Archive for decluttering

5 Clearing and organizing tips for your home office

Reading time – 3 minutes

Organizing your home office can lead you in many directions.  Perhaps:

  • your inbox is inundated,
  • your files are filled or
  • your time management is missing.

You need to start somewhere so let’s start with the S.P.A.C.E. that houses your office.

Look around your office and start:

1. Sorting the items that are visible into groups of papers, books, office supplies, client files, products, advertising materials etc.

Start with the visible clutter first.

2. Pair down each pile with the items that are current and recycle or shred the rest.

3. Assign a convenient place to store your resources.  If you use them often keep them near your desk, if they are used infrequently store them further away but still in your office.  If they are never referred to but are needed for tax or legal purposes they can be stored in another room.

4. Take each of those piles and select the best Container for keeping the items organized, binders, magazine holders, bins, boxes etc.

 

Organize with binders

 

Organize with bins

 

Organizing for the person who likes to see everything, the visual person

5. Evaluate your new S.P.A.C.E. to make sure it will help you be more efficient, productive and profitable this year.

Share one of your office organizing tips in the comment box.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie 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 guides and supports you to manage your time, and 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

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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Before hiring a moving company in St Catharines & the Niagara Region declutter and then organize with Julie Stobbe at Mind over Clutter

This article was first published by JR Moving Services 

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

Planning the space 

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

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

Make a floor plan

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

Decision criteria

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

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

How much is enough?

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

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

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

Prepare the room for working.

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

 

5 Methods  for decluttering the room 

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

1. Have a box 

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

2. Skimming

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

3. Sort then declutter

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

Look at one category/group and apply the questions and percentage you determined in the planning stage.  Start removing items you don’t need and donate them.

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

4. Grouping 

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

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

5. Triage

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

If you are sentimental 

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

Mindset

Decluttering is about having a mindset of letting go and having less. Once you experience the joy of being unburdened from cleaning, organizing, buying, and repairing stuff you don’t need, want, use or like you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.   Enjoy the journey.

Moving Companies rely on businesses like Mind Over Clutter. If you are in the rightsizing process check out our partners at Mind over Clutter. They service St. Catharines and The Niagara Region and can give you some great insight and help you through this process!

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually over Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She guides and supports you to manage your time, and 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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Organize your clutter free gift giving list

Reading time 5 minutes

There are many considerations when trying to purchase the perfect present. Sometimes the person has everything.  Some people may feel that they have enough stuff and they don’t want to have to decide how to store more items. Some people feel that they need to keep everything they are given whether they need it or like it or can use it. They are afraid of hurting the giver’s feelings.  It may feel like an impossible mission.  Consider the idea of a gift that self destructs.

Give tickets to an event

Sporting, theatre, art gallery exhibits, or musical events.  Most of these types of events have virtual or live performances.  Give them tickets so it won’t be a gift card that they file or lose.  Most performances will allow tickets to be exchanged for a different date.  You can support your local community by purchasing tickets to a little theatre production, or concert.  Give them the gift of entertainment.

Rent a sports venue

It can be an hour of ice time, indoor soccer, indoor tennis, indoor pickleball and indoor golf.  This type of gift usually gets people together to socialize and be active.  It is a gift of physical and emotional health.

Give an experience as a gift then there is nothing to store Click To Tweet

Lessons

You can give lessons to a person.  Art lessons, wine tasting, golfing, home improvement, music, craft, beading, the ideas are limitless.  Many lessons are delivered virtually and in person.  Goggle _______lessons.  You fill in the blank  It can be one lesson or a group of lessons. You can do it as a group or a person can do it solo.  Give the gift of a new experience.

Food

Give a gift of a meal, prepared by you for them on a mutually agreed date.  You may want to give them a batch of muffins every month or whatever their favourite food is.  People enjoy receiving homemade Christmas cookies or a fruit plate.  You can go online and search COOKIES in a Jar.  The recipient of the cookie mix adds water or milk and bakes the cookies. Give the gift of sharing your time with others.

A Service

Someone may enjoy being relieved of performing a tedious job.  Arrange for a cleaning service, car detailing, professional organizer, snow removal, and lawn care.  Give them the gift of time for themselves.

