Simple ways of getting rid of items for free

We all have those items that we no longer need but still might be of use to someone else.  Once you have made a decision to let something go then it is time to move it on.  If it is still in good working order then why not see if someone else might want it rather than send it to landfill.  Sometimes it is the not knowing what to do with items that holds us back in actually doing something about them or making a start.

If you are about to do some spring cleaning in your place then here are some simple ways of getting rid of items for free:

  • Gumtreegumtree logo -Simple ways of getting rid of items you no longer need for freeover the years I have regularly used Gumtree to donate both my own personal items and that of clients.  There are many people in need and if you have items in good condition ie mattresses at least they can be reused rather than just sent to landfill.  On one ocassion, I was emptying out a deceased estate for a client, and in one day, having posted items from furniture to electical items in the morning they were gone by that evening.
  • Freecycle – the Freecycle Network is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
  • Zilch – amazing free stuff given away every day.  If you have any items such as books, clothes, baby items, furniture then you can use this to declutter and keep out of landfill.
  • Facebook – There are a lot of local groups in your area that you can put items on to see if others might want them.  If you are not sure sometimes just asking your friends on social media for recommendations can be useful.
  • Kids Off The Kerb – Do you have white goods that you no longer require? Then check out this group who collect them for free and recycle them.
  • Donations to charities – however beware that it is often useful to check with a charity to confirm they accept the donation that you are making.  For instance many charities won’t take electrical items.  It is easy to pick up the phone and call your local charity or research them online before making donations.
  • Council pick upsimage of junk lying around for council collection - Simple ways of getting rid of items you no longer need for freemany local councils offer a pick up service for items you no longer need. You can check out when the dates are online or by giving them a call.  I know we have ours coming up in the next few months which can be handy for putting out items and often they are taken by others prior to the council coming.  Personally I don’t have an issue with this however there is a bit of debate as to whether this is legal or not – click here to read a recent article about this on the ABC.

I trust this might prompt you into taking action to free yourself and your space of those items that you no longer need or want around! Use one of these simple ways of getting rid of items you no longer need for free!  HAPPY SPRING!

If you would like any assistance to declutter your space please do get in touch for a chat to see how I might be able to help – send me an email or get in touch on
0409 967 166.

What hidden treasures might you have?

What hidden treasures might you have in your home that you may or may not even remember having?hidden treasures - house and garden magazine from 1955

hidden treasures - house and garden magazine from 1955When working with a client recently we came across these hidden treasures from the 1950’s – several House and Garden magazines along with a Playboy magazine (which was actually very tame in comparison to what you can access these days).  We also found a newspaper from 1940!   Naturally my client kept hold of these being the age they were rather than just throwing them out in the recycle with the many other more recent magazines we found.  My client in fact actually knew these magazines were somewhere in her home however they were not actually being looked after and were just thrown in a container.  This can be an issue!hidden treasures - playboy magazine from 1950's

The point of this BLOG is to say that we all probably have hidden treasures in our homes though unless they are actually being looked after then they may not be treasures for long.  I regularly come across such treasures when working with clients.  Another recent find was a cushion from the Melbourne Olympic Games at the MCG in 1956.  In my experience however usually the items are not being cared for.  Often they are just in a pile with other miscellaneous items thrown in a box rather than being kept with other treasures in one place.

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether you should pack away your treasures or actually display them.  It depends on what works for you, your household and how these treasures make you feel.  However it is important for those treasures you do pack away that you know what is there, where they are, that you protect them as best you can from the elements and pack them away more carefully.

Some of the treasures we hold on to are family heritage or personal collections that are precious to us.  Therefore proper care and maintenance of any family heirlooms and other items will ensure that they are available for future generations to enjoy.  As I am not an expert in this area I encourage you to seek information, online, in books or other sources, to find out the best way to care for items that you either want to display or pack away.

