Sort It ~ Professional Organizing for the Toronto Area


And I Don’t Iron My Sheets

Last last week, I was folding our laundry, and I got to thinking about my past blog post (I Don’t Like Shopping). It occurred to me that it might have come off a bit pretentious, as I sat there, all high and mighty, screaming for the rooftops my dislike of shopping, and therefore my theoretical lack of clutter.

However, just because I don’t like to shop doesn’t mean I don’t accumulate things. It’s truly amazing the amount of stuff one accumulates simply by living. As many of you know, I’m a Brownie leader with the Girl Guides of Canada. Being in this role means that I am “blessed” with old craft supplies, old Brownie books, and basically a bunch of stuff that other guiders don’t want to have hanging around their house anymore. My husband and I are also part time youth pastors, which means that we have curriculum, party supplies, and forgotten Bibles almost all the time.

Which leads to me to an extension of a previous post, Confessions of a Professional Organizer. Whenever I go to a client’s home, or tell someone that I’m a professional organizer, they will inevitably comment that my home must be pristine, to which my husband usually rolls his eyes, or snorts to indicate that that is certainly not the case. In response, I usually tell people that although I know where almost everything is in my home, it is not “pristine” by any means (unless I’ve had a weekend to actually get some housework done). So, no, I don’t iron my sheets. Actually, in all honesty, I just gave my mother my iron, because in the 4 years I have been married, I haven’t ironed once! Shhh! It’s my dirty little secret. We use the dryer, and try to hang it up right away (which isn’t usually executed as speedily as I would like, but whatcha gonna do?).

So, I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my last post. That doesn’t mean that I won’t write a post on the global consequences of shopping one day, as I probably will. But, it does mean that although I don’t tend to get tripped up in this area, there are certainly others where I have more difficulty with.

Now, off to swiffer my hardwood floors! Once a month is about right, right?

What tends to clutter your home that you don’t purchase, but simply acquire through life’s activities?

Advertisements

It’s Planner Time!

I’m just over the 6 month mark of using my first Quo Vadis planner, and I thought I would give you all an update from my earlier post Keeping The Calendar.

I have always been a planner-aholic. All throughout junior and high school, as well as university, I would be the first one with my planner out, making sure all of my life events were scheduled out. First, let me confess that I used two other planners last year. My first was a small, very thin, planner that cost quite close to $1. If you’ve been an avid reader of mine, than you’ll know that this is not uncommon for me, as I tend to be on the thrifty side. I used this planner (which I got for Christmas 2010) for about 7 months, but I really wasn’t fully satisfied with it. The style had 3 days on the left page, 2 days (plus a small weekend section) on the right. Also, the times slots that it gave were sparse, at best (7 & 10 a.m., 1, 4 & 7 p.m.). I guess those “in between” hours didn’t really matter to them. But, I made due, thinking that all planners are created equal. Then, I moved up a step. Someone gave me their daily Brownline planner, because they didn’t like the style (that should have been a flag, no?). I wasn’t a huge fan either, as each day had its own page, and it was very bulky and heavy. Although, I could include a lot of detail, which was nice. I will admit that I am probably busier than most, but I was never busy enough to have to put in 10 back to back appointments. I used that planner until November 30th.

Why November 30th, you ask? Well, let me tell you. I attended a Professional Organizers in Canada conference at the beginning of November, last year. We had about 5 different sessions, and they were all, for the most part, fabulous. I was incredibly fortunate to also take part in a LinkedIn session, conducted by Margarita Ibbott. Much to my excitement (perhaps over excitement to some), there awaiting me, like a beacon in the night, was a green, medium sized, Minister 2012 Quo Vadis planner. (Actually, I think that it may have been black, and a size up, but I stealthily swapped for one in my company colour 😀 ). Did my eyes deceive me? An actual, quality planner? Just for me? Sweet!

