If tidiness doesn’t come instinctively, you must train yourself. Basically, repeat until it’s a routine. Every time you leave a room, try to leave it better than you found it. Put a thing or two away. As you cook, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you are done with them. Wipe the surface the second you spill something. Don’t let things get really filthy. So big cleaning will be less frequent.

If tidying up doesn’t come instinctively to you, make a habit of it.

A messy person can learn to be neat

Some people call it a creative mess. Some say they can only function in chaos. They claim they can’t find anything if their home is tidy. But is it really true? Or are those excuses? Old habits are hard to break, but a messy person can learn to be neat. It’s essential to change self-image. You are not a slob or a lazy person – you need to purge. Rid yourself of clutter and bad habits. Finally, make positive associations with cleaning. Listen to music or an audiobook. That way, an unpleasant, mundane task will become something more enjoyable.

Let me help you to leave your messy self behind. Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment.  https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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