You may also be feeling that it might also be time for you to part with your treasures, as they no longer have the meanings or purpose they once did.  If this is the case but you are struggling to let them go then it might be worth you reading this BLOG I wrote on Letting Go of Sentimental Clutter.

Should you need some help decluttering to look and find your treasures, then please do get in touch to find out how I can help!

Big School Ready – transition to primary school

Your child is growing up and it’s getting close to the time for you to start thinking about, or preparing for, their next journey in life by selecting or attending a primary school.

Starting school for the first time is a big change for your child and your whole family.  For children, and parents, it can often be both exciting and daunting at the same time.

So how do you choose a primary school?

This is one of the most frequent questions that I get asked by parents of kindergarten children which is naturally quite understandable as it can be a big decision.  It can be common for parents to feel anxious about making the right choice on deciding which school to send their child.

In some locations parents, actually don’t have the luxury of choosing a primary school as they are either zoned to a particular location or there is only one school that is close by.  For other families though school selection isn’t that simple and they might be looking at alternatives to a government school like a catholic or independent/private school for their child.

Whatever your current thoughts in relation to possible choices here are a few important points to assist with the decision-making process:

  • Have a bit of an idea of what you might be looking for or needing for your child in a prospective school. For example, does your child have any particular needs that require additional support.  It can be useful to put a bit of a list together as you think of things.
  • Speak to other families you know about their experiences with schools in the area.
  • Speak to kindergarten and childcare teachers to gain their perspective as they too also know your child well and what their needs are likely to be.
  • Make a list of prospective schools that you might be considering.
  • Visit those prospective schools to meet the principal and ask questions (more on this below). Make sure you do this during school hours as this allows you to see the school in operation and to gain a good feel of what it is like.

When you do a school tour here are a list of questions you might like to consider asking:transition to primary school

  • What does learning look like at this school? What is the school’s approach?
  • What facilities or programs does the school have to support a child’s learning?
  • How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
  • What are the school’s values and in turn do they sit with your values?
  • What is the size of the school, the breakdown of classes and the number of children in each class?
  • What are the school’s academic results? What are their strengths and weaknesses?  What are they doing about improving any weaknesses?
  • If you have a child with additional needs then make sure you ask all the important questions that relate ie what support programs do they have in place? How is funding sought and allocated?
  • What opportunities are there for parent and family involvement?
  • Does the school work in partnership with families? How does this work?
  • How is communication between school and families handled?
  • What is the school’s policy on homework?
  • What is the school’s assessment and reporting processes?
  • What approach does the school take around managing behaviours?
  • What are the financial costs in relation to fees, uniform, supplies etc?
  • How involved is the parent body in the running of the school?
  • What is the school’s transition program? How and when does this take place?

Before making a decision on which school to choose, you might also like to consider other aspects like:

  • Where the school is located?
  • How will your child get to and from school?
  • Do you need before and after care and does the school offer it?
  • Where are your child’s friends going?

In making the final decision on which primary school, I usually tell parents to go with their gut feel as it is usually spot on. You know your child best and have a feel for the type of environment you believe will suit them.   I also follow this up by saying to please also note that if things don’t work out at the first school you choose then there are always options to change to another school.  I know many families who have done this over the years for a variety of different reasons and there has been little impact on their children as a result.

You have now made the decision on which primary school your child will attend so what now? 

Parents play an important role in supporting their children with the transition to primary school.  This transition is one of the most significant events in a child’s life and usually starts in the year prior to the starting school.  Any transition process evokes mixed feelings of stress, anxiety, excitement and nervousness for everyone.  Usually, these feelings are associated with uncertainty and the unknown.  Students and parents worry about what this will mean in terms of a new environment, new routines and new expectations.  Most primary schools have a transition or ‘orientation’ program in place to assist new students and their families.

Parents, along with kindergarten and childcare teachers, can help their children to cope with the new challenges they will face by assisting them to continue to focus on developing their social, emotional and learning skills.

