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Owner of Organize My Space Calgary. A Trained Professional Organizer passionate about helping you become free from clutter and disorganization both at work and at home.

Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season by Organize My Space Calgary
Jun 01

Keeping Your Home Organized

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Resources , Organizing Tips

Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season

Have you decided this is your year to declutter the garage, the pantry and all of your closets? Good for you! 

Getting your home to an organizational level that works for you and your family is well worth the investment of your time, dollars and energy.

The benefits of getting rid of your clutter are numerous and life changing. You will have more time, find things fasters and spend less time lost looking for stuff. You will save money by not buying duplicates of items you can’t find.

You might even make some money by selling or consigning your no longer useful items. The peace of mind and reduced stress that decluttering and organizing brings is a game changer for your life.

Decluttering and organizing does takes planning, determination and commitment to see your home transformed. By arranging your families organizing projects by the seasons, the likelihood of completing all of your plans over time improves.

Finally Organized

The first and most important step when organizing any area is to minimize. Ask yourself what adds value to your life compared to what you don’t want, need or use. Once items are reduced, it is much easier to organize and arrange what’s left.

The second key to ultra-functional spaces is to keep like with like and knowing where everything is. Keep your daily essential items close at hand. Store away items you don’t need or use every day.

You can start organizing in any of your home however, we suggest you start with the easiest areas or projects first. Donate, consign & trash what you know can live without.

Another strategy is to start with the space that causes you the most frustration. When you get these quick wins under your belt, you will be super excited and motivated to keep going.

How Long Does It Take To Get Organized?

There are quite a few different factors to consider when determining how long each room or area will take to get organized. Some of these reasons are:

  • The size and layout of your home.
  • How long you have lived in your home.
  • The shopping habits of you and your family.
  • How much visible and hidden clutter there is.
  • Is anyone in the home is chronically disorganized or has a hard time letting go?
  • If someone in your home is a collector.
  • If everyone in the family is motivated and willing to declutter and get organized.
  • Decision making speed when decluttering.
  • Whether you get outside help from friends, family or a professional organizer.

Decluttering Principles

  • Keep only the belongings that are relevant to your life today & define your current vision.
  • Let go of items that point to your past or parts of yourself that you want to change.
  • Only hold onto things that make your heart sing and bring you joy.
  • Release objects that make you feel sad, guilty or unhappy with yourself or others.

Storage Principles

  • Items that are used more often should be stored within easy reach, preferably at eye level.
  • Things that are used infrequently and heavy should be stored below the waist.
  • Stuff seldom used and lighter should be stored above the head.

Basic Steps Of Organizing

  1. Remove everything
  2. Organize – put like with like
  3. Edit/declutter
  4. Clean space & keep items
  5. Containerize & label
  6. Return everything – put items where you use them

Getting Unstuck When Organizing

If you are stuck on whether to keep or get rid of an item, ask yourself these 7 questions (hint – if you say “No” to one, some or all of these questions, considering getting rid of it). The more of these decisions you make, the easier it gets:

  1. Have I used this in the last year?
  2. Will I use it in the next year?
  1. Would I buy this item again today?
  2. If it’s broken is it worth fixing or will I spare the time & money to fix it?
  3. Is it easily replaced or borrowed if I need it again?
  4. Would I keep it if I moved?
  5. Do I have a duplicate of this item in better shape?

If you are still agonizing over an item, put it in a box with a sticky note with an expiration date on it for a few months from now. If you don’t reach for the item in that time frame, remove it from your home.

Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season

You can start your home organizing journey any time of the year.

We suggest starting in the spring as this is typically the time of year you are more energized for a fresh start. The months of March, April and May are when we begin thinking of clearing out the dust and dreariness from the long, cold winter months.

There is excitement that winter is over and for the promise of summer ahead. So, take advantage of the burst of get-up-and-go that spring brings to kick start your organizing projects.

Now You Can Keep Your Home Organized Through Every Season!

We have prepared for you a comprehensive and easy to use FREE resource guide to help you organize your home through every season. Our Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season guide includes:

  • Ready to go checklists so you can easily transform cluttered spaces in a weekend.
  • Easy to use checklists for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter so you never have to guess where to start.
  • Expert Tips that will have your friends begging you to tell them why your house looks so amazing.
  • Love living in your home again!

Get Started Right Away Transforming Your Spaces!

Please accept this limited time offered gift to help you get and stay organized through every season.

Click on this link to receive your FREE copy of our resource guide Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season as our gift to you!

Why Would You Give This Away For Free?

I get asked this question all the time. When you claim your copy of this amazing resource book, you will too.

I created this because I am on a mission to help people like you find your freedom through organized spaces. I know this resource will be exactly what some people will need to finally get and stay organized.

By gifting this incredible resource to you, it's my way of starting our relationship together on the right foot. I want to earn your trust so that I can help you find your freedom to live your life.

If you have a second, I'd love to know

Why did you request Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season?

What can we do to help you get more organized right now?

Just leave a comment below and I will reply back to you within 24 hours.

Don't forget to download your FREE copy of our resource guide Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Organizing Strategies for Kids
May 26

Organizing Strategies for Kids

By Noreen Music | Organizing Tips

Organizing Strategies for Kids

It is important to involve your kids in organizing strategies that involve their spaces.

When kids are involved in their “clean your room” projects they will better understand organizing logic and maintain their clean and organized spaces.

The age and stage of development of your child will influence their ability to understand these concepts and help with the organizing projects you want to tackle. You know your child best so tailor this advice to what suits your family and your child’s individual needs and preferences.

Pre-school and early school-age children are more than capable of starting to work with you on basic organizing principles.

