Decluttering Sentimental Items

What to Do with Sentimental Items when Decluttering

Organizing and decluttering possessions is a great way to reduce stress and improve the look of your home, along with many other benefits. But some things are more difficult to remove, such as the box of memorabilia tucked into a closet. Our professional organizers know that sentimental items can be the hardest to part with. We also understand that you don’t have to say goodbye to all of it. Here are suggestions for dealing with sentimental items while decluttering at home.

Why Sentimental Objects are Hard to Part With

A common fear among our clients is that tossing something that stirs up memories will somehow erase those recollections and the attached legacy. But those memories will not disappear when you let go of items that hold sentimental value. You will still remember the past, and those people, even without the memorabilia sitting in that box in the closet.

We’ve also heard people say that keeping their mementos is harmless. And that’s true if it were only one or two. Often, though, there are many small things, and when put together, they take up a lot of space. Your home becomes a storage space and holding onto numerous sentimental items can detract from their specialness.

You Don’t Have to Throw Everything Away

Let’s make that very clear. We are certainly not saying to toss all the memorabilia. Instead, we suggest:

Choose One Item per Event. Let’s say that you have five items from your college graduation in a box. We suggest choosing the one that means the most to you to symbolize the event, rather than keeping all five. This process pairs down the belongings while keeping a sentimental item per event.

Use the Item. Yes! You might be waiting for a special event to use the crystal wine glasses you received years ago from your grandmother. But what better way to honour her and her memory than by using those glasses often?

Donate to Help Others. For those keepsakes that you don’t use, think about whether it might mean more for someone else to use them rather than having them collect dust in your closet. If another person can love something the way you once did, or the way the person who gave it to you did, that can be comforting and special.

Take Photos. Consider taking photos of mementos and printing them to put into a keepsake book. Then, give away the physical objects. This way, you can look at them any time you want to reminisce, and the book takes up considerably less room than all the items.

storing sentimental items

Letting Go is Empowering

When you let go of excess items, you embrace a minimalist lifestyle. It can feel like a weight is lifted when an excessive number of items no longer surround you at home. Last of all, we want you to remember that the memories associated with the sentimental objects still exist in your heart.

If you’re not ready to give up something, we suggest putting it aside for a year. Then look at the item again and see if you’re ready to let it go at that point.

Our organizers offer support and suggestions for decluttering but never pressure you. If you are finding it difficult to organize the home, reach out to us today for a free consultation.

family meal planning

Clever Ways to Organize a Busy Family

When it comes to organizing the family, the ultimate objective is to bring people together, and it’s important not to lose sight of that. Planning is essential to get there with less stress, as you’ll see in each family organization idea below.

Set a Weekly Family Meeting

This one is a great place to put in place before or soon after the start of the school year. Begin the first meeting by saying that this is a safe place for everyone to share their thoughts and ask questions.

Then, begin to discuss the family goals, such as getting homework done or getting enough sleep. From there, figure out the priorities to reach those goals, such as everyone sleeping a certain number of hours per night.

At the start of the next meeting, ask what went well the last week and what didn’t go as planned? What will your family work on this week? The activity helps families connect and organize their time together.

family organizing app Make Lists and Maintain a Calendar

These tools – to-do lists and a calendar – are essentials for organizing your family. There are several apps available that make it easy for each person in the household to add items to the shared grocery shopping list and add events to the shared calendar.

When people rely on you, and you need them, too, collaborative apps are convenient and valuable. Share them with those whose input you need and want and explain how to add tasks or mark them as done.

Or, if you prefer pen and paper for the lists and calendar, that works too! Just make sure you keep them in a place where everyone in the family will see them, such as on the fridge or pinned on a corkboard in the entranceway.

Organize Chores Too

You didn’t think we’d skip the household chores list, did you? Getting everyone involved is important as it can instill a sense of pride in kids, and they learn to appreciate their home more.