Here’s a few tips on how you can support your child in the lead up to starting school:

  • Encourage them to learn to do things for themselves – packing and unpacking their bag, getting dressed by themselves, using a lunchbox, going to the toilet by themselves, asking for help when needed.
  • Teach them to look after their belongings.
  • Encourage and teach them about making friends and that all children will be in the same situation in that it is new for them too.
  • Encourage them to have a play with others that you know that are likely to be going to the same school.
  • Keep talking to them about primary school in a positive way and please don’t share any negative experiences you may have had or are aware of.
  • Continue to ask them how they are feeling and discuss any concerns or feelings they may have. Likewise discuss what they might be looking forward to.
  • Visit the school on weekends and spend time playing in the school yard and discuss things like how they will get to school and the sort of things they will do when there.

Finally, please remember the transition process is a time of change for parents as well – being aware of this can assist and where possible I encourage parents to look forward to the new opportunities to be involved in your child’s education.  Best of luck for the transition process to you and your child!

If you would like to know more about transition to primary school or to secondary school get in touch.

Why making mistakes is important for students

You are probably wondering why making mistakes is important for students – how can this possibly be?

Recently I was attending one of my son’s parent teacher interviews and was actually very impressed with the teacher who went through an Essay he had written.  The teacher first asked what he thought his mark would be to which he responded an ‘A’.  He was then told he had received a ‘B+’ and had just missed out by a few marks.  The teacher then proceeded to focus on the telling him the areas where he had made mistakes and where he could improve in order to achieve an ‘A’ next time round.  What I really liked about this particular teachers approach was that he actually didn’t just focus on what my son had done well rather spent more time on what mistakes he made.   It is important naturally for a student to know what they did well but the key learning is in what they didn’t do well or where they made mistakes!

When working 1:1 with students I often ask them to reflect on their assignments, homework, tests and exams so that they learn from the process of what did and didn’t work and where they can make changes to ensure they learn the material and do better next time round.

The key to making mistakes is in teaching students to discover the benefits of making them and that it is not all doom and gloom!

Many students see mistakes as failure rather than a valuable asset.  This is because students don’t think about their mistakes rationally rather they think about them emotionally – not achieving the result they desire can make them feel disappointed, frustrated, angry and even sad.  This is true for our society in general, as we don’t usually embrace or celebrate when mistakes are made now do we.  So how do we get students to embrace their mistakes and reframe this into opportunity for growth and further development?  The last thing we want is when they get a bad result to hide the test or exam away as this will never see them get better.  Academic success does not come from how smart or motivated students are it comes from how they feel about their mistakes.

It is important for teachers, students and parents to talk about mistakes rather than avoid talking about them at all as this helps our students to ultimately benefit—both academically as well as emotionally.

Mistakes usually happen for a reason:

  • the student didn’t learn all the relevant information;
  • they didn’t execute the steps in a process;
  • they didn’t put in the time or effort studying;
  • they were not using effective study strategies; or
  • maybe just ignored or didn’t understand the actual questions or directions given.

The ‘x’ or ‘0’ mark is just a simple assessment of the actions the student took in that moment.  Naturally these actions can easily be altered and fixed for next time round.  We need to share mistakes in this way to ensure students practice, stay motivated and help them have a constructive relationship with mistakes they make.  We also should encourage the effort as much as the end result, yes we want students to do things the right way but we also need them to learn from their mistakes.  We all make mistakes from time to time and know that it isn’t the end of the world as a result.

As we have just entered the mid year exam period it is important for students, once exams are over, to take a step back and look at what worked and what didn’t to ensure they are more successful with both their study and exams next time round!

Those mistakes on the actual exam are also where the key learning will come from.  Unfortunately many students usually just accept the result without spending any reflection time on the study process or the actual exam paper in terms of going over in detail what they did wrong.  I often find that many students don’t even seem to keep or know where their previous test papers are.  I advise students to always keep them and reuse them next time round as there are only so many questions that can be asked for each topic/subject.

