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3 Tips to organize a student’s move back home

By Julie Stobbe / April 30, 2024 /

Reading Time – 3 minutes

Moving back for the summer?

Moving back for the summer?

It is that time of year when college and university students are moving back home for 4 months.  If their things are packed in an organized way it will take some of the work out of moving back to school in September.

1. Buy bins that stack inside each other when they are not in use.

Stacking bins are easy to store.   Most of us like to cut costs and use boxes to move students.  Since moving is an ongoing process for the next number of years buy some bins.  They will stack nicely in a truck/van and in a closet or storage area at home.  They will only need to be purchased once whereas boxes are usually recycled and you need to find more every time. Bins are waterproof.Blue Rubbermaid storage bin with lid

2.  Before the student begins packing, make a list of items they need at home.  

Make sure the items that are needed at home are packed together in a bin.  Label those bins, bedroom.  Other items that they need only for school can be left in the bins to be moved back to school in September.  Label them basement, closet where ever they will be kept.  They may need a bin or two labelled laundry.  Some items may need to be washed before they are stored away for the summer, bedding, blankets, winter coats etc. This makes unloading quick and easy. If your student is moving across the country, arrange to have their school stuff stored with a friend or a storage unit. Save the shipping fees. Keep the list they made to move home to use in September.  When it is time to go back to school look at the list and repack the items that were used during the summer.When you're packing up at college or university, pack the things you need at home separately in one bin and everything else you'll bring back to school in other bins. Click To Tweet

3.  At home, designate an area where the bins will be stored over the summer.

Clean out the designated area before your student arrives home.    If everything is kept close together or in a limited number of areas when September arrives, it is easy to know where everything is.

A little planning can make the move quick and easy.  The second part of moving home is talking to your student about the living arrangements at home.  Set up a quick concise contract and life will be easy and enjoyable.

Moving to university

Don’t forget anything

What have you done to make moving your student back home easier?  Share a comment below.

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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How to organize your dorm room for maximum productivity

By Julie Stobbe / October 10, 2023 /

Reading time – 10 mins 

Tidy and organized room with desk in the center and bookshelf on the right

It’s back-to-school time! If you entered a university or college this year, you may be living in a student dorm room for the first time. If you plan to do your best this semester, you should ensure you have a productive study space in your dorm room!  Now is the time to start thinking about how to organize your dorm room for maximum productivity.

You may be thinking, “How can I establish a pleasant and effective study place that exudes creativity without overwhelming the room?” Finding solutions that work for you and your limited space is critical. What’s keeping you from getting organized? Will there be enough lighting in the room? What can you do to make this room seem more inspiring? These are all critical considerations to ask yourself when setting up a study place. Are you ready to learn how to make a productive study space in your dorm room?

Maximize your available space

You should first figure out how to make the most of the limited space in your dorm room. You must ensure that you are making the most of your limited space since studying in a cramped or cluttered room won’t be productive. You may use several space-saving tactics and ideas in your dorm room to create the illusion of extra free space.

One method to do this is first to declutter. Remove any large items, such as a bookcase, to create room for a study desk. Instead of a large bookcase, build open shelves on the wall. It enables you to make extra room while still having adequate storage for your books and personal effects. However, if you are missing space for some of your necessities, Centennial Moving can help by renting you the needed storage. A storage unit can also be handy when moving into or out of your dorm.  At the end of a semester, it may be more cost-effective to store your items than to move them back home. 

Everything should serve numerous functions

When you live in a tiny place, you must make the most of everything you own. Everything in your dorm should serve many tasks. Instead of a regular table near the bed, use an ottoman or cabinet with drawers and storage that can hold a bunch of stuff. Don’t simply use a table to set your laptop on; instead, choose a desk that takes up the same amount of room but has more storage.

Small dorm room with blue walls

Dorm rooms are often small, so make sure everything serves its purpose.

Bed lifts are handy for dorm room dwellers if you do not have a bed loft. Bed lifters are placed on the bottom of the memory foam mattress or beneath bed frames to raise it a further six inches. The wonderful thing about this is that you can now utilize the wasted area under the bed as storage. Another benefit of bed risers is that they have AC plugs built directly into them, giving you a greater choice in where you place the bed. There’s no need to worry about a hidden outlet buried under the bed you can’t reach.

Instead of studying in bed, study at your desk

When you have 30+ pages of your textbook to read, your bed appears quite attractive. Unfortunately, many students tend to doze off in bed. Unless you travel to the library or a study group outside your dorm room, try to accomplish all your studying, school work, and reading at your desk. It’s easy to zone out or fall asleep when studying in bed, particularly if you’re reading boring or too technical stuff. Relocating your textbooks or laptop away from your bed will organize your dorm room for maximum productivity. Bringing textbooks or a laptop into bed sends confusing messages to your body, and studies suggest that using technology in bed may harm your sleep quality.

