Double Take Organizing

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Organizing with teens

I recently had the pleasure of working with a teenage girl and her mother to get her bedroom organized before starting high school. It really was a great time to help them out because as I was going through everything with the two of them I thought about how much you change from elementary/middle school to high school. It’s amazing what a few years can do in a young girls life. I found us getting rid of all the “little girl” items like dolls, kids books, clothes that no longer fit, stuffed animals etc. and keeping things like electronics, young adult books, photos and okay, a few stuffed animals too. I didn’t begrudge her too much on those because at certain stages I think certain items are really important to you. Give it a few more years and another organizing later and she will likely think to herself, “Why did I keep those?”

Here are some before and afters of the organizing.

BEFORE

Hayley dresser

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AFTER

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REPURPOSED

We re-used the cubby from the bedroom and turned it into an entertainment centre.

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Should you have a teenager that is in need of some organizing don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy organizing!
Laura

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Are you ready? A parents guide to an organized September

If there is one thing that is going to make this September easier on the whole family it’s being organized. Whether you have kids going to school for the first time, like my little one, or you are a seasoned expert at the back to school shindig, everyone can benefit from these back to school tips.

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Lets start with lunches

Many parents hate packing lunches and the worst part is that in most schools you are very limited with what you can bring for lunch because of allergies.

In order to keep lunches organized make sure you have the right tools for your kids. When I say tools I mean, lunch box, thermos, water/juice jug, spoons, napkins and anything else that they might need to eat their meal. There are so many varieties of lunch items out there that I don’t have specific recommendations but I do promote buying local when possible.

You may have seen the “What’s 4 dinner?” board that I posted on Facebook. A “What’s 4 lunch board?” would be an easy way to keep your kids lunches straight and help you save money too.

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If any of you reading this are my clients you know that I love the fifteen minute clean up rule at the end of each day! When you have kids this is such a great way to stay on top of things. Adding lunch making time at the same time is great so that you aren’t rushing around in the morning.

Moving on to labels

For a number of the items I already mentioned labels are imperative. Labelling all your kids clothing, school supplies, lunch items etc. is a must. You can buy a number of great label packages from Loveable Labels, Mabels Labels and others. Once again, if you can buy from a local rep, that’s perfect. And if need be, if you are looking for a more affordable option, don’t hesitate to get creative with your own labels.

I can’t take credit for this wonderful money-saving idea but if you are purchasing labels, labelling with just your last name can save you money because you are not buying labels for each individual kid and if you plan on sharing the item with a sibling now or down the road you don’t have to re-label it.

What will these little people wear

I could probably go on and on in this section because organizing kids clothing is a post unto itself but a few things you can do to make the mornings easier is of course preparing outfits the night before. The days of the week clothing holders are fantastic for this. You can purchase these from a number of different sources. One place I spotted them was in a Avon catalogue but I am not sure if they are currently offering them so be sure to check with your local rep. If you are on a budget you can buy shoe organizers that hang in the closet and label them yourself. As long as there are five to seven sections in the holders you are good to go.

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If your kids are in the market for new school clothes, just a reminder to please donate last years school clothes before buying new ones!

The dreaded school supplies

Contrary to popular belief I don’t think you need to buy school supplies every year. Sure there may be a few items you need but trust me when I tell you that the average home often accumulates A VAST number of pens, pencils, crayons and other writing utensils. Before purchasing any school supplies for your children I would organize your homes office and craft areas and make sure you aren’t buying new items for no reason.

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Where will their stuff go?

A common complaint from many parents I have spoken to is the amount of papers that come home from school with their children. Field trips, pizza days, school notices etc. If you can set-up an area for each kid that has their papers, back packs, school books, coats, shoes and anything else that might be coming in and out on a daily basis you will find life so much easier. Be sure to have a to-do folder for notices that need to get handled right away and if it all possible recycle notices that are not needed. Paper is a sure way to get your home cluttered quickly.

Do a dry run

If you are already thinking about how you are going to get everyone ready and out the door, why not do a dry run? Get up one morning before school starts and do everything you would normally do to get the kid(s) ready and to school. This could even include transportation. You might be walking them to the bus stop, all the way to school or driving them. No matter which scenario you fall into rest assured, once you get there, you can breathe a sign of relief that there is still more time left before the whirlwind begins.

Ask the school what you can do in advance

If for example, there are a number of field trips, fundraisers, pizza days and other costs ask if you can pay for a whole years worth at the beginning of the year or even three or six months. So much less stressful down the road and a huge time savings in the morning when your kid suddenly remembers something they need money for.

For the ultimate in back to school organization if you want an area of your home organized please do let me know. You can visit my website for more information.

Happy organizing!

Laura


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Does the thought of getting organized stress you out? Here is some anxiety relief

Often there is panic when it comes to organizing. Anxiety is built upon believing you have to conform to a certain standard. I am here to tell you that organizing isn’t all rules. In fact, it’s more like guidelines. Here is some food for thought to help you stay organized the rest of the year with minimal stress and anxiety.

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Guideline #1

If at all possible, try to get organized every time a season changes.  Summer, fall, winter and spring are natural times for change. I recently did a presentation for a group of women with their own businesses. During the presentation I was told this tip made someone feel less anxious because you are not constantly focused on being organized 24-7.

Guideline #2

Plan ahead but don’t overdo it. Think about what you want to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Make a plan but don’t get upset if it doesn’t go exactly as you thought. I was listening to a song recently that said, “If you want to hear god laugh tell him your plans.” Taken out of a religious context the same is true. Life doesn’t always go the way we thought but sometimes the unexpected is as wonderful as the planned.

Guideline #3

Be realistic. I was recently having a conversation with another organizer who spent ten years getting organized. Little by little she has achieved a level of organization that she is happy with. You may assume that all organizers are organized but that is not the case. Many organizers used to be unorganized. Her story is an example of how challenging getting organized can be. Now, this is an extreme example but if you are looking for the quick fix, sorry to tell you, but there’s no such thing. As the famous line goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Guideline #4

If you have children, are married or are taking care of someone realize that change isn’t always easy. I don’t want to overstep as I am not a psychiatrist or a therapist but I know in my own family that it can take a lot of time and practice for children and even spouses *cough, cough* to get on board with new ways of doing things. It has been said it can take up to twenty one days to form a new habit. So don’t stress when things don’t click right away.

Guideline # 5

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is such a taboo in our society that we can be it all and do it all. Leaning on others is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. I would argue it takes a stronger person to ask for help then it does for someone to try and do everything on their own. In my own life I have begun to realize the power of working with others who have talents in certain areas. Not everyone can be good at everything.  Organizing may not be one of your gifts but it is one of mine. Don’t hesitate to reach out instead of suffering in silence.

Happy organizing!

Laura