FAQs 2017-08-07T14:47:53+00:00

Travel FAQ (12)

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Coaching is intended to assist people with identifying their goals, exploring the barriers to achieving those goals, helping to see options and opportunities, and ideally, supporting you in reaching your goals, or your travel destinations.

Coaches have different styles, skills and experience. I have long had an ability to connect easily with people. That is my foundation. I believe my highest values have grown out of my Mennonite background: to help people, be honest and ethical in all things and work hard. Those values strengthen my foundation.

As I continue on my personal journey, I have added the value of gratitude and living life to the fullest, as an adventure and as an education. I combine my background, experience and values with my fun spirit, coaching with a compassionate, lighthearted and self-reflective style. I utilize my career, life and travel experiences, which are many.

My Travel Coaching sessions can include the above plus help you find travel resources to explore areas you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Together we can get you to your dream destination.

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We can meet in your home or in a comfortable location like a coffee shop. Or, for more of a travel flavour, we could meet at the VIA Rail Station or YVR airport.

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Coaching sessions are available by package and dependent on whether you are also looking for a Travel Companion. Let’s talk. You can pay in cash, cheque or dark chocolate.

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No I am not a Travel Agent and I do not offer the services that Travel Agents are trained experts in, but I do know several great Travel Agents that can help you. For most travel arrangements like airfare, cruises, rail tickets, and accommodation, I’ll refer you to a licensed Travel Agent. In my travel experience, there are some travel arrangements that I have found easy to make  online, like purchasing a ticket for the Eiffel Tower a day ahead to avoid line ups, or my June 2014 EasyJet flights from Berlin to Madrid and Lisbon to Bilbao. I’d be happy to share my experiences with you and help you navigate the internet.

I have also made some of my own accommodation arrangements, like hotels fellow travellers have recommended to me along the road, hostels I’ve found while meandering without a firm destination (the most memorable is the beautiful Carbisdale Castle hostel in northern Scotland), and renting a camper van (Happy Camper in Iceland May 2014, what a trip!)

Travel agents have the training to make arrangements for us. I like to utilize their expertise in their areas.

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Many people avoid travel because they don’t want to travel solo. If that’s all that’s keeping you from achieving your dreams, then by all means take me with you!

I’ve traveled solo most of my travel miles. I’ve also been single for many of my adult years. So I’m used to doing things on my own both at home and abroad.

I’ve also have 13+ years experience as a part-time Personal Assistant for a stroke survivor. Assisting her with everything from travel packing, to preparing meals, to editing her speeches and escorting her to events has given me experience in assisting others with many personal and professional needs.

You may prefer a travel companion solely for companionship, or you might want someone to help you with your bags at airports, find you personal services at destinations, help you keep in touch with family electronically, or assist with any myriad of details.

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Travel Companion daily rates are negotiable depending on destination location and trip length. Iceland is my current favourite so it gets bargain rates! All travel expenses including airfare, accommodation, activities, meals, etc will need to be covered. A retainer will be requested.

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A few hours of Travel Coaching can make the difference between not knowing what’s out there and going on your own. I have many ideas on how to make travel safer and more affordable, or how to wet your feet in the oceans of the world. Let’s talk, and see where you could go.

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I grew up at my Grandfather’s knee, listening to stories from other countries, worlds that seemed far away. Then I watched my uncle and older brothers explore continents. By the time I was a teenager in the 1970’s, I was itching to go places. I hitchhiked to many parts of Canada from my hometown in Manitoba, I joined Canada World Youth and was part of a six-month exchange to Sri Lanka. Then there were years of motorcycle trips in Canada and the USA.

Since my 30’s, I’ve backpacked and traveled to South America, and Europe many times. Europe is my area of expertise and my favourite destination. I speak some German and Low-German, which helps in Germany and beyond.

Below is a list of the 23 countries I’ve visited.

The Americas Europe Asia
Argentina 1992 Scotland 1996 1997 1999-2000 2011 Sri Lanka 1980-1981
Chile 1992 England 1999-2000 2005 2006 2013 2016
Cuba 2004 Wales 2000
USA Lots Germany 2000 2007 2014
Switzerland 2000
Italy 2000
France 2000 2005 2013 2015
Czech Republic 2000
Austria 2000
Netherlands 2005 2008 2014 2017
Belgium 2005 2008 2013 2017
Iceland 2009 2014 2014 2017
Luxembourg 2008
Denmark 2010
Sweden 2010
Spain 2014
  Portugal 2014

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Besides loving travel, I am also a Professional Organizer. My skills could be beneficial to making your business trip more efficient, organized and profitable. If we are a good fit, I would be happy to accompany business travellers and provide Personal and Executive Assistance.