Bed with books on it

Zoning out is common if you are studying in bed, so move your stuff to desk

Reduce Distractions

Is your neighbour’s music blaring across the hall? Or maybe you hear people talking just outside your door? If so, why not invest in a set of noise-cancelling headphones? Depending on what you find most comfortable, you may choose between over-ear, on-ear, and earbud models. It’s also a good idea to get a model with lengthy battery life so you can remain focused on your studies all day. Furthermore, noise-cancelling headphones are available in various price ranges, so you’re likely to find the right set.

Do you find yourself browsing social media during your study sessions? If this is the case, try designating particular periods of the day for texting or accessing the web. For example, you will get 10 minutes of phone time for every hour spent studying. Furthermore, lock apps may block you from using particular apps on your phone for a set amount of time. If you have trouble maintaining attention, there are many ways of organizing your life. You will be able to focus on your work without being distracted by social media, games, phone calls, or messages.

Person texting on their smartphone

Try moving your phone out of your line of sight and setting it to Do Not Disturb mode for less distraction.

Introduce personalization

Adding a touch of personalization to your dorm room is also crucial. Your room should be functional and a representation of your personality. This doesn’t mean cluttering your space with unnecessary items but strategically placing a few pieces that make you feel at home. For example, hanging a motivational poster or having a desk photo of your loved ones can provide much-needed encouragement during stressful periods.

Invest in good lighting

One element often overlooked in dorm rooms is proper lighting. While maximizing space and reducing distractions is essential, so is ensuring that you have adequate light. Poor lighting can strain your eyes, especially during extended study sessions. Invest in an adjustable desk lamp with LED lights, which provide bright illumination without consuming too much electricity. If your dorm room doesn’t get enough natural light, consider light therapy lamps or bulbs that mimic daylight, improving concentration and mood.

Prioritize ergonomics

Sitting for long hours can take a toll on your posture and overall health. Make sure your study space is ergonomically friendly. This might mean investing in a chair cushion, ergonomic mouse, or keyboard, or even a standing desk converter. Adjust your chair and monitor so your eyes are at screen level and your feet are flat on the ground.

Use colour psychology

Colour plays a significant role in our mood and productivity. While you might not be able to paint your dorm room walls, you can incorporate colours that enhance concentration and motivation through items like bedding, curtains, or desk accessories. You can also dress in a specific colour. For instance, blue is known to stimulate the mind, yellow can boost creativity, and green is calming and helps improve efficiency.

You must coordinate (with your roommate)

Did you and your roommate bring duplicates of large items? Next time you go home to visit take some of those items back with you so the valuable room space can be organized for maximum productivity. Here are a few examples of space-consuming products that you’ll probably only need one of between the two of you:

  • Television (you may not need one, but let’s pretend you bring one anyhow.
  • Refrigerator — obviously, a mini-fridge; a full-size community fridge will most likely be accessible for storing large things and frozen meals.
  • The microwave oven
  • If you believe a gaming console to be essential, just one should suffice.
  • Dock for stereo/music player with speakers

Before a conflict arises, communicate as soon as possible to determine what arrangement works best for you. Is one of you comfortable being many feet above the ground on a top bunk bed? Is the other individual at ease sleeping under a bed frame, mattress, and companion weighing several hundred pounds?  Now that you have lived together for a while, make changes that help you both to feel comfortable.

How much room will you need to move about in the appropriate living area for yourself and visitors? What about furnishings like toss pillows, futons, and school-supplied desks and dressers? The main point here is to arrange as much as possible with your roommate and have the right mindset so your term is happy, enjoyable and productive.

In conclusion

There’s some truth to the old adage that buddies shouldn’t become roommates. However, there’s no reason you can’t get along with whoever your allocated roommate is. By working together and coordinating your activities, you may save money and organize your dorm room for maximum productivity.

How did you organize a dorm room?  Success and horror stories are all welcome in the comments. 

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 situations. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you in managing 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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Back to school organization for your household

By Julie Stobbe / August 22, 2023 /

Reading time 5 minutes

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

Clear the garden and outdoor

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

Have a plan for college students 

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

Make your lunch boxes go further

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

Box with finger foods

Keep everyone’s schedule visible

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

Going back to back to work and school after spending many months at home on a summer schedule can be daunting. You find yourself running out of time to maintain your household! But hopefully, these simple tips can help save you time and hassle in the long term.

