On Turning Sixty

My birthday month is over. I turned sixty on June 5th and am still celebrating. Sixty! Wow! In my mind, sixty is a powerful and exciting age. A few acquaintances are currently dealing with health issues, some serious. Knowing that makes me want to take care of my body in a mindful way. I love my work as a professional organizer and strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Here’s how.

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Janis and the Empathy Effect

Janis Roth was one of my elementary school classmates. At Westminster School, we lined up alphabetically. I was always behind her in line—Rothman directly following Roth. She was smart, sweet, pretty, and slender. Although we regarded each other fondly, Janis and I never became close friends, and lost touch after school ended. Today, I think about Janis’s untimely death and the Empathy Effect.

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Step 1 to Decluttering and Organizing

I’ve enjoyed reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and have gleaned some interesting ideas that I'd like to share in this and future blog posts. Today, I want to start by addressing Marie Kondo’s idea of beginning by visualizing the space you wish to organize and declutter to see it as you'd like it to be. Visualization—and examining your motivation—are important first steps in the organizing and decluttering process.

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Spring Decluttering

I publish this blog post one day after Passover. Passover is a prime marker of the year for me, the unofficial beginning of spring, even though it’s -20°C with the wind chill this morning. Passover is a Jewish celebration centered on liberation from slavery. This winter, some  Montrealers have felt as if they were imprisoned; it's been a tough slog for many—more difficult than some than others—with long periods of extreme cold, icy road conditions, and a darkness exacerbated by a frozen wasteland of impassable streets and sidewalks. Here’s how we can make the most of the season.

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The Power of Positive Thinking

“I feel like I never get anything finished,” said a recent client in Montreal, who had hired me as a professional organizer. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of her living space, I suggested that she create and use an affirmation. In order for an affirmation to really make a difference, you need to repeat it to yourself until it becomes part of your conscious thinking.

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I Love Being an Organizer

​​​​​​​When I was in university, I relished summer employment as a letter carrier, since I thrive off being outdoors, and walking. For twenty-six years, I had a career as a social worker, which was immensely fulfilling, given that I love helping people. Now, I enjoy professional organizing so much, it often doesn’t feel like work.

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Freecycle.org Rocks!

I've been an ardent environmentalist since my early teens. I cycle, recycle, and compost year- round. I have been a vegetarian for the last forty years, eschew plastic water bottles, love second hand shopping—you get the picture. Not only do I help clients remove clutter and organize, I aim to get rid of unwanted items ecologically, often via freecycle.org.

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Just Do It

Nike’s well-known ad campaign is as valid for life in general as it is for working out. I, for example, have a mending bag, usually holding a few items of clothing. Once I actually get to the repair job, it rarely takes more than a few minutes per item. What if—instead of placing the socks in the mending pile—I went to my sewing box, threaded a needle, and sewed up the small hole right then and there? Or, if I didn’t have time when I noticed the hole, what if I took care of it later that day, instead of allowing them to accumulate?

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