3 hour professional organizing packages

 

Charities

There are many charities that can benefit from donations.  Select a charity and make a donation in the name of the person.    Look at one aspect of the person’s life and try to find a charity that represents their interests. Give them the gift of generosity.

Give the gift of Fun

One year we rented a hot tub for a week. Another year I bought rocket kits for everyone, we built the kits and shot off the rockets.   Easy enough to do with social distancing.

Give the gift of memories

This year may be the perfect time to collect family photos and make a calendar.  There are many online sites you can use to make the calendar.  At the end of the year, you can let it go and make a new one.  Give them the gift that keeps on giving.

Here are a few gifts that are clutter-free, personal and thoughtful and the ideas are endless.  Don’t let time stop you from creatively finding the gift you want to give.

Share your idea 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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What should I do with clothing I no longer need?

Clothes that are old and out of style are hard to donate so when you no longer want to have them in your closet make a plan so they can be loved by someone else.

1. Adopt a family

If you have children sort their clothes at the start of each season and put the clothes that no longer fit in a box or bag.  You may find it easier to put clothes that now longer fit into the donation box or bag right after they come out of the dryer.  Make a connection with a family that has children a year or two younger than your children and give them the box of clothes at the beginning of each season.  This helps both families to know what clothes they have and what they need to buy and you don’t need to figure out where to donate them because they go to the same family every season.

A little girl cleaning.

2. Selling 

There are many consignment stores that sell clothing.  You can find them online.  Each store will have its own niche market.  Contact them to see if they want high-end clothing, teenage clothes, baby apparel etc.

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

3. Theatres 

If you have unusual pieces of clothing like a nurse’s cape, old-fashioned outfits or accessories take them to your local little theatre group.  They may be able to use them in their productions.  It would help the theatre company to save money on their costumes.

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

4. Clothing Drives 

Sometimes communities have special clothing drives.  You may find that formal wear can be donated to groups collecting clothing for proms.  In the late fall, there may be a winter coat and boot drive for homeless people.  Running shoes can be donated at some running stores and they donate them to organizations that send the shoes overseas.

5. Shelters

Clothing can be donated to women’s and men’s shelters as well as thrift stores in your community.

6. Textile Recycling

For clothing that is too old, stained or ripped google textile recycling.  There are businesses that recycle fabric, leather, bedding and clothing.

Where do you donate clothing that you no longer wear?

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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The Psychology of Clutter

Reading Time – 7 minutes

Here are 5 scenarios about why people have clutter.  Clutter is different for everyone but most people have some clutter in their lives. Let’s look at the psychology of clutter.

Scenario 1 – Retail Therapy

I was talking with a friend about people who buy something when they are sad to make themselves feel better and how this can cause clutter, financial problems or health problems if it is food.  She said when she had a bad day at school her mom would take her to a store and buy her a teddy bear.  So she understands her joy in shopping.

Why do people shop and create clutter in their homes and offices? It’s the process of assigning the emotion of fulfillment, satisfaction or simply “non-depression” to an item.  You were feeling sad and now you bought something and feel better,  for a while.

 This quote is from a book called Living More with Less:

“As someone once said

  • we have bought into the foolish obsession of buying stuff we don’t need
  • with money we don’t have
  • to impress people we don’t even know.”

I think we can all relate to a purchase that we have made fitting this description.

Three ladies shopping in a shopping mall

Scenario 2 – Fear causes clutter

Perhaps it is fear that helps people to hold onto things

  • What if I need it someday – fear of scarcity
  • I’ll keep it just in case – fear of uncertainly and doubt
  • I can’t give that away it was a gift – fear of rejection
  • I can’t decide so I’ll keep it and what if it is worth something someday – fear of making mistakes

In an article by Hellen Bittigieg, she talks about: Steps to eliminate your fears and conquer the clutter

  1. As you sort through your items notice the thoughts that come up and begin to acknowledge them, say okay now you’ve got my attention.
  2. Notice where you feel the fear in your body, stomach, chest or headache?
  3. Analyze the fear and try to understand where it’s coming from then thank it and move on
  4. Replace fear with trust
  5. What if I need it someday replace it with all my needs are abundantly supplied
  6. I’ll keep it just in case – replace it with what are the odds I’ll ever need to replace it?
  7. I can’t give that away it was a gift – replace it with my real friends always love and support me
  8. I can’t decide so I’ll just keep it – replace it with I’ll make a decision and trust that everything will be okay
  9. What if it’s worth something someday – replace it with it will never be more valuable than joy, health, friendships etc

Afraid of being wrong

Scenario 3 – Sentimentality and Clutter

I have clients who if they touch an object will automatically keep it, so I hold up the object and don’t let them touch it when they are deciding to keep it or give it away.  Other clients need to touch an item before they can donate it, it is like saying goodbye to it.

