gifting to your heirs

How to Declutter Your Home and Gift to Your Heirs

When decluttering your home, it can be challenging to decide who to gift your beloved possessions. Whether you have collected valuables along the way, received important gifts from friends or family, or kept sentimental items throughout your life, most of your belongings hold significant meaning. Giving these items away can feel like gifting part of yourself or your story to your family. This is what makes these moments so special and why you should be intentional about having conversations with your family about what they may or may not want.

Your family does want something

It can be tempting to believe that your kids and relatives don’t want any of your belongings. But it is important to note that it can be awkward for a close relative to ask for an item you value. So they may have never shown interest out of respect for you. But if you were to breach the topic with them, they might have some surprising answers for you.

gifting family heirloom

Ask your family what they want

Have you ever given someone a gift that you were so excited about, but their reaction was not at all what you had hoped? On the other hand, have you ever parted with something you considered junk, only to find it was someone else’s treasure? As you start to declutter your home, it is a good practice to ask your friends and loved ones if there is anything they would like to keep. Their answers may surprise you.

You might find that the things you love the most are not the things your family wants. For example, you may learn that your daughter wants your garden shovel, instead of your jewelry collection, because it reminds her of the times you spent together in your garden. This is why it’s important to have difficult conversations with your family, even if it feels daunting to discuss the gifting of your precious items, along with your mortality.

What if they reject my gift?

Keep in mind that it isn’t personal when someone declines a gift from you. If you offer something you have an emotional attachment to, but your relative says no, ask them what item they believe would help keep your memory alive. When they answer, ask them why they chose that particular item. Their answer may be something you haven’t thought of or even considered, but it will open up the door to a great conversation. And, you will know the gift you gave is meaningful to your loved one.

If you are passionate about some key items going to certain people, preface your gift by sharing why it is so important to you that they receive this gift. If sharing your jewelry with your daughter is important because you want the pieces to stay in the family line, share that with her. It will mean so much more to her when she knows how important it is to you.

Create something new

Remember that things can be upcycled as well. Upcycling is when an item is transformed, updated, or repurposed. For example, old t-shirts can be used to make blankets or gift wrap, dresser drawers can become flower planters, and books can be used as floating shelves. If you’re creative with your ideas, the list is endless.

And, as always – if you need some support or assistance in this process, please reach out. We’re here to help.

hiring professional organizer

Who Tends to Hire a Professional Organizer?

Everybody loves the feeling of walking into a nice, tidy space, especially when it’s their safe haven from the world – after all, what’s that saying? “Tidy house, tidy mind”?

Our precious time

We spend the weekdays working hard, making a living, only to come home to carry out all of the essential chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry – not to mention keeping the family in check. Why then, should we be forced to dedicate our hard-earned, very limited, and incredibly precious down-time to bringing order to a living space that we won’t even have time to actually just live in?

As much as you may long for the perfectly organized, aesthetically pleasing home environment, it’s harder than it seems to achieve. Between work, self-care, couple time, quality time with children, visiting relatives, and maintaining a social life, how on earth are you supposed to find the time?

Unorganized, again?

How many times have you undertaken epic spring cleaning efforts, fell in love with how sparkling your house looks, before turning to your partner and forging an agreement that it will always stay this tidy and nothing will ever be out of place again?

No matter how many times you repeat the “don’t put it down, put it away” mantra to yourself, unfortunately sometimes that’s just not always practical – particularly when you’re running late, negotiating with a screaming toddler, and trying to drink even a quarter of your morning coffee before it turns cold.

It’s only logical that through the hustle and bustle of the week, despite best intentions, tidiness and structure go out the window, and chaos and clutter ensue. Over time, this can lead to serious build-ups of mess in problem areas that can be a constant source of frustration and disappointment.

home organizing support

Don’t struggle alone

You may not know it yet, but you don’t have to struggle through it alone. Angels do exist, and they come in the form of professional organizers. You can hire a consultant to come into your home and alleviate all of the stress, anxiety, and shame – and take that weight off your shoulders.