When you get your child involved in getting and staying organized early on, you teach them valuable life-long skills that will set them up for success into adulthood.

First Steps

Help your child focus on what areas, spaces or systems need improvement by asking them:

  • What’s working for you?
  • What frustrates you?
  • What do you want to improve or change?

Once you identify the areas and changes that you and your child want to make, help them get to the root cause of the problem to come up with the best organizing solutions. 

Keep in mind that your priorities may differ from your children so try to create win/win solutions. 

Talk to your child about why getting organized is important. Focus their attention on the positives like what they are keeping as opposed to what they are letting go of.

Remind them that what they giveaway will go to a less fortunate child.

You may even want to consider having a garage sale and they get to keep the money from selling their stuff!

Create a simple action plan together. Plan time to work on these projects together in blocks of time dependant on their individual attention span. 

It may take longer to work with your child and complete everything rather than doing it while they are out of the house or sleeping, but it will pay off big time in the long run.

Teaching a child

Organizing Ideas

Hooks

Hooks are a child’s best friend. Use hooks for hats and coats at the backdoor, for clothes or PJ’s in their room and closet, for towels and their bathrobe in the bathroom, and so on.

Closets

Take the doors off their closet. For a small child, opening a closet door can be a challenge and it poses a barrier. If you want them to help put away their own clothes and get dressed with little to no help, having fewer barriers helps.

Lower the clothing rod. Again if your child has a hard time reaching their clothes, they are less likely to put their clothes away and to pick out an outfit to wear without your help.

Keep a basket in their closet for clothes that no longer fit and when it fills up, send it off to donation.

Put a few outfits together that they love. Not only will this help with saving time getting ready in the morning, but it reduces arguments as they have already chosen a few of their favourite outfits in advance.

Bins & Containers

Use clear bins with no lids. Kids need to be able to see exactly what goes where and what they have.

A lid is also another barrier that will ensure when it’s time to clean up, the toys don’t go back where they belong.

Easy access for your child is the whole point. Make it easy for them to put things away.

Picture labels (age dependant) are best. Get creative with pictures and colors to help your child know exactly where things go.

Organize from the bottom up - frequently used items should be kept on lower shelves or drawers.

Rolling carts are a great way of storing craft supplies.

Over the door closet organizers work wonders for shoes and toys.

Kids Organizing Strategies

Create Zones

Consider your child’s interests, abilities, and needs. Is it drawing, reading, music, puzzles, fort making, homework, etc.?

Talk with them about how all of their stuff should have a home. This will keep things tidy as they know where everything goes and makes clean up time a breeze.

When zones are established, this is a visual cue for your child and each zone is the ideal place to store items that will be used in that area.

The zones become the natural home for things to be found and where it goes when it’s time to put it away.

Zones also help to reduce distractions so your child can focus on one activity at a time and everything they need is right there.

Keep toys in certain areas of the house like your child’s room, a designated playroom, the backyard, or the family room.

Create “toy free zones” like the kitchen, dining room and your bedroom to contain the toy clutter from taking over the entire house.

Kids Zones

Quality Over Quantity

Children do better with less - they are far more creative and less overwhelmed when they have fewer choices.

Ask extended family members to respect limits on excessive gift-giving.

Consider buying experiences instead of stuff such as zoo or science centre passes, movie or kids theatre tickets, or a “date” to their favourite restaurant.

These memories and time together as a family are far more precious than the cheap, plastic toys they hardly play with.

When it’s your child's birthday or Christmas time, tuck away at least half (or more!) of the gifts they receive and bring them out one by one over the year.

Declutter toys and clothes that they have grown out of at least once or twice every year. I suggest you get in the habit of doing this with the change of seasons.

This will help them develop the skill and habit of letting go and they won’t end up with an overwhelming amount of toys and ill-fitting clothes.

Quality Over Quantity

Time Management

Time management is a powerful mental talent that your child can learn to know what’s important and when to do it.

Teaching your child to use their time effectively is a key foundational skill that will boost their success in school and in life.

When they finish their homework as soon as they get home from school or do their chores every Saturday morning before going outside or watching TV, they are learning precious time management skills.

Help your child to categorize their priorities into 3 groups. #1 priorities are essential and should be done first. #2 priorities are not critical and can be done when there is time. #3 priorities are optional.

Use a calendar to block all activities and reminders, homework time, chores, etc.

Decide how much time each task will take and when they will have the energy needed to get it done.

For instance, a big school project probably shouldn’t be done the Sunday night before it’s due and chores should be done before soccer practice not after.

Building-in flexibility, downtime and family time into your routines is essential.

Over-scheduling leaves no time to chill and have fun which can lead to exhausted and cranky kids.

When unforeseen obstacles aren’t allowed for in your kids schedule this can derail important plans and must do's.

Time to rest and spending time together is vital for each family member and will strengthen your family bonds.

Time Management for Kids

Family Command Centre

Check out this post for more information on how to set up a Family Command Centre.

https://organizemyspacecalgary.com/organize-your-familys-paper-clutter/

Safety

Safety for children is paramount.

Injuries can happen when you’re not paying attention, if your child is eager to help but they haven’t learned the skill, they don’t have the dexterity yet, your child is somewhere unfamiliar or if they are tired or hungry.

Always make sure there is nothing within reach that could harm them such as harmful cleaning chemicals, furniture that could topple, small items they can choke on, or sharp objects.

Keep cords out of reach, never place cribs, beds, playpens, or other furniture near a window where a cord is easily accessible, properly affix all furniture or larger items on shelves to prevent them from falling on the child.

For more information on safety around the house click on this link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/safety-around-house.html

Kids Safety

Evaluate the Outcome

Any organizing plan once implemented needs to be reviewed to make sure it is effective. 