The key learning for all students is to make sure they know what they did wrong and then to understand and learn from this ready for next time.  As I asked my own son, only a few days ago as he was preparing for his maths exam, was he reviewing his past maths tests?  It was pleasing to hear that he had gone over and redone those problems again during his revision to ensure he understood them better now.  This means he will no doubt be more prepared for his maths exam than had he not taken this step.

So where to from here?  What are you going to do or say when your child gets their exam results?  How are you going to get them to reflect on what they did well and didn’t do well so they learn from their mistakes for next time?  Think about how you will discuss mistakes with your child – in a positive or negative way?

If you would like some support for yourself or your child please get in touch to learn more how I can assist with my Student Success Program.

Passive v active study strategies for students

Do you as a parent really understand the difference between passive v active study strategies for students?  If you answered no to this question you are not alone.  Unfortunately many of our children also don’t understand the difference and this needs to change.

When I meet with students, both in a school and home environment, I am astounded at how many of them actually often only use passive study strategies.

So what is the difference?

Passive study strategies

Passive studying is what the majority of students do when it comes to studying information for a test, SAC or exam.  This usually involves a student adopting strategies of:

  • reading over their notespassive v active study strategies for students - image of a student highlighting notes
  • re-reading information in a text book
  • highlighting large chunks of information
  • listening to information
  • watching a demonstration or documentary

A student usually thinks that if they do these things over and over that is all they need to do.

A passive approach, like that described above, creates an illusion of knowing for a student which means that by reading over information it is familiar to them and therefore they believe they know it.  Unfortunately, as an academic life coach, I see this happen way to often.  What actually happens is that when a student has a test, SAC or exam and needs to recall information they think they know, it is NOT stored in their long term memory and they struggle to provide the answers required.  Naturally they then do not receive the marks they think they should have as a result.  Passive studying is not effective for long term retention of information in any way!

Active study strategies

Active studying is adopting an approach whereby a student actively tests their knowledge of material learnt.  While rereading notes still has a role to play those students who take it a step further by actually engaging with the information and adopting active strategies (noted below) are more likely to achieve better results.quote learning to study smarter not harder - and how it is about adopting Passive v active study strategies for students

Active strategies include:

  • rewriting and revising notes into their ‘own words’
  • making outlines
  • using flashcards
  • teaching the material to someone
  • answering practice problems

By adopting the above approaches, a student is more likely to gain a greater understanding of the information and material, whilst strengthening their long term memory, and be able to respond better in test, SAC or exam situations.

As I regularly tell the students I work with it is all about studying smarter not harder and by adopting active study strategies you are giving yourself a much better chance of receiving the marks you want.  The more active the study method you use the more prepared you are likely to be able to respond and do well in a test, SAC or exam situation.

For more information on how I can support your child with their learning/studying and ensure they have the necessary tools & strategies to succeed please get in touch.

Streamlining systems and processes for small/medium sized businesses

Image of gears to represent the importance of streamlining systems and processes for small/medium sized businessesMost recently I have been asked to help a number of clients to stream line systems and processes for their small/medium sized businesses.  It is interesting now that we are a few months into the new calendar year I have been approached by several small business owners who feel like they are out of control with the way they are or are not operating their businesses.  Once upon a time they had structure but either due to growth or lack of time or a combination of both, the systems and processes they have in place no longer serve the business well.  Hence their call to do something about it and get in touch with me in order to assist.

For those who do not know my background this type of work is what I have basically done all of my career when working for others in the various project management, marketing or general management positions.  I really enjoy getting in and making a difference to the lives of business owners.

So why is this so important for a small/medium sized businesses?

Systems and processes play a significant role in building and growing a business.  They serve as the business essential building blocks and support.  Hence, it is necessary for business owners to incorporate them into their businesses. It is also important to consider the efficiency and accuracy of the business systems.

One of the biggest reasons is that you can focus on the most important aspect of your business by meeting the demands of your clients and not having to worry as much about the administration and backend if you have put the time and effort into establishing the necessary systems and processes so that it runs both efficiently and productively.

