Archive for Virtual Organizing

Can organizing your space impact your mental health?

My guest blogger this month is Bryan Styles. Bryan is a life coach and a freelance writer with a focus on improving the quality of peoples’ lives. He puts all of his efforts and energy into educating people about how to overcome hardships and live a happier life.

Dice with letters, forming words Mental Health.

We all live different lives, surrounded by different people, interacting with different things. Everything in our environment leaves a mark in the long run. While we can choose who we spend time with, not many people pay attention to the space they live in. It often becomes something we all just get used to, be it due to a lack of finances, or simply a lack of options. The importance of our living environment is immense, and even a few small changes can make a difference in our lives. With that in mind, I would like to give an answer to one question – can organizing your space impact your mental health?

How confined spaces affect our mental health?

I have had a lot of experience living in a cramped-up apartment. Just my girlfriend and me in a single room that was at the same time the living room, the bedroom, and the kitchen, and a small bathroom. At first, everything was fine. I always thought about how there are people who don’t have a roof over their heads or live in much worse conditions. I went with it.

However, after some time, I noticed that I was becoming more and more nervous. The apartment had to be cleaned and organized every day, which always took a lot of time, even though it was such a small space. If you skipped one day, things would start to pile up and soon we would be in a mess that caused even more tension. Living in that apartment felt more like work.

A silhouette of a person sitting and hugging their knees

As soon as you start decluttering your space, you will feel how the tension and stress leave your body, piece by piece.

Nevertheless, once we cleaned it up and organized our stuff, I felt like I was a free man. There was this rush of energy and good feelings of having some free space around you.

It is a fact that our environment sets our mood. Organizing your space will impact your mental health, in many good ways. However, the road from clutter to freedom is a difficult one, and it does require a bit of planning and effort.

A few tips on how to get rid of clutter

While I don’t want to turn this article into a “How to clean your apartment” guide, there are a few problems that must be addressed:

  • how to deal with a lack of space
  • what to do with all the stuff you need, but don’t have enough room for
  • how to not go crazy while decluttering your apartment

I want to give you a couple of productive tips and best practices I used a lot.

A small apartment will always be a small apartment

Living in a small apartment is not something you can fix by decluttering. Sure, you will get more space, but the apartment will still be small. It is important to understand this because you will have to make radical changes in order to avoid decluttering your place every few weeks.

The most crucial step in this process is to do extensive research on organizing small apartments or homes. Read articles, follow interior design blogs and vlogs, browse photos online, read interior design and staging magazines, and look for tips about handling the lack of space in your home.

The more research you do, you will start noticing a specific pattern. Living in a small apartment means getting rid of bulky items, and organizing your space in a minimalistic style.

That’s all fine, but I cannot throw my wardrobe to make more space!

Well, yes and no. When I talk about getting rid of bulky items, I understand that some things like closets, the bed, and the table have to stay inside. However, there is one thing you must realize.

You are storing everything in your apartment. Clothes for summer and winter, all of your electronic equipment, everything. While that is normal for a large home, it is virtually impossible to keep a small place organized while keeping everything.

My suggestion is to rent extra storage for bulky items outside of your home. You won’t pay much, but the space you will get will make a huge difference.

A silhouette of a troubled girl thinking about everyday activities

People are often overburdened with everything that happens in their lives. Having an organized living space will help remedy that issue.

Keep only the essential furniture and electronics, and move everything else to the unit. When it comes to clothes, you just need to have clean clothes for seven days. Move everything else to a storage unit, and you can pay a visit every week if you want to get new clothes.

Furthermore, if you have a rug, get rid of it. Sell it, donate it, throw it away, just move it out of the house. Cleaning the floor is much easier when there is nothing on it.

It is a bit of an odd strategy, but it works really well if you organize it properly. After some time, you will start enjoying the extra space, and you will start to notice the positive impact it has on both your physical and your mental health.

Do everything with a positive attitude

Making these radical changes will be a difficult decision for some people. We all have a tendency to like patterns in our lives, and making changes often disturbs us.

Nevertheless, there are ways to turn this decluttering process into a fun activity.

