Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thinking of downsizing? You’re not alone. As the baby boomer generation ages many are deciding to sell their family homes and opt for smaller dwellings. Regardless of your reason for downsizing, the process can be overwhelming. 

Sorting, assessing and evaluating can be an enormous task and not one  you’d want to take on in the midst of staging, selling, and moving. If you can, begin to purge your belongings  before you plan to move. The sooner the better. It will make the process seem less arduous.  

Start with what’s easy. Oftentimes kitchen or bathroom items have the least amount of sentimental attachments. Whatever you identify as your “easy room” is where you want to begin. From that point, move room by room, sorting and evaluating your belongings. 

Keep your new space in mind while you sort through your things. Don’t just consider the square footage of your new home but imagine the lifestyle you will have when you get there. If you’re retired and have taken up hiking then you can probably part with your dress shoes and suits. 

As you downsize, you are likely to come across sentimental items that won’t fit into your new space or lifestyle. Try reaching out to family or friends who may be interested in providing those items a new home. Start divvying things up early to allow time to schedule pick ups or drop offs well in advance of your move day. 

With the right checklist and a sufficient amount of time, the process of evaluating and parting with your belongings can be very liberating. 

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WE EMPOWER YOU!

So many people approach us in every manner you can imagine. Email, Phone, FB, LinkedIn or walking up to us in a parking lot after we get out of our company vehicle. And the question they ask?

“What do you do?”

Our Answer…We Empower you. It’s not just about organizing. We take that overwhelming feeling and self doubt and, right beside you, we battle against it.

Do you walk into your home and ever feel like turning around and walking out again because there is so much “stuff” in your space?

We take the time to understand why you’re feeling this way and use our 15 years experience to bring your space back to you.

Is there a place in your home that is not being used the way you want it? A spare room that’s the “dumping ground” for everyone in the family?

To be honest…we make things right in your world. That’s what we do. We streamline, organize and bring back that smile.

Are your parents wanting to downsize and do not know where to start?

We do, we loving helping people go through all their memories and precious things they have collected and decide what to move on and what to keep.

Is the tsunami of paper coming into your home about to cause a major disaster?

Setting up systems in every part of your space so that you can maintain an organized and stress-free home. That’s what we do.

Have you just been left with an estate to clear up and have no help to do it. Are you thinking what do I do with everything, is anything worth selling, who do I get to sell their home, and the list goes on.

Estates are a challenge for the one left in charge for many reasons. Call us we will be your third party and relieve as much stress as possible. We are confident we have the answers and if not we will find out.

Can you do this yourself? Yes, quite possibly you can. Can you stay on task, not get distracted by everyday life and get the space “cleared” in a matter of hours instead of weeks? Maybe not.

Can we? Yes! Because we love our jobs and we’re good at what we do. We Empower You!

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You’re organized! Now what?

You’ve spent the past few months, maybe even up to a year, discarding, decluttering and reinventing your space. So how do you maintain this new life of order and calm?

Here are some tips that can help you maintain your newly reclaimed space.

Be mindful about what you bring into your home.

You have worked hard to make your home a place where you can relax. Be proud of that achievement. And protect it! The best way to avoid clutter is to keep it out of your home in the first place. It can be helpful to ask yourself “Does this new item support the life I am trying to make?”

Often, with the first decluttering, a realization was made about how much “stuff” was actually in your home. A commitment to live with less can often make people more mindful of what they use and allow them to appreciate the items that they decide to keep.  

Establish solid routines and habits around tidying.

In your original decluttering you should have established a “home” for every item in your home. 

There is a great rule of tidying called the “one touch” rule. After you take something out and use it, you can only touch it once. That means that it must go back where you found it. Don’t set it down! This is how items gather on counters.

Make a commitment to tidy at the end of each day. This involves putting everything back in its designated “home” and shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes. 

Develop a system for paperwork.

Paperwork is a common source of clutter in many homes. Having a routine way of managing it can be helpful. At Just In Time Solutions we follow the R.A.F.T system (Read, Act, File, Toss). A simple, effective way to quickly sort papers. **Please see previous posts on the R.A.F.T system for more details.

Whether you choose this paper system or another, it is important to sort your mail before you put it down. Every piece should be placed in a file with the above categories. 