How might you go about setting up systems and processes?

When I work with clients in this area it is important to start with a business audit/review – where by we discuss and work through many issues like the following:

  • How is the business structured?
  • How do you operate – describe what the business does from the front end to the back end?  How does it all come together?
  • How many staff do you have and who is responsible for what roles?
  • What do you believe is working well for you?  Where do you feel you are efficient?
  • Where do you believe the challenges are?  What issues do you experience and are they regular occurances?
  • What areas do you believe you can or would like to streamline?
  • Are you meeting all your financial and tax obligations? What are your process around this?
  • What is your IT structure – what applications do you use?  Do you back up your systems? (Often many businesses do not have adequate systems around this which is just vital to the survival of a business should anything happen – when did you last review this for your business?)
  • Do you have a budget?
  • Do you have a business and marketing plan in place?
  • Do you have a reporting process in place so you know how the business is going and are able to track growth?
  • Who is on your team in terms of advisors?

By working through all of the above, and more, only then is there an opportunity to identify the areas of the business that need attention and ensure systems and processes are put in place.  For instance one of my recent clients wants to triple the growth of their business and understands the importance of ensuring all of the backend systems and processes are established to support this growth.  With so many plans and ideas for growth I explained to my client the necessity of prioritising and putting certain parts of those plans into place first before trying to do it all.  The danger by trying to do it all at once is that nothing actually gets done well and the business does not grow as planned.  In this clients instance we identified the importance of recruiting an admin assistant/bookkeeper and then all the other bits and pieces will be able to flow from there.

image of gears representing automation and process - Streamlining systems and processes for small/medium sized businesses

source: http://www.exciteit.com.au/

For another client they were struggling with the manual paperwork and manual processes for their business that they needed to review how they operated to improve efficiency and productivity.  By working through the current way they operated I was able to work with them to identify the areas that could be streamlined and automated which would save them time that they were craving.  Gaining more time has been beneficial to these clients on both a business and personal level  – it has allowed them more time to be out growing the business whilst giving them more time to enjoy life and not feel they are working all the time.

If you are operating a small to medium sized business when was the last time you took a step back and reviewed the way you are operate and function?  If you haven’t done this ever, or for some time, then make the time and allow yourself time and space to review what is and isn’t working as efficiently as it can.  After identifying this you will then be able to make changes or seek the input or help to do so.  At the end of the day we all want our businesses to do well and it is important to make time for both working IN and ON your business.

If you are not sure of the best place to start or would like some assistance in this area please do get in touch as I am only more than too happy to get you on track.

Here’s some further reading I thought would be useful to share with you on why this is so important to your business:

6 Key Benefits of Building Systems

Why A Lack Of Systems Is Stunting Your Business Growth And Costing You A Fortune

7 benefits you will get if you implement business systems in your company

Should a student listen to music while studying?

I often get asked by parents should a student listen to music while studying?  When answering this question I usually say that there are a variety of factors to consider before giving a simple YES or NO answer as all students are different in the way they learn and study – what works for one may or may not work for another.  For some students studying and listening to music can be a productive combination whilst for others they might think they are being productive when they are in fact likely to get distracted by the music, take longer to complete their work and find it isn’t up to the quality or standard that it should be.

The type of questions I often ask a parent and/or a student include:

  • does your child have any learning challenges ie ADHD?
  • what subjects are they working on when they typically want to listen to music?
  • how are they going in those subjects at school?
  • does it have any affect on the quality of work they are producing – do you know?
  • what type of music are they listening to?
  • are they still completing their best work?
  • do they get distracted by the music at all?
  • does studying with music help with their concentration?
  • what are their reasons for listening to music?
  • do they listen to music so as not to be bored with studying?

By asking these questions I am trying to ascertain if studying with music is actually likely to help or hinder a student.