Keep in mind that your child’s organizing needs will evolve over time as they grow and change.

Regularly monitor and maintain your child’s organizing efforts and systems to keep things working for them.

Additional Resources

If you have challenges getting your family organized, here is our blog "5 Secrets to Organize Clutter When Your Family Doesn’t Agree".

https://organizemyspacecalgary.com/5-secrets-to-organize-clutter-when-your-family-doesnt-agree/

Need More Help?

Contact us by using the comment box below and we will respond back to you within 48 hours.

We are always here to help you and your child enjoy the freedom of organized spaces.

Cute Little Girl

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Don't Expect Progress Without An Organizing Plan
May 26

Don’t Expect Progress Without An Organizing Plan

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays , Organizing Tips

Do you struggle with clutter and disorganization?

Are you frustrated by not getting things done? 

Is it overwhelming to think about creating an organizing plan?

Have you always wanted to make progress on clearing your clutter?

You need an organizing plan.

Don't Expect Progress Without An Organizing Plan

Decluttering and organizing takes planning, determination, and commitment to see your home transformed.

Don't expect progress without an organizing plan.

When you make the decision to eliminate the clutter and disorganization that frustrates and overwhelms you, upfront thought and planning are key to transform your space once and for all.

By creating an organizing plan, the likelihood of making progress and completing all of your projects over time improves.

Elements of An Organizing Plan

Step One: COMMIT

Commit to do something about it – this is an important first step.

Remember to take before and after photos to keep track of your progress and to keep you motivated!

Step Two: GOALS

Think about your goals and how you want your spaces to look and feel as you move about in your home.

Plan your spaces to serve you and how you want to live.

Come back to your organizing plan if your motivation wavers and you need a little push to keep going.

Step Three: DECIDE

Decide in advance where you want your unwanted items to go.

There are a lot of options for donation, online selling, consignment, or landfill (as a last resort).

We have done most of the research for you here on our DIY resources page.

Step Four: START IN ONE AREA

Start small.

Begin with a manageable project such as your junk drawer, linen closet or bookshelf.

Or you can start with your top 3 most important areas to declutter and rank the rest of your rooms or areas from highest to lowest.

You can rank whole rooms or areas within rooms to break it down in more manageable chunks.

Step Five: TOOLS

Ensure you have what you need to start.

Items such as boxes (donate/sell/keep/doesn’t belong), garbage bags for trash & recycling, and cleaning supplies.

Step Six: GET HELP

Ask a friend or family member to help or hire a professional organizer.

Step Seven: BOOK TIME

Book 2-3-hour blocks of time in your calendar when you typically have the most energy to ensure you stay on track and accomplish the projects you want done.

Even 20-30 minutes each time will go a long way over time.

Step Eight: REDUCE DISTRACTIONS

Reduce distractions – get a babysitter, put the dog in another room, turn off your phone/TV, make sure no one is dropping by.

Music to get you pumped up is totally okay though!

Step Ten: CELEBRATE

Celebrate your hard work on your decluttering journey and enjoy the freedom of living with less!

Once you have completed your organizing projects, it is important to assess and evaluate how your new organizational systems are working for you based on your original organizing plan.

Tweak if need be.

We Are Here to Help

Do you need more help from a Professional Organizer to create a unique organizing plan for you? Use the comment box below to connect with me.

As an organizing expert I help clients through the organizing process with an expertly prepared plan. I will share with you all of my insider tips and tools so you can become free from the clutter and disorganization that causes you stress.

Need more inspiration? Check out our posts on 7 Tips to Conquer Your Clutter and How to Organize Any S.P.A.C.E.

We are here to help you find renewed freedom and passion in your life.

All you need is an organizing plan to make progress!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

5 Secrets to Organize Clutter When Your Family Doesn't Agree
May 05

5 Secrets to Organize Clutter When Your Family Doesn’t Agree

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays , Organizing Tips

5 Secrets to Organize Clutter When Your Family Doesn’t Agree

Every Family is Dynamic and Diverse

Does your family disagree on how much clutter is too much? Do you have a hard time organizing the clutter in your home so it works for everyone?

Your family is dynamic and different from every other family. The various strengths, challenges, and personalities within your family make it unique. You are a family unit and yet at the same time you are different from each other.

Those differences bring a diversity of perspectives into your home and can make organizing your clutter a challenge.

It may be that you and your family don’t agree on how clutter should be organized. I get it. My family and I don’t always agree either, although I’m usually the one who’s right. I am the Professional Organizer after all, right?! Ugh wrong.

We each have various needs and different ideas about how much clutter is acceptable and what we are comfortable with.

You may like things tucked away out of sight while your kids need clear, open bins to see where everything goes. Your spouse might like to display his prized beer mug collection and you, well, not so much.

We all land somewhere on the clutter scale. Being at one end or the other or somewhere in between isn't right or wrong, it just is what it is.

Different Learning Styles

Another factor that can play into disagreements around how to organize your families clutter stems from the fact that we all learn differently.

There are kinaesthetic, tactile, visual, and auditory learners.

When putting an organizational system in place, take these learning styles into account so that the end result works for everyone.

The same organizing system may work quite well for each family member but different cues are needed to make it effective for each person.

For example, the visual learner needs to see a bill to be reminded to pay it and does well with charts. A person who learns best by hearing may need a calendar ding or a voice recording reminder.

5 Secrets to Organize Clutter When Your Family Doesn’t Agree

Secret One

Understand yourself and who you are living with.

What type of learner are you? How about your kids or spouse? 

Find creative ways to compromise with each other when setting up organizational systems.

You will actually be less frustrated because your family will embrace the new system if their needs are respected as well as your own.