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Nothing is ever guaranteed in this world, including travel. One never knows what will happen, but then that’s the same every day in our lives if we stay at home. I’ve traveled to many parts of the world, mostly alone, had good and not so good experiences. Some have provided the best thrills, some the most learning, but none were the moments of most danger or pain in my life. It takes a certain amount of tenacity, courage, curiosity… and sometimes a “feel the fear but do it anyway” attitude, to take that first trip. I don’t think you’d be reading this FAQ if you didn’t want to go places. Let’s talk.

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Call or email me. With a 15 minute complimentary phone call, we’ll determine whether we are a good fit and whether my services will be a benefit to you. From there, we can book an appointment to meet for your first Travel Coaching session. Then get ready for Bon Voyage time!

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Well, I’m so glad you asked. Yes I can! I have 13+ years of Professional Organizing experience helping clients de-clutter, downsize, move, renovate, you name it, I’ve organized it. See the other pages of my website and contact me. If I’m traveling or booked up, my team of Organizing Angels may be able to help.

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Organizing FAQ (20)

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I’ll usually begin by spending 10 to 15 minutes on the phone with you. Then, if in Vancouver and if appropriate, I offer a half-hour assessment, wherein I review your project with you, you get to meet me, and I offer options on how to proceed, if it seems that we are a good fit.

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This is a real question I’ve been asked, but without more details, and depending on many factors, it’s a bit like asking “I want to buy a car, how much will it cost?” That’s pretty much impossible to answer without more details. That’s why it’s best to browse through my website, then email or call me with a brief description of your situation. I’ll explain my process in more detail, tailored to your specific needs.

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No. Lucky you! It’s better that I get to see your home in its natural state. That way, I can see your ‘hot spots’, challenging areas, etc., and help you make changes from there.

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Only if you want me to. Professional Organizing is about asking strangers into the corners of your home and life that you might not show everyone. After more than 13 years, I’ve seen many things, many drawers, and many skeletons in closets. I value compassion and caring, and will work with you with as little judgement as possible. Yes, I’ll discern and assess, but I do my best to leave personal judgements such as “you’re a bad housekeeper” out of it. I don’t think it’s helpful or necessary, plus it’s not my job to heap judgement on your person. In fact, I’d rather help you de-clutter your own inner negative judgements.

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When your space is already cluttered, I’ve learned that there’s not much room for demeaning judgements, so I do my best to work without those. I’m there to support you. After 13+ years in the biz, I haven’t ‘seen it all’ but I’ve seen all kinds. I’m happy to provide references upon request, and let my clients tell you what it’s like to feel embarrassed but call me for help.

 

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Another question I hear frequently.

The answer is usually, no. I’ve been in hoarders’ homes and picked up mail and newspapers from decades ago. I’ve been in places with thick layers of dust bunnies and worse: animal droppings. If you can imagine it, I may have seen it. Hope that helps!

 

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No, but I do work with people who call themselves hoarders, or with families needing to clear up the estate of a hoarder.

I work best with people who are ready to let go, who are at the stage where their ‘stuff’ is no longer as important as the freedom that comes with living with less. Most hoarders are not ready to let go, or don’t want to, for many complex reasons.

If you are wondering whether you are a hoarder, or if a family member or friend is a hoarder, there are some excellent resources online which include a hoarding scale by ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization)

There is also a clutter rating image scale at http://hoarding.iocdf.org/cir.pdf

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Definitely. These are transitions highest on stress lists. I’ve had personal experience with all of them. Well, except retiring. Since an early age, my family experienced death. I like to think that what I’ve been through might be put to use understanding others and helping with compassion. Let’s start with a phone call, you can tell me what’s happening in your life.

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Any day of the week that ends in y? 🙂

Or any of these times are good too, when you are:

  • Just before New Year’s Eve, and just after New Year’s Day is a great time for physical and holistic cleansing: out with the old, make room for the new!
  • Planning a move &/or downsizing.
  • Thinking of listing your property for sale.
  • Planning a renovation and want your marriage to stay intact.
  • Before Christmas for holiday preparations.
  • After Christmas for seasonal clean-up.
  • Valentine’s Day (to make room for romance or organize a romantic date).
  • The day before April Fool’s Day (to really stun the husband/wife).
  • Then seasons change, like spring to summer and fall to winter.
  • Before school starts up.
  • When the student clutter bugs are back in school.