In most cases listening to music while engaging in homework or study/revision is seeing a student multi-tasking.  We know that multi- tasking in general is not effective and can lead to slower mental processes and be distracting.  If a student isn’t able to focus on his or her homework while listening to music then it is probably not for them.

However for some students, particularly those with ADHD, music can be important as it helps to feed the brain.  Music is rhythm and rhythm is structure which can help a students brain to focus, attend, plan and initiate.  Mind you having said that it isn’t all types of music and research has shown that certain types of music are usually better than others ie classical or non lyrical.  These types of music can be soothing and relaxing and can assist students to beat stress and anxiety whilst studying.

If a student does feel they need to listen to music then it is best they choose music they like and are familiar with as it can be less distracting.  It is said they should image of music and books to convey should a student listen to music while studying?avoid music that is high intensity and loud sound.  Changes in volume can be distracting and take a students attention away from what they are doing.  In general research has found that usually instrumental music (with no lyrics) is the best form of music to listen to when studying and is less likely to be a distraction.  Students who listen to music with lyrics or that is loud, while completing reading or writing tasks, tend to be less efficient and don’t usually find as much information has been absorbed into their long term memory.

Unfortunately I haven’t given you the definitive answer that you may have been seeking.  At the end of the day it is really up to you and your child to make up your own minds in deciding whether it is good to study with music and whether it is productive or not.

For further support or ideas on how I can assist you and your child please get in touch or give me a call 0409 967 166.

5 simple tips for you in your kitchen

Are you struggling in your kitchen with the way you operate to be organised, efficient and effective?  Here are 5 simple tips for you in your kitchen to get you organised!

1. Meal Planning the words plan

This is a great habit to get into and one that can assist you ahead of time by knowing what you are going to eat in the days or week ahead.  Meal planning can save you time, money sanity and improve your nutrition so you are not grabbing the easy food at the last minute.  For 8 tips on how to meal plan click here.  What have you got to lose give it a go and see if you can make it work for you and your family.

2. Shop at home first for items to cook with before going shopping

Whist meal planning (Tip 1 above) it is important to utilise the food items you have already and shop at home by seeing what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry.  It is a great habit to get into using these items before purchasing others.  This process will also save you both time and money.

3. Rotating food regularly

When you have shopped for new supplies make sure you take the few minutes (yes that is all it really takes) to rotate the old with the new in your pantry, fridge or freezer.  Too often I see clients who just put the new in the front of the pantry and then end up having to throw out food in the back as it never got rotated around.

 

4.  Making your pantry work for you

The food or items that you access on a regular basis should be in the area of your pantry that is often referred to as the ‘high access zone’.  This is usually the shelf or two or the area in your pantry that is eye height or slightly lower – sometimes it can even be referred to as the middle shelf.  This is where you, or those in your family or household, can easily reach the things you use on a daily or regular basis ie cereal, spreads, sauces, snacks.

 

5.  Utilise the magic triangle in your kitchen

the magic triangle in your kitchen

source: Wikipedia

You are probably now thinking what is she on about?  Well the magic triangle refers to the space between the sink, stove/oven and fridge – this is the area that is usually utilised the most in any kitchen.  Ideally this is a space that works for you rather than against you when it comes to the room you have for food preparation, cooking and washing up.  Make sure it is clutter free and has the space you need for all of these functions.   Ideally the magic triangle has been thought about when your kitchen was designed and put together.

Following these five simple tips will help you to be more organised – why not give them a go today!
 
If you want to take your kitchen organising even further than this there here are a couple of other BLOGs I have written that you may be interested in:

Tips on organising recipes in your kitchen
Junk drawer organising in 5 easy steps

Should you find yourself needing some assistance to get your kitchen organised, to function better for you, then please get in touch as I’d be happy to help you with this just like I have helped many others over the years.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher!