The sentimentality can be associated with

  • Someone you loved gave it to you or
  • Someone you once loved used it
  • Stuff that you associate with a time when you were happy. (memorabilia)

Being able to separate an object from a person can be difficult. Make sure to keep only a few objects that are the best representation of that period in your life period or moment.  Learning that you can still have the memory and the corresponding feeling without having the object will help you to be able to donate items.

Scenario 4 – Control 

Clients will hire me and want me to do their plans.  As I work with them and make suggestions about alternative ways to organize things generally, they say no and then at my next appointment they usually say I thought about your idea, let’s try it.

People want to have control over their decisions and environment. Avoiding power struggles over decisions about what stays and what goes makes decluttering easier.

Scenario 5 – Keeping your Stuff to Sell

I have clients who want to make lots of money selling their stuff.  Sometimes it is possible and sometimes it isn’t. They will hold onto stuff for garage sales, to put on Kijiji, eBay or Facebook Marketplace.  Sometimes they hold onto it for so long that it has lost its value. They think I paid good money for it.    The reality is the money has been spent

Just because it was costly to purchase does not mean that it’s valuable today. Items change in value. What’s important is whether you are using what you have now, or if what you have is distracting you from the lifestyle you want. If you are not loving, using and enjoying your things, then reconsider their ‘value’.

I summarize these 5 scenarios into

  • Social – learning that you can’t always feel happy and that acquiring things will not make you happy
  • Psychological – trusting yourself helps you have the courage to let go,
  • Emotional – learning you can have that wonderful feeling without  the object
  • Personality – people need control over their decisions, you can’t make it for  them
  • Financial – The value of an object in the enjoyment it brings to your life

The important thing to discover is what reasons make it hard for you to let go of the things or cause you to buy more things and change those mindsets.

Which scenarios do you relate to the most?

If you need help clearing the clutter contact me julie@mindoverclutter.ca 

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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Spring Clearing A B Cs

Yes, you read it correctly, spring clearing, not spring cleaning.   I first heard about it at an organizing conference in London, England.  The idea made so much sense to me.  We no longer have to do seasonal cleaning.  Our homes are much cleaner because of high-efficiency furnaces, paved roads, washing machines, vacuum cleaners.  Long gone are days of mud floors, dirt roads, open fires to heat your home and brooms for sweeping. Organizing and clearing your life on a seasonal basis will help you to maintain your home and lifestyle.

Activities

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

Commitments

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

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

Possessions 

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

Download your Spring Clearing Guide

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

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

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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How to organize your bedroom to get more space.

Reading time – 7 minutes

Start by determining any special uses for the bedroom (e.g., home office, baby’s crib and supplies, etc.)  Only have items in the bedroom that serve the purpose of the room.  Remove all other items.

Bedroom with a bed with a yellow blanket, bookcase, round white desk and yellow chair.

Closet

It is easy for bedrooms to become the collection spot for all sorts of items.  Piles form. When you declutter the bedroom, start with your clothing.  Hang up clothing in a closet or on a rack. Place other clothing in a dresser or on shelves. Keep the clothing you like wearing, you get compliments when you wear it and that suits your lifestyle.  Have a place to put dirty laundry.  Double your hanging space by installing a lower hanging bar.  Add an extra shelf up high in the closet to store off-season items.

metal hanging bar with hangers on the main rod and the additional rod.

Neatfreak Hanging Expandable Bar

Under the bed 

Under-bed storage containers are very helpful for oversized items or off-season clothing.  You can raise your bed to create more storage by using bed risers to lift the bed up.

