clutter and mental health

How Clutter affects Your Mental Health

Now, more than ever before, people are speaking up about their mental health in addition to physical issues to help others and get the needed support. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day initiative in Canada helps raise awareness about mental illness and spark conversations about ways to take care of your body. Stretching and deep breathing can help reduce stress, for example, as can decluttering your living environment.

Making Time for You Matters

A sense of balance in life can improve mood and reduce tension, all of which can benefit mental wellness. Finding this balance matters as you will then have more energy to give to what and who is most important to you, such as your kids.

Ironically, being able to put energy toward those who you care about the most often involves making enough time for yourself. Practicing self-care regularly is a great way to recharge your batteries and then be there fully for close family and friends.

Decluttering as a Self-Care Activity

There is more to organizing the home than simply clearing away messes. When you engage in the decluttering process, you are also taking positive steps for your mental health.

Firstly, you will be taking back control of your living space. It might feel like it has gotten away from you recently, especially if you experienced a major life change, such as having a baby or moving to a new house.

You will also likely find that the more clutter you clear away, the stronger sense of freedom you feel. Not only will you get better at it over time, but you will also feel a great sense of accomplishment in the results.

Finally, a clutter-free kitchen, bedroom, garage, or another part of the home is more peaceful for the mind than a chaotic space. When everything is in its place and is organized in a way that makes sense, without excess items that you no longer use, the home will feel orderly and tranquil.

This type of environment is preferable than one that makes you feel anxious because of the clutter. This point is especially true during the pandemic when so much of the day is indoors at home.

clutter and mental health

Starting the Journey

With decluttering being part of achieving better well-being, now is the time to take the initial step at home. If you’re not sure where to start, or struggle with what things to donate, sell, or keep, our friendly organizers are happy to provide tips to help make the decisions easier.

We are available remotely on Zoom or in-person, following the latest health regulations for everyone’s safety. Teaming up with a professional organizer can help you be more effective during your decluttering sessions, and we work with your schedule.

A Few Final Words

Bell Let’s Talk Day has a great message about the importance of mental illness. We encourage you to make it a priority to engage in self-care activities that benefit your mental health throughout the entire year, including creating a well-organized home that feels restful.

hiring a professional organizer

5 Reasons Hiring a Professional Organizer is Worth It

If your cluttered home feels overwhelming, using the services of a professional organizer is an option to consider. If you’ve never done so before, one of the questions you’re likely wondering is whether hiring this expert is worth it. Here are five reasons to pursue the help of a pro.

1. Get More Out of Your Day

Continually looking for where you put something at home can get tiring very quickly. It can slow down your day, not to mention being an aggravation on tough workdays.

To make everyday activities more efficient, a professional organizer can help you find the best places to store things in the home, whether it’s the kitchen, bedroom, den, or another room. When it’s done, you will also feel calmer and more collected as you know where to find items. A clutter-free space is a peaceful one.

2. Access to New Ideas that Work

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Two heads are better than one.” That means that you can look forward to gaining insights that you might not have had otherwise when you team up with a decluttering expert.

The professionals at ClutterBGone have years of experience with creating organizational systems that are functional and save people time. We customize the approach to your home and household so that it has a maximum value.

hiring a professional organizer

3. Sort Possessions Effectively

Hold onto what you still use or cherish and part with things that no longer have utility in your life. It sounds simple, but our team understands that you likely have emotional ties to some possessions that make it difficult to let go.

We support and encourage you throughout the sorting process to make it easier. Having an expert beside you to take you through the steps keeps the project moving forward.

For example, we ask questions to help you understand what to keep or not in a comfortable way. You’ll also avoid accidentally donating a big sum of cash or something else you hadn’t meant to because of a haphazard approach.

4. What Storage to Use, and How

Even when you know you want to store things, determining how to do so can make you feel at a loss. What type of storage would be helpful, and how do you set it up?

These questions are ones that a professional organizer is prepared to answer, based on the unique layout of your home and your lifestyle. For example, a filing cabinet could be useful in a home office, or open shelving might solve your needs better. Helping you determine where to put the storage systems is also part of the expert’s service.