A win/win is always better than a win/loss and your clutter gets organized!

Secret Two

Get everyone involved. This is critical.

Agree together what your greatest areas of concern are when it comes to how your home functions and talk about what each family members priorities are. 

When your family discusses and plans your organizing projects together, you will have more buy-in and help to get it done.

Establish a plan with a budget in mind and schedule the time to work on organizing projects together.

It is always better to encourage "skin in the game" than forcing your ideas, or doing it all by yourself, and then getting frustrated when clutter returns and things don’t stay organized.

Secret Three

Don’t be too quick to say no to an idea.

If one of your family has what they think is a great idea and they are excited to implement it, why not try it? 

Be sensitive to the needs of others. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work well and you have to tweak it later. The best thing that can happen is that it might be really awesome!

Secret Four

Let go of perfect or “it’s not good enough”.

Trust me, very few homes or organizing systems are perfect. You don’t live in an Ikea catalog and neither do your neighbors! 

Comparison and perfectionism are real joy killers.

Surround yourself with colors, accessories, and stuff that you LOVE. It doesn’t have to match or go perfectly together. It doesn’t have to be the latest organizing product from Bed, Bath & Beyond. ​

Repurpose and use what you already have on hand as long as you need it, use it, love it and it does the job for your family.

For instance, one of my all-time favorite desk drawer organizers is the white box that your iPhone comes in. Really, try it and you'll see what I mean.

Secret Five

Keep your organizing strategies simple and functional. Don’t over complicate your organizing efforts.

The simpler your family systems are, the more likely you will all stick with it over the long haul and stay organized over time.

Overcomplicating the end result will only lead to frustration and disorganization. 

Organizing Your Families Clutter With Diversity in Mind

Organizing clutter with each of your families diverse needs in mind will bring mental and emotional well being to you and your family, not to mention a better functioning home so you can have more fun and downtime together.

If the clutter in your home is leaning more towards a chronically disorganized state, it might be best to work with a professional organizer who can help with understanding why you accumulate stuff, provide you with effective strategies for letting go and teach you how to stay organized.

We Are Here to Help

If you have a question, fill out the comment box below and I will get back to you within 48 hours.

You may find this blog post about organizing your families paper clutter helpful as paper is one of the biggest challenges we see families deal with.

Another post that will help you conquer your clutter is our 7 tips to conquer  your clutter.

Take good care and if you need us, we are here to help.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Virtual Organizing Services
May 01

Virtual Organizing Services

By Noreen Music | Virtual Organizing

We're Here to Help You Get Organized, Virtually

What is virtual organizing?

Virtual organizing is similar to traditional hands on organizing but instead of meeting face to face, we work together virtually.

We use various forms of technology (video/video calls, phone, email, file sharing, etc.) to provide you with guidance, ideas and support in short sessions versus physically being in your space and working hands on. 

You get the same end result of enjoying organized spaces and increased productivity as if the professional organizer was in your home!

What spaces can be organized virtually?

Any space can be organized virtually! Kitchens, closets, home offices, etc. can all be done using this time saving and cost effective method.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of virtual organizing are:

  • Time saving
  • Cost effective
  • Convenient
  • Flexible

Saves time as you are not committing to full on site/in-home sessions which are generally a minimum of 3 hours. 

If you are budget conscious, virtual organizing saves you money as you still get a professional organizers expert advise and guidance but you do the hands on work.

It is more convenient as the organizing is done within your time frame, at your own pace and hey, you can even do it in your PJs!

There is more flexibility with when and how often the sessions can occur versus in-home hands on sessions. You don't have to block out and entire 1/2 or full day for an organizing appointment.

Who is the ideal client for virtual organizing? 

  • If you are an avid self starter or DIYer.
  • If you are comfortable with various forms of technology and have access to reliable internet/WiFi service.
  • If you are very motivated to transform your space.
  • If you can stick to the goals you set for yourself and are good at follow through.
  • If you have friends or family willing to help.
  • If you are physically able to complete the hands on work and lifting by yourself.
  • If you're tired of not seeing the organizing results you want on your own.
  • If you are short on time and have a tight budget.
  • If you have always wanted to work with a professional organizer.
  • If you want to learn organizing techniques and keep going on other organizing projects.

Are there any downsides?

  • If you struggle with staying on track and completing tasks on your own.
  • If you get easily distracted, frustrated or overwhelmed.
  • If you have mobility challenges and need physical assistance.
  • If you need the physical presence of an organizer for better focus.
  • If you don't have the technology needed or you are not tech savvy.

How does virtual organizing work?

We briefly chat over the phone to make sure we can offer you the solution you need.

We meet virtually (over Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or FaceTime, telephone - whatever works best for you) for a complimentary, no-obligation in-home assessment and tour of the space(s) you want organized.

If you think virtual organizing will work for your project, you choose the package that best suits your unique needs.

We book your first virtual organizing session where we get right into your vision and goals for your space, what frustrates you, how your space needs to function, your habits/routines and what tools, resources or products you already have or need.

We will prepare an organizing plan to address your specific and unique needs. We will include information on how to prepare for organizing, storage tips, additional helpful resources and organizing product recommendations.

Together we will determine your homework goals and accountability check ins all in a timeframe that fits your schedule.

Once your organizing project is complete, we will follow up with you to discuss how things are working and to help you if your new system needs tweaking or you have any questions.

Now is the time to ask....is virtual organizing right for me?

  • Are you great at DIY but you just need a bit of expert guidance to kick off your organizing project or to get it over the finish line?
  • Do you have a space that needs organizing and you need a bit more help with planning, accountability, and product recommendations to get it done?
  • Have you been looking for help to get organized but there isn't a professional organizer near you?
  • Are you someone that works well on your own and stays on track once you commit to do something?
  • Does your clutter overwhelm you and you don't know where to start or how to get it control?

