How to get back into a routine after a major move.

I hope your summer has been a good one.

Mine has been extremely busy with the move and even a mini vacation, but now it’s time to get back into some sort of routine.

With moving comes semi-organized chaos, bittersweet moments, and then learning the ins and outs of a new place. It has definitely been an adventure for me.

I have my new office set up, complete with two desks, a beautiful built-in bookcase, and plenty of room to move around. It’s a nice change from the spare room I used as an office in my other house. Amd the bright paint is a motivator in itself.

I spent the majority of July either moving, packing, unpacking, or painting. I do have to say I’m glad the packing and moving part is done at least. The unpacking and painting will be done over time, but at least I have the main things unpacked.

It has been wonderful to just spend some time in my new house to figure out what I want to put where, which light switches do what, and do some yard work. I know it’s going to take time to get it all figured out, but that’s all part of the process.

I looked back at my last blog post and realized it has been over two months since I wrote anything. I honestly thought being able to do it from my phone would be easier, but it seems I was wrong. Apparently I need a little more structure than I thought.

Getting back into a routine after a major move doesn’t come easy; at least not for me. And this time it was me doing the majority alone; aside from help with the big stuff over the course of one weekend. Going through my late husband’s things wasn’t easy; it was hard to decide what to keep and what to give away. I don’t wish that scenario on anyone.

Now, to let you know what’s working for me in regards to getting back into a routine:

  • A view. My office faces south (as did my other one) but the view isn’t blocked by trees. I can see the road and the field across the road, plus I’ll see bison during the winter as they graze in the corn field. (Perhaps some inspiration for my fiction.)
  • Books and work-related things only. My office is only for work; no crafts allowed. That means no yarn, no fabric, no sewing machine, and no weaving projects. My Cricut is allowed, but a lot of its use will be for products in my Etsy shops.
  • A Kanban board within reach. I have used a kanban board before and it worked. Somewhere along the way I stopped using it, and my progress went to shit. Getting back into using it is helping. The first time I heard about a kanban board was when I watched one of Sarra Cannon’s Heart Breathings videos several years ago. Here’s a post from her in January 2021 resetting hers. I love her enthusiasm, and her methods work.
My Kanban Board ready for the next set of sticky notes. And of course my AWAI Copywriter’s Cheat Sheet.
  • Cutting the clutter. Yes, I am in a new space; but yet the clutter finds a way. It doesn’t take long for the mail to pile up on my desk, or the binders full of printed material to not be put back on the bookshelf. I find if I tidy before I leave it for the day, the next morning is easier to get right to work.
  • Take breaks. I’m terrible when it comes to regular breaks/mealtimes, but I’m getting better. By taking breaks for a snack, meal, or to refill my water bottle, I find I am more productive and can stick to a schedule.

It’s a big change being in a new home; but a change that needed to be made. As I get settled and figure out the creaks, groans, and lay of the land I’ll also be growing as a person.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do since I moved was to make the decision to have my Buddy euthanized. His loss of sight and hearing left him terribly anxious all the time, and I couldn’t bear to see him suffer because of it. I believe him and my late husband are now howling together (something they did on an almost daily basis) in Heaven; and their ashes are side by side on my mantle.

In closing I want to leave you with this: no matter what life throws at you, find a way to keep moving forward. Ask for help if you need it, or change your postal code if necessary…and always remember you’re never alone.

12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle [EP 11]

Introduction

Welcome to Episode 11: 12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle

When we think of side hustles, we often think about creating products, both physical and digital.

If you’re subsidizing a pension or other income, you may want to have daily interaction with others. If that’s the case, providing a service may be more suitable for you.

Not all services require you to be out and about, however. Some allow for face-to-face interaction with others, while some can be done remotely. You choose whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Now, before I get into the main part of this episode, I do want to let you, my listeners, know I will be scaling my podcast back to one episode per month until November. My blog posts will still be weekly, and will contain more side hustle information. It is a little change as I am working on creating a course, which I’ll get into more in an upcoming blog post. Plus, I’m taking a week’s vacation next month which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be nice to have some reprieve from the cold and snow.

