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Important Documents. What To Keep. What To Toss.

Would you love to be paperless? Do you keep every “so called” important piece of paper?

There is so much fear around getting rid of “important” documents. Let’s unpack the myths once and for all.

Take a quick look at this video On Important Documents. What To Keep. What to Toss. Then read on for more tips from Getting It Together.

Get rid of ATM slips that are more than a month old once you have checked them against your bank statement which is hopefully online and paperless.

Get rid of manuals and warranties for cell phones you no longer own. And any other out dated expired warranties.

Get rid of loan papers to the car you no longer own.

Get rid of outdated mortgage papers.

If you’re comfortable with your computer, get rid of all user manuals as the instructions are online.

It’s okay to get rid of old Wills as long as the person is deceased and the estate is closed and complete. If you’re holding on to your deceased parents or grandparents wills “just in case” it’s okay to shred them and make room for your important papers.

It’s very important to get rid of old Wills if you have updated and written a new Will for yourself or any family members. Keeping these old outdated papers simply confuses people who are taking care of your affairs.

Get rid of old divorce papers if the person you’ve divorced is deceased and their estate is closed and complete.

Get rid of all outdated utility bills once they are paid and you’ve found no mistakes.
Better yet, go paperless.

KEEP:

Keep receipts for big -ticket purchases in the event they are stolen or lost in a fire. This gives your insurance company proof you had the item. I would highly suggest taking pictures of these big purchases and have them with the receipt. Create a file on your computer (which has been backed up) and store the picture of the item along with a picture of the receipt.

Keep active warranties. Have one spot in your home for these.
It’s especially nice to leave these up -to- date warranties for the new home owner in the event you sell your place.

Keep birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates for obvious reasons however once a person has past, a family member may like these important documents if they are studying your family tree.

Have a safe place to keep your current Will, POA, estate planning documents and representation agreement. Be sure to let your Executor know where these papers are along with where your safety deposit key is.

Keep current mortgage papers and loan papers.

Be sure to shred all important papers you are getting rid of. Staples charges by the pound to shred. It’s reasonable and secure.

PS : Have you got all your important papers up to date and organized? If not, contact

Marnie Gunther
Notary Public
604-522-8149
www.engmangunther.ca

For all the advice you need to get your Will, POA and Representation Agreement in order. I’d highly recommend her for all the legal paperwork and then I’d highly recommend myself to come in to your home and get those papers organized. 😄

Estate Planning Made Simple – Part 2, By Rowena List, Professional Organizer

My mum passed away on September 4, 2019 at Crossroads Hospice in Port Moody BC Canada. The dragonfly is their symbol. This “just breath” dragonfly is a perfect reminder of how amazing everyone was at the hospice and how important it is to breath.IMG_5595

As sad as it was to lose my mum, the overall experience was less traumatizing because she had all her ducks in a row. It certainly helped having a daughter as a professional organizer.

Check out this short video on “Estate Planning Made Simple, Part 2” then read on for Getting It Togethers Tips.

My mum had a folder that had all of her wishes in it.

Over the years we added to that folder, revised several things and took out things. We had open conversations about my mums wishes. Her service was exactly the way she wanted it. She even had the music picked out. There was no second guessing on my part.

IMG_3820Instead of a guest book, we had a memory tree. People wrote down their special memory about my mum and hung it on the tree.IMG_5594

One of the best gifts my mum has ever given me was her pre-arranged service. This allowed me to grieve while not having to make major decisions about important things like cremation versus burial. And most of it was paid for years ago. Talk about a massive savings.

She had even written her own eulogy and included a picture she wanted me to use for the obituary. I sure wish I could thank her a hundred times over for being so organized, thoughtful and prepared.

Some things to consider when writing your own eulogy are

  • Your family connections. Father and mother‘s names, including mothers maiden name, your spouse, your children, their spouses and your grandchildren. List anyone else who has been special in your life.
  • Your date and place of birth. Make sure it is spelled correctly.
  • Your education, highlights of your life to date, your hobbies, employment, volunteer activities, and any other organizations that you belong to.
  • And don’t forget to include the highlights from your life and how you would like to be remembered.