If you answered "Heck YES!" to any of these questions, here are 4 easy steps to get you started down the path of organization!

4 Easy Steps to Get Started

  1. Brief 10-15 minute intake call.
  2. Complimentary, no-obligation virtual in-home space assessment.
  3. Decide which virtual organizing package works best for you.
  4. Book your first virtual organizing session!

Contact Us Today!

You have 3 options to contact us!

Option One: If you have questions about how virtual organizing can work for you, leave us a comment in the box below and we will get back to you within 48 hours.

Option Two: Go to our Home Organizing Services page and check out which virtual organizing package is right for you. Fill out the comment box on this page and we will respond back to you within 48 hours.

Option Three: If you are ready to get organizing, book your FREE, no-obligation virtual in-home space assessment here!

You are only a virtual organizing session away from being a Freedom Flyer!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

How to Re-Design Your Home on a Limited Budget
Apr 26

How to Re-Design Your Home on a Limited Budget

By Noreen Music | Uncategorized

Guest Post written by Manuela Oddone, Interior Designer, D.I.D, Owner of Perspective Interiors.

How to Re-Design Your Home on a Limited Budget

Have you been spending a lot of time these days looking at the spaces in your home wondering what you could do to improve them? 

While resources or a limited budget may pose barriers to the solution, let's get back to the basics!

We all have fabulous visions of what we would love our intimate personal spaces within our homes to look like, but realistically how close to your vision can you attain this creation without spending a fortune?

Well with just a few simple tricks & tips from a professional, you can achieve your vision.

Here are a few easy steps to follow to transform your space.

Step One

Begin with the space you are most eager to change & where you spend the greatest deal of time in. 

Does it have too many pieces of furniture or accessories that could be scaled back?

Can you re-arrange them in this space achieving a better function by simplifying the flow of traffic?

Determine your focal point in the room and work on designing around that.

Step Two

Consider a color refresh to your space!

Introduce a new paint finish to re-invigorate the space you need to address, or perhaps it is a new feature wall that needs a burst of accent to a room.

The color palette you have can often extend with additional complimentary colors to it.

Keep in mind to vary colors & textures.

Step Three

Have you ever taken note of the lighting in a room?

Perhaps it’s time to improve it with a simple addition of dimmer switches or additional light sources rather than buying new fixtures.

Mood lighting is created in many forms, so don’t be afraid to feature or experiment with several ideas in combination!

Add a reading lamp or table lamp to a nook.

Step Four

Have you ever considered how your window treatments impact your space?

Versatility in creating privacy from within a space is often a great priority to a window within a space.

Often you can achieve this without disregarding the strength of it being a feature to your space.

Leave it bare by playing on the shape.

Consider a combination of window treatments of soft drapes to bring both function & even color accenting to your space.

Step Five

Let your walls breathe!

Not every wall needs to have something hanging on it.

Consider grouping portraits, photos in a cleaner format & leave some walls bare.

Some walls just need to serve as a backdrop to simple items like greenery to allow for a more spacious appearance.

Display that ever-changing art that is in your life in different configurations.

The Final Touches

Remember to always add organic elements to a room, vary shapes, sizes & color to create that personal feel.

Add area rugs, baskets, pillows, blankets & play with storage items in a space.

You can’t make a mistake - this is your home so move things around!

If we can take note of our surroundings with the eye of a critic, we can often achieve the simplest solutions in achieving a better form & function to our spaces. 

Contact Manuela at Perspective Interiors

If you need more help with a design project, contact Manuela at @perspective90outlook.com or go to her website at Perspective Interiors

Stay safe, have fun & feel free to reach out to Manuela with any questions or comments.

A Day of Rest
Apr 19

A Day of Rest To Find Freedom

By Noreen Music | Freedom Fridays

A Day of Rest

The ancient wisdom of resting one day a week is deeply rooted in good health practices and our natural rhythms.

Science also agrees that a day of rest is imperative for your body to heal and repair itself.

You need a day of rest every week from the responsibilities of your life to renew and recharge.

Reasons You Should Rest, Renew, Recharge

Allowing yourself a day of rest to renew and recharge is one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself.

You spend your days working hard and playing hard. I encourage you to unplug hard. As intense as your effort is 6 days a week, your rest day should be just as intense.

If your body is not given the time to restore and recharge, your immune system weakens and disease can set in. So taking a day of rest actually increases your life span!

The mind also needs to shift out of overdrive to a slower pace. If not, constant stress and exhaustion becomes hard to overcome. Depression is an epidemic and part of the reason is that we are constantly on the go.

Time off from busyness and work allows you to be more creative, calm, focused and productive when you get back at it.

Spiritually speaking, when you are constantly on the move, you don't give God the time or space to care for and lead you in His purpose. What your constant action is saying is that it's completely up to you to work for everything and you don't trust God's provision for your life.

This simply is not true.

You can rest in the fact that there is enough, you don't have to do it all and you are loved no matter what you do or don't do.

You can never earn it by running faster and faster on the treadmill of life.

Resting and trusting that you are completely loved with nothing you need to do to earn that love, is powerful beyond measure.

This is your true state of being and how you were meant to live.

Two Types of Rest

There are two types of rest - active and passive.

Active rest is your typical weekend activities - watching TV/Netflix, going for a walk, grocery shopping, coffee with a friend or morning yoga.

Passive rest is doing absolutely nothing. No laundry, no golf game, no cleaning the house, no going to the gym, no social media (gulp).