5. See It Through

Have you tried to declutter a room before but never finished? You might have felt overwhelmed by the project, gotten distracted, or lost interest in it.

A supportive organizer keeps your eye on the project goal and helps you create a realistic timeframe to achieve it. We also break the end goal down into bite-size steps to help you achieve it more easily. Perhaps best of all, you’re not alone in this process.

The Benefits of a Professional Organizer

The value of an organizer involves far more than the physical clutter itself. This expert helps in significant ways to reduce stress and anxiety relating to disorganization, as well as to provide inspiration. Reaching the goal is an amazing feeling! Contact us today for your Virtual Consultation!

organize printed photos

5 Steps to Organize Printed Photos

If you’re like most people, you are likely taking digital photos and storing them on your phone or computer. But the chances are good that you still have printed photographs around the house that never got sorted. This weekend, why not finally start on the task of organizing them? If you’re not sure where to start, check out this 5-step plan.

1.      Collect the Photos

First, you must find them. They’re likely in drawers, boxes, and envelopes around the house. Go from room to room, collecting the pics so that you know what you’re working with and how to proceed.

Organize Printed Photos

2.      Group Them

Next, group the snapshots in a way that makes sense. It could be by event or by year. Another way to arrange them is by the people who are in them. For example, you might devote a pile to your child’s professional school pictures that shows their year-to-year changes.

3.      Determine What to Keep

That’s right, you don’t have to keep them all. Feel free to discard the duplicates and fuzzy ones. Or, if there are several similar photos, you might just keep the best one. Then, put each group of pics temporarily in a plastic sandwich bag, and put a sticky note on it that says date and location.

4.      Decide on Storage

Now that they’re sorted, put the photos into albums, if you want. But, if you simply don’t have time for that, consider other easier options. Photo storage boxes are simple ways to keep photos organized. Easily add dividers within the box and title them according to year, person, event, or something else.

5.      Dress Up the Box

Finally, add personal touches to the box. For example, you might cover it in gift wrap. Or, use contact paper with a design that matches the room where you plan to store the box. Don’t forget to label the box too! You might simply write “Family photos” on it or choose something catchier.

Final Words on Your Organized Photographs

Once you’ve made it to step 5, you have sorted the photos and they are all in one place. Put the photo box on a bookshelf or side table to open and enjoy them whenever you want to take a trip down memory lane.

When you have guests over, put the box in their laps, and watch how many laughs, smiles, and stories happen during the visit. Looking at the photos makes more sense than having them hidden away. You might even find a few special ones to frame and put around the house or give as a photo gift.

Be sure to maintain your photo system too. As you get more printed pics, add them right away to the relevant section of the box. Add new dividers as you need them too as part of maintaining a great printed photo collection.

As you can see, organizing doesn’t have to be overly complex or intimidating. Our professionals can help you declutter and simplify other aspects of your home too. Simply reach out to us for a helping hand!

What Do Professional Organizers Do

What Do Professional Organizers Really Do?

Our professional organizers indeed do as their name suggests and organize living spaces, but there’s much more to it than that. Find out what a project entails and how organizers like ours can help you in this post.

Reality TV Shows and Organizing Experts

You might only have seen these professionals in TV shows helping hoarders. But you don’t need to have a hoarding disorder to benefit from working with organizers.

Instead, we often work with people undergoing a significant life change, such as moving or having a baby. Other times, our clients want to create a more organized system for their space but aren’t sure how to do it.

What do they have in common? Their home is not working for them in some way. If clutter is holding back your life in some way, a professional organizer can help you.

Creating a Custom Solution

You’re not alone if you face the challenge of not knowing how to change a living area to make it more functional. Thankfully, the ClutterBGone team has significant experience in helping people with this problem.

We take that knowledge of what has worked in the past and customize it to your home. No two houses and people are the same and finding the best solution for you, and your household is the most important thing for us.

What Do Professional Organizers Do

A Toolkit You Can Tap Into

Professional organizers also bring a unique set of tools to your project. We are great at seeing the big picture, for instance. If you are tired of the overcrowded closet, you’re likely feeling stuck and unsure how to start taking steps to improve it.

