We got an email from an old friend last week.

“We moved and I can’t take it anymore. We have too much S*%! and I want it all GONE!”

So being the incredible business that we are, we squeezed our friend Mrs.P into a week that was already busting at the seams. But we understand when someone emails or calls us and they are in that much of a state, we HAVE it help and quickly.

There’s just no sense at all to have a friend feeling overwhelmed for weeks on end when we can come in and get it under control in a day or two.

Our response was ” We’re on our way!”

So, now because this was a desperate plea for help we moved fast and booked her into a tight time slot. And then  moved onto helping the clients we had booked in prior to Mrs.P.

FYI – Mrs.P lives about 1.5 hrs away in the lovely rolling hills of Southwestern Ontario.

The adventure begins: Erin and Rebecca rub the sleep from their eyes and roll out of bed extra early in order to get to Mrs. P in good time. Rebecca jumps behind the wheel and they’re off! Heading north ( that’s all Rebecca needed to know, as Erin is the navigator).

As they are travelling NORTH, Erin starts to check into the very organized calendar of Just In Time Solutions and is having a hard time finding the “NEW” address of Mrs.P.

You see Just In Time Solutions had gone “paperless” since seeing Mrs.P the last time. So, Rebecca and Erin had an idea of where Mrs. P’s new house was but no real address. They had contact information…. however, Mrs.P has three small children and as every Mother knows

Do Not Bother me before 9 am! Do Not Pick up that phone because you will go down that rabbit hole and your morning routine will go out the window!-

So, being the organized and structured Mom that she is, Mrs. P was not answering calls or checking emails. ( to which Erin was trying desperately to get a NEW address)

Rebecca takes the bull by the horns and arrives at a small village that she believed would head them in the right direction and if nothing else could be used as a bathroom break!

Without fear or hesitation Rebecca abandons Erin in the van and heads into a quaint little general store. Asking the clerk behind the counter if he knew where Mrs.P lived.

His answer ” No, better check the post office.”

And then it happened….A bulk of a figure beside Rebecca turns around, pushes his glasses up onto his nose and points a well worn finger at Rebecca saying

” I know a Mrs.P! She lives on my road!”

Rebecca responds ” That’s her!”

With amateur artist ability but decades of local knowledge our new friend took a pen and paper and drew a map to Mrs. P’s NEW home. Now, you might ask why not just put the road name in the GPS? Well our new friend had lived here all his life and said “they keep changing the road names on me so I’ve given up and I couldn’t possibly remember what road I live on.” ( let’s be honest he said a few choice words in between , but you get the idea)

Rebecca graciously thanked the gentleman and headed outside to the van waving a piece of paper at Erin as she crossed the street.

After getting settled into the van Rebecca looks out the window to see her new friend leaving the store,  he then proceeds to get into a tractor that is parked on the side of the road.

Being patient Rebecca waits for the tractor ( slow moving vehicle sign attached) to pull out. It’s then that they realize their new friend is heading home and they happily accept the wave of his arm to “Follow”.

Yes, it was an early morning.

Yes, even professional organizers don’t get ALL the details ALL the time.

Yes, Rebecca and Erin were in a hurry.

But, it’s moments like this…moments when our team is in the right place at the right time. When they meet extraordinary people and smile and say

“Thanks” for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the ride!

Tractor

p.s Mrs.P was a very happy client by the end of the day!

 

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Busy families of 2018 are constantly trying to get on top of all that “busy-ness” that continually crowds our head space.

There’s seems to be struggles with Who’s taking the kids where, Why aren’t the household chores split 50/50, When does it all stop?

I don’t have an answer for those questions. Sorry.

You’ve heard it all before – Life will hit you so hard at different stages. But is there anything out there that can lessen the blow?

Yes, there is. I’ve been organizing lives for a long time and I can tell you that being organized, prepared and managing your time really DOES help.

I know, you’re saying you’ve heard it all before. But, you still struggle and THAT’S not ok!

Look… do you have a mechanic look at your car when it’s broke? Do you go to a dentist when there’s something a miss in your mouth?

Can I ask you something then???

WHY?

Why don’t you ask for help to get organized, prepared and nail down your time management skills?

Calander

I don’t know why?

Because when something isn’t working in my life I take it to someone who knows their stuff. End of story.

The team at Just In Time Solutions, can be as hard core or as gentle as you need them to be. But they’re going to get the job done and they’re going to teach you a few things along the way.

We are all moms, we ALL have been through that thought process ” I can’t keep doing this, I’m not going to make it”

I’m here to tell you today….YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE! You are doing an incredible job treading water. You are running a household, going in ten different directions and you are STILL going to MAKE IT!

But, if you’d let us….we’d like to help so that you can take that breather you’re hoping for.

Front-Biz-Card-JITS

17 years of being a Certified Professional Organizer and you can probably guess – I’ve seen it all.

But something I didn’t actually anticipate back in 2001, was the relationships I would be forming with my clients. In my view 17 years of being in a small business and being successful is an incredible accomplishment. But today I write you about some of my firsts….

There have been clients that have been a “one off deal”. They are in need of help and coaching and when the day is done, they’re happy and organized. These clients are usually families with children. But some of my first clients were professional people who were entering “middle-age” or thinking of retiring. These amazing, organized and dedicated individuals have called on me from time to time to help in life changing situations.

I have had the honour of assisting them from moving from their family home to an apartment or condo. I have been blessed to shared the ups and downs of “downsizing” and for some moving into spaces that provide a bit more care.

It hit me this week, that I have grown so very attached to these people. They have become my friends, confidants and sounding-boards. We know everything there is to know about each other families and lives because of the time I have been given to walk along beside these wonderful individuals. I never expected to form such ties with clients that had called me for help so many years ago. But I have, and I am humbled in their trust and belief of who I am and what I do.  There have been difficult decisions and moves made,  but I believe that because of our strong relationship both of us make these moves easier on each other.

To all those clients that have become “friends”, to all those who have allowed me to join them in this incredible journey. Thank you. Thank you for your never ending confidence, faith and assurance.

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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

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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