Organizing Tips

Quick declutter challenge 1 – cosmetics

By Julie Stobbe / February 13, 2024 /

For the next couple of months, I am going to challenge you to declutter quickly.  Too often you can get stuck in the decluttering step and give up.  I want you to declutter quickly so you see progress immediately.  Decluttering and organizing is not something you do once and it is over.  Sorry to break the bad news to you.  It is an ongoing process.  Learning how to declutter quickly makes light work staying organized. You do a little bit every day and soon it is much better.  Don’t get stuck in the perfection wheel.  That is where you keep working on one area making it better and better after it is decluttered and functional, while other areas that need help get worse.

Here is the first challenge for you. If you need help, book a series of mini sessions with me to help you declutter quickly.

 

Here is some information about the expiry dates for cosmetics.

A chart with expiry dates for different types of cosmetics

In the comments let me know what was hiding in your cosmetics area that surprised you.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situations. She uses her love of teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and to reach your goals. 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

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

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7 Habits of very organized people

By Julie Stobbe / September 26, 2023 /

So you want to get organized?

Achieving order in your life doesn’t mean being perfect. That’s not realistic. Getting organized is not an event; it’s a process that happens over time. Like changing your eating or exercise habits, it sometimes involves behavioural changes and routines.

Perfectionism

Is being unrealistic by spending so much time on a task that it deprives other important tasks of sufficient time.

Excellence

Is doing the best job you can with the time and resources at your disposal.

What is organization? 

Being organized has less to do with the way an environment looks than how effectively it functions. If a person can find what they need when they need it, feels unencumbered in achieving his or her goals, and is happy in his or her space, then that person is well organized.

Myth #1 Organization is a born talent.

  • Organization is a skill. If the right resources or support are available it is easy to learn.

Myth #2: It’s impossible to stay organized.

  • Organizing is sustainable, if systems are built around the way the person thinks and designed to grow and adapt to new information.

The 7 Habits of Very Organized People

1. They have a place for everything

  • 25% of business documents are misplaced and will never be located so those documents must be recreated.

2. They put things back

  • Executives waste six weeks per year searching for items.

3. They write things down

  • Make a master list of things to do to determine the priorities for the next day.  This may include planning the most effective routine to use to accomplish the tasksthe route driven to see a client or considering high and low energy cycles in the day and planning tasks accordingly.

4. They don’t allow papers/e-mails to pile up.

  • The average worker sends and receives over 190 messages each day.  Approximately 60 e-mails can be processed each hour.  Learn how to use e-mail effectively in order to limit the number of e-mails received and sent each day.

5. They don’t procrastinate

  • Procrastinating causes people to spend more time and energy on avoiding the task than completing it.  Once it is accomplished it is out of sight and out of mind.

6. They set goals and assign deadlines

  • Schedule a time for each task in the project to be completed, so deadlines can be met easily.

7. They only keep what they use and enjoy.

  • Clutter is usually the “extra” that is kept on hand just in case it is needed.  About 20% of items are used 80% of the time,  so 80% of items are hardly used at all.  Find the important 20% and let go of the unimportant 80%.

 

  1. They have a place for everything                                                   
  2. They put things back
  3. They write things down
  4. They don’t allow papers/e-mails to pile up.
  5. They don’t procrastinate
  6. They set goals and assign deadlines
  7. They only keep what they use and enjoy.

If you need help getting organized contact me for a virtual consultation 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices,  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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

 

 

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Organizing for a road trip

By Julie Stobbe / August 30, 2023 /

Reading time – 3 minutes

This advice appeared in the P.O.S.T Professional Organizing Strategies and Tips newsletter. To learn about Professional Organizers in Canada  click this link http://www.organizersincanada.com/.  

There’s something about summer, the lure of the open road and the promise of a change of scenery that makes us want to load up the car and just go some place. If there’s one time you really want to be organized, it’s when you’re traveling. Traveling requires more organization than we may possess in our daily lives, so cut the stress by following an organizing checklist for inside the car.

Planning & Prepping

  • Make sure your car is in good condition –  oil checked, tires inspected and filled – test the air conditioning and wiper blades.
  • Driver’s licenses, passports, insurance cards, ownership and registration, and contact numbers for roadside assistance should be readily accessible. Make spare copies and leave with a travel companion.
  • The spare tire and jack – are in good shape and are easy to access. An emergency car tool kit should include an orange flag or pylon that you can use to signal for help if needed. Learn how to change a flat tire.
  • Spare set of keys – in case they get locked inside the car or drop out of your pocket. (Even if you have to call a locksmith to open the car, you’ll be able to drive when it’s unlocked.)
  • Plastic grocery bags for garbage – always!