Continually add to your eulogy as time goes on. I would suggest reviewing all of this very important information once a year.

Here’s the link to part one in case you didn’t get to read it before.

http://www.gettingittogether.ca/estate-planning-made-simple/

For more detailed information and help with setting up your Estate, contact
us at www.gettingittogether.ca

By |October 21st, 2019|Articles, Blog, Estate Planning, Videos|0 Comments

What To Do With Old Paint by Rowena List, Professional Organizer

How many tins of old paint do you have sitting in your garage?

Are you saving it for touchups that never happen?

Did you know your tins of paint can be reused or recycled?

Every single home I work in has tins of old paint. Everyone has the best of intentions for keeping it. They keep it for when they might do some touchups or if they feel they’re going to repaint the whole room they will want to repaint it the same colour.

The funny thing is, that when it’s time to re-paint, most people choose a new colour even if it’s fairly close to what is already on their walls. They want a fresh look. And just like fashion, home decor has its’ trends.

So, what to do with your old paint?

In British Columbia Canada we have “Product Care Recycling.”

I would like to think similar programs run throughout most countries in the world.

There are over 200 depots throughout British Columbia that except left over household paint for recycling. Each depot accepts 10 cans of paint per person, per day, provided that the paint is residential grade, in its original container with the original labeling, and is not leaking.

Find the nearest recycling location in your province using Product Care’s find a recycling location tool.

Simply enter your location, then select the product you’d like to return, click search and browse the results.

IMG_4806

OR

If you have good quality paint in great condition you can take it to the “Paint Share Program” in Delta British Columbia.

Call 604 – 592–2972

Leftover paint is given away to non-profit and community groups as well as low income families. This paint is used to cover graffiti, painting sheds, fence posts, theatre sets and murals.

When buying paint, remember the BUD rule:

BUY no more pain than you need. Ask your retailer for help in estimating how much paint your project requires.

USE up all the paint you buy by adding an extra coat to an area which could use additional protection, or giving leftovers to a neighbour or community group. Or check your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

DISPOSE of any leftover paint safely and responsibly.

Follow these simple rules if you choose to store leftover paint..

1) Clean can rim for a good seal. Store can upside down.
2) Label paint tins with the colour and room which it was used for.
3) Store paint away from heat and moisture.
4) Keep paint out of reach from children and pets.
5) Stored paint has a shelf life of about ten years. Be sure to date your tins.

Thank you to the “Product Care Recycling Depots of British Columbia” for the following facts and information.

For more details on recycling within North America contact
www.earth911.com

PS: What other household items do you have that you are not sure what to do with? Contact us today for a free over the phone consultation.
www.gettingittogether.ca

Downsizing Made Simple by: Rowena List of Getting It Together

Are you; or someone you know getting ready to downsize?

Has the house been a museum for 30, 40, 50 years?

Are you wondering where to start?

Start by having these items on hand:

  • Boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Black marker
  • Labels
  • Industrial strength garbage bags
  • Scissors
  • Gloves (for cleaning and for areas such as the garage and crawl space)
  • Cleaning supplies

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Together’s Top 5 Tips to Downsizing Made Simple:

Tip 1: Have an action plan. If you’re a homeowner, first select the date you want to list your home. These tips work well even if you’re not selling but want to downsize the number of items you have in your current space.

The key part to this action plan is a master to do list. What services might you need to hire out? Will you need IMG_4738professional movers, packers, cleaners and of course the most important person…. your professional organizer?

Tip 2: Check the layout of your new place if at all possible. Knowing this information is extremely helpful when it comes time to dealing with furniture that may or may not fit into your new place. It’s also helpful to know the size of your new kitchen, bathroom and your closet space so you only take items that you will use, items that you love and, of course, the items that you really need.

Find out if getting closet/cupboard organizers installed before you move into your new place will help to maximize your storage space, e.g. Pull-outs in the kitchen cupboards and/or built in closet organizers.