Services

As mentioned, not all services have to be done in person. The following list contains some that involve little interaction with clients, while others are more face-to-face.

  1. We’ll start with bookkeeping, which I have done in the past. One of my clients dropped off an envelope full of receipts and papers each month, and I entered everything into an accounting program. She was then able to hand the USB in to her accountant at year-end. One of my other clients preferred me to work in his office, which I did a couple days a week. In his case it made more sense as he had a lot more paperwork for me to go through.
  1. Another service you can provide, and make a decent amount of money at, is cleaning people’s houses. Now this only works if you like to clean. An aunt of mine used to clean for others on a weekly basis. She would clean their houses during the day while they were at work, which made it easier for both parties. When I worked for Family and Community Support Services, my clients were at home when I cleaned. There are pros and cons to the latter, however. One pro is the client is happy to have the company. A con is it took more time because they wanted to visit. Keep in mind the latter was also cleaning for senior citizens, so my being there made it possible for them to stay in their own homes for longer.
  1. Lawn and Garden Maintenance is another service you can provide if you enjoy working outside. Some people either don’t have the time or their own equipment to do their own. And let’s face it, some people would just rather pay someone else to cut their grass, trim the hedges, and even pull the weeds. I don’t mind mowing and trimming, but pulling weeds is not my favourite. My experience in yard care has been mostly my own, plus for elderly family members from about the time I was around 14.
  1. Snow removal can be done during the winter for the same clients, so you have the opportunity to earn income year-round. Businesses also need snow removal done, so that could be another option if you prefer.
  1. If you love animals, pet-sitting and dog-walking are two services you can provide. When people go away they aren’t always able to take their pets, and many would prefer to leave them in a familiar environment. By providing a pet-sitting service your clients will be more relaxed while they’re away.  Plus, you can enjoy the experience of taking care of turtles, snakes, birds, and other not-so-common pets as well as cats and dogs. Dog-walking is nice because it gives the dog exercise and breaks up their day, which results in less destructive behaviour than one left to their own devices day after day. A bored dog is often a destructive dog. Not only will you be providing the dog exercise, you’ll be saving your clients’ furniture.
  1. A grocery delivery service is another option, especially in a small community. Smaller grocery stores may not have the extra staff to deliver groceries during business hours, and are generally more than happy to pay someone per delivery. It’s an added-value service they can provide to their customers, which in turn encourages local shopping.
  1. Providing healthy home-cooked meals for seniors in your area is an option if you love to cook. Just think of the meals-on-wheels larger communities provide. In my experience it’s a service that used to be provided by the local hospital, but with cutbacks in services, it may not be available in a small community. My great-uncle used to deliver meals to the seniors in his community a number of years ago, which gave him some extra income plus provided healthy meals for them. 
  1. You could play an integral part in someone else landing their dream job by providing a resume writing service. Presentation and simplicity are key components of a resume. Prospective employers will often not look at a resume that isn’t broken up by white space. As with most things today you want to make it skimmable, yet highlight your client’s attributes so they have an increased chance at being hired.
  1. Copywriting is another service you can provide to businesses near and far. Once you know how to convey a sales message, the rest is easy. There are courses available to teach you how, and I have taken a couple; but the best book I have come across is called The Copywriter’s Handbook – 4th Edition by Robert W. Bly. And copywriting isn’t necessarily about being salesy. All you essentially need to do is address a pain point and how your client’s product or service will fix it. The bonus is you can work for more than one client at a time, and you don’t have to be tied to your home office to do it. Have laptop…will travel.
  1. If you love a variety of music, then offering a DJ Service could be right up your alley. With the world opening up again to gatherings, people are anxious to be able to celebrate life events together. You can decide if you want to book one event a weekend, or one event a month. And if you don’t mind travelling, you could book events further away. The nice thing about the digital age is there’s no longer a need to pack hundreds of CDs, but you can if you like.
  1. Party Planning is another option if you have a flair for themed events. Whether it be weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties, or whatever else people celebrate; it’s sometimes nice to have the stress of the planning taken care of. If you’ve enjoyed planning your own parties over the years, perhaps it’s time to do it for others for a little extra income. And just like a DJ Service, you decide how many events you want to plan in a month. Keep in mind not all events are limited to weekends, so you could easily do a retirement party during the week and perhaps a birthday or engagement party on the weekend.
  1. Clutter control is something we all struggle with at some point or another, and the older we get the more of it we seem to have. Home organization is so popular nowadays there are entire TV Shows about it. If you have found a way to combat the clutter and let go of material things, there is someone out there who could benefit from your expertise. It’s not so much that you’ll be physically helping them throw things out (although you can if you wish), but rather help them differentiate between keeping things for emotional reasons or practical reasons.