    Back seat organizer

    Keep your backseat organized with a portable blue bin

  • These blue bins fit between two seats and can hold a lot of gear. Each young member of the family can have their own bin for a blanket, sweatshirt, hat, sunglasses, and spare shoes. They can access anything that they need on their own and have a place to wrangle their souvenirs.
  • A file box with a labeled folder for each section of the road trip.

Maps

  • A traditional map or print custom maps for your journey at GoogleMaps or MapQuest Route Planner. CAA or AAA will also provide route maps.
  • (GPS) A Global Positioning System – some travelers say they wouldn’t leave home without one!
  • APPS are available on smartphones to find everything from restaurants, hotels, parks, and other points of interest as well as weather reports and plenty of games, quizzes and puzzles for young ones.
  • Book the hotel ahead so you don’t have to find a place at the end of the day. Find hotels with generous cancellation policies.

In-Car Diversions

  • Music –  A playlist or CD collection if you’re traveling through an area where radio signals might be sketchy.
  • Audio Books, DVDs and a laptop are great to have because it means you don’t need to spend time uploading content to your phone or iPad before the trip when you may be busy.  Check out your local library.
  • Spare batteries, charging cables and electricity power converter for electronics.
  • Healthy Snacks: fruit (apples can keep well for a long time), pretzels, granola bars, crackers and nuts, along with a few fun treats. A trip to the grocery store along the way can help you save money too because the costs of dining out can add up.
  • Beverages: A soft-sided cooler packed with water bottles and low-sugar soft drinks.

Toiletries within easy reach

  • Tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper, in case the rest stop isn’t well-stocked.
  • Prescription medicines as well as basics like pain relievers, antacids and remedies for motion sickness.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • A first aid kit with antiseptic and band-aids for minor cuts, cortisone cream for insect bites, and bandages.

Clothing & Comfort

  • Wear comfortable clothing – no items which restrict or bind.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off. Always have a pair of closed toe shoes available.
  • A sweater or jacket over a T-shirt for instant respectability in public areas.
  • A small blanket if you disagree with the temperature setting within the car.
  • A pillow from home for an unfamiliar hotel bed.

Finally

  • Think twice before posting about your trip on social media if your house is currently empty!!

What are your best traveling tips? Share it with us in the comments.

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

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Organizing your paper photos.

By Julie Stobbe / July 18, 2023 /

 

Pictures in frames hanging on an old wall

Have you run out of space for hanging your pictures?

Have you run out of space on your walls to hang your pictures? Many people have photos in boxes just waiting to have time to organize them.  Don’t wait for the perfect time or for a day when the weather is inclement. Schedule time to get started.

What to do first

As you look over the photos you may not be able to remember when you took the picture, the year or date.  Instead of organizing the photos chronologically think about using themes.  Sort your pictures into celebrations, vacations, family, friends, pets and homes etc.

Step two

Next, get rid of duplicates and out of focus pictures. Remove pictures where you don’t recognize the people or location.  Once you have your best pictures grouped you may want to write on the back the name of the people in the picture, year or location.

Step three

Now you can decide if you want to scan them, place them in boxes with dividers or scrapbook your photos. Scanning can be expensive so scan the best of the best. You can digitize them yourself by taking a picture of the photo with your phone and saving it to a folder on your laptop.

Hire a photo organizer 

Photo Organizers work with clients to sort through images, find connecting themes, and neatly catalogue and edit them into photo narratives and albums that clients are proud to share – now and for years to come. Association of Personal Photo Organizers

Need more help

Enjoy spending time with your memories. If you need help regaining control of your photos and memories, I am ready to take on the challenge.

 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. 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 teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. 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.

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Towards a clutter free bedroom

By Julie Stobbe / July 11, 2023 /

A bedroom with a queen size bed and 2 night table and a cityscape picture over the bed.

The benefits of having a bedroom free of clutter are obvious to see. It is easier to move in the room without tripping on items left on the floor.  You can find things on your night table without bumping other items over. Have you thought about how a  clutter free bedroom might make you feel?  You will feel as though you have a clearer mind when you are in that room, and that might help you unwind and sleep more effectively.  When it is less cluttered, you might enjoy being there more and it can become a sacred place. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to gain a clutter-free bedroom, so let’s take a look at four steps you might not have thought of as a way towards achieving that.