I tell all the students that I work with 1:1 and in my workshops, at both primary and secondary schools, to ‘Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for help’!  Unfortunately for many it is not as simple as just telling them this, seeing them take this on board, following through and then actually asking the teacher for assistance when they need it.

image of hands in the air signailing they want to ask a questionIn recent discussions I have had with other Academic Life Coaches around the world they too are finding that seeking help from teachers is a bigger issue for students than it really ought to be.  It is time that this all changed and that students understand the importance of asking!

Why has this become an issue?

I cannot pinpoint when in time this started to become an issue but what I can do is give you some reasons why my fellow Academic Coaches and myself feel students don’t seek out help as often as they should.  These include:

  • that anyone that asks for help is a loser and it can be they feel a loss of face. Only the other day in a questionnaire, that I ask my students to complete before I start working with them, here’s a response from a Year 8 student – “I feel uncomfortable to ask anything because I feel like I will look stupid”.
  • students believe that they should be able to work this out on their own – this is something I regularly hear too.
  • feeling that as students they should be independent and strong and that seeking help can be a sign of weakness.
  • it can be seen as being shameful in many communities to admit you can’t do everything on your own without any assistance.
  • some high-achieving students feel like talking to the teacher is “cheating” because they are getting extra help.  They can sometimes feel that they got themselves into the problem and then need to get themselves out of it.

Rightly or wrongly it is such a shame that in this day and age that we still have this issue and it is time to start doing something about it – hence why I am highlighting this by writing this article.  In order to learn students need to be able to ask questions as they go which can assist to build their knowledge at the time.

What can we do about it?

In the coaching I do with students I regularly discuss this issue and explain why seeking help from a teacher is so important and that they are, in most instances, there to help and assist as students require it.

Only last week did I instruct several of my 1:1 student clients to seek more advice when they don’t understand something rather than leave it too late and they have then moved onto the next topic.  If they don’t seek help as they go this is not useful to their learning and is harder to do this as a test or exam approaches.

I actually had another student who struggles with identifying how long homework or assignment tasks should take him and he just tries to work this out himself.  Unfortunately this often sees him spend way too much time on a task and then he finds he has little time for others.  I explained to him that it would be useful to ask his teachers how long he should spend on particular tasks which will then allow him to use this as a guide for his time and allow him to get better at estimating this himself.  Not only a great learning tool for school but for life!

I also usually encourage students to seek help in a classroom environment by saying that they are most likely not the only ones who have a similar question or need to know something in particular.  However if students lack the confidence to seek help in the classroom environment then there are other options like making a time to see the teacher before or after class or even sending them an email.

Often one of the biggest problems for students in asking for help is that they often do not know what to say, how to approach a teacher or what to actually ask about.  When I work with my students I like to ensure they know how to do this rather than just assume they do which can often be part of the problem itself.  Not all children have these skills and they can take time to develop.  It might well be worth having a discussion with your child to ask them if they know what to do when they are stuck on something.  If you do have a child that might struggle, with the concept of seeking help, then there are some great ideas in this link as to how to ask their teacher for help.

I know many teachers actually regularly offer time for students to ask questions or remind them to seek help if they need it.  I encourage teachers to continue to do this and make themselves accessible to students so we can continue to break down the barriers of the perceptions I noted at the beginning of this article.  It would be great for teachers, time permitting of course, to have Q&A sessions during class to model and normalise this or let students know regularly that they are here to ‘check in with’.

If you are reading this article and agree with what I am talking about then I encourage you to share this where possible so we (parents, teachers, academic coaches and others) can tackle this issue head on and take away any stigmas that appear to be attached with seeking help.  If students need assistance then they should feel comfortable in doing so. 

If you would like to discuss this article or would like to have a chat about how I might be able to assist your child please get in touch – via email or give me a call on 0409 967 166.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the cost of using an organising expert worth it?

Many potential clients would love to hire me but are often worried about the cost.

So is the cost of using an organising expert worth it?