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

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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What are the 2 most important boxes in a move?

By Julie Stobbe / September 27, 2022 /

Reading time – 3 minutes

Home interior right after moving in with many boxes piled up

Where are those 2 special boxes?Planning a  move takes time.  Moving is stressful.  The packing of all the boxes, the day of moving and then the unpacking.  It is easy to misplace something you need on moving day or soon after you arrive. Consider having those important things with you in your vehicle.

What are the 2 most important boxes?

When you are moving pack 2 boxes that have everything you need for moving day and the first night. Keep these 2 boxes with you and not in the moving truck. These boxes should include:

  1. Glasses –  plastic or glass for drinks or water.
  2. A roll of paper towels
  3. A roll of toilet paper for each bathroom
  4. A bar of soap or container of liquid soap for the bathroom
  5. A hand towel in the bathroom
  6. Dishcloth, dish soap and tea towel for cleaning dishes that may be dusty from moving
  7. Sheets for the bed and pillows so you can go to sleep at the end of a long day moving in
  8. Towels for a shower and basic cosmetics to clean up after the move
  9. A change of clothes as well as medications
  10. Chargers for your phone, tablet and computer

What supplies are important? 

It is handy to pack a pail of basic cleaning supplies so you can do a quick clean before things are unpacked.  Bring:

  1. Cloths
  2. All-purpose cleaning supplies
  3. Broom and dustpan
  4. Mop
  5. Pack it all in a pail

Pack a toolbox with basic tools. You may have to reassemble beds, bookcases or electronics.  Have:

  1. a screwdriver with multiple heads
  2. hammer
  3. plyers
  4. adjustable wrench
  5. tape

Where is that paperwork?

Lastly, have a bag with vital papers.  You will need your purchase/rental documents for your new home. Carry memory sticks, backup drives, passports etc that you don’t want to be misplaced or stolen  If there is work, assignments or agendas you will need the next day add them to the bag.

With these things easily accessible you can clean up and get a good night’s rest before you continue to unpack and make your new place a home.

Share your moving hacks in the comments.

If you need help with an 8-week packing/moving plan contact me julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

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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5 Tips from a lunch bag – organizing school lunches

By Julie Stobbe / September 14, 2022 /

Reading time- 3 minutes

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

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

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

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

2. I hate sandwiches.

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

3 thermos, black, blue and pink

Send warm foods to school in an unbreakable thermos.

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

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

Lunch bags

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

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

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

Box with finger foods

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

5.  Leftover lunches – plan differently

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

Plastic counter top compost bin

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

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

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

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

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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What are the 2 most important boxes in a move?

By Julie Stobbe / September 8, 2022 /

Reading time – 3 minutes

 

Home interior right after moving in with many boxes piled up

Where are those 2 special boxes?

Moving is stressful.  The packing of all the boxes, the day of moving and then the unpacking.  It is easy to misplace something you need on moving day or soon after you arrive. Consider having those important things with you in your vehicle.

What are the 2 most important boxes?

When you are moving pack 2 boxes that have everything you need for moving day and the first night. Keep these 2 boxes with you and not in the moving truck. These boxes should include:

  1. Glasses –  plastic or glass for drinks or water.
  2. A roll of paper towels
  3. A roll of toilet paper for each bathroom
  4. A bar of soap or container of liquid soap for the bathroom
  5. A hand towel in the bathroom
  6. Dishcloth, dish soap and tea towel for cleaning dishes that may be dusty from moving
  7. Sheets for the bed and pillows so you can go to sleep at the end of a long day moving in
  8. Towels for a shower and basic cosmetics to clean up after the move
  9. A change of clothes as well as medications
  10. Chargers for your phone, tablet and computer

What supplies are important? 

It is handy to pack a pail of basic cleaning supplies so you can do a quick clean before things are unpacked.  Bring:

  1. Cloths
  2. All-purpose cleaning supplies
  3. Broom and dustpan
  4. Mop
  5. Pack it all in a pail

Pack a toolbox with basic tools. You may have to reassemble beds, bookcases or electronics.  Have:

  1. a screwdriver with multiple heads
  2. hammer
  3. plyers
  4. adjustable wrench
  5. tape

Where is that paperwork?

Lastly, have a bag with vital papers.  You will need your purchase/rental documents for your new home. Carry memory sticks, backup drives, passports etc that you don’t want to be misplaced or stolen  If there is work, assignments or agendas you will need the next day add them to the bag.

With these things easily accessible you can clean up and get a good night’s rest before you continue to unpack and make your new place a home.

Share your moving hacks in the comments.