This particular model, so to speak, is fantastic and perfect for me for three reasons:

  1. It has a whole week on 2 pages. When I get into a daily situation, I lose sight of the big picture, plus it would probably triple the thickness of it. Remember: Less is more.
  2. It has a notes section – for each week! Five medium sized boxes to jot down to-dos, or in my situation, driving instructions (no, I don’t have a GPS – I have a love affair with Google Maps, because I’m a visual person). Looking back, there has only been one week when I haven’t used that handy section.
  3. It fits in my purse. Granted I’m not carrying around a clutch, but it is a great size to fit into any medium sized purse.
  4. BONUS: It’s green! Did I mention that I love green? And next year, I only have to order the refill. I don’t have to purchase a new exterior 🙂 Less waste is always a good thing.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a busy gal. To recap from my previous post, I have a colour coded system that I use to keep myself straight:

Blue ~ Toronto Willowdale Aquarium Society (Blue = water 🙂 )

Brown ~ Tutoring

Orange ~ Brownies (Their uniform colour is now orange, not brown)

Green ~ Sort It appointments  (My business colour)

Pink ~ Personal

Purple ~ Church events

To do this, I utilize my Pilot Frixion Pens, which are erasable. Yes folks, erasable colour pens. And not like the ones we had back in high school, that would only take a layer off, but you could still read it. No, these erase fully, which is incredibly useful when a client cancels or changes the time to get together. I have too much going on in my mind to occupy it with trying to remember dates and times. I also hate double booking myself, as I try to be a woman of my word.

So, in short, would I recommend a Quo Vadis planner? Absolutely. It’s cute, and it’s easy to maintain. I will certainly be purchasing a refill for next year, if I don’t happen to “come across” one in the meantime 😉

What quality do you look for most in a planner/agenda?


My 3rd guest blog post for the Girl Guides of Canada. What have your experiences been when camping with kids?

GirlGuidesCANBlog

As we are preparing for our annual spring camp, I can’t help but think back to the first time I went to Brownie Camp as a leader. I was a Junior Leader in our Unit for two years before I became a full-fledged leader. When the two main leaders left for university before the start of the year, and then the third leader moved for work a month in, I found myself and my best friend looking at each other saying “We can do this!” And we did, but it was a learning experience to say the least.

Now, this post is meant to be about organizing or cleaning, and I will get to that, but I just wanted to share a couple of “learned tips & tricks” for Brownie level camping:

1. Always bring an extra (or two, or three) pair(s) of mittens and hats. Inevitably, one girl will…

View original post 491 more words


Here is my first guest blog post 🙂 Let me know your thoughts!

GirlGuidesCANBlog

I’ve been a Brownie leader for nearly 10 years, and for almost every one of those 10 years, I have been “blessed” with craft supplies. Not supplies that I’ve bought, but supplies that have been donated to me. I have received everything from bits and pieces of yarn and brown craft paper to googly eyes and pompoms. And we keep it! Even though we don’t have the faintest idea what to do with it, we keep it, thinking that one day we’ll be hit with an inspirational lightning bolt, and it will all come together into a masterpiece worthy of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). I have a dedicated area for my craft supplies. I know other Guiders who have entire rooms filled with crafty items, but enough is enough. Let’s get realistic and either fish or cut bait. It’s time to clear out the clutter.

I still have…

View original post 296 more words


Lost and Found

Last week, 3 years after I moved out, I went over to my parents place to start clearing out the last of my belongings. It had been something I’d put off doing until my husband and I bought a house (almost 2 years ago now), then once we’d gotten settled (about a year ago), and then until I had no more excuses 🙂

As I was going through my old boxes, and taking a trip down memory lane, it amazed me the items I had completely forgotten I had, or just assumed they’d gotten lost in the move(s). I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I found my long lost Hanson CD (My husband? Not so much). There were a few other items that I smiled at, and proceeded to toss away, or recycle (no, not my Hanson CD). My Mom and I had a nice time going through items that sparked memories.

Now, let’s put a dollar value on this, shall we? One of the items that I found was an old keepsake box that I had cleverly put a cheap diary lock onto (for security purposes, you know?). I thought that I had they key at home, so I left it for the time being. When I got home, however, I realized that I had, at some point, thrown the key away. Well, as many brothers might have done in the past, I took a bobby pin to it and popped that sucker open. I was pretty confident that I had some old stickers in it (which I did), but I had forgotten about the $27 dollars in rolled change! So, what did I learn? Cleaning out my old stuff: $27. Getting my parents off my back: Priceless 🙂

You also have to understand that I am also a Brownie leader, with the Girl Guides of Canada, which means that I have enough craft supplies to construct a house, and then furnish it. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, unless pompoms and googly eyes have more structural strength then I give them credit for, but it is certainly more than I need, or will ever use. But when I was asked politely, but firmly, to finally get my things out of my parents’ house, I knew that they would be part of my battle. Fortunately, we’ve had a new unit open up and they are desperate for crafty things – problem solved! I once was lost, but now, am found.

I always tell my clients this: If you clean up, you will always find money. It may be a few cents. It may be Canadian Tire money. It may be a $20. But you always find money.