In my view and that of the many clients who have used my services in the past 6 years YES!

image of a room with clutterIt’s like anything that costs us money we usually have a need and then purchase something to service that need whether it be a product or a service.  It is up to each individual to make their own decisions about what they are willing to spend in order to have their need/s fulfilled.  In this instance we are specifically talking about using an organising expert to help to get something organised whether that areas like a room or space ie a kitchen, multiple rooms or spaces, a whole house, an office, or to even set up systems or processes that improve productivity and time management.

Some time ago, a potential client said to me that she thought my packages were expensive.  After discussion about how long she had led a cluttered life and the stress it was causing her it was agreed that my rates being charged really were insignificant.   This was even more evident when we further discussed her issues and what I could do to assist her to solve them probably in one or two visits.  Following that discussion I can tell you that is what we ended up doing and this client started the new year (a few years ago now) much more organised.  In the end I actually ended up even working with her for more hours than originally I was booked in for!

So now let me ask you a few key questions so you can decide:

  • How much time do you spend looking for paperwork or other items?
  • How much stress, overwhelm and anxiety does your clutter cause you?
  • Do you always look at that room and say “I must get to that”?
  • How much do you spend on purchasing organising or storage solutions that you never really use or use effectively?
  • Are there items taking up space and you no longer want or need?
  • How many times do you think to yourself that you don’t have enough storage?
  • Or one step further do you pay for external storage?
  • What is your clutter preventing you from doing?
  • A saying that I like to use regularly is Clutter = Visual Noise.
  • Are you missing items that you know you have but can’t find?
  • You’d love to get more organised but don’t know where to start?

Would you now agree that a few hours of my services would likely cost you less than if you added up the cost of the points above to you from both a health and monetary value?

On top of this what about the other benefits my clients receive like:

  • discussing with you what your goals and visions are and why they are important to you;
  • having someone supportive to work through any tough decisions you need to make (all your doing and just questions and guidance from me to assist you);
  • keep you focused on the task at hand and the outcomes you are seeking;
  • provide ideas on what to do with items you no longer want or need – like where to donate, what can be potentially sold for a few extra $;
  • create a tailored organising solution that works for you alone; and
  • providing you with tips, tools and suggestions to help you create better habits and make long-term organisational improvements.  My clients all learn that maintenance is the key!

Many people think organising is something everyone should be capable of doing, just like mowing the lawn.  The truth is it’s just not.  Just as there are those professionals who help in other areas of our lives (such as preparing our taxes, selling our homes, providing financial advice, there are those whose profession it is to help others organise themselves to live the life they want and create more time, space and balance.  At the end of the day, an organising expert is just like any other specialist.  They can help you when you need their specific skills.

Don’t just take my word for it – read what some of my clients have had to say:

  • “I like the way you approach both the organising and me – it feels very much like you are helping me to get what I want done but find very hard to do myself. You don’t impose order, you work with me to discover it. That’s very cool.”
  • “She could relate to me and my disorganisation without judgement and this immediately allowed me to feel comfortable and safe.  It was an even better process than I had imagined.  I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders, refreshed and invigorated to keep the new processes she implemented with me in place.  An uncluttered house, is an uncluttered mind”.
  • “Following a kitchen renovation, I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I needed to get back into my kitchen and figuring out where to put it all. Amanda was recommended to me by my sister-in-law and I was so glad I called upon her services. In just a few hours she had my kitchen organised and a logical home for everything. I learnt a few things about myself in the process and some tips that will help to keep me more organised in the future”.
  • “I am totally amazed and so grateful of the transformation you’ve helped us with.  The work isn’t quite finished yet but it’s still like living in a different and spacious home”.
  • “I love your down to earth and kind approach.  You have helped me get my business and personal life more organised and I will seek your assistance a few more times until it all becomes habit”.

I can honestly tell you I have never had a client say to me that it wasn’t worth it (after the fact).   So if this is something you have been thinking about why not get in touch to discuss what you’d like to do and achieve and together we can make this happen – you can call me on 0409 967 166 or email me.  I look forward to making a difference to your life as I have to that of many others!