Bed Raisers are palce under each bed post to raise the bed

Raising the bed can make more storage space under the bed

 

Bedside stand

A nightside table with a drawer and shelf or cupboard will provide more storage than a table. The nightstands in a bedroom tend to collect clutter.  Frequently clear off the surface and declutter the drawers.  Decide what is important to have handy.  Do you need a book, tissues, medication, charging station or water bottle?

Vertical space

Use vertical space to add more storage.  An armoire or high-boy may suit your room better than a long, low dresser.

Doors

Use the inside of the bedroom and closet doors to hang items.  Over-the-door rack and hook products accommodate shoes, jewellery, scarves, ties, etc. Try using a shoe organizer. 

Over the door hooks

There are many organizing options for storing items on doors

Bedding

Reduce the amount of bedding to a minimum.  Have 2 sets of sheets one on the bed and one extra set. If you need to store sheets in the bedroom try using the shelf in your closet.  Fold the 2 sheets and pillowcase and slide them inside the other pillowcase.  You have a nice contained set of sheets that are easy to store. Recycle sheets with stains and holes. Donate sheets you don’t use, that are the wrong size and mismatched. Have a lightweight blanket for warm weather and a heavy blanket for cooler seasons.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics can also pile up on bedroom surfaces.  Use a container to store the cosmetics and make them look attractive.  Try repurposing a silver chest. Check expiry dates, remove expired items and products you no longer use.  Try to relocate some of the cosmetics to the bathroom.

Brown box with red velvet lining holding makeup brushes and make on 2 levels and in a drawer

The brushes nicely fit where cutlery used to be stored in this repurposed silver chest

Jewelry

Jewelry is another area to consider.  There are nice trays that can fit in drawers, boxes to sit on a dresser and wall-mounted cabinets to store the jewelry you use frequently.  Go through your jewelry and make sure you still love it, it is not broken and it is clean. Donate or sell jewelry that you no longer wear, fads that have come and gone and jewelry that doesn’t fit.

Custom Designed Closets

I always suggest that you first decide how you will store things in your room before having renovations done. Once you know what types of shelves and spaces you need to hold everything you might want to get a custom build closet.   It can be a wardrobe specifically designed to your unique preferences and individual requirements. This could include walk-in spaces, lighting, and multiple interior features. You can find out more about this level of customization by speaking with a professional contractor.

In most cases, the bedroom is used for relaxing and sleeping. Find new places for all the items that don’t belong and create a tranquil space.  I think I have considered all the areas in the bedroom.  Did I miss anything?

Let me know which tip you liked best and add your own tip in the comment box.

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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Do I Have a Disease or a M.E.S.S.?

Reading Time – 5 minutes

People ask me, “Do I have a disease?” and I usually say, “NO, you have a M.E.S.S”. When your life becomes disorganized it is usually caused by one of four situations.  If you are feeling overwhelmed,  try looking at your M.E.S.S. this way.

wooden shelves mounted on wall

Shelves make storing items easier

M – Mechanical

Clutter can be caused because you don’t have the right type of storage. It is a mechanical problem.

  •  A drawer may be broken,
  • There aren’t any shelves to put things on
  • There aren’t any closets
  • Your containers are too small or too big or you don’t have any

Solutions to a mechanical problem are simple.  Look at what you want to store in the room.  Decide if you are a visual person and would like things stored on shelves where you can see everything.  Maybe being able to see everything bothers you, it is visual clutter to you.  You would want to store things in cupboards or drawers.

The next step is to decide what type of containers you need to hold your stuff.   Some people like to have clear containers other people like to use colour coded ones and still other people like them all to match.  Whatever type you like make sure they will fit on the shelf or in the cupboard or drawer and hold the items you are storing. Buy the containers after you know what is going to be stored in the room.  Make sure it fits into your budget.

A blue box with a blue lid that pops for using and flattens for storage.