Match The Bed To The Room

Have you seen a bedroom with a bed and furniture that take up all the space so that it is difficult to move around the room?  Did you ever think the cluttered feeling could be caused by the size of your bed? Try to match the bed to the room size.  A less crowded room is easier to keep clean and organized. When you have a huge bed, one problem is that you might struggle to feel relaxed in that room with no place to move.  You might need to visit a mattress store in your area to find better options for your space. Visually your room will look bigger, less crowded and more inviting. You will feel less anxious entering the room and have less stress. Practically it will be easier to get things out, put them away and make your bed every day. 

Store Items Under The Bed

This is a simple thing you can do which will make your bedroom less cluttered and visibly cleaner. Storing items under the bed is something that is not always possible – for instance, if you have a divan base that almost touches the floor. Captain’s beds are built with drawers under the bed for storage.   Some beds have a base that is hinged to create a storage area in the bed frame.  You can create storage under your bed by using bed risers to lift the bed up.  When there is space under the bed,  make use of it. It’s amazing how this space can be used so you have more room in your closets or dressers. 

Ikea bed with a mattress that lifts to have a storage space.

Minimize Wall Decorations

It can be tempting to go all out and try to decorate your bedroom in a way that is beautiful.  You might find it quite beneficial to not go overboard here. In fact, you’ll find that keeping wall decorations to a minimum will lead to a space that has less visual clutter and a much clearer appearance.   Put items on the wall that have a calming effect so it is easier to relax and clear your mind as you get ready to sleep. 

Store Things Elsewhere

Finally, there is something to be said about not letting the bedroom become a general dumping ground for random items around the home.  It is one of the most important rooms in the home and one that you need to care for and respect. It is a space where you rejuvenate your mind and regenerate your body for the next day.  It is easy at the end of a tiring day to bring things into the bedroom, put them down and say you’ll put them away tomorrow.  Take the extra minute and put them away so you don’t have a constant reminder of an unfinished task when you are trying to go to sleep.   Don’t end up with lots of random items cluttering up your restful space. 

Usually, I talk about the process of decluttering a room to have less unwanted stuff.  These 4 steps approach making a bedroom clutter-free in a different way, through the thoughtful selection of furniture, decoration and storage.  They also help to create a room with less visual clutter and mental clutter.

In the comments share how you make your bedroom clutter-free. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. 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 teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. 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

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

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Tips for Organizing Storage Rooms

By Julie Stobbe / June 27, 2023 /

Every storage room has its different problems to consider.  Some have very low ceilings.  Some may be hard to get into. The walls and corners might be angled. There are a number of questions to ask yourself before you purchase shelving for your storage room.

Show or Stow?

1. Do you like things displayed on open shelves or stowed behind closed doors?  This will help you determine if you want a cupboard or shelving.

White shelves with books and home decor items.

Measure Carefully

2. Next measure the space.  You need to get storage that uses all the area and not buy storage that leaves some of the area unusable. This happens when one storage unit is too large and another storage unit can’t fit into the remaining space.

Lids or no lids?

3. Next ask yourself, will you open a lid to put things into a container, will you reclose the top of a box?  If the answer is no, cut the flaps off the box or purchase containers without lids.  You want to make it as easy as possible to get the items into the correct box.

and orange box with a lid

Make it easy to get to the bottom container

4. Lastly ask yourself, if your bins are stacked will you unstack them to put something in the bottom container?  Will you restack the containers on the storage unit?  If your answer is no then buy large containers that fill the vertical space between the shelves so you can maximize your storage.  It is usually good to have two or three containers on each shelf so they are easy to move and not too heavy.

How to place items on the shelves

Now you have your storage units and bins.

  • Store items you use frequently at eye level.
  • Store heavy items on the bottom shelf
  • Store items close to where you use them
  • Store infrequently used items up high or in less accessible areas.

Hockey bags?

Trying to store hockey bags?  Try placing two shelving units that are 4 or 5 shelves high, with 24” or 36” deep shelves, one in front of the other and securely attach them together.   This will hold one bag per shelf with room to leave it open to air out and place some items beside the bag to dry.