A happy woman on a beach.

Having a positive attitude is the most important part of living our lives.

First of all, you must start with a positive attitude. Have in mind that, once you are done, you will feel a lot better. Second, listen to some music while you work. Music is important for our bodies and our minds. Third, get some help. Ask a friend, a member of the family, or your significant other to help you.

Finally, if you don’t want to do the heavy lifting yourself, you can always hire a professional to help you get organized.

Can organizing your space impact your mental health – YES!

Once you get rid of all the clutter in your apartment, you will feel an instant change. You will have more energy and motivation for anything you want to do. Remember, things are what you make of them. It is all about a positive attitude. And once you have enough space for yourself, you will feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to!Our environment sets our mood. Organizing your space will impact your mental health, in many good ways. Click To Tweet

Virtual organizing 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/

Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment. 

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

Share this:

Virtual organizing with Mind over Clutter

Book a 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?

Share this:

Virtual Organizing – who, why, where, what

Who would use virtual organizing services?

For clients who:

  • wish to do the “hands-on “organizing themselves
  • are uncertain about someone coming into their home,
  • want a cost-effective way to get organized
  • need to manage their organizing appointments to fit a complex schedule
  • need support to stay focused

Why would I offer this service?

Virtual organizing allows me to:

  • spend less time driving and more time organizing  providing support to my clients through prearranged online meetings
  • have clients all around the world
  • keep working with clients that move away
  • do organizing while coaching, teaching, supporting and mentoring clients

What would a virtual organizing session look like

There are probably as many ways to do virtual organizing as there are organizers.  Here are my 2 formats.

Format 1 for the DIYers = 3 conversations, a plan, follow up support

To keep the process simple, only one room will be discussed at a time.

The process consists of:

  1. After you contact me, I book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process.  You can send me photos or a video so I understand your situation clearly and to use them as reference. It  is about 15 minutes long
  2. I book a Virtual Appointment using Zoom or Skype, Face Time, Google Hangout, Facebook to see the room and discuss your organizing goals. It is about 45 minutes in length.
  3. I develop a step by step plan and send it to you so you have your customized organizing plan to follow.
  4. After you have had time to read the plan, I book a virtual question and answer session to allow you to clarify the plan and establish a timeline for the project. It is about 15 minutes long.

Once a timeline has been established for the project one of two follow up options may be selected.

Support Option A This works well for people who manage their time well and are motivated to get the job done. 

You will work on the project and e-mail pictures or set up a Skype call as needed to help:

  • solve problems,
  • clarify the next step,
  • receive storage suggestions.
  • receive donation and recycling information.

 Support Option B This works well for people who are easily distracted or procrastinate in getting the space organized.

  • You will e-mail the day and time they will be working on the job.
  • I will e-mail, Skype, text or call each hour to see what assistance you need in order to successfully complete the work scheduled for that day.

In Format 1 most of my time is spent on the process of building the customized plan.  Most of your time is spent on implementing the customized organizing plan. Some time is spent on supporting the work sessions.

Format 2 for the person who doesn’t want to work alone = This process is very similar to working with an organizer in person

  1. After you contact me, I book an intake conversation over the phone, Skype or e-mail to describe the process.   You can send me photos or a video so I understand your situation clearly and to use them as reference. It takes about 15 minutes
  2. I book a Virtual Appointment using Zoom or  Skype, Face Time, Google Hangouts, Facebook to see the room and discuss your organizing goals and begin organizing. You will have the computer /tablet in the room with you while you are working. I will be teaching you skills, keeping you focused and supporting you. I will help you with the process of sorting, reducing, establishing a space to store things, containers to use and discussing the next steps.  The sessions may include: where to donate items, how to sell items and where to recycle items.  The session will be between 2-3 hours.
  3. We decide on the next appointment time and continue working with the client until the job is completed.

In Format 2 most of the time is spent together getting the space organized. Virtual organizing allows an organizer to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring. Click To Tweet

To book a complimentary 30 minute virtual assessment use this link   or contact me directly at julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

For more information check my Virtual Organizing Services on my website 

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

Share this:

What does a professional organizer do?

POC Gold Leaf Member

Perhaps you are familiar with the Professional Organizer industry.  It is an unregulated industry.  Anyone can call themselves a Professional Organizer.  Professional Organizers in Canada  (POC) was established about 17 years ago and the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) the American organization is about 30 years old. Look for organizers listed on these directories.  Most Professional Organizers have their own business and specialize in areas of organizing. As you read their websites you will be able to see their years of experience,  type of training and continuing education.

What happens when I call an organizer?

Usually there is some type of conversation over the phone, Skype or email to discover what type of problem you want solved.  It might be to have a spaced organized, help with moving, develop systems to make things function more smoothly, downsizing, coaching or virtual organizing etc. Then there is a description of how the job will be completed. This is about the only common business practice.  Since we all own our own businesses we have varying ways of continuing.

When you contact Mind over  Clutter:

Can I get an estimate on the cost for the work to be completed?

Most times it is hard to estimate how long a job will take during the conversation.  I offer a free one hour assessment to see what the job entails and give you an idea of how long I think it might take and what we will do.   One of the biggest factors on how long a job will take is how easily and quickly you can make decisions on if items stay or go.  The second factor is, sometimes the job expands to include unforeseen work: filing papers, assembling shelving or bookcases, corners and areas not discussed during the assessment. I work on an hourly rate and offer a package of 10 hours at a reduced rate.

How does it work?

80% of my clients work with me to go through items and decide what will stay and what will be donated or recycled.  Then we discuss the best place and way to store the items so they can be easily found and used. Most clients like to learn  the skill of organizing and so working together helps them to learn where start, how to sort, how to decide what stays and what goes, how to store things in containers and where is the best location to store different types of items.

What if I don’t want to help or can’t help?

If you don’t want to help, I can work alone sorting items based on our conversation on what you want to keep and what you want to donate.  Then I create a donate pile  and a garbage pile and recycle pile.  Nothing leaves the house until you have looked through each pile.  If you can’t help you can sit with me and I can bring you things to do and you can answer my questions.

What if I need some guidance but can do all the work myself?

We can work together virtually.  You show me the space to organize over Skype and I send you a plan and you complete the work.  Here is more information about virtual organizing.  Or I can coach you through the process in a conversation in-person or virtually discussing what you want to accomplish and how you can accomplish it.

What happens with donations and recycling?

At the end of each work session I take the donations.  I will drop them at centers that will take your things.  I can take them to the donation center of your choice too.  I take non-curbside recycling at the end of each session. Usually that includes, batteries, paint cans, small electronics , small appliances, textile recycling, medications, and plastic bags.

Why wouldn’t I just do it myself after the one hour free assessment?

Some people do.  They have enough information and can continue with the job.  Most people feel overwhelmed and stressed by doing it on their own.  They find it easier to work with a professional who can guide them through the problem, help solve it and reduce the stress they feel about the situation. Working with someone makes you block time out for the appointment and helps you to stop putting it off.  It is always more fun working with someone than working alone.

Will you give me homework to do?

Only if you want it.  Some people like to keep going with the work and get it done quickly.  Some people don’t want to work alone or would feel bad if they didn’t get the homework done so I don’t that person anything to do.  There are some tasks that are very time consuming and if you can do it on your own it makes it more cost effective for you, sorting paper, going through books, CDs, VHS tapes, clothing.  However those tasks can be difficult to figure out what to keep and what to donate that you might it better for you to do it with me present.

Please post your questions in the comments.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter – @julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

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

Share this:

Virtual Organizing-Is it for You?

Sarah Buckwalter

Sarah Buckwalter

Certified Professional Organizer®, Sarah Buckwalter, has over 17 years of experience running an award-winning organizing business, Organizing Boston. With a desire to help everyone get organized, Sarah developed Organizing U. Organizing U offers a professional organizer directory, online courses and virtual organizing programs to help people live more organized lives. Organizing U also offers training programs for Professional Organizers.

organizingulogo-1

Virtual organizing is a new field for the Professional Organizing industry in Canada.  How well established is virtual organizing in the United States?