Allowing Time to Rest

So let me ask you, how many days of "passive rest" do you schedule into your week?

My bet is not one.

I get it. You're busy with work, the kids, your long to-do list that doesn't end but keeps growing.

But nothing is ever really done is it? There is always dirty clothes in the laundry hamper or dishes in the sink or bills to pay and papers to file.

That's life and it will never stop.

You will rarely experience a perfect moment in time when you feel truly able to take a day off. In spite of that, are you able to let go and give yourself one day of rest a week?

I mean real rest. 

Rest that rejuvenates, restores and helps you recharge and be ready for the next ​week.

A Day of Rest

So what does a day of rest look like for you?

Maybe start the day by sleeping until you are done. Wake up naturally with no alarm and definitely no social media the minute you get up.

You could stay in bed with a mug of delicious coffee and read until you are completely lost in the story. Read until you feel sleepy and you need a nap.  Aaaaaaahhh.

Take long, slow breaths and meditate. Pray. Be grateful and thankful.

Connect with nature. Walk slowly to notice not to exercise. Really feel the sun on your face, admire how blue the sky is and appreciate the sounds of the little creatures all around you.

Paint outside of the lines. Write without thinking about what you are writing. Sing out loud to your favourite song.

Honour the Sabbath and keep it Holy.

How Can I Help?

Is there chaos and clutter in your life preventing you from experiencing the freedom to take a day of rest?

I want to help you get to a place where you feel you can take one day a week to rest and not feel guilty or stressed or overwhelmed about it.

Leave a comment below and I will get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Let me help you find the freedom to live your life...well rested.

Here are a couple of additional articles you might find interesting.

Share Kind Thoughts or Appreciation With Others

Mindfulness Reminders

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Ask a Professional Organizer
Apr 13

Ask a Professional Organizer

By Noreen Music | Ask a Professional Organizer Series

We asked Professional Organizers this question...

What is the one morning or evening routine that keeps you the most organized?

Welcome to our first Ask a Professional Organizer blog post where we answer what one morning or evening routine we have as professional organizers that keeps us organized.

Each of our contributors are highly skilled trained Professional Organizers who offer a variety of residential and corporate organizing services in Calgary, Cochrane, Canmore, Airdrie & Mountain View County. Thank you to each of our organizing experts for your participation!


We plan to make this a regular series so keep your eye out for future posts as we answer your most popular and burning organizing questions.

Why are routines important?

When you think about your daily routines, these are your small everyday habits that take you closer to your bigger goals and underline what's most important to you.

Based on what is essential to you, routines can be established to keep your home clean and organized, increase your productivity or improve your overall health and well-being.

Healthy and positive daily routines are the incremental steps that move you closer to your aspirations.

Bad habits should be eliminated and replaced with good routines if you are not seeing the results or experiencing the quality of life you desire.

Setting up your daily routines to experience health, organization, improved relationships, cleanliness and professional success occur not by big events but by the little things you choose to do every single day.

Simple daily routines help you cope with the ongoing onslaught of decisions that you face every day. It can sound counter-intuitive, but routines actually help you manage stress and experience less anxiety as you are more in control.

A word of caution...when taken to the extreme, routines can feel like a prison for some people. Routines and rhythms work best when they flow naturally, are not forced and they reinforce your vision for your life.

Each person and family are different so do what works best for you!
 "I honestly don’t have a routine in the morning besides coffee and getting ready for work. My evening routine though is busy with kitchen cleanup, work bags, lunch ready, review of the next day's tasks, catch up on a 15 min "Oz-job" I call them and then bed." - Collette Ozwald, Professional Organizer, Organizing by Oz

How to Start a Routine

Decide what your bigger goal is and then work backwards.

Maybe you want to keep your home tidier, not be so rushed and chaotic in the morning or enjoy more evenings relaxing and having fun with your family.

Start with breaking your big goal into small, realistic daily goals.

Write down your new routine. Put it in your calendar. Commit to it.

Be consistent every day.

Track your progress until your new routine is an engrained habit (usually a good 90 days).

Celebrate your success!


"I have both a morning and evening routine that I do every day. I make my bed every morning and I make sure the kitchen is tidied every night. Both these things make me feel calm and organized. There is nothing better than seeing a made bed when you walk into the bedroom and walking into a tidy kitchen in the morning!" - Debbie White, Professional Organizer, Orderly Outcomes Consulting

An Organized Day Starts the Night Before

Think about your current evening routines - what can you do the night before to make your next day as organized as possible?

Here are some suggested evening routines:

  • Deal with paperwork and mail on a daily basis.
  • Hang clothes up or put them in the laundry hamper as soon as you change out of your work clothes.
  • Set clothes/accessories out for the next day.
  • Tidy up at the end of the day - fold the living room blankets, do the dinner dishes, have the kids put their toys away.
  • Fold and put laundry away immediately after it comes out of the dryer.
  • Set up coffee/tea for the morning.
  • Prepare a healthy lunch/snack when making dinner.
  • Read/journal/meditate/take a bath or shower.
  • Go to bed on time (or early).

Evening routines set up your next day to be more organized and prepared, so you are ready to start fresh in the morning.

"My one evening routine that keeps me organized is: I never go to bed without clear counters. It doesn't matter if I get home late, I will quickly load the dishwasher, clear and wipe counters before I go to bed. It allows me to wake up to a blank slate and get a head start on the next day! Not to mention has a huge impact on my mental health." - Margi Regehr, Professional Organizer, FreeSpace Organizing

Suggested Morning Routines

Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day.

You are more in control of your schedule and your time. Your productivity increases and you are less distracted. You aren't picking up after yourself later in the day.