With the right shelves and bins, it is easy to sort your items into categories, place them in a labelled container and locate them in your storage room.  Remember to keep only what you need and love.

Book a complimentary 30-minute virtual chat with me to get started planning your storage area.  

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. 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 teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. 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.

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What could you use this tree to organize?

By Julie Stobbe / May 23, 2023 /

Sometimes when we are organizing we make the organization look like art.  We organize books by the colour of their spine, hang baskets on a wall in an interesting pattern or use brightly coloured baskets to hold exercise equipment. Let’s look at the reverse of this idea.  Can artwork help you get organized?

wooden tree artwork

This piece of artwork provides storage opportunities.

I  attended the National Home Show in Toronto Canada a few years ago.  I saw this great piece of artwork.  If you have a small home this artwork is dual purpose.  It can be used to hold CDs, video games and equipment, and books.  Plants would look lovely on this tree especially ivy or other hanging plants that would give it “leaves”.  It would be fun to decorate it for any season or special event.

a sign with hooks holding cycling gear mounted on a wall.

Here is a creative use of a sign. This piece of artwork has hooks added to it to organize cycling gear. When the cycling gear is removed you have a lovely picture on your wall.

 

Let me know about artwork in your home that helps you stay organized.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. 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 teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. 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

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

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To Pinterest or not to Pinterest

By Julie Stobbe / May 9, 2023 /

Pinterest can be a great resource.  It has ideas on how to organize everything and anything.  It has DIY solutions in all price ranges and skill levels.    Pinterest is a good resource for visual learners, you see the design on your screen.

So why don’t I like it? 

The problem that arises for me, as a Trained Professional Organizer, occurs when clients see something on Pinterest and ask me to create that system for them.  Just because it is on Pinterest doesn’t mean it is the right solution for you.  It is the right solution for the person who posted it.

Evaluate the idea and think about how you do things before you copy it.  Just because you like the way it looks or because it is trending doesn’t mean it will work for the way you think and do things.  Deciding how to organize your books, jewelry etc needs to be done in a way that you can find what you need when you need it and in a timely manner.

Organizing your books by colour looks great on the wall, will you be able to find the book you need?  If you did it with a small number of books or only pick 2 or 3 colours of books you could adapt the idea and make it work.

Books sorted by colour

Books sorted by colour create an interesting design for your wall

If you organize your jewelry hanging it from the horizontal bar of a hanger using binder clips to attach the jewelry may be a good solution if you don’t have a lot of jewelry.  If you hang all your jewelry and then slide the hangers on a rod to look for a certain piece of jewelry the jewelry might become tangled as they sway when the hangers are moved. How would you attach your rings? You might end up this your jewelry stored in many different locations and not be able to find what you want.

Jewelery ooohund on a hanger using binder clips

If you have a small amount of jewelry and space on your wall to place your hanger this might work for you.


A recipe may look great.  Is it something you can make in a big batch and freeze so you can get 2 meals for the time you are spending in the kitchen?  Are the ingredients something you have in your cupboard or will you need to make an extra trip to the store?

Enjoy using Pinterest use it wisely to help you save time, money and effort.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. 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 teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. 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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Keep Clutter on the Run, Get Organized

By Julie Stobbe / January 3, 2023 /

Reading time – 1 minute 

Three Steps to Organizing

  • Consolidate items into groups
  • Containerize groups in sturdy, proper sized containers that are labeled
  • Condense items so you have the appropriate amount of items in each group
Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Follow Two Routines

  • Do four things in the morning
  • Do four things in the evening

Five Habits to Keep Clutter on the Run

  • If you get it out, put it away
  • Apply the 30 second rule – if it takes 30 seconds or less to do something, do it immediately
  • Follow the camping rule – leave the room the way you found it or better
  • Look, really look at your surroundings to see what is out of place
  • Use “little minute” to clean – those few minutes while you are waiting for someone, on hold on the phone, watching a pot boil

Let me know your tricks to help you stay organized.

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

 

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Use these 9 steps to organize your home

By Julie Stobbe / October 25, 2022 /

Reading Time – 2 minutes

There are so many books and articles about organizing a room.  It can become very confusing. How to start, what to do first.  All those words on the page.  Here is an infographic to visually show you the sequence of tasks you need to do to reach your organizing goals.


a blue ladder outlining the 9 step to organize a room

Let me answer your questions.  Book a complimentary 30-minute chat online.  

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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