As Certified Professional Organizers we are asked to come into homes and offices to help with the clutter that has just gotten out of control. Clutter that has taken over the space and soon to be the person’s life. Something that I did not foresee was the need my clients have when it comes to the “clutter” in their financial worlds.

In the past two years I have noticed that there have been more and more clients asking for help to “organize” their finances. They have told me that they feel trapped, suffocated and buried alive when looking at the numbers. All of these feelings were old hat to me, but this new desire to ask for help to de-clutter their financial woes was new.

We have always come highly recommended when people are looking for help in offices and businesses. The team from Just In Time Solutions has an amazing organizer, Erin Playford who is very good at streamlining and taking a step back and seeing where the holes are in existing processes. But, these new enquiries weren’t asking for the systems that we use to keep an office or business running smoothly, they were asking for help to get out from the mountain of debt.

We are not specialist in this field. We are learning with the best of them, however the fact that we have the experience and knowledge to look outside the problem and analyze it helps in this growing field. In extreme cases, I would always recommend a client seek help from a financial planner, or debt solutions expert. But we have had a few clients who we’ve managed to help sort through the rubble and get them on track to financial stability.

Mainly our goal was to get everything out in the open, look at the money going out and what was coming in. Budget for the absolute necessities.

  • Roof over your head ( Mortgage/Rent)
  • Food
  • Heat/Hydro/Water
  • Insurance

Taking those things right off the top of our income and seeing what’s left. One rule we’ve learned from our research is, after you’ve covered the necessities, start paying off the highest interest owed loan. You WILL NEVER get out from under the stress of financial debt if you’re just making “Minimum payments”. If a client has more then one credit card or outstanding loans, again we recommend they speak to a Certified Debt Solutions professional.

From there, what we recommended to our clients was go to a cash budget. No more CARDS, they are so easy to be taken advantage of. So go old school or go home! We set out pencil cases for one client and labeled them according to what she needed weekly.

  • Grocery
  • Gas
  • Hairdresser
  • Church
  • Entertainment
  • Scrapbooking
  • Cleaners

You see we still wanted our client to live a life she was comfortable with, meaning she still wanted to get her hair done and have a cleaner help her with her home. But we did get her to realize that she only needed to get her hair done once a month and the cleaners could come bi-weekly. Just pointing out the savings from those two decisions gave our client the incentive to go further! Once a week (Same day – every week) our client goes INTO her bank. Says good morning to an actual teller and hands her a list of the money and the denominations she is looking for. The teller ( who by now knows exactly what is needed) smiles and encourages our client as she puts each amount of cash into the appropriate case. One thing that made this easier on us was the fact that our client was on board and “hard on herself” – she wanted the stress of no money at the end of the month to be gone! Once her case was empty, that was it! She didn’t have any more money to spend – no if, ands or buts about it!

Are we financial wizards? No. But with a little “outside” help our client has managed to pay off her credit card in six months. And is diligently working on her line of credit.

One thing we’ve learned from this particular client is once you’ve set up a system and they see results from their daily due diligence they will take the challenge even farther. This particular client surprised us at the end of 6 months with a “cash jar”. The extra money that she had saved from her weekly cases! She had wanted a bicycle, so anything she hadn’t spent, she tucked away and at the end of the 6 months she had proved to herself and us that given the right path she could surpass her goals!

Debt

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There are so many busy parents out there. One a had a chance to talk to about how her long weekend went. This was her response:

” We worked so hard Saturday and Sunday. Laundry, gardening, repairs and running kids every which way. We fell onto the couch each night completely and utterly wasted from our efforts of the two days. Both my husband and I said – THAT’s IT! Tomorrow, we’re doing nothing! No one thing!

And then I added, well I just want to cut the grass around the pool and make a lasagna, but that’s it!

Yup, my husband said. I’m just going to move some raspberry bushes and do a quick vacuum of the pool and that’s it!

Well, let me tell you at 2 pm we happen to pass each other with tools and items in our hands and I asked him how his “do nothing day” was going? and he responded – Same as every other day! ”

It is so difficult to take that time out when there seems to be so much to do. I’m not here to tell you that being organized will make it so you can have every weekend off to “do nothing” . However, having systems in place, knowing that everything has a home and putting things away and not DOWN. helps. It helps in a big way.

I understand the busy family lifestyles, I also have worked with so many families that have taken that step and claimed their extra time as their own.  Tired of spending your weekends “picking up” after everyone else? We know how it is.

Time

After spending the afternoon in a workshop about setting up successful strategies for kids that have difficulty functioning in an organized manor, I’m here to tell you. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Common complaints are ” I have everything set up for him , but he just doesn’t use it.”

or “I have to hound my son so much to do homework and it’s creating problems in our family”

Most younger children today will require your time and energy. Creating a system and not engaging with them while they work through it is a set up for failure. As a parent our children learn from what they see and hear. So show them and work with them for the first few weeks on how this system of getting their homework done works!

Be realistic. You are not going to get a student who has refused to come home and start the homework right away into a organized system right off the bat.

Space changes out. Allow for the system to integrate into their lives and they will find it less cumbersome.  Try this:

Home from School

Snack 15 minutes

Empty out the bags and lunches and you ask them to pull out ONE piece of homework.

Look it over with them.

Ask if they have any questions? Or better yet – ask them to explain it to you! and LISTEN.