A dedicated team can conduct a complete transformation, and show you how to maximize your storage and get the most out of your space. That overwhelming feeling will be banished once and for all, and you can get on with the important things.

Professional organization may be for you if you;

  • Find yourself time-poor, but have areas of concern in your home
  • Would like to transform your home office into a productive and practical space
  • Have found yourself in the emotional position of needing to organize an estate
  • Feel a mental-health strain from the state of your home
  • Are moving into a new home or undertaking a remodel, and would like a low-maintenance organization system in place
  • Are you in a transitional time in your life – i.e. downsizing or welcoming a baby

If you’re considering hiring a professional organizer, consider reaching out to us at ClutterBGone. We possess years of expertise and will go above and beyond to implement a personalized organizational system that works for you. We will provide you with the tools to maintain that freshly spring-cleaned vibe all year round – and most importantly, enable you to fall in love with your home again.

Downsizing the home

How to Downsize Your Home: 6 Tips

Whether you’re moving to a smaller home or just want to get rid of clutter, downsizing can be an overwhelming task. Are emotions complicating the process as you sort through memories? Have those boxes of old bank statements been gathering dust for years? Here are some tips to make downsizing more manageable.

1. Pace Yourself

One way to make downsizing less stressful is to pace yourself and give yourself plenty of time. Start the process at least 3 months before you have to move. Set realistic goals for yourself so that you’re not tempted to overdo it in one week. For example, you can give away one item every day or sort through one category at a time, such as clothing or books.

2. Break It Into Small Tasks

Rather than trying to declutter your whole house, break the project into smaller tasks. Try focusing on one room at a time, or divide a room into smaller projects, such as sorting your DVDs or thinning out your clothes closet. If your task for the day is tackling the junk drawer, just focus on that one task. Don’t even think about the rest of the house or put pressure on yourself.

3. Set New Lifestyle Goals

Now is the time to think about your reasons for downsizing. Besides having lower mortgage and utility payments, what are your new lifestyle goals? Do you want to have more money to travel or take painting lessons? Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Keeping these goals in mind will keep you motivated and help you decide what items will fit your lifestyle.

4. Sort Items Into Categories — No Exceptions!

Downsizing can involve some painful decisions about personal belongings. To keep your project on track, set some ground rules and don’t make any exceptions. A good method is to sort belongings into four categories:

  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate or give away
  • Throw away or recycle

It can be a temptation to put off decisions about some items, but remember that you only have four categories! If some items are family heirlooms, for example, perhaps you can put them in the ”give away” pile and offer it to a family member. You can even repurpose items in the “keep” category, such as turning a trunk into a table. Don’t add a “maybe” category or you’ll find yourself keeping much more than you intended.

decluttering tips

5. Organize and Digitize Paperwork

Now is the time to scan and digitize those boxes of documents. Shred tax documents that are more than seven years old, as well as bank statements and other paperwork that you can access online. By the time you finish sorting and shredding, you will have a small amount of paperwork — such as a birth certificate — that can be easily stored.

6. Let a Professional Organizer Help

Downsizing can be an overwhelming project that can trigger a flood of emotions. Our professional organizers provide a neutral point of view to help you organize and declutter. For help with downsizing, book a free consultation with ClutterBGone today.

Organizing and Decluttering

How to Make Organizing and Decluttering Less Overwhelming

Are you tired of searching through cluttered drawers and shelves? Is your kitchen counter in chaos? Maybe you’ve been thinking about hiring a professional organizer. Here are some tips to help on your way to an organized home.

Go Slowly

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re looking at a room full of clutter. When you take on too much at once, you set yourself up for defeat. Instead, focus on one small area for 30 minutes. For example, clear off your nightstand or dresser instead of organizing the whole bedroom. Our professional organizers can help make decluttering tasks seem less daunting.