Once your papers have found their temporary home designate a time to file them permanently. This may be daily if you own a business or weekly if you are mostly paperless with bills and mail. 

Replace your old habits with these new ones and enjoy the results. They will help you maintain the clutter-free space you worked hard to create. Enjoy! You deserve it! 

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As we all sit at home during our third and hopefully final lockdown, we are constantly face-to-face with our stuff. Most of us are tired of staring at the same wall decor, the same clothing and the same walls. And like most of us, you may be realizing that you have too much stuff. Here are some tips on minimizing some of the clutter during this seemingly endless pandemic.

  1. Work on one room at a time.
    • Choose one room in the house that you want to transform. It can be the one that you use the most (office/family room/school room). It can be one that you use the least (because of clutter or lack of function). Choose one room that will make your life easier or more enjoyable once it is transformed.
    • Picture an image of what you want your room to look like. Many rooms these days are having to pull double duty. How do you want your space to function? Does your family room need to function as an entertainment space and a home office? Is your basement now a playroom and a home gym or school? 
  2. Break things down into smaller tasks. Don’t tear apart a high traffic room without allotting the time to put it back together
    • Identify how much time you have to declutter and commit to that time. If you have time to dedicate a whole Saturday to the project then make sure that you don’t schedule anything else during that time. Treat it like a workday and let family and friends know that you are unavailable. Or enlist their help!  If you have to fit the project in between work, homeschooling, childrearing, etc. then breaking it down into a 30-60 minute job may be more realistic. Set a timer and commit to that one task. For example, one drawer or one specific item, like books.  Once you have completed your time and accomplished a smaller task you will feel motivated to do more. 
  3. A place for everything and everything in its place. 
    1. It is especially important that everything has a home when rooms have more than one function. If your family room is doubling as a home office, then all paperwork needs to be returned to a designated area in the “office” area. All home entertainment/family items need to have a place in the “family room” area. There should be no overlap between spaces. Having containers or bins for similar objects will keep items neat and organized.  Then label so everyone can find items. 

When it comes to organization the key is to take it one mess at a time.  Clutter often comes with a sense of being overwhelmed with “stuff”. But by breaking things down into manageable tasks and feeling good about completing those tasks, you are more likely to succeed. Happy organizing!

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Our vehicles tend to collect items as we go from work to home, running errands and taking the children where they need to be.   

Garbage collects, clothing, recycles, things that need to be taken somewhere and more. Although with the pandemic and the lock down your use of your vehicle may have changed depending on what you do.  However, we are still using them and sometimes they are the last thing we think about as far as cleaning and organizing. 

We have a collection of things we need in our vehicle; snacks, cushions for the dog, blankets for use with children, pets or just to protect the seat, hand sanitizer, masks, sunglasses, first aid kit and more. 

A few minutes each day or week will save you time. 

Here are a few tips to help you simplify:

  1. Clear trash regularly, just take out at the end of day and have everyone else take theirs.  I have a soft side trash receptacle in my car that just hangs on the shifter.  This is great for small items such as tissue, candy wrappers, snack wrappers and more. 
  2. Over the seat organizers are great for small children.  They hang on the back of the front seats and hold activity books, crayons, snacks etc.  Also just a small plastic bin with a lid on the seat is great. 
  3. Small items like extra hand sanitizer, masks, sunglasses, serviettes, tissue – make easily accessible but in a small zip bag so it does not fly all over.  Coins in a small container in the console for when you need them. 
  4. Make your trunk area a storage place for reusable shopping totes, blankets, first aid kit, bottled water, sports equipment – put in bins to make compartments, makes it easy for cleaning and things will not move around so much
  5. Plan to clean regularly so that the air is clear of dust, smells and odours. 

Taking care of your car not only makes it enjoyable for you to be in, but it sets a good example for your children and other people that ride in your vehicle that you take care of your valuable possession. 

Happy Organizing! 

Photo by Oziel Gu00f3mez on Pexels.com

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When I meet new people I often get the question, “Is your home really organized and clean?”. I tell people yes it is organized for me, for what makes me happy. Clean it is not always spotless, but it is liveable, but cleaning is not organizing. They do go hand in hand but they are not the same. If you were to come to my place to borrow something, chances are I could put my figure on it in a few seconds, 99% of the time.