Establish regular morning routines to keep your home clutter and stress-free. Here are a number of our suggested morning routines to make it a great day!

  • Wake up on time (or early).
  • Meditate or pray.
  • Build in movement like stretching or yoga.
  • Make your bed every morning.
  • Put wet towel on a hook or towel rack to dry after shower/bath.
  • Put toiletries & make up away after getting ready.
  • Don’t leave the hair dryer on the counter.
  • Review your to-do list and calendar so you know what is important to accomplish today.

As you start each day fresh, you can focus on what's important and ultimately keep your home and family more organized.


"My morning routine is NO PHONE until I have made my bed, meditated, exercised and showered. Then I review my goals & tasks, plan my day and block my calendar. Evening habits consist of tidying the house after dinner, processing emails and on a good night, reading in bed with a cup of tea!" - Noreen Music, Professional Organizer, Organize My Space Calgary

Daily rhythms and routines will help to ensure all of your efforts to declutter and organize do not unravel and that you are living your best life.

We encourage you to make easy, workable routines and systems for your mornings and evenings.

The quality of your habits is the quality of your life!

Thank You to Our Contributors!

OrganizingByOz


Collette Oswald,
Professional Organizer
Organizing By Oz
hello@organizingbyoz.com
(403) 815-5598

OrderlyOutcomes


Debbie White,
Professional Organizer
Orderly Outcomes Consulting
orderlyoutcomesconsulting@gmail.com

(403) 819-0995

FreeSpace


Margi Regehr,
Professional Organizer
FreeSpace Professional Organizing
margi@regehr.ca

(403) 899-0929

Organize My Space Calgary Logo


Noreen Music,
Professional Organizer
Organize My Space Calgary
​info@organizemyspacecalgary.com

(587) 889-7198

Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) Association

There is a National Association called Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) that represents professional organizers across the country.

POC provides a supportive environment for members to share ideas, network and exchange referrals.

POC's Mission and Vision: Providing Visibility, Credibility, and Connection.

POC Members: POC members are organizing professionals from all sectors of the industry, including residential and office organizers, time management and goal setting professionals, estate organizing experts and many, many more.

POC Reach: POC currently represents over 600 members in more than 14 chapters across Canada.

We are proud members of the Professional Organizers In Canada (POC) Association and are active participants in the POC Calgary Chapter.

If you have a question for our next Ask a Professional Organizer blog post, please submit it by leaving your question below.

We love to hear from you!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Extended Family Offers Pandemic Help
Apr 11

Extended Family Offers Pandemic Help

By Noreen Music | Giving Back

We are helping to flatten the curve by keeping you safe at home while we pick up & deliver your grocery order.

As the length of time mandated to social distance to minimize the spread of COVID-19 continues, there will come a point where you need to restock on essential grocery items. 

Extended Family was created to ensure that our most vulnerable NW community members can access help from willing volunteers to pick up & deliver groceries so that they can stay safe at home.

We are a group of caring volunteers extending our helping hands to pick up and deliver your grocery order.

Extended Family was created with the support of wonderful volunteers in your neighbourhood. We are a not-for-profit group of caring people who want to help those in need in the NW quadrant in the City of Calgary during this unprecedented time.

We believe we are stronger together and we are here for you in your time of need.

To make a grocery pick up & delivery request or for more information, please reach out to us at: calgaryextendedfamily@gmail.com or call us at (403) 277-0104 or go to our website at www.extendedfamilyca.org.

How It Works

STEP 1

Fill out a short delivery request form on the Extended Family website and tell us who you are, where you are located and the details of your grocery pick up order.

STEP 2

After submitting your request, a volunteer will be in touch with you to confirm your grocery pick up order & delivery details.

STEP 3

You will be prompted when your order is delivered at your doorstep.

Volunteer Information

Extended Family stands on the shoulders of compassionate volunteers who are committed to support at risk seniors and those in self isolation in NW Calgary during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you are interested in setting up a similar initiative in your area, please reach out to us at calgaryextendedfamily@gmail.com. We are happy to help you serve the people in your community.

We are deeply committed to help our vulnerable neighbours.

Volunteer & Recipient Safety Information

We have provided information on how we keep our volunteers and you safe. Our recipient’s and volunteer's welfare, comfort and protection is our top priority.

These are the Alberta Health Services and Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines our volunteers commit to uphold for your safety:

VOLUNTEER PICK UP & DELIVERY PROCEDURE

  • Thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands before entering and leaving the store.
  • Adhere to proper mask and glove donning & doffing practices.
  • Wipe down the handle of any grocery carts or baskets you may come in contact with during the pick up & delivery process.
  • Practice “social distancing” - avoid crowds and stay 6 feet away from other people.
  • Refrain from touching your face. 
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow. 
  • Grocery delivery will be contactless - you will have no interaction with the person you are picking up & delivering for. 
  • If delivery occurs to someone living in a high rise and there is an elevator, you will ensure there is not more than 1 extra person with you in the cab. Also, you will maintain distance with the next person as much as possible to avoid the risk of breathing on each other.
  • After the grocery delivery is made and upon returning return home, you will wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

Who Are Our Volunteers?

Israel - Founder of Extended Family, a native of Nigeria, husband, Chemical Engineer professional and Journey Church member.

Noreen - Pioneer Volunteer, Owner of Organize My Space Calgary, native Calgarian, wife, mother of 2 adult children and Journey Church member.

Jackie - University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business student and Journey Church member.

Alan - Medical student, husband, father and Journey Church member.

Kevin - Manager, outdoor enthusiast and Journey Church member.

Laura - Commercial real estate professional, wife of a Calgary Police Officer, mother of 2 adult children and fur baby Ava.

