Posts Tagged ‘scheduling’

What habits can you improve?

Posted on: September 22nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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Start fresh now that it’s September! What habits can you improve? 

Belle B. Cooper of RescueTime shares her Tips for organizing your calendar.

Check out Tom Popomaronis’ 4 Toxic Habits That Are Poisoning Your Productivity (And How to Break Them).

 

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”

 



Mud Rooms

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerIt’s September already!

As I’m putting together this edition, it is 23C (73F) and I’m out on my deck–even though we’ve already had frost a number of times. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want summer to end, make sure you get outside and enjoy everything that fall has to offer.

I’m excited that I have become a grandmother! Congratulations to Jason and Amber on the birth of Nash Carter Blaxall on the morning of August 20. He’s adorable! Spending time with Nash has definitely been added to my list of priorities. I just wish they lived closer!

MUD ROOMS 

Let’s talk about mud rooms. This topic piggybacks nicely on last month’s topic of laundry areas. While writing this article, I realized a separate discussion about front/main entryways is needed. Stay tuned!

When I Googled “mud room”, I found over 21,000,000 results–just a few more than expected!

Perhaps you’re one of the many people who wants a “to die for” mud room you’ve seen on Pinterest. Unless you’re building a new home or renovating, it may not be realistic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some great ideas and inspiration which can be adapted to your home.

While a mud room isn’t usually the main entrance to your home, it’s likely a very high traffic area. If you have a garage, often the door from the garage into the house leads to a mud room.

If you’re thinking about renovating to add/create a mud room, there are many things to consider. What are your expectations?

Take the time to plan your space. Make it as functional as possible. Yes, you want it to look nice, but it needs to function on a day-to-day basis. Nowadays, a main floor laundry is often located in this area. I frequently see clients who find it’s difficult to do laundry in a mud room when there is nowhere to store 15 pairs of shoes. Piles of dirty laundry on the floor often make the entrance impassable.

Unless you’re a designer, consulting a professional for his/her expert advice will be worth the investment.

Make a list of everything you would like to store in your mud room.

  • Outerwear – Sweaters, coats, hats, scarves, mittens/gloves
  • Footwear – Shoes, boots, sandals, flip flops
  • Sports Equipment
  • Backpacks
  • Laundry Supplies – Detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, hamper, laundry basket(s), hangers – (if your laundry is located there)
  • Pet Supplies – Food, water dish, leashes

Unless you have a large room, you will need to limit the number of items that can be stored there. Otherwise, disorganization can still occur.

REMEMBER – No amount of storage space will satisfy you if the people using the space don’t put things away. Designate homes–with LABELS–for everything! If your children don’t hang coats or jackets on hangers, consider adding some hooks. Hooks generally work better for young children. Just remember to hang them at a height they can reach!

Until next month,


Cathy Mendler



A Happy Client in Burlington!

Posted on: July 31st, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

“Cathy has helped me immensely with a family member’s move.

Not only is Cathy [pleasant] to work with, very knowledgeable and proficient at her work, she went above and beyond her duties. Cathy was able to reuse or donate items to assist other families which meant a great deal to me.

I highly recommend Cathy as her expertise would benefit those who must tackle any type of project.”

N Schreiner, Burlington, ON

Thanks for reading…

Cathy Mendler
P.S. To read more testimonials, please Click Here



Let’s Declutter and Get Things Done!

Posted on: July 21st, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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C
heck out Rachel Hartman’s 9 Decluttering Projects to Tackle This Summer.

How does Richard Branson accomplish so much? Lists! In How I get things done, he shares his top 10 tips for making lists.

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”

 



Slow Down and Enjoy Your Summer!

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerI hope you were able to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. It’s great to still see so many Canadian flags everywhere. Our neighbourhood get-together on Canada Day was a lot of fun. We enjoyed great company, a delicious assortment of food and ended the night with a campfire watching several fireworks displays. 

SUMMERTIME

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” I love this quote of Doe Zantamata’s. And it’s so true! How often do you find that you’re worried about something and after taking a break, it’s not as much of a problem?

In our last edition, I talked about life’s fast pace and the fact that most people feel they are too busy.

Take some time to slow down and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Continue to reflect and make some decisions about what you can do differently to lighten your schedule this fall. Yes, it will take some effort–especially if you’re trying to create some new habits.

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” Jim Rohn

In 5 Reasons to Streamline Your Life, Susan Krauss Whitbourne tells us “…. clutter, physical and mental, can interrupt our flow–both your ability to move and your ability to think. … your well-being could also become victim to what we might call the “clutter effect.”

The 5 reasons:

  • “Low subjective well-being
  • Unhealthier eating
  • Poorer mental health
  • Less efficient visual processing
  • Less efficient thinking”

Susan’s article is worth reading in its entirety. She concludes with “Streamlining seems to have its advantages, … not just as a housekeeping tool, but as an essential process for maintaining your happiness in your home environment and at work.”

And for those of you who have trouble unplugging while you’re away, ParkSleepFly’s How to Unplug while on Vacation is a great read.

If you’re cleaning out your closets this month, please consider donating any gently used professional attire to Moore’s Canadian Suit Drive being held July 1-31. This drive assists at-risk men and women who want to join the workforce. Give a suit. Change a life!

So get started and turn over another leaf!

Until next month,

a new leaf-cathy.png



Wouldn’t YOU like 10x the results?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s similar to other productivity ideas where you focus on your tasks for a block of time–25 minutes.

Thomas Oppong explains the technique in This Simple Life-Changing Technique Can Help You Achieve 10x Results.

