If you spent 2016 lost in your electronics you’re not alone. It’s said that two thirds of Canadians own a smartphone and children average more than seven hours a day looking at screens. As 2017 starts, Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) say it is time to set some strict boundaries to help you boost your health and move from constantly plugged in to unplugged and unbothered.

“We are living in a digital age that is hyper connected, we often spend more time on our gadgets than we do enjoying our day to day surroundings,” says Marie Potter, Marketing Director of POC. “For the physical and mental well-being of ourselves and our families, it is important we take the time to turn ourselves and our devices off at night. With simple changes, we can gain significant improvements in mood, performance and energy levels.”

Give your home a subtle makeover and improve your family time with these organizing tips.

Break up with your smartphone

If you find yourself and your cell phone sharing a pillow, stop. Keep smartphones, which emit radio-frequency radiation and can spontaneously combust, away from your head and body.

If you must use your phone as an alarm, place your phone and its charger on a dresser a few feet away from the bed and place it in airplane mode. Not only will you be less likely to check Facebook before you get out of bed, but the short walk to turn it off will have you awake in no time!

Schedule “off” times

Choose specific times of the day and make them tech-free. Be consistent. Periodic breaks from electronics have been shown to boost concentration, productivity and improve physical activity. Whether it is no electronics before breakfast or after 9 pm, the key is to create a routine and stick to it. Use the time to get active, read a book or simply unwind.

Isolate your wireless router

Keep Wi-Fi routers in less used rooms and away from areas that people often sit. Routers emit electromagnetic radiation, and while the health effects are still debated, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Organize electronics out of the bedroom

Limit the use of electronic devices in your bedroom. The LED screens of electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, TVs, e-readers and tablets produce blue light that can disrupt sleeping patterns and cause insomnia. Instead organize an ‘electronics area’ in a common room such as the family room or the playroom. To monitor all electronics easily, keep them together in one box, or if you have children give them a coloured box each to make it more special.

Earn and motivate

Help kids appreciate screen time by assigning chores which chalk up to earned screen time. For example, doing their homework earns 30 minutes of screen time or putting away laundry. Keeping the strategy positive works wonders rather than removing screen time for poor behavior.

Dinner time is family time

Put away the gadgets and sit around the table – not the TV or laptop. Eating meals together strengthens the family dynamic and boosts emotional well-being. Spend less time scrolling through feeds and more time together with healthy conversation and laughter.

Clear out the accumulation

Lastly, organizers regularly find residences holding onto outdated electronics including flip phones, iPods, old computers, monitors, TVs, cassette and/or VHS players. Make time to clear out old and unused electronics. Be sure to recycle them appropriately and wipe out any sensitive data prior to disposal.

Find a Professional Organizer near you by visiting www.organizersincanada.com.

About POC

Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada. Currently representing over 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC’s mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network, and exchange resources. POC also works to educate the public about the organizing industry and the benefits of working with a POC member.

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To schedule an interview with Professional Organizers in Canada please contact:

Maria-Teresa Andreacchi

Tanya Dodaro