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How To Organize For A Quarantine

From one minute to the next, things are changing and they are changing fast.

I think we are all sitting on pins and needles just waiting for the next bombshell to drop.

In the mean time, it is important to stay positive and carry on as best we can.

We are all going to be tested. Our patience, our attitude and our compassion to name a few.

What would you do if you were forced to quarantine or if it was suggested you self-quarantined?

Check out this video on How To Organize For A Quarantine

Before and after ideas for organizing:

IMG_5777          IMG_5778

 

 

 

 

Let’s all stick together to make the most of this situation.

Kindness makes the world a better place.

If you are stuck at home and have always wanted your FREE over the phone discovery session, now’s the time to book it. www.gettingittogether.ca

By |March 23rd, 2020|Articles, Blog, Quarantine, Self Care Organization, Videos|0 Comments

How to Reduce Your Fast Fashion Imprint

Do you buy based on price or need?

Fast fashion refers to an unsustainable apparel-making method that produces inexpensive clothing rapidly in response to the latest style trends.

It’s destroying our environment!82635b5a-a5c6-437d-9bbe-d3120fe46d1a

Check out this short video on How To Reduce Your Fast Fashion Imprint then read on for Getting It Togethers Top 5 Tips

Tip1. Buy less clothing. How many pairs of black pants does a gal need? How many five-dollar T-shirts does a kid need? Buy what you need not what you want.

Tip 2. By higher quality clothes that will last longer. If you’re creative you could always make some things.

Tip 3. Invest in timeless, core wardrobe pieces that you can build around.

Tip 4. Take the time to research what you are buying, where it’s made and by whom. Companies like forever 21, Walmart, and Joe fresh support slave labour in places like Bangladesh where the worker is only making $68 a month. This is not even a living wage in their country. 4f7c1017-1f75-44e3-85bf-bcb09f571069

Do the math:
$5.00 t-shirt, = 50% goes to the retailer
25% goes to the brand
25% goes to the overhead, manufacturing and then labour

Tip 5. Wash your clothes less often and stay clear of clothes that need to be dry cleaned if it all possible. Washing clothes takes years off it’s life.

e8bd8749-8ba4-44d1-aa28-1b568700d5c5Together we can make a difference if we at least all try to do our best to stay away from as much fast fashion as we possibly can.

Share the love by sharing this link.

PS: Is your wardrobe a closet or museum? Needing help getting organized? Contact www.gettingittogether.ca for a FREE over the phone consultation.

By |February 18th, 2020|Articles, Blog, Home Organization, Videos|0 Comments

How To Meal Plan Like A Pro

Are you like most people, too tired at the end of the day to even think about preparing a healthy meal?

Have you lost your creativity in the kitchen?

Would you like some go-to dishes that every family member will gobble up?

Watch this short video on How To Meal Plan Like A Pro and then follow Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Tips


Tip 1: Organize your kitchen. There’s nothing worse than trying to prepare meals in a disorganized cluttered kitchen. How can you get anyone to help you if they don’t know where the items are and you don’t know where they are? Set aside time to donate all the kitchen items you’re no longer using. Clear out all the expired food items in your pantry and fridge. Put all non-kitchen items in their proper place.

Tip 2: Clean all surfaces. Kitchen counters are not designed to be a dumping zone. Make sure all counters are scrubbed down and your kitchen is ready for food prep. Be sure to also clean as you go. There’s nothing worse than a big mess to clean up after a nice meal.

Tip 3: Select your top 10 favourite meals. Things that the whole family will enjoy. Is it stew, pasta, fajitas or chicken casserole? Most households rotate their top 10 meals throughout the course of the month. Look over the recipes and see what items you need to purchase and make your shopping list. IMG_4160

Tip 4: Prepare in bulk. When you bring home your fresh produce, wash it, cut it up and put it in containers. This saves precious time when it comes to meal prep. Select a two-hour slot in your week where you can cook in bulk and freeze. Maybe you could make a huge pot of pasta sauce and your neighbour could make a big stew and you can share. Cooperative cooking.

Tip 5: Clear the clutter from your mind. Once the clutter is cleared from your mind, it makes room for creativity. This doesn’t mean you have to cook like a French chef, it just means your mind is open to put together a healthy meal for your family. Consider deep breathing on the way home from work or a walk with a friend or spa like music.

PS: Would you rather not cook at all? One of my new services is to come into your home and prepare healthy meals for you and your family. Contact me for all the details. www.gettingittogether.ca

What To Do With Your Burnt Out Christmas Lights

Check out this short video on What To Do With Your Burnt Out Christmas Lights and then read on for fabulous tips from Product Care.

Burnt out Christmas lights? Recycle them!

At this time of year, British Columbians are unboxing their Christmas decorations, including lights. We all know thatIMG_4802 annoying feeling when you plug in the string lights and the bulbs are no longer working. Many people don’t know what to do with that pesky string once it’s reached the end of its useful life. Thankfully, they can be recycled.