 

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”



It’s Yard Sale Season!

Posted on: June 2nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

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Whether you’re putting your home up for sale or are clearing out some clutter, check out our Yard Sale Checklist.



Introducing… Lynda Schmidt from Staged to Sell

Posted on: May 29th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments
STAGED TO SELL

Staged to Sell 1

As a professional home stager, Lynda Schmidt notes that many homeowners trying to sell their homes often make the same mistakes:

  • too much stuff
  • dated flooring
  • dark rooms, or
  • startling wall colours

Lynda works with homeowners and real estate agents who see untapped potential in homes about to go on the market. “The biggest thing is clutter, too much stuff,” she says, referring to the clutter as “visual noise.”

With rooms filled with collections, family photos, religious icons, furniture and toys, prospective buyers tend to focus on the stuff rather than the room itself. If that first showing proves negative, chances are the buyer will simply move on.

“Every potential buyer only knows what they see, not the potential (of the house).”

Buyers will also zero in on specific items like that defeated old couch in the rec room. “Even though the furniture shouldn’t matter, it does.” Use slip covers or remove the couch all together. Also, think of furniture placement: in a small dining room for example, placing the chairs at two sides of the table rather than on all four sides will provide more space.

It is most important for sellers to “de-personalize” their space by removing all personal items, anything that smacks of the homeowner’s tastes or interests.

“Painting has the biggest impact and is the cheapest,” she says. “And remove old, dated wallpaper.” Removing extra furniture can also make a difference: a small living room with a couch, loveseat and three or four chairs makes the room seem cramped and small.

Lynda suggests having the bedrooms and bathroom appear unused. Remove cleaning products as well as personal items such as shampoos and cosmetics. Kitchens are also an issue, as homeowners tend to keep everything–from coffee makers to spice racks–on the counters. Clear it off. “You’re selling counter space, not the stuff on the counter. “Empty and organize your closets too.”

Repairs should be done before the first showing. Every flaw–from having to remove wallpaper border to updating the kitchen flooring–will give the buyer an excuse to “chip away” at the price. This can mean the seller loses more in the sale than it would cost to do the upgrades.

When she is hired to stage a home, Lynda rents larger items such as furniture. She has her own warehouse filled with everything from candlesticks to art work to give homes some oomph — which could mean the difference between a quick sale and languishing on the market.

“A high percentage will pay more for a property they can move into without doing a thing.”

Staged to Sell 2

Lynda Schmidt is the owner of L.B. Schmidt Creative Services and was one of the first Home Staging professionals in Waterloo Region. She has been in the buiness of creative visual presentation for over 25 years. You can contact her at lbschmidt@rogers.com or 519-589-7456.



A Quote from Jennifer Coolidge

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments



Be Clear About YOUR Purpose

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Linda Ockwell Jenner

 

BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE

If you sometimes have a hard time speaking up because you are not sure how to phrase your message, here are some ideas that may help you.

  • Make your position known and ask for what you want.
  • Present a logical and compelling case for your position.
  • Get your ideas heard in a group.
  • Hold firm to your position when necessary.

Be Proactive and Establish Support

  • Build a strong foundation of trust so that you are an influencer.
  • Encourage others to feel good about your ideas.
  • Build alliances that allow you to work together and offer support to each other.

State Your Observation First

Observations can be seen as facts. Things that can be seen, heard, or taken through your senses. Facts are objective, cannot be argued, and help the other person understand what you are saying.

State Your Thoughts and Feelings

Begin each of your statements with ‘I’ to indicate that they are your own thoughts and your feelings.

State What You Want The Other Person To Do

Make statements about your needs, rather than solutions. Stating needs opens the door to generating alternative solutions. Stating solutions can close that door. For example: “I would like you to be on time for meetings” is a statement of needs. Whereas, “I will call you five minutes before meetings start to make sure you will be on time” states a solution. The first statement naturally leads to a discussion of options on how to meet the need. The second statement closes off discussion of other options and places the responsibility for the problem on you.

When sharing your ideas maintain eye contact, a serious expression, firm voice and moderate rate of speech. Avoid aggressive gestures, or non-verbal gestures that may be interpreted as anger or impatience.

Practice your clear, concise messages before delivering them to others.

Always think clearly, and quietly when you have some alone time, before you decide to deliver your message to others.

Find a Way Where Both Parties, or Groups Achieve a Win/Win Outcome

  • Ensure that your own position does address other peoples’ needs and priorities.
  • Negotiate persuasively.

Listen clearly to the other person’s response to your message. It is important to hear them out. Do not be impatient to offer your point of view, so hear, listen and digest what is being said.

If something upsets you it may be a good idea to ask for a few minutes to take in what has been said, because your emotions may take away from your thought process.

Always ask for feedback. This is a positive request and offers the other person a chance to be completely honest.

Whether you work with a large team or alone, being able to communicate your message is very important. We can become stressed and feel like an outsider if we can’t understand why others do not appear to listen or care about our purpose.

People who speak up may be seen as a trouble maker, or someone who wants to get to the top faster than others. Once again this is an observation, and may not be the true facts of the matter.

Believe in yourself. Stay true to who you are, knowing you work with others and you are thinking about their needs and priorities, as well as your own.

Linda Ockwell-Jenner is truly one of a kind! As a survivor of cancer not just once, but three times, her determination to overcome all kinds of challenges defines her. Linda has put this energy to launching and managing two highly successful businesses. Learn more about Motivational Steps and The Small Business Community Network.