Take Photos and Make Lists

Your smartphone can be a helpful tool for organizing your home. Take photos of cluttered areas as you notice them, and make digital lists of things you don’t want to keep. Using your phone for these tasks prevents paper clutter and helps ensure that you won’t lose your notes.

It can be painful to give away items, even if you rarely use them. A professional organizer can walk through rooms with you, provide a neutral perspective and help you sort items into “keep” and “donate” categories..

Scan Documents and Receipts

Speaking of smartphones, there are apps that can scan and file documents on your device or in the cloud. You may need to save all those receipts for tax season, but why not store them digitally? Digitizing paperwork can help reduce clutter and ensure that you won’t misplace a key document. Sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, are more secure in a password-protected app than in a stack of receipts on the kitchen counter.

Organizing and Scanning Receipts

File Paperwork

Even in today’s digital world, you may still want to keep a small amount of paperwork. Papers can quickly pile up, however, and get out of control. A simple yet consistent filing system can keep your paperwork organized. For example, a small safe can securely store important papers. An old-fashioned filing cabinet takes up little space in a corner.

Maybe it’s just too much of a bother to take papers to the recycle bin. Try keeping a bag near your desk, the mailbox or other places where paper accumulates. When the bag is full of discarded paper, you only have to make one trip to recycle.

Put Things Away

When you come home at the end of a long day, it’s tempting to leave your coat and gloves on the nearest chair. One or two items at a time, however, can quickly add up to a chair that’s buried under a small mountain of clothes. The last thing you feel like doing is sorting through and putting away all those clothes.

It’s easier and less time-consuming to put things away right away. If you hang up your coat or put the book on the shelf now, you’ll have a neater room and less cleaning to do later.

Professional Organizing Service

The team at ClutterBGone can take the load off your shoulders and help you restore order and tranquility to your home. Is decluttering getting you down? Contact us today and get started with a free consultation.

Maintenance after Decluttering

Why You Should Have Continuous Maintenance After Decluttering

After hours of sorting, discarding, scanning, and filing, you have a neatly organized home or office. But that’s just the first step. Organization is a continuous process that requires regular maintenance. A professional organizing company can keep your closets, filing systems, and other storage areas clutter-free by performing tasks such as:

  • Maintaining filing systems
  • Swapping out seasonal clothing and other items
  • Archiving receipts, bank statements, and other documents
  • Maintaining an inventory of supplies

Basic Home or Office Maintenance

Even the most organized home or office can quickly become disorganized. Repetitive tasks such as processing mail can be time-consuming. While you’re living your life or running your business, your supply closet has gotten out of control and your calendar has needed updating. Without help from a professional organizer, basic home or office maintenance can end up low on the priority list.

With regularly scheduled check-ins, the professional organizers at ClutterBGone can stay on top of maintenance tasks. Your home or office will stay organized and run smoothly.

Maintaining Filing Systems

A well-maintained filing system is crucial for a home or office. You don’t need stacks of paperwork that could have been shredded months ago. Maybe you have items that can be scanned or stored in the garage or a hall closet instead of piling up on your desk.

With regular maintenance, you’ll have documents and other items at your fingertips when you need them. Instead of searching all morning for a misplaced receipt or phone number, you’ll have time for more important things.

Decluttering Maintenance

Seasonal Updates

From mudrooms to bedroom closets, changing seasons bring new organizing needs. Gardening tools replace snow shovels and t-shirts replace heavy sweaters. Swapping out seasonal items can be a tedious and time-consuming task. A professional organizer can update your closets, entryways, and mudrooms and keep them organized.

Archiving Documentation for Tax Preparation

Archiving documents and paperwork for tax preparation is an ongoing task. Bills, receipts, invoices, and other relevant items keep coming all year. A professional organizer can archive relevant files and paperwork on a regular basis. Your documents and paperwork will be efficiently categorized and organized as you receive them. When tax season arrives, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can readily access those important items.