A great place to start with children is cleaning their rooms. Young kids can become responsible for picking up their toys after playing with them. To help instill a positive connotation with chores, talk about how wonderful their room looks when it’s clean and how putting away toys keeps people from hurting themselves stepping on them.

When teaching the importance of maintaining a clean house, you must lead by example. If your child feels they do chores only so you won’t have to, they may start to resent it. Instead, they will see the tasks in a better light if you are organizing the home alongside them.

Menu Planning

Another area of family organization is meal planning. Taking the time to think about meals for the coming week and the shopping list based on that plan will help save your family money. Including everyone in the house in this task brings you all together, and people can also speak up about what they like or don’t like.

For each meal, write out the ingredients you need to prepare it. Look at what else is needed too, such as paper towels, and add them to the list.

By making a list of what is necessary, you can avoid impulse purchases at the store. Stick to the list and notice how much money you save!

A Few Last Words

Organizing the family involves much more than only physical items, as you can see above. Organizing time and people is also important. Reach out to our professional organizers to learn more! We are happy to share more suggestions with you and customize them to your unique family.

organized kitchen

Is It Worth Organizing a Kitchen?

The kitchen can quickly accumulate clutter as it’s one of the most-used rooms in the home. From the countertops to cabinets and drawers, there are many places that quickly overflow, especially when you have a family. If you’re wondering whether clearing away the clutter is worth it, our professional organizers assure you it is, and here are five reasons why.

Know Where Everything Is

When the kitchen is organized, you will have a place to put each item in it. Rather than searching for things at the last minute when cooking, which can be stressful, you’ll find what you need easily because it’s in its proper spot.

When there’s an opportunity to reduce stress, it makes sense to do it, right?! You’ll likely find yourself feeling calmer in the kitchen as you know where everything is there. Plus, think of the time saved during the day by not searching through drawers and cupboards for utensils and other things.

Take Back Control

A messy room can feel like it has taken on a life of its own. Organizing it, which involves letting go of those items no longer used, helps you regain control.

Paring down the number of items in the kitchen and finding a functional place to store the remaining ones is a powerful process as you look back at the transformation. It’s empowering, too, as you look at the great results you’ve achieved!

Improve Safety

Organizing your kitchen will also help keep your home safe. If there are items on the floor, for example, and you want to keep them, find a different location where they won’t be a tripping hazard.

Freeing up the counter of clutter is also important as it poses a fire risk. Also, an unclean kitchen can accumulate germs, which can spread if not wiped down, and that could make you and your loved ones sick.

clean countertop

Get Your Home Looking Great

A house is one of the biggest investments you can make in life. Safeguard that investment by keeping the kitchen looking its best.

Cleared countertops and overstuffed cabinets can quickly make a kitchen look sloppy, no matter how beautiful the appliances and other features are in the room. That can reflect poorly on the rest of your house. That’s even more reason to keep the room looking at its best – And it’ll appear bigger too when there is less stuff in it.

Surprise Guests? Not a Problem

Have you ever had someone drop in unexpectedly and been embarrassed by the state of the kitchen? When it’s organized and clean, the kitchen looks terrific all the time, so having guests inside when it’s not planned isn’t disconcerting.

An Organized Kitchen Awaits!

A well-organized room looks great and is free of stressful clutter. With so many benefits related to tidying up and paring down items in the kitchen, you might be wondering why you haven’t started sooner.

If you’re unsure how to start decluttering or want help keeping it organized, reach out to our friendly team today. We support you from day one!

decluttering

You’ve Tackled Your Clutter, Now What?

Eliminating household clutter can improve the look and functionality of the home, and help you think clearer too as an abundance of stuff no longer surrounds you. Now that you’ve put in all that hard work, though, how do you keep your home organized? Find the answer below from our professional organizers.

Take 15 Minutes a Day

Rather than putting aside a full day every few months to stay on top of any clutter, spend about 15 minutes a day on this task. Breaking up the activity into bite-sized chunks makes it much more manageable.

Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment by the time you go to bed as you look back on the day. Be sure to take stock of what you’ve accomplished at the end of each week to motivate you to keep organizing the rooms.

Involve Everyone in the Household

If you have a partner, kids, or others living in the home, they’re also part of the cleanup solution. Get them involved in organizing the place and hold them accountable for any clutter they’ve accumulated.

For example, kids can clean their bedrooms or help you do so, depending on their age. Or ask them to unpack the dishwasher when they’re done school for the day. It’s impressive how much more can get done when everyone chips in with maintaining a tidy household.

Hire a Professional

Another way to stay on top of clutter is to outsource the task to one of our organizing professionals. We provide maintenance support services that are personalized to you, depending on your needs.

For example, it could be switching over your wardrobe as the new season comes or archiving files and papers to prepare for tax time. If you don’t have the energy or time to stay organized in your home or office, the continued support of the ClutterBGone team can provide the solution. Plus, you’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones.

decluttering

Leave Room for Future Items

One more way to maintain an organized home is to ensure that when you decluttered originally, you left room for growth. The reality is that you will accumulate more items after decluttering the house. That’s normal.

What’s important here is to make sure you have the room to expand, at least a bit. For example, only partially fill the storage containers that you used when decluttering around the house. That way, you can easily add items to the bins in the future, rather than stressing about where to put them.

Keep It Simple

Keeping a space looking great also involves avoiding overly complex organizing rules. If no one in your home understands how things are arranged, how are they going to be able to stay organized? Also, if the process of putting things away takes a lot of time, you’re less likely to do it and it’s more challenging to stay on top of things.

Keeping your home clean and tidy after decluttering is easier with the tips above. Staying on track and keeping it that way IS possible!

decluttering during a pandemic

5 Decluttering Lessons from the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about caring for our mental health, and the incredible resilience of human beings in a crisis. Some lessons apply specifically to the home, which likely won’t come as a surprise given the amount of time most people spent there during this time. Whether you started a decluttering project during the lockdown or plan to do so soon, here are five takeaways to help organize and simplify life.

1.      Be More Intentional

The pandemic has shed light on how quickly things can change and the importance of making the most of today. This mindset can apply to your decisions about what to buy and bring home, from decor to clothes.

Choosing only to purchase what you need or what brings you happiness can be freeing, and you’ll likely save money by not buying excess material goods. This level of intention can prevent clutter from creeping into the house over time.

2.      Take a Money Mindset

The pandemic left many people without jobs, either permanently or temporarily. This challenging time involved learning how to budget and make do with less.

This attention to finances is one that you can apply while decluttering around the home. As you look around, think about the monetary value of different items. This mindset can help you finally part with items you no longer use but had trouble detaching from. Looking at material things as means to build up your savings or pay down a debt provides great motivation to sell them.

3.      We Can Make Do

During the pandemic, families pared down what they used to spend less. We went out much less, and when we did, the shopping lists were often shorter than pre-pandemic.

The zest for buying unnecessary things fell to the wayside as finances, health, and safety took priority. The lesson here is that we can make do with less and frivolous things can wait. It’s a reminder to think twice before buying something and avoid impulse items that become clutter at home.

Decluttering during a pandemic4.      Create a Satisfying Life

Take the time to craft a life you love. Surrounding yourself with material things that don’t bring you a deeper happiness only keeps you from that goal. So, now is the time to choose what to have in your home environment and let go of clutter.

5.      Make Better Use of Space

With so much time spent indoors, families learned to use every inch of their house for time together and alone. Several households began renovation projects to improve kitchens, closets, and other spaces.

The lesson here was to make the most of our homes and enjoy living in them. That involves keeping rooms and closets organized moving forward and resisting buying items that only add clutter.

We can help you make the most of your living space. ClutterBGone is a team of professional organizers who love providing people with the tools, suggestions, and support to enjoy a more organized, stress-free home environment.

decluttering mindset

A Decluttering Mindset: When Less is More

How can having less give you more? Our professional organizers answer this question today.

Stuff around the House

When it comes to what you own, does it sometimes feel like there’s simply too much? Perhaps the overflow presents itself in piles of paper, a crowded kitchen countertop, or crammed clothes closet.

With so much time spent at home during the pandemic, you might notice the overflow of stuff around you more than before. As clutter can elevate stress and anxiety, now is the time to get sorting to reduce and organize.

Thus, in addition to gaining control over physical belongings, you can also expect to benefit mentally from clearing the clutter. There are other ways that owning less can be beneficial too.

Getting More Freedom and Choice

Owning less is associated with a minimalist lifestyle. It involves having fewer possessions, which leaves room for that which you intentionally want to focus on. It is freedom from feeling tied to material things or thinking that your self-worth is based on what you own.

While more stuff can lead to stress, less of it can be empowering as you choose what to have in your space. You also will notice more room for what’s important in your life, such as happiness, as you are not caught up with material goods.

Not only that but there is also more money in your wallet when you spend less and more time on your calendar when moments aren’t consumed with material items. Finally, minimalists enjoy having more room mentally to focus on what brings them joy rather than physical things.

decluttering mindset

Clearing Space at Home

Regularly decluttering the home is a great way to improve your mood and feel a sense of renewal when you are tired of the chaos. Rather than feeling closed in amidst a cluttered room, you can enjoy feeling lighter in spirit by letting go of excess belongings.

Sorting things can feel almost therapeutic as you put them in order and toss what you no longer use. Seeing an organized room at the end of the process can also bring a sense of order to your mind.

Decluttering can be difficult emotionally for many people who see how much they own that is unused or still has tags on it, explains our professional organizers. But rather than thinking of how much money was spent, start to think how much better life could be clutter-free.

Purging your home of those things you no longer use can improve how you see and experience your home. You can begin to focus on what you deem important, setting you on a life of intention. Plus, more stuff requires more time to maintain it; thus, fewer things mean more free time.

Living with Less

Are you looking to downsize your house? Do you want to feel more comfortable at home? Reach out today for a free consultation! Our professional organizers are here to help you meet goals at a pace that works for you and provide support for a smoother process.

Decluttering During a Renovation

Top Tips for Decluttering during a Renovation

Whether you are taking down walls, expanding, or changing the home in another way, decluttering before and after the reno can simplify the process and help you get more out of it in the end. These tips from our professional organizers will help you get through it with less stress and more confidence.

Only Keep What is Needed

A great way to declutter is to go through each room and pick out the belongings that you no longer use. If you are unsure whether to keep something or not, consider how long it has been since you used it, where it will go in the remodeled home, and how difficult it is to move.

The time you take to make these decisions about what to keep and part with will help you save time later (and money). After the renovation, the last thing you want to do is have a lot of stuff that isn’t needed.

Decluttering Before a Renovation

Maintain Your Focus

If you try to do it all at once, you are likely to become overwhelmed. Instead, choose a room to begin decluttering and then select an area, such as a drawer, to focus on.

Take the drawer, empty it, and pick out only the needed items. Donate, sell, or give to friends and family anything that isn’t necessary. Repeat the process around the room until it is complete.

Before and After the Reno

Clearing away the clutter before the remodel begins makes sense as then you will have less upheaval when the process begins. After the reno, the organizing continues as you unpack and decide where to best place things and what to store where.

To get the most out of your updated home, it often makes sense to add organizational systems. For example, storage units and furniture that doubles as storage are great items to include.

Tackle the Paper and Clothes

If you have piles of paper around your place, now is the time to sort it. Decide what to keep, shred, or toss. Getting rid of unnecessary paper can be a freeing feeling!

Going through your clothes is also something that you’ll want to do. If you find this hard to do, simply letting go of those items that are worn, ripped, stained, or no longer fit is a way to pare down the bedroom closet.