Conclusion

As I went through my list, I thought of at least another dozen services any side hustler can provide, from small engine repair to handyman services. It really doesn’t matter what service you can provide, because chances are there’s a need for it in your community. And because it’s your side hustle, you determine to what extent you do it. As with anything else be sure it’s something you enjoy doing, otherwise it just becomes another job.

Now, as mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ll be scaling my podcasts back to once per month until November. I’m excited to be working on something that will help fellow side-hustlers, so please stay tuned. And as I said, the blog posts will still be weekly so don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed.


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5 Ways to Cut the Clutter

New logo designed 2019 on Canva by Diane Ziomek

I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things pretty simple. Easy on the eyes; nothing flashy. Those were my thoughts when I designed the logo for my blog. It’s just enough to catch the eye, yet not be overwhelming. And to me, simple also means downsizing and cutting the clutter.

The older I get, the more I realize I have “too much crap” as my significant other has pointed out to me. I hate to admit it, but he’s right. When I left home at sixteen, I really had nothing. Life happened, and now I have tons of craft supplies, books of all kinds (including at least eight boxes of kids books), board games, VHS movies, DVDs, clothes I don’t wear, electronics I don’t use and a bunch of things that don’t really fall into any specific category. It’s time to continue with the de-cluttering process.

I was doing alright until Mom got sick and had to be moved into a long-term care facility (which didn’t end up being too long-term at all). My mom had a LOT of stuff, and my sisters and I split it up between households as best as we could. We each have our share to distribute as we see fit, and my share consisted of the crafty side of things.

As I have been going through boxes and totes, I have come up with five ways that are helping me. I hope they will help you eliminate some of your clutter as well. And if you’re someone who doesn’t have any, you’re my hero! 🙂

  1. Keep only what you use. I know, this is a hard one to get a grasp on. I find myself with appliances and kitchen gadgets that I’ll need someday. If I went through my pantry, cupboards and drawers, I’m sure I could easily part with a lot of stuff. And that’s just in my kitchen.
  2. Label storage totes. As anyone who celebrates any holidays or lives in a climate like we do, there are always items that only get used a few days out of the year, but are too pricey to replace each year. By investing is some transparent totes and labels, you will see at a glance what you have stacked in your storage room. This method also works for the craft supplies creatives seem to accumulate. (Ahem!)
  3. If it doesn’t fit, toss it. This doesn’t mean you have to throw away items of clothing that don’t fit into the trash. There are plenty of organizations that will take donated clothing. If you blew your clothing budget on some higher end outfits, there’s always the option of selling online or via local Buy & Sell groups. When I went through my closet, I gave several bags to a local church. After Mom passed away, we did the same with her clothes.
  4. Sort and file. Although I think about receipts when I say this, it also applies to mail, magazines and anything else we bring into our homes. Whether it be groceries, toiletries or the ever-constant paperwork, it’s better to take a few moments to put everything in its place right away. I do admit, I tend to slack occasionally then spend a lot more time playing catch-up.
  5. Invest in shelving and storage units. Let’s face it, we have to keep some stuff. We need bedding, clothing, dishes, towels and all of the other things required for daily living. By creating a space for the necessities, then keeping those spaces organized, the clutter can easily be kept under control. Whether it’s bookshelves, storage bins or dividers in your closet, having an orderly system for your possessions will be beneficial.

I know it’s often easier said than done, but if we can part with the things we don’t use, we will soon enjoy a less cluttered home. And if you can make a few extra dollars by selling what you no longer need or use, your holiday or retirement fund will thank you for it.

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