A ClutterBGone expert can help you by asking questions to help you set goals you’re comfortable within a timeframe that fits with your lifestyle. The questions we ask help you imagine the area’s possibilities in a big-picture way that you might not have seen otherwise. Getting a fresh perspective can make all the difference, especially given the years of experience we bring to the table.

Also, a good organizer is objective rather than emotional. You likely feel attached to some household items, so teaming up with someone who can take an impartial approach to sorting items is key.

Saving You Time

Spending a few minutes (or more) a day looking for things can add up over the week, month, and year. Your time is valuable, and a professional organizer can help you make the most of it.

When a room is free of clutter, and things have a logical place in it, you’ll always know where to find items. That’s a significant time-saver. With the help of an organizing expert, you can create a functional space that is easy to maintain to help you be more productive.

It’s about People, Not Just Things

At first, you might think that organizers help you move things into boxes. But it’s so much more than that. We help you get over a challenge to make your life at home more of what you’re looking for. And we take great pride in what we do! Reach out today to see how we can help you.

organized child's learning space

How to Organize Your Child’s Online Learning Space

One of the biggest changes for families during the pandemic has been homeschooling. While this type of education was unexpected for most households, it is a learning approach that can have many benefits when it happens within an organized space. Use these tips to make the experience more enjoyable for your young child or teen.

Create a Specific Zone

In a small living space, dedicating an entire room to homeschooling is likely not realistic. But if you can do so, great! An unused guest room, for example, can easily transform into a place for homeschooling.

In smaller homes or apartments, a more realistic approach is to turn part of a room into an area specifically for at-home school and homework. There are numerous possibilities of what this learning zone will look like, depending on your kid’s preferences, house layout, and other factors.

For example, you might turn a corner of your child’s bedroom into their study area. Another idea is to repurpose the dining room table as a desk for your boy or girl. Ideally, choose an area that is away from distractions like washing dishes and the television.

online learning space

Creating a Workstation

Once you have the area chosen, it’s time to organize this learning space for them. Be sure to include a lot of light if there is not natural lighting from windows. Not only will better lighting be easier on your son or daughter’s eyes while reading than a dimly lit room, but it also will create a more positive atmosphere.

Obviously, a desk and chairs are essentials here. If they have no desk and getting a new one can’t fit in the budget right now, a DIY desk is a good solution. For example, you might mount a piece of wood to the wall or stretch a butcher block over two filing cabinets. As earlier mentioned, a dining room table can become a desk too.

A clean desk is one that enables your little one to work more efficiently and with fewer distractions. To help organize easier, ensure there are places for kids to store their books, pens, laptops, and other supplies at the end of their study time. Young children typically do well with cubbies or baskets, while teens organize well with shelves.

What about if you have more than one kid? In this case, give them each a bin and put their name on it. That will help little ones feel more grown-up and prevent fights over supplies.

Stick to a Calendar

Another way to stay on top of organization is to stick to a calendar. For young kids, help them fill out the calendar or do it for them and show them how to check it daily for their must-do items.

If you are short on space, you can even turn a wall into a calendar! Simply coat the wall with chalkboard paint, and use it to showcase daily lists, educational goals, and lessons. This tip is for better organizing your child’s time, as well as your own.

Get more ideas for better organizing your home for lessons and study time by reaching out to our professional organizers today!

Organizing The Home

3 Common Missteps when Organizing the Home

When you make up your mind to eliminate clutter, the last thing you want to do is make more work for yourself by increasing the project’s difficulty without realizing it. While that might seem unlikely, our professional organizers explain that there are certain missteps clients make repeatedly. To save you from making those same errors, we made this list today:

Mistake #1: Buying Storage Bins before Organizing

When you’re enthusiastic about a project, you’re thinking ahead, and that’s great! Be careful, though, not to get ahead of yourself.

If you go out and get storage containers before starting the decluttering process, you’re doing things backwards. It’s a common thing our organizers see, and here’s why it’s a misstep.

If you buy storage items first, you will likely get more than you need. That is because there will be substantially fewer things to organize after decluttering is done than before that. Whether you donate, sell, or toss things is up to you, but what matters here is that you will have fewer things in the end.