Samsill Pop,n Store Container

Use an over the door shoe organizer to store hats, scarves, hair and accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slide bins under the bed for storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Emotional

  • Some people are very sentimental and find it difficult to let go of things.  Try to remember that it is the relationship that you have with the person that is important not the item they gave you.
  • Depression makes it hard to have enough energy to make decisions and organize your items
  • Anxiety can clutter your mind so you find it difficult to make decisions

The solution to this situation is more complicated. You need to discover your relationship with your S.T.U.F.F.  You need to recognize that you have Simply have too much and take steps towards realizing that. Next, Take Time to set your goals concerning reducing and what you have.  The U is for Underlying causes.  Examine what makes it difficult to let go of things. F is for how you Feel about having stuff.  Do you feel comforted by having things around you or do your feel overwhelmed by too much? The last F is for how do you Feel about having less.  Does the thought of having less make you afraid or does it feel like you have space to breathe.  I can help you with this process book a chat with me.  women isting on a chair with her knees up to her chest with a cup of coffee

S. Situational

There are things that happen in your life that can put you into a state of chaos temporarily

  • Having a baby
  • Moving
  • Divorce
  • Seasonal Celebrations – Halloween, Christmas. Passover,
  • The end of school or the beginning of a year
  • Renovations

The solution to these situations is to remember it is a temporary situation.  When things get busy ask for help.

S. Systems

If you have systems in place for getting things done then the work becomes easier because you don’t have to think about how to do it, who will do it, when it will get done. Develop systems for

  • laundry
  • meal planning and grocery shopping
  • collecting the garbage and getting to the curb or dumpster
  • gift-giving
  • feeding the pets
  • doing homework

The solution for this situation is to spend some time planning.  Setting up routines doesn’t make you a boring person.  It is the opposite.  You end up with more time to be creative and do things you enjoy.

You probably don’t have a disease that is causing you to be disorganized just a mechanical, emotional, situational or systematic problem that is contributing to your temporary disorganization.  Determine which is the main cause of your disorganization and your problems can be solved so you have a great S.P.A.C.E.

Which situation causes you the most problems? 

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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New Years resolution; the best time to declutter

Every year you set yourself resolutions, some you keep some you might not but if there is one resolution that should be attainable for everyone is the January de-clutter. In fact, there really is no better time to have a sort through, organize, and de-clutter than post-Christmas holidays. You and your family have no doubt accumulated an awful lot of new stuff and you need to make room for it. Don’t let your new belongings sit on top of the old ones, use this time to donate the stuff you no longer use or need and make room for your appreciately received new goodies. 

a women with a laptop sitting on the floor among many boxes

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How to start your New Year declutter

To successfully undertake a declutter you need to be organized with a plan and agenda, and you need to stick to it. Here are some ways to help you organize your decluttering.

  1. List your areas for decluttering; do not just wander aimlessly around your house opening random cupboard doors looking for inspiration. List where you want to declutter and start with the easiest area first or the area that bothers you the most.  
  2. Have a deadline; decide on a time that you want each area decluttered by and give yourself sufficient time to do the work. It could be an hour, 10 minutes a day, or a full afternoon dedicated to one space. Whatever works for you.  
  3. Develop a system; when it comes to going through all of your stuff put in place a system of what you are going to do with your items. A good place to start is by having four stations, donate/recycle, sell, trash, keep. Everything should go into one of these piles but your keep pile should be dramatically reduced. Remember if you haven’t used it in a year – donate it. 
  4. Make sure everything has a place; if you are keeping it make sure it has a place to live and it stays there without causing mess or clutter. If it doesn’t have a place then make a place that is easily accessible and close to where you use it or don’t keep it. 

Benefits of decluttering

If you still are not tempted to declutter, consider some of these benefits to help persuade you.

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety. Mess, clutter, and chaos in your home can have a negative impact on your stress and comfort levels. It can cause a sensory overload, you might feel embarrassed or stressed at the prospect of not knowing where things are.  
  2. Easier to clean and tidy. With so much less stuff in the way, it will be easier to keep your home in order and keep things clean and tidy, which will inevitably make life easier when hosting and entertaining. 
  3. Positive impact on selling your home. Having a clean, tidy,  decluttered home will make selling your home easier. If listing your home is something you are considering doing a declutter is essential as all top realtors such as https://jenjewell.ca/ will conclude. 
  4. Help to remove allergens. Dust, pet hair, and pollen can gather in all kinds of places and there is no better place than on tops of items sitting around taking up space and gathering dust. Getting rid of clutter should help to improve the airflow of your home and remove gathering dust and allergens.

If you need help with decluttering and organizing your home, purchase my online course, Create an organized home. 

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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