Organizing for me is not having things folded in drawers so they look pretty when I open them, it is having things folded and put away in the same drawer all the time. It is not about having my spices in alphabetical order, it is about having them all lined up in a drawer, like with like. For example, dip mixes together, broth mixes together, hot spices together, basic herbs and spices together, etc. My kitchen counter sometimes has a few things on it that do not belong, but that only lasts a few days, not weeks. Now all that being said this does not mean that the other ways are wrong, they are just not my style. We all function differently.

Surprisingly enough when I tell people organizing has a lot to do whether you are right brain or left brain dominate they so, “Really?”. Meaning are you more creative or more linear thinking. I am more linear/logical thinking. I do not like to see my organization. Meaning I do not like clear bins, open shelving etc, I like mine labelled and behind close doors.

Home Organizing is like trying a new lifestyle diet. It takes time, it takes dedication and it takes maintenance. You can not go from a house full of clutter to a perfectly organized home overnight. It takes time, dedication and training of new habits. Just like running a marathon, you do not run 40km the first time, you start one km at a time.

Keep things simple. Do not look at the complete home. Look at one room, one cupboard, one drawer at a time. Take 30 minutes a day and start.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

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10 Tips to Keep you Organized in You Home!

1. Have a home for everything, so at the end of the day you can do the 5-minute tidy, then you can wake up to an organized home, not a home of chaos.


2. Laundry – have a spot set up near the bedrooms, because this is where most the laundry is created, with 4 hampers, Darks, Lights, Colours and Towels. This way when the hamper is full you know you have a load of laundry. Train everyone in the home to understand this, so any one can do laundry when needed.

3. Have an OUT BASKET near the door – this is for books to return, borrowed items, mending or dry cleaning – anything that has to be delivered somewhere.

4. Have a calendar of chores that need to be done each day with a name beside them. Manually or on computer. Then you will have no arguments who’s day it is to empty the dishwasher etc.

5. Make everyone aware in the home, if you put things away, keep things neat and tidy and take 10 or 15 minutes everyday to help out around the home, everything will run smoother and that will leave you all more time to do what you want to do.

6. Have a mail centre set up for incoming and outgoing papers. Use the RAFT systems. READ, ACT, FILE and TOSS. Files set up so you can quickly sort mail and papers in 5 minutes.

7. Have a filing cabinet for all important information, paid bills, insurance, bank information, children’s information – ie teams they are, events they are part of, forms and information for camps, colleges, university etc., – teach them how to keep there own papers in order and they will function better. I have a file for each child and if they are looking for something they know where to find it.

8. Keep original copies of important papers in a fire safe or safety deposit box. Also have a list of all important information and contacts for someone you trust outside the home in the case you were to die or be incapacitated that someone would have this information.

9. Do not be too hard on yourself, none of us are perfect.

10. DON’T SET IT DOWN, PUT IT AWAY!

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To be honest I’m a type of person who likes to have a routine.   But I can sway when someone comes up with a better idea of what we should be doing?  This week’s been …..shall I say like going on a hike – you go up for a bit, then you go down for a bit,  then you go up a bit more and then you may go down another hill, or you may plateau and just walk there.   I don’t know about you, but the past year has given me; and I’m sure many of you …… a lot of opportunity to think.  It can be good and it can be bad, but what I do know when we are given the opportunity to pull out the good in the past ten months, we can grow with that.  Our business has been shut down fully for 3 months and now this past month only very essential services.  I know many of you have been shut down for more than that, or you may have been laid off from your job. So we can focus on that; ……or we can choose to change and/or ‘be’ with what surrounds us.