Virtual Organizing is a new field in the US as well. While there are a handful of organizers who are offering virtual organizing in the US, many are just learning about it and starting to explore it.

Virtual organizing will be the perfect solution for some people but not for others.  Who do you think benefits from virtual organizing as compared to working with a professional organizer in person?

The people who get the most benefit out of virtual organizing are those who are able to do the physical work themselves, but just need (or want) the direction and expertise of a professional. Virtual organizing is great for those who need some accountability while they work through their organizing project. If someone is unwilling or unable to do the work themselves then they will not benefit from virtual organizing.

When you are communicating with your virtual clients do you like to use the telephone or some other technology?  Which technologies have you found to work well for communicating with your clients?

I prefer to use video because you can see the space first hand. I think it allows you to achieve a greater connection with the client because it feels as though you are there with them. I find Skype and FaceTime to be the best platforms. Skype works on any device, so that would be my first choice.

When a client has hired you to work with them, what are your next steps in helping that client become organized?

My first step is always to create an organizing plan with the client. This helps outline the scope of the project for the client and is great to be able to refer to as we go to gauge progress and help stay on track. The next step is to set up a regular meeting schedule to see the process through. Then, we get started and work through the plan.

In all organizing jobs some clients are more successful with organizing and other clients continue to struggle. What tips do you have to make your clients’ organizing projects a success?
1. Have a written plan. It helps the client through the process to be able to check things off as you go.
2. I have a signature process that I apply to every organizing project. I find that organizing is more effective if clients can follow specific steps and apply the same process to each space.
3. Keep a consistent schedule. Don’t end the session without scheduling and creating a plan for the next session.
4. Go above and beyond. Clients will respond well to your extra efforts.

If you feel virtual organizing is something you would like to try, contact Mind over Clutter and discuss it with Julie.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer 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. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Share this:

Do you need organizing solutions for your home office?

MIND OVER CLUTTER is offering a free 30-minute Virtual Organizing Session.

Mind over Clutter logoHere’s how it works:

1. We book a virtual appointment with video chat: Skype, Face Time, Google Hangout, Facebook video or send me photos or a video and chat on the telephone
2. You show me your home office.
3. I recommend solutions for  your organizing dilemmas.

Contact me to take advantage of this free introductory offer via JULIE@MINDOVERCLUTTER.CA

Share this:

Virtual Organizing maybe the Solution to your S.P.A.C.E.

  For clients who wish to do the “hands on “organizing themselves I offer support services through virtual organizing.  In order to keep the process simple only one room will be discussed at a time.  There will be an initial session cost for each room to be organized.

Initial Session

The initial session costs $100.00.  It consists of an intake conversation,  about one space, over the phone or Skype or e-mail lasting about 15 minutes.  It is followed by or at the same time, sharing with me a visual look at the space to be organized.  The client can e-mail me pictures or can show me the space over Skype.  If the client wishes, they can send me a description of their challenges.  I will e-mail a plan of action to the client.  After the client has studied the plan a question and answer conversation will occur to clarify the plan and establish a timeline for the project. This session will last about 15 minutes. Once a timeline has been established for the project one of two options may be selected.

Option 1

The client will work on the project and will e-mail me pictures or set up a Skype call as needed to help them solve problems, clarify the next step, receive storage suggestions or donation and recycling information.  This system works well for people who manage their time well and are motivated to get the job done.  The cost of option 1 is $10.00 for each half hour consultation requested by the client.  A retainer of $30.00 is paid in addition to the initial session cost at the beginning of the job.  Additional retainers can be purchased as needed.

Option 2

The client will e-mail me the day and time they will be working on the job.  I will e-mail, Skype, text or call each hour to see what assistance they need in order to successfully complete the work scheduled for that day.  This systems works well for people who are easily distracted or procrastinate in getting the space organized. The cost of option 2 is $5.00 for 5 minutes each hour.  For example if the client is planning to work from 12:00-3:00 on the job then I will contact them at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and the cost of the session in $15.00.  A retainer of $30.00 is paid in addition to the initial session cost at the beginning of the job.  Additional retainers can be purchased as needed.

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