Tip 3: Take it slow. You may be moving from your family home which you have lived in for decades. There’re a lot of memories in your home and downsizing may bring up some emotions.

I highly recommend the “15 minute- to- freedom” downsizing method. It means setting your timer for 15 minutes and going through one drawer at a time or one cupboard at a time. Take another 15 minutes and look at downsizing your purses or shoes. This method can be used throughout the entire house as long as you’re not on a tight timeline.

Tip 4: Make a list of items that need to be sold and a list of the items that will be given to family members and which ones will be donated. I suggest using bright coloured labels. Use bright green for all the items that are going to be sold. Simply stick the label onto those items and label them as “Sell”IMG_4737

Use bright yellow labels for the ones that will be donated and red ones for the ones that are going to family members. Do you have family heirlooms? If so, leave any special instructions with them. One of my clients had shelves of binders full of their family history. When downsizing they requested, I take the binders to the local Genealogy Society.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the volume of stuff? This is where Rowena can really come in handy as she knows all the resources and best places for your previously loved items to go.

Tip 5: Visualize what you will be doing in your new space. Will you still host the monthly bridge club, have small dinner parties, or would you rather be going to other people’s places for such things? Knowing this information will help you determine what items are necessary for you to bring to your new space.

Eliminate the three deadly words “just in case”. Downsizing requires ruthlessness. If you’re feeling stuck with a particular item simply ask yourself “would I replace this if it were lost in a flood or fire?”

www.gettingittogether.ca

How To Organize Your Cosmetic Bag

Is your cosmetic bag stuck in the 80s?

When was the last time you really organized your cosmetic bag?IMG_2203

Have you ever thought about what might be growing in your cosmetic bag?

It’s important to update and clear out your cosmetic bag every 6 to 12 months.

Why?

Just like fashion styles, cosmetics have a style of their own. What you wore when you were in your 20s, 30s, and 40s would certainly not be what you would be wearing as you age gracefully. It’s important to refresh your wardrobe and cosmetics at least once a year.

It’s also important to clear out your cosmetic bag because of bacteria. Bacteria grows in mascara and our brushes. This can cause serious eye irritations.

Check out this short video on How To Organize Your Cosmetic Bag and then read on to get Getting It Together‘s Top 7 Tips.

Tip 1: The use it, need it, love it principal. Ask yourself “do I use it? “do I love it?” If you answered no to any of these questions, then you know what to do…..toss it out.

Tip 2: Keep your look current. You will feel more confident, beautiful and youthful by keeping your look current. Make sure you review and update your skin care routine as well. Our skin changes with the seasons and as we age.

Tip 3: Are you being ruthless? Watch out for the three deadliest words “just in case”. Go through your cosmetic bag and toss out all the old products that are no longer serving you and that you haven’t used in the last six months. Keep in mind we use 20% of our cosmetic items 80% of the time.

Tip 4: Consult your local beauty specialist. Work with a cosmetic company that offers a “try before you buy, 100% guarantee”. Beauty consultants will review with you what’s new, what looks best on you and teach you how to use the products that are best suited for you.

Tip 5: Gift with purchase. A major source of clutter that can be found in a lot of cosmetic bags are those lovely “gift with purchase” that you never use. Donate these unused cosmetics to your local women’s shelter.

Tip 6: Unused cosmetics. Did you buy something on impulse? A purchasing mistakes? If it hasn’t been used, you can return it to the store or the beauty consultant you are working with. Another option is to donate it to a women’s IMG_2186shelter.

Tip 7: Lifestyle change. For over 30 years I worked in the cosmetic industry. Now as a Professional Organizer I don’t wear nearly as much make up as I use to. And with being older, I don’t wear as much make-up. Did you know you look younger with less make up? Change your look as you change your lifestyle.

PS: Are you a woman on the go? Try this fast-easy routine of a simple skin care regiment, followed by a little foundation, bronzer, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick.