Highlights

In addition to string lights, our program accepts all kinds of lighting products from fixtures (think chandeliers, desk lamps, etc.) to burnt out light bulbs including fluorescent tubes, halogen bulbs, CFL’s, LEDs, and more.

Check out Product Care’s full list of accepted products and find a location near you that accepts them online. Recycling your Christmas lights gives their parts a new life, rather than adding to our landfills. After lights are dropped off at a collection site, they’re transported to authorized recyclers for processing – right here in Canada. Machines are used to break down the products into component parts (e.g. precious metal, glass, plastic) and harvest the materials that went into the products in the first place.

Thank You to Kristina Charania
Marketing & Design Coordinator
productcare.org

P.S. Give yourself or someone you love with the gift of a clutter-free 2020 and contact us today for a free over the phone consultation.
www.gettingittogether.ca

By |December 10th, 2019|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Videos|0 Comments

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

How To Conquer Procrastination Once And For All – Part II by Rowena List of Getting It Together

Procrastination is the intentional and continual postponement of a task that should be done now. Chronic procrastinators can have a negative impact on productivity not only their own but within a corporation.

Do you put off important tasks?

Is the stress of procrastinating getting to you?

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Tips on How To Conquer Procrastination Once And For All – Part II.

Tip 1: Make a list of all the things you have been procrastinating about. Beside each item estimate how long each task will take. Break the tasks into bite-size pieces and then schedule time in your calendar to work on these tasks. The way to work around procrastination is if you treat these task as though they are equally as important as seeing your dentist or medical specialist.

Tip 2: Get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. What tasks can you delegate? For example, doing your taxes.

Tip 3: Eliminate perfectionism. Recognize that good is good enough and that it’s better to get it done then to delay until it can be perfect. Let’s face it, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and life certainly is not perfect. Don’t put yourself on a guilt trip if you do procrastinate once in a while. After all, you’re not perfect.

Tip 4: List the advantages of doing the task and compare them with the consequences of not doing it. This should help light a fire under you to stop procrastinating once and for all.

Tip 5: Don’t wait until you have more time; you will probably have no more time in the future than you have right now. Have you ever talked to someone who has retired? They always wonder how they ever had time to work. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how we spend them that counts. Procrastination is the thief of time. Don’t let it rob you of your precious moments. IMG_4999

PS: If you didn’t get a chance to read part 1, grab a coffee and read it here

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.

Top 5 Getting It Together’s Organizing Mistakes

It’s well into the New Year and you’re bound and determined to get organized once and for all.

What are some of the stumbling blocks you come across?

Is it staying focused?

Is it setting aside enough time?

Or is it some of these common organizing mistakes listed below?

Check out this short video on the Top 5 Organizing Mistakes and then read on to get more tips.

Mistake #1: Thinking that out of sight means out of mind. If your home is organized and your life is organized then chances are your mind will be organized, which means you’ll know what’s in your cupboards, attic and crawlspace. Keep in mind that less is more. You can’t have everything in view or your place will be overwhelmingly cluttered. You need a place for everything and everything in its place.

Mistake #2: Putting the cart before the horse. Quite often people will go out and purchase several storage containers thinking that this will get them organized. Just as a treadmill doesn’t make you fit unless you use it the same is true with storage containers. Don’t buy any containers until you’ve done all the purging and know what needs to be stored. You’ll then know how many containers to purchase and which size will work best for your area.

(as you can see in the pictures, this repurposed wooden structure was turned into a shoe rack once we knew the 1number of shoes needing to be stored.)

Mistake #3: Not having a proper to do list. To do lists need to be broken down and assigned a verb. Look at your weekend ahead and write organize garage on your Saturday to do’s. Saturday morning arrives and this task looks so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. So, you don’t. You go for coffee with a friend instead. The best and only tactic is to break down the job of organizing into bite-size pieces and assign a verb. For example. Recycle paint in garage. Toss out all broken sports equipment in garage. Repair shelving unit in garage.

Mistake #4: Thinking that everything has to be perfect. Kiss perfection goodbye and instead use KISS which equals keep it simple sweetie. Highly organized people have a huge value on time and how they spend it. Prioritize and get started. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect in your life before you clear the clutter.

Mistake #5: Not assigning a specific time to a task. It’s important to know or at least guess how long a specific task will take. For example: recycling the paint needs to get into the car and be driven to the local depot. Will this take approximately 30 minutes? Tossing out all broken sports equipment might take 15 minutes. When you’re doing your to do list also assign a time frame beside each task. And be sure to book these tasks in your calendar when you have the most energy. Are you a morning person or a late afternoon person? Do you need to have your favourite music on? Or do you need to be working alongside a Professional Organizer in order to get the ball rolling?

PS: Getting and staying organized is not a one-time thing. It is a daily commitment to at least 15 minutes. Do you need a power partner? If so, check out our coaching programs which are designed especially for you. www.gettingittogether.ca

By |February 20th, 2019|Articles, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments