Brampton Library – Organize With Ease Seminar

Professional Organizer and founder of “Ease Up – The Organizing Experts”, Lindsay Whisen, delivered a workshop for the Brampton Library summer series in which she demonstrated organization tips to help attendees win the battle against clutter. She showed you how to start decluttering and how to stay organized. The workshop was very well received by the participants.

Here’s What Happened When I Hired a Professional Organizer

As someone surrounded by her share of “do it yourself” attitudes, asking for professional help came hard to me. At work, I was organized and could easily knock off a to-do list like nobody’s business. But that same level of organization didn’t translate over to my home space, and it was clear…I needed help.

Conquer the Clutter
It’s no secret that space is a commodity – homes are just getting smaller and smaller. When I set out to declutter our spare bedroom (for the umpteenth time), the overwhelm was intense. Sure, I could have just ‘cleaned up’ and tossed everything out that accumulated in our tiny room, but that didn’t solve the problem at its core: we really had no idea how to organize our living space and actually stay clutter-free.

It was there in my dumping yard that I realized that professional organizers exist for a reason.

Enter in the Organizing Experts
Just as you call an accountant when it’s time to do your taxes, or visit your mechanic when you hear a rattle coming from the car — that was how I approached seeking out a professional organizer. Sure, I could do my own taxes and change my own car oil, but just because I can doesn’t mean I should. There are people much more qualified to do those things. I knew hiring a professional organizer wouldn’t be cheap. So, I did a little research on industry rates, and while they were premium, I knew that the investment would be worth it. Why? Because no amount of organizational hack articles or DIY gusto would save me. I had already tried the DIY route and the clutter was only getting worse. I needed an objective, experienced opinion to help me move forward.
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Organization & Aging – What You Need To Know

As we learned recently in the news, for the first time in Canadian history seniors outnumber children in Canada (5.9 million Canadians over 65 compared to 5.8 million Canadians 14 and under), I can’t help but wonder what impact this will have on the way we live, how much we live with, and how transitions from big family homes to smaller spaces will be made. With baby boomers aging, and fertility rates declining, demographic change is all around us. With that comes the challenge of meeting the needs of all involved.

As a professional organizer, it is increasingly apparent that people of all ages are keen to live with more ease when it comes to their space and belongings. We know there are numerous benefits to being more organized, structured and efficient – in essence, more in control of our space and stuff so we feel less stress and more satisfaction.

What factors must we (organizers, family members, adult children, society, etc.) consider in order to support seniors as they transition to smaller living spaces and enter a new phase of life?

Psychological

  • Downsizing into a smaller space often means leaving behind decades of belongings and memories
  • Organizing and de-cluttering may be a welcome change, but for many seniors, it happens because of a specific event – death of a loved one, house too large, health issues, financial pressure, etc.
  • Deciding how to make a big move can be overwhelming, time-consuming and stressful
  • Throughout the process questions about what to keep, give away, donate, or pass on surface
  • Thinking about which family members can help, or will receive items, is ongoing

Organizers provide non-judgmental, encouraging and practical advice about what might be best. As a non-biased, patiently, yet firm doer, a trained professional organizer can expertly guide your “letting go and releasing process” in order to successfully make the transition.

Financial

  • Questions about what to do with family heirlooms and items of value arise consistently – who decides what is of value or not?
  • If items are deemed valuable, can they be sold? Where? What is the process for this?
  • Will other family members argue over items of value – what is in place to alleviate stress in this area?
  • How much will moving and storage cost? Do I need storage, and if so, how much does it cost?
  • How can we hire professional organizers to manage the entire process?

Professional organizers know how to efficiently work through your house and provide advice on items of value and selling options. We also provide guidance when it comes to storage versus deep de-clutter, as well as involving family members or other outside services. Personalized, efficient and reliable service are key – we do what needs to be done in a fraction of the time it takes the client.