Would you like a fun makeover?
Contact www.gettingittogether.ca and book yours today.

How To Turn Your Resolutions Into Effortless Habits

Res-o-lu-tion: The act of resolving or of reducing to a simpler form. The making of a resolve.

Hab-it: An act or practice so frequently re-peated as to almost become automatic.

Every year do you vow to get more organized, get into better shape, lose weight or quit smoking?
If so, you are not alone.

This year 71% of the 2000 people surveyed put diet or eat healthier as their number one resolution. 65% want to exercise more, 54% want to lose weight and 32% want to save more and spend less.

This is where getting and staying organized will help you reach these resolutions.

Want to know how?

Check out this short video and then read on for the Top 4 Getting It Together Tips on “How To Turn Your Resolutions Into Effortless Habits.”

Clutter and lack of exercise are related.

Wonder why?

Is your clutter holding you back or influencing you from whether or not you get to an exercise class with everything you need and get there on time?

The less stuff you have the more time you have to devote to your resolutions and create good habits.

We’ve heard it many times before that it takes up to 21 days to create a new habit. A habit is something like brushing your teeth. When you were a child, it was hard to do or remember to do, but now it is so familiar that it is effortless. Imagine exercising being the same way.

Creating the exercising habit.

Tip #1: Organize your exercise clothing. Take that big pile of T-shirts and put aside 5 to 7 that you feel comfortable in and would wear to exercise. Donate or toss the rest. Do the same with your track pants and shorts. Keep all exercise clothing in one area.

Tip #2: Prepare an exercise bag. In this bag you’ll want to put a water bottle, a small towel, any exercising bands that you use and all your exercise gear that you’re going to wear for the day. Prepare this bag the night before so it’s right ready to go first thing in the morning.4

Tip #3: Schedule your exercise on your calendar. This is an important meeting you have with yourself. Treat it with respect and honour. Keep in mind when the best time of day is for you to exercise. Do you prefer going with a friend? Exercise needs to be fun for you in order to keep it up and create that good habit. There are several great apps that you can use to keep track of your progress. Have you found one that works for you? If so, leave it in the comment box below.

Tip #4: Reward yourself once you have completed some of your exercising intentions. This might mean a special coffee with a friend, a movie or sitting down with a good book.

Once you start to feel all the benefits of exercising you will want to keep it up. Create these great habits so that you will have a healthy long life.

PS: Are you already solid on the exercise goal but feeling the need to get organized? Why not try the 15 minutes to freedom technique we endorse? Contact us for your free over the phone discovery session where we can discuss how to get you organized and staying that way.
www.gettingittogther.ca

By |January 21st, 2019|Articles, Blog, Organizer, Self Care Organization, Videos|1 Comment

How To Have A Balanced Life Once and For All

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a balanced life all the time?

As you strive for that balanced life and ultimately get it, there may be times when things are a little out of whack or not balanced at all. How do you cope in those times?

Know that your unbalanced life can be temporary if you check out this short video on “How To Have A Balanced Life Once and For All”  then read on for Getting It Togethers’ Top 4 Tips

Tip 1. Get More Organized Personally

Is that easier said than done? What about streamlining your home and getting it more organized? It takes 40% less time to clean an organized home. How would you spend that extra time? Look for ways to simplify. For example, IMG_4119making a big pot of stew at the beginning of the week or keeping meals easy and simple. Also, setting a weekly meal plan and doing one big grocery shop a week can be a big timesaver. Do your shopping when the grocery store isn’t busy like before 10:00am in the morning or after 7:00pm at night. Better yet, shop online and have it delivered.

Tip 2. You Don’t Have To Do It All Yourself

Resist the urge to do it all yourself. Delegate some tasks or temporarily giving up some activities that aren’t serving you at this time. For example, volunteer activities might have to be put on hold. You can always go back to these events once your temporarily unbalanced lifestyle is back on track. Be sure to give people plenty of notice so they can fill your position.

If you really want some extra time and relief why not hire a housekeeper. Just think of all the things you could be doing while your home is being cleaned.