Maintaining Inventory of Supplies

You don’t want to reach for postage stamps or a pen and discover that your supply has run out. With today’s hectic schedules, it’s easy to put off replenishing supplies. You don’t always have time to check how much paper you have or to make an extra trip to the store. Besides organizing your home or office, a professional organizer can monitor and maintain an inventory of your supplies. That way, your neatly arranged drawers or closets will always have what you need.

Continuous Support to Help You Stay Organized

Remember that sense of calm you felt after that first decluttering? ClutterBGone provides continuous support to keep your home or office organized. Contact us today to find out how we can help!

 

Downsizing your Home

What to Do When Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing your home can be an overwhelming and emotionally-charged experience. Whether you’re moving to a smaller home or just want to clear out your closets, it’s hard to know where to start. The following tips can help you part with possessions and look forward to a clutter-free home.

Define Your Lifestyle Goals

Downsizing does not have to mean giving up things you like to do. With a little planning, you can define what’s most important for your lifestyle. Do you like to have friends over for dinner? Make your dining and living areas a priority when deciding what furniture to keep. Parting with possessions can be less painful when you’re looking forward to your favorite activities.

Keep Only What You Need

Take an honest look at your possessions and keep only the items you really need. A good method is the one-year rule: if you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it. You forgot about that kitchen gadget that’s been buried in the drawer all year and will probably not need it next year.

You may experience pangs of sadness as you decide to part with possessions. Give yourself permission to grieve, but remember that you are taking a positive step by downsizing and decluttering.

Donate or Sell

Items that you decide not to keep may still have plenty of use left in them. After you’ve sorted through your possessions, decide if you can donate or sell some of the things you don’t need. Donating that outdated radio or camera to a charity thrift store may give years of enjoyment to someone who really needs it.

Newer, more valuable items can put cash in your pocket if you decide to sell them. Whether it’s at a yard sale or an online market, that unopened set of dishes or that sweater with the price tag still on it may be just what someone is looking for.

Downsizing your Home

Think Multifunctional

If you’re buying new furniture, think multifunctional. For example, a trunk can double as a coffee table. Look for ottomans and other furniture pieces that have room inside for blankets. With the right furniture, an entire room can be multifunctional. For example, a convertible sofa and end tables that have storage space can turn a TV room into a guest bedroom.

Digitize

Even after decluttering, you’ll probably still have plenty of documents and photographs. You can keep all that paperwork and all those memories without taking up space. Thanks to digital technology, you can scan documents and photos and store them in the cloud. Shred and recycle what you don’t keep. You can even convert your entire video and music collection to digital files. Think of what a relief it will be to get rid of all those boxes that have been taking up space in your closet!

Expert Help for Downsizing

When it’s time to downsize, our organizing experts can make the process more manageable and less stressful. Contact ClutterBGone today for a free consultation, and let’s get started!

declutter for mental clarity

Beating the February Blahs by Decluttering

While many people talk about overcoming the January blues, far fewer look at the February blahs. It’s easy to feel down this time of year with cold temperatures and so much time indoors. It might surprise you that decluttering the home can help invigorate your spirit. Let’s talk more about it.

Mental Health Benefits of Clearing Clutter

Did you know that decluttering lowers stress? Another of the mental health benefits of removing excess stuff at home is better focus. When you have a messy home, it’s easy to be distracted and you might feel overwhelmed too.

Also, tidying up will likely help you feel good about your home, which is a mood and confidence booster. Now you can finally relax at home in the winter months (and the rest of the year).

You’re also going to be more likely to have people over when you’re proud of how it looks. Not to mention being able to find things when you’re looking for them rather than rummaging through piles of things.

Organized Food Pantry

Tips for Decluttering: Let’s Start!

Now that you’re getting pumped about all these great benefits, it’s time to begin removing the clutter. A great place to start is the pantry and other places you store food.

During the winter months, you’re probably not exercising as much, and you might be indulging in comfort foods too. This combo can lead to weight gain. Set yourself up for a healthier lifestyle that is better for your body and mind by cleaning out the shelves and fridge, giving away the treats.

Then stock up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, eggs, and fish. Make it a goal to have healthier meals – and don’t forget that snacking on chocolate can be good for you too. Yum!