Physical

  • There may be physical limitations to consider when downsizing
  • Some physical activity can simply be too difficult, and even dangerous, for seniors
  • No one wants to compromise their health over lifting heavy boxes
  • After de-cluttering to downsize, typically there are more boxes and bags to donate, sell, recycle, trash, etc., than clients thought they would have. Dealing with all of them can be overwhelming

An organizer is ready to do the hard, physical work, along with the dirty work, to get the job done effectively and efficiently. We dig into the deep dark corners of every drawer, cupboard, closet, shelf, and outdoor space in order to make the transition as smooth as it can be.

As professional organizers, we not only believe but see from experience, that living with only what you really need and maximizing that value is a recipe for living with more ease. We understand the challenges associated with downsizing, especially among seniors, and we are committed to helping all clients navigate the process with as much sanity, and smiles as possible.

Is this helpful as you perhaps navigate the world of seniors and downsizing?  Please send your comments, feedback, and suggestions to jessica@easeup.ca

About the Author

Having caught the organizational bug early on trying to “balance” things out as an elite gymnast, Jessica Tudos brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to her role as a professional organizer.  Drawing from her global work as an experiential educator, author, and motivational speaker, Jessica is on a mission to empower people to lead healthy, creative and organized lives.

How to Hygge for Optimal Organization & Happiness

You may have noticed a lot of talk about hygge lately (pronounced “hoo-gah”), which, in a nutshell, is a Danish approach to living simply and intentionally.

According to Luisa Thomsen Brits, author of, ‘The Book of Hygge – The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection’, hygge is a way of being present, mindful, and connected.

According to the author, Danes are some of the happiest people in the world. They don’t hygge to be content, they find contentment in hygge. “Hygge is lived in the middle of all of the other elements of an engaged life.”

So what can we learn from this Danish life philosophy, and how can it make our lives easier?

When someone hyggers (yes, it’s a verb!), we promote trivsel, which translates to “wellbeing in ourselves and others.” So even when life is challenging, hygge is about cultivating an attitude of optimism to get to trivsel.

Sounds lovely, but how do you DO it? By keeping only what we love, need, and connect with, to start. As William Morris puts it, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful.”

Beauty and utility are at the heart of Scandinavian design – think IKEA! Thomsen Brits goes on to say that, “if something has purpose as well as beauty, it has integrity. If our surroundings are too cluttered it is harder to make space to hygge. We can easily become paralyzed in disorganization and clutter by the objects around us. Hygge requires clarity, (which is) difficult to achieve if we are burdened by things or at a loss to find what we need in a sea of possessions.”

So, if we keep what we value in the present, we are on our way to a more hyggelist (yes, it’s an adjective too!) life.

If we view our home as a place of solace that restores and sustains us, we must be intentional in what surrounds us. As Thomas More states, “Home is an emotional state, a place in the imagination where feelings of security, belonging, placement, family, protection, memory, and personal history abide.”

Sustaining ourselves, and others, is closely aligned with hygge – it meets our desire to create a cozy, safe environment that resonates with our inner lives.

But how do we create and sustain a home that has meaning and function when our lives are moving so quickly, with little to no time for organizing and decluttering and deciding? Besides hiring professionals to help (yes, Ease Up is here to do just that!), we can also, on our own, make decisions about what is useful, what has meaning, what makes us content, as opposed to what feels heavy, outdated, and burdensome.

If moving towards an organized home – and mind – is our goal, we can use the concept of hygge to help us get there. As Thomsen Brits reminds us, “Each home represents an ecology of objects and totems that speak to the lives of the inhabitants. Each one of us finds meaning in things that represent our actions, goals, achievements, and the salient events of our lives. They are strands of meaning everywhere”

Is hygge helpful in organizing, decluttering and managing your home? Please send your comments, feedback and suggestions to jessica@easeup.ca

About the Author

Having caught the organizational bug early on trying to “balance” things out as an elite gymnast, Jessica Tudos brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to her role as a professional organizer.  Drawing from her global work as an experiential educator, author, and motivational speaker, Jessica is on a mission to empower people to lead healthy, creative and organized lives.