Elise - Wife, Calgarian, Registered Massage Therapist, dog mom and Journey Church Member.

Thank You For Helping Us Build This Community

This community would not exist without the tremendous help of gracious friends, far and wide.

Special thanks to Jessica and the beautiful people at Neighbor Express. The Extended Family website was put together in less than 24 hours because of their permission to adapt what they had already built.

Many thanks to the warm and wonderful leaders at Journey Church.

Thank you to the Crowfoot and Rocky Ridge Calgary Co-op stores for your support! As you help us to provide this essential service to our neighbours, we are honoured to support you.

We deeply appreciate the airtime to spread the word out to folks who need our service by Mountain Mike at 88.9 Shine FM. We love your station….all of you are AMAZING!

Thank you to Organize My Space Calgary for providing administrative, accounting and application support.

Special gratitude and thanks to our Pioneering Volunteers for stepping up in this time of need. Our community originated from the amazing family of God.

Thanks to everyone for the invaluable support as we band together to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Request a Grocery Pick Up & Delivery

If you live in the NW quadrant in the City Calgary and you need a volunteer to pick up & deliver your grocery order, please contact us by email at calgaryextendedfamily@gmail.com or call us at (403) 277-0104 or go to our website at www.extendedfamilyca.org.

If you have a friend, loved one, neighbour or anyone you may know that is in need of this service, please reach out and let them know.

We ask that you SHARE, SHARE, SHARE to get the word out about this critical service.

Stay safe and healthy friends.

We are stronger together!

Mindfulness Reminders
Apr 05

Mindfulness Reminders

By Noreen Music | Productivity , Uncategorized

Mindfulness Reminders

With all of us staying home to help flatten the curve and not get sick, it can be extremely challenging to deal with everything we are faced with.


These mindfulness reminders will help you focus on what you can do on a daily basis to stay mentally and physically healthy plus stay connected with your family and friends.

1. What Am I Grateful For Today?
Taking an approach of gratitude leads to an increase in positive thinking and you are better able to handle adversity.
 
When you look for and appreciate the good things all around you, this helps you trend upward as opposed to going on a downward spiral into the negative realm. 

Cultivating a spiritual practice of gratitude is powerful and it impacts your entire life and outlook.

There is always something to be grateful for every day even if it's that you managed to get out of bed and brush your teeth today!

Mindfulness Reminder: Gratitude
2. Who Am I Checking In Or Connecting With Today?
Checking in on the people in your life is a very tangible way of saying that you care about them enough to find out how they are doing. 

We all want to feel that we are cared for and that people think about us as they go about their day.

Especially now as there are so many of us struggling with deep emotions, fear, worry and concern over what is going on in the world. We all need a listening ear and someone to check in with us.

Take a few minutes a day to send a text, pick up the phone, set up FaceTime or write a letter!

Mindfulness Reminder: Connection

3. What Expectations of "Normal" Am I Letting Go of Today?
Nothing about what you are going through right now is normal. It feels like everything you knew about your world, the plans you had and where your life was headed has been turned upside down. 

The uncertainty is all that is certain.

While it is uncomfortable and scary to be here in this moment of time, these kinds of life altering situations can change you for the good if you allow it.

As my wonderful friend Kristine Morris from The Change Maven said on her Coffee Conversations zoom call the other morning, these are Gravity Problems and we are powerless to change them.

What you do have the power to control is how you choose to move through this experience.

You get to decide what you hold onto to and what you let go of.


Mindfulness Reminder: Letting Go
4. How Am I Getting Outside Today?
Being outdoors and getting out into nature just feels good. 

Breathing in the fresh, cool air of spring.

Seeing the signs of Mother Nature coming alive again after the long, cold winter.

Hearing the birds sing.

Seeing the beautiful, dancing shadows as the sun moves across the sky.

Getting outside is natural medicine for the body and soul so go spend some time outdoors today!

Mindfulness Reminder: Get Outside
5. How Am I Moving My Body Today?
I don't know about you, but it is easy to convince myself that I am going to take a vacation from my normal life during this self isolation and just watch hours of TV, eat way too many sweets and not move my body.

I personally need this daily reminder to kick my butt and get my body moving. And not just running up and down the stairs from my home office to the fridge or the coffee pot but actual heart pumping, muscles screaming MOVEMENT!

There are so many online options and ways to workout from home with little to no equipment and very little space.

The only excuse is the one you tell yourself (I'm speaking to myself here too) so retrain your brain and just do it!

Mindfulness Reminder: Movement
6. What Beauty Am I Creating, Cultivating or Inviting In Today?
Even in the midst of hardship and pain there is beauty. Granted, sometimes it is ugly beautiful, but beauty nonetheless.

We can choose to look for it, create it, till the hard soil, invite it in, let it grow and soak it up.

These are tough times, no doubt. I am worried about my husband's employment status. I don't want him to get sick when he's at work (for now).

But I am still choosing to focus my mind and heart on the beauty in the world around me.

There is a Bible passage that I love which speaks beautifully to this:

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Mindfulness Reminder: Beauty
If You Need More Help
If you are struggling, please reach out to the people around you. You are not alone.

If you need more help, here are some links to resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other local services:


Take Care of Yourself
This too shall pass. We are experiencing a season of global challenge and concern and we will get through it together.

The pandemic won't last forever and we will be able to slowly get back to our normal lives. 

We will learn valuable lessons during this time. Even the hardest of times brings hope and good things.

Ask yourself these mindfulness reminders every day as they will help you to focus on what's good and important right now.


I am here for you. Really, I mean it - if you need anything, I am already there. 

It's as easy as filling out the comment box below and you will get in touch with me right away.

Take good care of yourself.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

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