What to Clean Up Next?

Look around and see what area is causing you the most stress. It could be a whole room or part of the space, such as the closet. Then, focus on clearing the clutter there.

A common area for many people is the place where they put the mail. It can easily pile up over time. Taking a half-hour over a few days to open envelopes and store papers or recycle unwanted mail can easily help you feel better.

Be Realistic in Your Approach

Start small, in one or more of the ways outlined above, when it comes to decluttering. Our organizers encourage you not to overdo it; try 20-30 minute sessions rather than several hours.

Also, remember that there is no need for your home to be perfect like magazines. After all, the goal here is to reduce the winter blues, not to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of organizing it!

A Few Last Words on Beating the February Blahs

If you are depressed or anxious, reach out to a mental health professional for support. When it comes to feeling better about your home, our professionals offer easy, smart ways to declutter. Reach out to us today as part of your plan to de-stress and take back control of your home.

repurposing home items

Inventive Ways to Reorganize with Things You Already Own

One of your goals this year might be to cut back on spending or create a new budget. One of the drawbacks you might envision is not getting as many new possessions. But with a bit of creativity, you can enjoy a sense of “new” by repurposing things you already own for organization.

Spare Ice Cube Trays

They might just be sitting in a drawer, and you’ve been tempted to toss them. But extra ice cube trays can come in handy for purposes other than creating ice for your drinks.

For example, you make DIY dishwasher tabs using the plastic compartments. Or use the trays to freeze fresh herbs and bring them out to enhance your homemade dishes.

herbs in ice cube trays

Mason Jars

After you’ve eaten the food that came in the mason jar, why not use it for a different purpose? You might organize your stationery supplies, such as paper clips, binder clips, and thumbtacks, in them.

Another option is to use the jars as a baking dish. Yes, you can make custom desserts in them, including mini cakes.

An Old Rake

Look through your gardening shed to see what is there to repurpose. That old rake takes on new meaning when you turn it into a jewelry organizer.

Start by cleaning it and then hang the head of the rake by a nail on the bedroom wall. Easily display your necklaces and bracelets as they fit easily over each of the tines.

Lunch Boxes

Your kids’ old lunch boxes don’t have to sit in the closet collecting dust anymore. Bring them out and fill them with items you’ve wanted to organize better.

For example, one lunch kit might be for your chargers, while another one could hold instruction manuals. Put a label on the side of each one, so you know exactly what’s in it, making finding something when you need it a lot easier.

Sink Drying Rack

Who knew you could find another use for this rubber rack than to put dishes and cutlery to dry? Here’s a new way to put your old drying rack to good use in the home office.

Start by using the utensil caddy to hold pens and pencils. Then, place file folders in each plate holder, where they stay wonderfully organized!

Planters

You might have a pile of empty planters, but what do you do with them? If you’ve been hesitant to toss them, that’s great because now you can repurpose them for home organizations.

Begin by cleaning and painting them with bold colors. Then, take them to your bathroom and fill them with different cosmetics. One planter could hold makeup brushes, while another is for lipsticks. They’re easy to grab during your daily beauty routine.

Getting Creative Around the Home

These projects help you tidy the home and find new uses for items rather than buying new ones. Not only are reusing things easier on your wallet but it is also eco-friendly. Our professionals have more great ideas like these ones to help you get more organized at home, so feel free to reach out to us for more solutions!

Hiring a Professional Organizer

What Questions Should I Ask a Professional Organizer?

When you decide to team up with a professional organizer, you might be unsure what to ask this person. To help you find the right person for your needs, consider asking them the questions below. Their answers can help you decide if they have the qualities that you are looking for so that you can get organized!

What Area is Your Expertise?

From helping seniors with downsizing to assisting new parents in clearing clutter, there are many specialties when it comes to organization. Also, some professionals focus on homes while others help businesses. Look for an expert in the service you need.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Look for someone who has experience under their belt. After working with several clients, a decluttering pro can tackle your home or business with ease based on what they’ve learned from previous projects. This person is more likely to have a smoother approach than someone new to the world of organization.