 Yesterday morning my daughter called, we were chatting and she was telling me about her week, …. then she asked me about mine. I said,  “Well ……..let me just put it this way, I’m starting over this morning”.  She giggles and says. .. “ that’s awesome Mom, a two day week.” I said. “ yes you are right”.   So I was ready to fire through the day and work on the routine that I had in place for the day ahead.  Before 11 a.m.,  I been up and down, emotionally,  three or four times already.  Why?….. because the stuff that was coming into me was from my close outside world, so I couldn’t just turn it off.  It was emotionally draining.  Noon came and I thought, okay I got this we are just going to start over again……… didn’t work out that way, but I did plug on and I was determined to get X number of things done that needed to get done before I left the office.  I was able to accomplish it, when  my day ended I was thankful that those things got done.  Ross came home, he asked about my day ….. that was a loaded question.  So, long story short I ended my day with happiness. I had yoga that night .  I go into my spare room that I have set up for my yoga, turn on my blanket, light the candles, open up the laptop for Zoom, the next hour unfolded and I was thankful that I had done my yoga, and I was thankful that Ross encouraged me to do it.  We can all live in a state of frustration, anger, or paralyzation, ….. all of those would be very simple to do right now.

BUT INSTEAD ………I would like to offer to you something different.

These past months have given me an opportunity to grow a part of my business that I have been aiming to do.  So here it is  February 1st — I now  have a membership available to people to sign into and they will enjoy the benefits of my blog, my tips, my courses etc., and much more to come that I’ve been learning over the past 19 years.

Please join our New Service for you- click on FOLLOW! And Join us on Facebook and Instagram .  Just sign in and click the links below. 

Start Bringing your Chaos to your Calm!

https://www.facebook.com/JITSolutions

https://www.instagram.com/chaostocalm/

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April is a fantastic month.  My amazing daughter was born on the 23rd.  My wonderful sister was born on the 17th.  My parents were married on the 20th.  As well as, my mother-in-law and many great friends were born in this month.  April is a month of new birth and growth.

What are you going to plant?  What are you going to weed out so new growth can come in? What are you going to eliminate so you can be more at peace and relaxed?

April is always a great time to help your children go through their toys, books, clothes and other belongings.  Decide what they did not use, wear or need for the past winter months.   Help them see that when they purge their surroundings it is easier for them to find the toy or book they want.  It is also a great thing to give to others who do not have as much as you.  Help them take the belongings to the women’s shelter, the Salvaltion Army, or charity of your choice.  No matter what the age everyone can use a little help with this and it gives you an opportunity to spend time with them and catch up.

People talk about “Living with Less”, “Get rid of Clutter”, “Downsize” etc. Let’s put a positive spin on this – Let’s “Live Real!”  Live your life with you, your family, your friends, enjoy the people around you. Stuff just gives us things to clean up, to put away, to spend money on and to store.  People give us life experiences. 

Take a honest look around your home.  Look at everything in your home and think of what value it has to you, what it reminds you of and what emotion it creates for you.  If it is a negative response, remove it so someone else can enjoy. 

Now it is time to enjoy Spring!!

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Spring is coming, and so is patio weather.   This is the time to get all your closets, storage areas, kitchen and bathrooms purged and organized so you can head to the patio in the nice weather. 

Often this time of year we talk about going through your closets, but this year I am going to talk about the kitchen.  I find it is one room that gets neglected, but is normally the most used room. 

Do you live in fear of something falling on your head

 when you open your cupboards?

 Do you find yourself having to take out half the shelf and stuffing everything back in every single time you need something?

When was the last time you pulled everything out of your kitchen cupboards to see what you a really have?

 YES, I said EVERYTHING!

  1. Pull out all your dry goods. Those that are expired, throw out; those you will never use; take to the food bank.  Spices have different shelf life, if unsure, pale in colour or poor aroma likely means old and should be discarded.
  2. Pull out all your cooking utensils, graters, knives etc, group them according to wood spoons, spatulas, knives etc.   Those items you don’t use, or don’t like to use, move them on to someone that will. 
  3. Small appliances – broken, get rid of – never use, move on to donation – those seldom used, but enjoy using, store in cupboard that is difficult to use – the rest need to all go together in the same cupboard for easy access.  FYI counter tops are for preparing food, not storing items. 
  4. Lastly, cookware.  It baffles me why someone would need 6 or 7 frying pans, but I always get a good story as to why they need them.  I have a small and a large.  I have one set of pots, not 2 or 3.  
  5. Small storage bins, drawer organizer, grip liner for drawers, glass or Tupperware to store dry goods – all great things to help you organize your kitchen.   When a cupboard is wasting space – add another shelf. 

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