You’ll also have a better idea of the sizes and shapes of storage containers to purchase when you see the keep pile after organizing is done. So, make the process easier for yourself by getting bins and baskets after finishing the decluttering process.

organizing with storage bins

Mistake #2: Sorting the Entire House

While you might want to clear away the clutter from every room and closet, it’s best not to tackle the whole house at once. Doing that risks becoming an overwhelming task, and you might end up watching Netflix on the couch to avoid such a stressful task ahead.

Instead, or organizers suggest breaking the decluttering project into small, bite-size chunks. These baby steps are ones that you can do in a few hours or less, such as a bookcase, part of a large closet, or half of the garage.

Taking this approach will help you clear the clutter with less stress and a better sense of clarity. Plus, you will feel empowered with each step you take! Be sure to take stock of what you accomplish each week to maintain motivation.

Mistake #3: Avoid Picture Perfect

After looking at magazines and websites of home interiors, it’s easy to feel deflated about what you see in your own space. After all, those glossy magazine pages and website photos are designed for aesthetic value rather than being livable spaces for individuals or families.

While those rooms might look amazing, they’re likely not functional. And a big reason for your decluttering project is likely to get more usefulness out of your home.

So, our professionals encourage you to weed out possessions you don’t need and think of how to use spaces in new ways to make things easier to find and lower stress at home. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to us for pointers, virtually or in-person, and we can help you form an approach that works in your unique home.

declutter home

How to Declutter Your Home Like a Professional

If the idea of decluttering one or more rooms in your house overwhelms you and you’re not sure where to begin, this guide is for you. Our professionals provide insights into how best to organize areas of the home that are prone to clutter, such as the pantry.

Sort the Pantry

When the kitchen pantry is well-organized, you can see right away what you have and what needs replenishing, from rice to pasta and cereal. That means you will be more likely to use everything and save money because you won’t buy duplicates.

When you start to put things away after a grocery trip, our experts encourage you to group similar items. For example, put the pasta into one basket or bin, and stack soups in another area of the pantry. That will make it easier to find what you’re looking for at mealtime.

decluttering home

Improve the Kitchen

One of the busiest rooms is the kitchen, which means it can get cluttered quickly. Sort your kitchen utensils drawer easily by using an expandable utensil holder. Create a long drawer organizer for a second drawer that holds serving utensils, can and wine openers, meat thermometers, and scissors.

Each drawer ought to serve a specific purpose and functionality, as per our organizational pros. So, one drawer could be for baking prep, another one for pots and pans, another for bowls and plates, etc.

We can also help you determine how best to use cabinets above the stove and other places that might be awkward to reach. Add storage space by making use of vertical space, such as a wall by the oven where you hang pots.

Tidy the Bedrooms

There are a lot of places to tackle in bedrooms, whether it is a child’s room or the master. There is the closet area to sort, as well as dresser drawers and beneath the bed. You might also need different zones within the bedroom, such as an office nook or kids’ play area.

In your closet, make it easier to find what you’re looking for in the mornings by colour-coding hanging items. For example, group yellow clothes together, red ones together, and so on.

Hang a dry-cleaning bag in the closet too that you can easily add items to as you wear them that need cleaning. Keep a donation bag in the closet too that you can fill over time with clothing you don’t wear anymore, rather than putting stress on yourself to do it all in one sitting.

decluttering home

Organize the Bathrooms

A great way to remove clutter from bathroom counters is using trays to group items while keeping them easily within reach. As for the under-the-sink area, use clear containers to sort things according to their purpose, such as “shaving” and “hair products.”

If there are no shelves in your bathroom, a tiered shower caddy provides an easy way to keep items organized. Keeping items there rather than at the side of the bathtub also prevents mildew from forming beneath bottles.

Create more usable room too with an over-the-toilet shelving unit. Add baskets to keep things tidy or conceal personal care items that you use regularly but don’t necessarily want guests to see, such as deodorant.

Reach out to us for help with your decluttering project, whether it is one of the areas described above or another part of your home. We offer in-person and virtual services for your convenience.