Hire a Professional

You don’t have to do it all alone. Our pre/post home renovation service helps you to declutter and organize with a pro at your side before and after the upgrade.

Our professional organizer customizes the process based on your needs and preferences. That ensures that your reno goals are met within the allotted time frame.

From recommending ways to pare down your belongings to how to increase the utility of the new space, our friendly organizers have effective strategies to help you. We will also suggest ways to prevent clutter from returning, and we move at a comfortable pace for you.

Call us today for a free consultation. We are happy to help you from start to finish as you remodel with decluttering and organizing so you can get the most out of the new space!

professional organizing vs home staging

Professional Organizing vs Home Staging

Although these two experts are useful when selling a home, home stagers and professional organizers have distinct differences. Understanding how they differ can help you to determine which one is the best for your needs.

Organizing vs. Showcasing Items

The main difference between the two involves their purpose. While an organizer declutters the living space to liberate the owner of too many possessions, a home stager rents furniture and decor to ultimately get the owner more money from the property sale.

To achieve their purpose, each expert goes about it differently. A professional organizer works with the individual to declutter and reimagine existing items, potentially giving them away or finding where to best store them at home.

On the other hand, a stager adds items to the house to improve its appearance in the eyes of a potential buyer. Furthermore, these things that the stager brings in are not typically unique to the house but could go in the interiors of numerous properties for sale.

The organizer, meanwhile, would help you determine what furniture and accessories flow well in your specific space, based on what you currently own. They will also suggest what needs packing away.

professional organizing vs home staging

Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Obviously, both professions have a great purpose. They are not mutually exclusive, either.

Many people work with both professional organizers and stagers to get their home on the market faster and sell it at a price they are satisfied with. Our Realtor’s Program focuses on providing real estate agents with the access to our organizing services at a discounted rate and includes a voucher for the future.

This partnership enables those who are selling their homes to get the expert help necessary for a smooth transition onto the market. Given the stress commonly involved in putting a home up for sale, the Realtor’s program provides support at the right time.

From compassionate guidance when organizing to helping sort and box, as well as coordinating pickup of donations and junk collection, our professional organizers provide a great help with a listing. We have the skill to overcome challenges and encourage new ways of looking at how to organize the home for the homeowner.

Also, after the sale, when the homeowner is ready to move, the ClutterBGone team can help another terrific way. We can pack up the home efficiently in as little as 1-3 days. This means that the homeowner won’t have to live around boxes for weeks.

Want us to help unpack and set up the new home too in an organized way? Yes, we can do that too!

Have an Easier, Better Process

Selling a house and moving is a lot for anyone. Rather than going it alone, reach out as a homeowner or realtor to ClutterBGone for an easier journey.

We have the experience and understanding to help you through the process, based on our insights and tips learned over the years. Reach out to our friendly organizing team today to find out more about how this experience can help you.

organizing your home

Here’s What to Toss from Each Room in Your Home

When you want to declutter around the house, this list is the one for you! Find the common things that people hold onto that no longer serve a purpose or get used. By the way, when we say to “toss it,” we mean that you donate, give to a loved one, sell, or, if it is broken, throw away or recycle. Now, let’s go room by room.

Decluttering the Bedroom

Starting with the clothing, toss anything that is too small, old, or outdated. Also, remove any pieces that are torn if you don’t plan to mend them.

Then, go through your jewelry, following the same process. Repeat for purses, shoes, and ties.

If the room still looks clutter after this is done, look around and see if there is anything that doesn’t look like it belongs. Ideally, you only want items relating to sleeping and dressing in the bedroom.

decluttering the bedroom

Over to the Kitchen

The kitchen can be tough to keep clutter-free given how much you use it, from cooking to eating and entertaining. With so many purposes, it also requires storing a lot of different items there.

When going through the cupboards, remove dishes and glassware that you don’t use. While you might keep them thinking you’ll use them one day, if you haven’t touched them in two years, then they’ve got to go.