 

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In some ways, clutter is clutter wherever it occurs. If your office is cluttered, it’s probably costing you in efficiency, focus, and time, all of which translate to higher costs and lower profits. I’ve helped clients clear their cubicles, and I’ve helped a big company of more than 200 clients declutter their entire office space.

The cubicle client estimated his sales went up by 30% as a result of our two three-hour sessions. I asked an independent contractor to estimate the value of my work with his company. He calculated that, at minimum, the company’s bottom line savings were $220,000 annually.  In addition, I helped reclaim 5% of the 20,000 square-foot space. The benefits there are easy to see!

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People are disorganized for different reasons. In some cases, clutter evolves from a lack of organizing skills; sometimes, enough time just doesn’t seem to be available for organizing; and there are times when life’s transitions, such as a baby, come along to change completely the way time is used in a home. Businesses can grow quickly, accidents happen to affect one’s health, or a death occurs in the family. All these factors can result in usually organized people finding themselves facing clutter and chaos they just don’t feel capable of handling. A high-level business coach explained the value he received: “I’m a pretty organized guy, but in the first 10 minutes of your assistance, I recognized I had already learned something valuable that I never would have thought of.“

I love working with organized people: they usually know what they want and the principles of organizing. That can make it easier.

I love working with disorganized people: their eyes open up when introduced to something new to them, but clear to me, and they love the results.

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Maybe. But then why haven’t you?

I love working with organized people, who know what’s needed, how to get there, but might just not have time. So sometimes you could do it yourself but time limitations or other life situations are a barrier. Or your time may be too valuable to be sorting old things and hauling them away, so you can call us. Some people don’t have the organizing gene, or skill. Generally my team stays 4 steps ahead, and your time is spent making decisions. Decisions about what to keep and how to utilize a space can sometimes come easier when you have a Professional Organizer guiding you through the process, asking the questions that help, giving suggestions, keeping you on track, etc. So go ahead, try it, and if you find you can’t do it by yourself, call me.

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Generally it’s better for you to be present, after all, it is your stuff, and you get to make decisions about what you define as clutter and what you no longer want. There are times when you can set parameter and come and go, while we do the work.

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Depending on a few factors, i.e. timeline, volume, budget, contents, etc, either is an option. Most of my work is one on one, but I’ve had crews of up to four Organizing Angels on site.

 

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In the Lower Mainland, I prefer to work in Vancouver and West Vancouver, because those locations are most accessible by foot, bike, or bus. I try to live a greener life, so I don’t own a car. When I need one, I book a car or truck from the car co-operative where I have memberships or need a truck, like MODO, or car2go.

I’ve also worked on Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, Manitoba, and parts beyond. The commute up the coast is breathtaking, and relatively easy from my downtown location, so it’s become an exception for me. Family in Manitoba means I visit often, sometimes combining visits with Manitoba clients. Plus I have a passion for traveling and would love to help you de-clutter almost anywhere in the world. (See my Travel page.)

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A variety of factors determines how a project unfolds: the size of your home, nature of the contents, volume, how quickly you make decisions, what your priorities are, your timeline and end goal… all these factors add up to your unique situation. Creating the home you desire or preparing your home for a sale and move could range from $500 to $5000, or more. We work with you and your goals, there are options.  Hourly rates or packages are available. I have several packages, including The Inspiration, The Renovation, and The Excavation.

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Yes, I charge my hourly rate for travel time beyond 45 minutes, and for travel outside of Vancouver.

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Yes. But understand that it’s best if we each make decisions about our own stuff. Over the years I’ve learned strategies that can help couples. I’m not a marriage counsellor. Maybe you could try both, Goodbye Clutter! and a therapist?

 

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No. Garage sales can be a fun way to reduce volume. But most garage sales don’t make the kind of money that would be profitable for you if I was there for the day, at my hourly rate. I can help you prepare, give you tips, and possibly drop by for coffee on the day.

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I think the five ounce bar of gold tops the list. It was hidden in the back of a lower cupboard, wrapped in kleenex, in a baggie containing cash, jewelry, trinkets, and the bright yellow bar with 5 on it. We happily called the client, who was out for lunch, immediately share our find. What might be found in your clutter?

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