Tip 3. Down Time Is Key

Everyone needs down time and relaxation time. Down time means sitting and reading a book, going for a massage, having a bubble bath or getting a manicure.

TV is one of the biggest time busters. Even with PVR. Did you know that a half hour show is really only fifteen minutes; the rest is commercials! How much are you watching? The average person is watching between 2-4 hours a day! Keep track in a week; you might be surprised. While you’re at it, keep track of how much time is spent on Social Media. This is another big-time buster and for what?

Tip 4. Remember Your Life Goals

Whether your life is balanced or unbalanced at this time, here is a great question to ask yourself when doing any FullSizeRendertask: “Is this contributing to my life goals?” If the answer is “yes”, then keep on doing it. If the answer is “no”, then delegate it, dump it or deal with it. Keep in mind to always be fair, firm and friendly, especially when delegating.

PS: Using a weekly plan sheet which is colour coded will give you more balance. Have you got yours? If not, Contact me at www.gettingittogether.ca or contact me directly at rowena@gettingittogether.ca I will get back to you.

You can even have a lesson on how to use it by booking a FREE over the phone discovery call.

A balanced, organized life is a happy life. Give yourself that gift.

By |December 17th, 2018|Articles, Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

Top Eight Ways To Declutter

Nothing takes on value unless it’s being used.

How many items do you have in your house that are not being used?

Are you saving them ” just in case?”

Those are the three deadliest words when it comes to decluttering. Just in Case

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Togethers Top Eight Ways To Declutter and see how much lighter you feel.

1) Everything you own needs to have purpose and value because it’s functional, it’s used or its loved. A beautiful heirloom from your grandmother might be of beauty because you have it displayed in a place of honour. If it’s in a box in the garage then it needs to go. Take a picture of it first if you must. Think about if you had a flood. Would you replace old broken items that you never use? No, of course not. So, pass them on now so that burden isn’t left to a family member.

2) A place for everything and everything in its place. The kitchen counter is not a catch all. Have a place for your keys, phone, kid’s homework etc.

3) Stay focused on one task at a time. Multitasking is a myth.

4) Have zones. Keep all plastic containers in one area so as to make food clean up easy. And don’t keep any bottoms without a lid or any lids without a bottom. It’s like odd socks. It happens in every household. It’s one of life’s mysteries. Toss out all the odd socks or start a trend by wearing mismatched socks. I see many kids are doing that these days. Have a zone for all appliances you use and that are in working order. Did you have ambitions of baking your own bread only to find out you haven’t used the bread maker in years? Time to pass it on.

5) Deal with things when you make the time for them. Note that I didn’t say when you have the time because we all have time for the things that are important to us. So set aside time to deal with your mail but don’t wait until the electricity company has switched off your hydro. Set aside time to Spring clean your home or set aside time to donate all the books you’ve already read. Make time to clear out the clutter from your closet. It’s very disempowering to open a closet and see a bunch of old outdated clothes or clothes that don’t fit. If you wouldn’t replace it if it was lost in a flood then it’s time for it to be donated. Get real! Get ruthless. Save photos till the last. It’s a big job. One that will take time. Set a timer and quickly sort photos into subject matter. Weddings, Christmas, kids, vacations etc. Once in piles, quickly toss all the photos that are no longer serving you. The blurry ones, red eyed ones etc. And keep only the photos that you would be sad if they went up in flames. Store photos in clear photo boxes and label. Keep in mind that nobody wants your photos. They are your memories.

6) Purchasing mistakes. Just because you bought it doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Did you buy based on price or need? Before purchasing anything ask yourself these questions.

A) where am I going to store this item?

B) what’s the purpose of this purchase?

C) what is the price per use? This is a good question because you’ll get clear on  whether you can rent the item when needed or can borrow it.

7) Stuck energy. Are you the storage unit for your family? Do you keep everything that has ever been in your family? If it gives you a heavy feeling it’s stuck energy. Pass it on with love and no sense of obligation to keep it.