Give them a timeline. Work on it together if necessary for 15 minutes and if there’s been significant attempts, let them get outside and get some air for 15 minutes.

Help pace them, you’ll find that they are able to get the work completed with less then two breaks.

Written agendas don’t always work for students. Lots of teachers now set up mass text messaging to parents outlining homework due.

I for one, would take that text write it on the “to do list” on the fridge and address each item individually  as they are completed.

Teaching time management now, will truly help in the years to come.

#chaostocalm

#timemanagementforkids

good day

Spring is here and with that there are bound to be birthdays and weddings and showers. AND…never ending gifts and wrapping paper!

If you’re not lucky enough to have a permanent “wrapping station” in your home then these tips might be just what you’re looking for to manage your gift giving season!

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Have you ever really thought about what it would be like to be alone, and have to make some pretty big life changing decisions?

We are so lucky to have the opportunity to help people when they need it most. There comes a time in everyones’ lives where our living arrangements must change. Whether it be from being single to married, or the kids have moved out and it’s time to downsize.

Any and all of these changes cause stress and anxiety. If you disagree, I’m calling your bluff. Being in the organizing business for 18 years I have organized peoples major and minor moves several times over. One thing that stands out is that in the month before the move date everyone involved starts to get a little more nervous, a little more “scattered”. How can you not?! Moving is one of the 4 top stressful things you can go through in your life. We’re not here to tell you we can make it all better, but I do have some “don’t do it!” tips!

DONT’ DO IT!

#1 Throw stuff in a box, just to get it done. This will cause some serious grief at the other end. Purge People!!!

#2 Use Liqour Store boxes to pack your whole house. That’s just down right painful for those packing the moving van!

#3 Think that you will get it all done in a day. Rome wasn’t built in a day. No matter how many people you have helping, you are going to have to call it a day after 24 hrs.

#4 Try to do it alone. This is a big thing. We know that, you need to accept that. Now ask for help, from friends, family or professionals if need be.

There are many people out there who have no family and their social circle is not large enough or able bodied enough to help.So ask. Ask at your church, Ask your neighbours or Google! Don’t try this alone, it will cause heart ache and negativity to a move that should be as positive as possible.

I’ve never met a person yet who regrets asking the team at Just In Time Solutions to help them prior, during and after a move. Call us, we’ll help you learn from all our mistakes!

moving-hacks-color-coded-boxes-standard_fca6dbd4b052ca49abb2a0860233b20e#downsizing #seniormove #helpinghand

Brain Dump or Mind Dumping is what the team at Just In Time Solutions calls a weekly exercise.

Over the course of a week you can easily take on millions of thoughts and tasks without really understanding what this condensed information is doing to your health and how you are functioning.

A weekly “Mind Dump” is pretty much a necessity in our lives at this point. We have families, careers, lifestyles that require us to move at a pace that sometimes feels supernatural. By stopping and allowing the information and tasks to flow out of our brains and unto paper or a digital form, we are slowly decompressing and reducing the stress associated with a lack of mindfulness.

Anxiety, depression and a feeling of being overwhelmed are all symptoms of Brain Overload!

A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all the contents of your mind onto paper as one might dump the contents of a purse onto a table. You are spilling out stressors, your nagging thoughts, your pesky annoyances. Simply open up a valve in your mind and let all those thoughts flow out of your hand and onto some paper. Write until you feel like the pressure inside of you is lessened and you can take a deep breath. Then you will have achieved a brain dump. Littlecoffeefox

You see, once you’ve written or typed that thought down it can’t get away from you. It can’t hide  in the corner of your mind, nagging at you. It’s become a “truth” for all intense and purposes. It has become real and it’s something you can tackle.

The release of a Mind Dump can literally be felt as you’re writing. You can start feeling the stress levels decrease within your brain. Now, the secret to a successful “Mind Dump” is to really sit there and let it all go. Every thought that crosses your mind, whether it’s a quick flash or a lingering moment, they all need to be written down and “dumped”.

Now you may be feeling that you have to get on top of this list of things that you’ve regurgitated. You might start feeling overwhelmed looking at this paper that has just spilled from your brain. DON”T…Wait it out.

Take 10 minutes and walk away. Trust me, ten minutes is not going to hurt you in any way.

Now, you’re back and your ready to look at this list with a purpose in mind. Prioritize the most pressing 10 things on this list. 1 though to 10. Numbered?

Ok….start with #1

#yougotthis

#chaostocalm

#minddump

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You’ve probably seen “House of Bryan” or “Leave it to Bryan” on HGTV. Well, Bryan is putting his expertise and quality assurance behind his name!

What is Baeumler Approved?

Our goal at Baeumler Approved is to help homeowners connect with contractors, trades and home service providers from all across Canada. We help homeowners know what to look for, seek out and vouch for a history of good service by speaking with previous clients and collaborators. All Baeumler Approved members are required to make a commitment to honesty, integrity, and quality service by signing our code of conduct. If a member is found to broken their commitment, they can be removed from our database.

And you guessed right! Just In Time Solutions has been “BAEUMLER APPROVED”!

We’re just waiting for Bryan to pop in with our certificate, but I’m sure it’s on his “To Do” list.

We are proud to be a part of this and believe it’s a long time coming for small businesses and skilled trades in Canada. We love the “watchdog” and approval coming from Bryan Baeumler.

Baeumler Approved

#baeumlerapproved

#justintimesolutions

#chaostocalm

Baeumler