When it comes to plastic containers, the lids without matching bottoms can go immediately. As for your dishtowels and rags, it’s time to part with the ones that are torn or stained.

The pantry needs organizing too! Toss what is outdated or donate what you don’t use that is still good. Also, if you have a small appliance you use only once a year, why not give it up for another appliance you have that gets more use and can do the same job?

Clearing the Bathroom Clutter

The bathroom easily accumulates stuff, and some of it won’t be missed when it’s removed. For example, the expired medications in the back of the cabinet that you forgot about can be tossed. Especially since using them now could be dangerous.

You might also notice that you have multiples of the same thing, such as soap and shampoo. Consider throwing away the ten excess bars of soap or changing shampoo so that everyone in the family uses the same bottle.

As for makeup, toss anything outdated, or that doesn’t suit you. Rather than feeling guilty about getting rid of expensive things you don’t use, you’re simplifying your morning routine by not having to look through dozens of products to find one to use.

Organizing your bathroom

In the Family Room

This room gets a lot of use, so it’s one to go through and declutter regularly. If you have a pile of old newspapers and magazines, for example, they’re going to go, as are puzzles and games with missing pieces.

As for CDs and movies you only play every few years or don’t work, they can go too. If you are keeping them because you feel like you’re throwing away money, try selling them instead or learn from it and think twice the next time you want to make a purchase you don’t necessarily need.

Want more tips? Reach out to us today! Give us a call for the help of a professional organizer who can help you reduce clutter in a way that feels comfortable to you.

Home Organizing Tips

These are the Organizing Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

There’s a lot on your plate as a homeowner, from paying the bills to maintaining the exterior and interior. To help you keep the inside of the home looking its best, here are the organizing tips that our pros think you’ll find as valuable as they do.

Two-Year Rule

When you look at your clothes closet, do you wonder how it got to be so full? The addition of a shirt or pair of pants here and there can add up over the years, resulting in clutter. Often, people don’t see it getting that way until the closet is packed.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, here’s a rule to apply. If you haven’t worn a clothing item for two years, let it go. That could mean gifting it to a friend, donating to a local charity, or selling it to get some extra cash. Even if you are still fond of it, you’re not wearing it, so it’s time to take it out of the closet.

Create Space in the Bathroom

Don’t worry, we don’t mean to start knocking down walls to remodel the bathroom. Instead, a more affordable and easier approach can provide better storage for even the smallest bathroom. It can start with adding holsters for your hairdryer and curling iron on the inside of the under-sink door to store them there.

For example, have you considered making use of blank wall space? Our professional organizers suggest hooks to hang towels and accessories like mirrors. Also, corner shelving units provide a way to use the space there, filling them with haircare products and other things you reach for daily.

Decluttering Tips

Reimagine Your Laundry Room

If you’ve always wanted to create a well-organized room for handling and cleaning laundry, now is the time. Keeping it organized makes laundry less of a chore and can also speed it up.

Begin by looking around for what doesn’t belong in the room, such as dog toys and kids’ gadgets (unless it’s shared space). Then, see if you can reduce the number of laundry products used by combining dryer sheets into one package, for example. If there aren’t shelves in the room, it’s a worthwhile investment to add them to store your laundry products and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Cubby Storage

We’re excited about this one as it’s a great storage solution, even for a small home. Cubby storage units can have a range of purposes, from organizing books to cat supplies.

Being able to customize them to each room is one of the major benefits. Plus, you can rearrange them when you want, how you want, as your kids grow up and their needs change or as your decorating style shifts over time. From a baby changing table to floating box shelves, there are plenty of ways to use cubbies!

Get More Great Ideas

Organizing your home can be fun, believe it or not. When you have a vision and are willing to put in the effort and time to sort through possessions, you can get the organized home interior that you’ve wanted for years.

To make it more enjoyable, get on the right path from day one with a professional organizer. We work with your vision and provide tips like the ones above to help you get more out of your space and clear the clutter. Let’s start the next project together!