8) Keep your car clear of chaos. Our cars need TLC just as much as our homes. Photocopy your registration and 2 insurance papers. Then black out your name and address in the unlikely event of a break-in at least the person doesn’t have your personal information.

PS: Are you feeling inspired to declutter or are you overwhelmed? Either way, I’d love to hear from you.  Please check out www.gettingittogether.ca for more details and a FREE 15-minute discovery session.

 

How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized

A habit is defined as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Most habits are harmless however we all have a few we wish we could change.

What are yours?

The act of staying organized requires some skill, dedication, determination, desire, discipline and creating new habits.

It’s easy enough to clear the clutter but how are you going to keep your space that way?

Habits! Good habits.

With these simple steps you’ll be able to create the new habit of staying organized.

Are you thinking this is easier said than done?

Check out this short video on “How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized” then read on for
Getting It Togethers’ Top Four Tips


Firstly, staying organized needs to be a massive goal. You need to have big reasons for wanting to stay organized.

What are yours?

Please leave them in the comment box below.

Some of the top reasons for staying organized are; to have more time, less stress and more money. For others it might be to release the constant overwhelm of not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely manner and for some it might be the need to release the embarrassment and shame.

Next you need to be really specific about your plan of action for staying organized.

My clients that are the most successful in this department are the ones who follow the “15 minutes to freedom” techniques I coach them on.2

Once your space is completely organized, take 15 minutes per day to keep it that way. Tidy as you go and be mindful about what you bring into your cleared space. Have a place for everything and everything in its place.

Thirdly, think about the consequences of not keeping this new habit. Write out the ways your life will be negatively affected if you don’t follow the “15 minutes to freedom technique.”

And write out the ways you will feel by keeping this new habit.

When the WHYS are big enough, the how’s seem to take care of themselves.

Finally, you must commit to this new lifestyle, this new habit. Implement the four D’s. Dedication, determination, desire and discipline. Self -discipline is not inherited – it’s created, nurtured, and developed daily. Self – discipline comes with a desire to forget what happened yesterday, be the best you can be today, and expect great things from tomorrow.

PS: Do you need to have an accountability partner or some coaching in order to get started and stay on track? If so, contact us today at www.gettingittogether.ca for a FREE 15 minutes to freedom call.

Top Ten Habits Of Highly Organized People

Do you wonder if you’ll ever be organized?

Do you think organized people were born that way?

To some degree I believe you are either naturally organized or unfortunately naturally disorganized however the good news is you can learn simple habits and become extremely organized.

Check out Getting It Togethers video on the Top Ten Habits Of Highly Organized People and then read for more tips.

Habit #1: Highly Organized People know where to donate. Better yet, they have the donations company in their area come and pick up.

Habit #2: Highly Organized People book regular decluttering times. They use the 15 minutes to freedom technique explained in the video.

Habit #3: Highly Organized People stick with what works for them. They stay with their favorite protein powder or moisturizer as this saves them from having purchasing mistakes in the cupboard.

Habit #4: Highly Organized People don’t buy because of price, they buy because of need.

Habit #5: Highly Organized People make peace with imperfection. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and neither are they. Some times their desk will be a mess or they’ll buy the kids Birthday cake instead of making it from scratch.

Habit #6: Highly Organized People are specific with their labels. A box or file labeled “miscellaneous” does not help anyone.

Habit #7: Highly Organized People separate emotions from possessions. Just because they bought it or just 1because it was given to them does not mean they keep it.

Habit #8: Highly Organized People think ahead. If it looks like piles of files are about to fall over, they move them to a safer spot and deal with them.

Habit #9: Highly Organized People create a small dump zone. They have a small basket that collects things from the day and then they take 15 minutes and go through the house putting everything back in its’ place. Better yet, if it takes less than a minute to do a task, do it immediately.

Habit #10: Highly Organized People ask for help. They know what their strengths are and are willing to hire out the other tasks.

PS: What is one habit you would really like to work on? Why not grab a free over the phone sample coaching session by contacting www.gettingittogether.ca