If you need help with an 8-week packing/moving plan contact me julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

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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Back to school – making homework easy

By Julie Stobbe / September 14, 2021 /

Reading time: 3 minutes

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

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

Mother and child and after school homework

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

 

Plan the best space for doing homework 

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

Plan a schedule for completing large projects 

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

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

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

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

Have a portable homework station that can move with you. 

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

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

Help your child be able to complete their homework quickly

 

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

Have a portable homework station that can be taken anywhere

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

Share your tip for making homework an enjoyable experience.

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

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Organizing your mind and space for the new school year

By Julie Stobbe / August 31, 2021 /

Reading time: 7 minutes
Large projects can be broken down into smaller sections and a little parts can be completed each day.
3 Easy Steps

Back to school, I have been procrastinating on dealing with this topic for my blog.  Some of you may be feeling the same way about getting ready for school this year.  Here are 3 easy steps.

  • embrace the normal preparations you have always done,
  • plan for new priorities in your child’s routine to make them successful and then
  • plan for the new circumstances in your child’s learning situation.

You can’t plan for all circumstances, be ready to adjust.

New look this year

Your child’s school year may have a new look this year.

  • Homeschool
  • Unschool
  • Virtual school
  • In-classroom school
  • Forest/ outdoor school

Normal Preparations

Some things about going back to school don’t change.  Start by focusing on the things that are the same as other years to help your child enter this school year without worry. Focus on the differences later. Keeping school preparations “normal” gives your child a sense of security.

Get a few supplies

  • Keep your supplies to a minimum.  You want your child to have less in the classroom this year.  It will be easier for them to keep track of their own things.  Eight markers instead of 24 or 36, 12 pencil crayons. Wait and see what they need instead of buying everything they might need.
  • Use a backpack, pencil case and lunch bag that are vinyl.  It makes it easier to wipe off daily.  Yes daily when they arrive back home. These are good items to have for any form of school.  Your child will have a place to pack up their books at the end of the learning time.  Giving an end to school and onto to play.

Set up a station at home to do homework. 

  • Have a caddy with supplies, scissors, eraser, stapler, pens, pencils markers crayons etc.  Some children need a space in the middle of the household action.  The noise actually helps them to concentrate and not daydream.  The adult equivalent of working in a coffee shop.  Other children will need a quiet spot away from distractions.

portable caddy

Plan new priorities in your child’s day to make them successful

Whether your child is in school or learning at home, routines give a sense of stability to a child.  Being well-rested, energized and stress-free will make the day of learning fun, enjoyable and exciting in any situation. Don’t make it a big deal make it a new deal.

Start. with cleaning up their bedroom

  • After a summer of playing, sleepovers, and unstructured play their room may be a mess.  Put things back in order so your child has a space to go and relax after school.   Everyone needs a place to call their own to get away on their own.

Have good bedtime routines.

  • No matter what age your child, they need an expected time when they are to be in their room and be in bed.  Determine routines that help your child to relax and become calm.  It will be different for each child.  A bath or shower, reading, essential oils, planning for the next day etc.  Start the routine at the same time each night.

Morning routines

  • Expect your child to get up at the same time each day.  This will make going to bed at the expected time easier.  Have them make their bed.  It will give the room a feeling of calm when they need that space to go and relax. It is hard to relax in a room of chaos.  Get dressed.  Learning in pajamas was great fun last year.  This year, get up and get ready to take on the day.

Focus on good nutrition.

  • Have lots of water and breaks when needed.  Keep food available for quick snacks and keep sugary snacks up high out of eyesight.  Make lunches the night before or at breakfast time.  Use the lunch bag even if you are at home.  Having lunch ready to eat prevents grabbing a quick unhealthy option, it is ready to eat when you are and it is quick, easy and there is no mess to clean up. You can take it outside and have a picnic.

Make exercise or outdoor play essential at the end of the learning day

  • Children may be required to stay in their desks more this year. At home, they may be in front of screens for longer periods.  When they arrive home or finish learning, get them outside.  There may be complaints at first.  Make it fun, have a snack outside, read together, talk about your day, play hopscotch, tag, go for a walk, play cards or a board game. No matter what you think you need to get done, nature, fresh air and unstructured movement will help to relax your child.  A relaxed child is a happy child and easier to talk with, get to cooperate and hear a laugh.

Manage your child’s new learning circumstances

Now that the basic priorities, for any type of schooling are set up, think about how to  manage the new circumstances

Time to listen

Change is difficult.  Slow down and listen to their fears and concerns.  If you are fearful about the new circumstances they will pick up your concern.  Keep yourself calm. Don’t hide your concern, talk about it in a way the is age-appropriate for your child and decide together what you can do to make things less scary.  Worry doesn’t help to solve the problem, a plan does.