Asking Questions of a Professional Organizer

Do You Have Client References?

Getting references from the organizer will give you access to the people they’ve worked with before so that you can determine if they were satisfied with the experience. If the prospective organizer is hesitant about providing you with references, it might be a “red flag” that they are not trustworthy or high quality.

Do You Arrange to Donate Items?

When hiring someone, you want to make sure that they can help you with specific upcoming tasks. That may include arranging for pickup or drop-off of donations as you declutter the house. A pro who takes care of this part of the project relieves you of this task so you can focus on other things.

When Are You Available?

Teaming up with an expert who is available when you are is essential. So, be sure to ask what days and times they can work. Also, inquire if each meeting is in-person or virtual choose which option you prefer if both types are available.

How ClutterBGone Answers the Questions Above

The professionals at ClutterBGone have been helping people organize their homes and businesses since 2011. We provide a range of services, including small office/home office organizing, downsizing/packing/move-in organizing, home reno organizing, and maternity organizing.

Browse our services page to see what we offer and the different ways we can help you. We respect your belongings and confidentiality. Rather than doing the work for you, our professionals support and work cooperatively with you to achieve the set objectives.

We meet in-person or virtual, depending on what is comfortable for you. Our organizers have flexible hours, working around what is best for you. References are available upon request, and we are happy to arrange donation drop-off or pickup if you want it.

Feel free to ask us questions and finally get the support you’re looking for. We can also show you how to maintain any organizing systems we help you create in the home or office. It’s time to take back your space, and we can help you do so!

downsizing and decluttering tips

Downsizing and Decluttering: 3 Tips for Seniors

When nearing retirement, many people think about downsizing their house. Moving to a smaller space can lessen tasks like home repairs, make more sense for those with health issues, and help with saving money with reduced bills. If downsizing and decluttering are on your plan as a senior, these tips can help make the process easier to navigate.

1.      Make Thoughtful Decisions

Before making any steps, take the time to make some decisions. Think through what you want and ask yourself questions, such as where will you move to and when will you move?

Rather than rushing the process, take your time to ensure that your actions match what you want. Doing so can also help you avoid the stress of packing things last-minute.

Having a significant amount of time also gives you the chance to get used to the idea of moving. That can reduce anxiety along the way.

2.      Start Small

Begin in one room and focus on it, rather than thinking about the overall house, which can feel overwhelming. While in this room, decide what you want to do with decor, supplies, and other things there.

Consider donating items to a charity or giving your friends those items that you no longer use and any duplicates. Be sure to toss those things that are broken. If you’re unsure what to keep or donate, think about what will fit in your new space and what will suit your new lifestyle.

As you pack belongings into boxes, be sure to label them clearly. For example, write the room and contents of the box on the outside. An example is “Bedroom – Sheets and Pillows.” That way, you know exactly what is in the box when it comes time to unpack.

decluttering professional

3.      Team Up with Professionals

The downsizing and decluttering process can feel overwhelming, and thankfully you don’t have to do it alone. Enlist the help of loved ones who support you in the process. Consider also working with an organizing professional at ClutterBGone. We can smoothly transition to a smaller space while keeping the belongings that matter the most to you.

We are here for you, whether you want help with packing and unpacking, assistance with decisions about what to keep or donate, figuring out an organized room layout for furniture in your new home, and more. Rather than pushing you, we provide friendly support as you need it.

Making the Process Easier for Yourself

By following the tips above, your downsizing journey can be much easier. By taking much of the stress out of the equation, these suggestions help you look forward to starting a new chapter in a new space.

As the moving date gets closer, stay positive by focusing on what you will gain by moving rather than what you lose. Also, begin making plans with loved ones for after the move to help you settle into the new home.

Finally, keep out a box of essential items for the first day of the move so you won’t have to search through boxes. Among the things in it will likely be a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, and snacks.