 

A day off occasionally?

Some children will be impacted more by all the new expectations.  They might need a day off.  Discuss how to make the new expectations easier to follow.  Think of it as a mental health day.

Reward the small accomplishments

Pointing out success encourages more success.   Embracing change, accepting it and conquering your fears is something to celebrate. Celebrate the big and small successes. You may celebrate finishing the day smiling, helping someone else, overcoming a fear, wearing a mask for a long time, creating a great story, setting the table, doing some exercise.  It can be anything.  Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with compassion.

What do you need for your child’s learning experience

Research what you need to help with your child’s learning situation.  Do you need: course materials. babysitting, a learning environment to meet your child’s needs, a weekly chat with the teacher, a play date with school friends. Think about how you can meet your child’s physical, emotional, social and educational needs. You may be able to figure out some solutions before the learning begins, but not everything. Be flexible and change as the situation requires.

Mother and child and after school homework

A schedule to help set learning expectations

Some children work best with a schedule.  It helps them to know what to expect.  Some children don’t do well with surprises.  You don’t need to set a very detailed schedule but a general one is helpful.  When will learning occur, independent, online, with a parent or at school?  When is unstructured time?  Don’t use it as a reward, everyone needs time to relax and rejuvenate.   What chores need to be completed? When will homework be done?  What time is bedtime?

Mask management /water bottle system

Continuing this year are masks.  Have a place to put masks that need to be washed and a place to pick up clean masks.  Have a water bottle with the child’s name on it and wash it with hot soapy water each day.

A pickup routine – washing/ disinfecting hands

If you are picking up your child from school or daycare think about having a way to clean or sanitize their hands before they enter your vehicle.  I have a container of water with a lid in my car.  When I am done working at a client’s house I wash with soap and water.  Some people prefer hand sanitizer or wipes. Place their backpacks in the back of the car until they can be sanitized when you arrive home with soap and water.  You may prefer to use disinfecting wipes to clean items when you pick the child up.

A great attitude

It is an adventure.  Enjoy it.  Think outside the box and develop solutions as problems arise.  Nothing is too big.  Break the problem into smaller parts and solve each part until there is no problem anymore. Make your child resilient.  It is the best lesson they can learn.

Accept change, move forward and see how you grow - isn't that what learning is all about Click To Tweet

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 

 

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Organizing a student’s move to university or college

By Julie Stobbe / August 24, 2021 /

Learning at college or university has a variety of meanings especially this year.  Some first-year students will be used to virtually learning and not be used to timetables and in-person classroom learning. More social interaction on-campus or off-campus may seem like a welcome change from their isolation of the last 18 months.  It may also be overwhelming.  Help organize your student’s move away from home by taking the right amount of stuff and organizing it in a way that suits their personality and new lifestyle.

Organize the right amount of stuff to take.

Panic may be starting to set in.  This is the time of year for back to school.  Some of you may be moving a student to a school close to home, some may have a long drive to the new school and others may have to fly.  Whether you may be able to make multiple trips to your student’s school or if you have one chance to get it right,  Anne Wynter’s    How to Cut College Clutter  shares many tips in this lovely blog post about:

  1. Clothes
  2. Documents
  3. Mini Kits
  4. Sentimental Items
Having an overabundance of possessions in your dorm room or apartment can contribute to poor time management and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed, Click To Tweet

Make your move a successful, low stress enjoyable event.

dorm room organizing

How much should I take?

Organize your employment

Once your student is settled at college they may need a job.  Finding suitable work may be easier than you think.  This article,  Ways to make money in college from Aaron Whitman of Careful Cents has many employment opportunities to suit any timetable.  Whether your student chooses to work a little or a lot any income helps to reduce the overall debt that they might incur at the end of their education. Plan ahead with your finances. In addition, balancing work and school also teaches time management skills.

There are many things your student needs to learn about moving to college or university.  Teach them the skills a little at a time.  Don’t overwhelm them.  Start with packing, arriving and setting up the space.  All teenagers can figure out how to get food. lol.

Now I’d like to hear from you.  What tip are you going to use from the post?  Or maybe I didn’t mention the thing that is most important in your family when someone moves out.  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, 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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Moving a student to school – 5 bathroom organizing tips

By Julie Stobbe / September 8, 2020 /

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

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

Make it portable

Make it portable

Use a well ventilated container

Use a well ventilated container

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

Shower organizer that hooks on the shower bar

 

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

Use small bottles in the shower store extras under the bed

Use under the bed storage for extra supplies

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

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

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

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

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

Julie Stobbe, 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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