Virtual Organizing Services

5 Benefits of Virtual Organizing

Spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic means that you are likely noticing things (big and small) around you that need fixing or decluttering. Even in lockdown, there are still ways to improve your residence with the help of a professional. Virtual organizing is a great example of that. Here are five benefits you can look forward to with virtual organizational services:

1.      Stay Safe at Home

If having a stranger working in your house makes you uncomfortable, virtual services provide a great alternative. You can still gain the experience and help of our expert organizers while maintaining a safe distance and avoiding unnecessary contact with someone outside of your bubble. We understand the risks associated with COVID-19 and want everyone to be as comfortable and safe as possible.

2.      Easy-To-Use Technology

Our organizers use Zoom to meet with you for a consultation, following a short telephone intake to talk about your needs and preferences. Zoom is a free, intuitive software that does not require in-depth computer knowledge. Once it is setup, Zoom is where most sessions happen. We also see your space via live video or photos to help us guide you as effectively as possible.

virtual organizing services

3.      As Effective as In-Person Sessions

You might assume that virtual organizing is limited because the expert who you work with won’t be hands-on. But the organizer can see your bedroom, closet, garage, home office, or another space clearly via the live video or photos you share privately with them. The organizer will guide you through each session while you do the physical work. You two can also communicate by phone and email to move the process along as smoothly as in-person.

4.      Build New Habits

You might notice that the virtual sessions work better for you than in-person ones because you are in control and have minimal distractions. The sessions often end with our professional giving you a task to do before the next session, while keeps you on task and building organizational habits. Use your newfound knowledge to keep the home clutter-free after finishing the project with our organizer.

5.      Flexible Schedule

Our team understands that busy people don’t have time to spend several hours a week in virtual sessions. Instead, we meet at a frequency that works for you, based on your schedule. A great advantage of virtual organizing is that you can record videos, send emails, or have a quick chat by phone with our expert to stay on track, even during a hectic week.

A Few Last Words

Look forward to finally clearing the clutter by working virtually with one of our organizing professionals. Tidying the home can help you enjoy the space more, which is vital given the additional stress brought on by the pandemic.

Feel good about your house once it is more orderly and functional than before. If you’ve been wanting to organize for a while but weren’t quite how to start, call us today. Find out more about the process, including how we tailor the experience to your goals, lifestyle, and unique home. We look forward to hearing from you!

stress free holiday season

A Stress-Free Holiday Season IS Possible, and Here’s How

The Christmas holidays can easily feel overwhelming if you don’t prepare in advance for it. That’s not to say that you must start months in advance but instead that you take the time to plan a few things to prevent last-minute stressors. This guide will help you avoid the Holiday chaos.

Decline Holidays Invites with Less Difficulty

It’s tempting to want to get together with others during the holidays, but during the pandemic isn’t a safe time to have a party. Respect local guidelines and decline invites that make you uncomfortable, both for yourself and those going to the get-together.

Make a Holiday Binder

A 3-ring binder with dividers and planning sheets can help you stay on top of everything during this busy time of year. Having a go-to binder can keep you on track with goals like decluttering, decorating, shopping, and staying on budget.

For example, consider including a holiday decor checklist. Depending on how detailed you want to get, you can break it down into Week 1, 2, and 3 to spread out activities like putting up outdoor lights and decorating the tree indoors. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed.

Include receipts, grocery lists, and gift lists in the binder too. Having everything all in one place is convenient and reduces stress.

stress free holiday season

Keep the Holiday Spirit in Mind

If you’re doing too much, you’ll feel stressed out, and that’s not the spirit of the season. Christmas is a joyful time of year, so write down what you want to eat, do, create, and buy this season to make sure you do so. Put the list up on the fridge or somewhere else where you will see it as a reminder to do what makes you happy.

Also, incorporate traditions that are important to your family members. If you’re not sure what they want to do, ask them what activities they would like to include this Christmas. Try to ask them at the start of the holiday season so you can plan to include the things that your loved ones look forward to doing in your schedule.

Get a Few Things Done Ahead of Time

If you have a few spare minutes here and there, use them to get things done in advance of Christmas Day. That will take tasks off your to-do list, which relieves the pressure later.

For example, if you’ve already bought some presents, why not wrap one of them tonight? Or, make a dessert ahead of time and freeze it so you won’t be under a time crunch on December 25th.

A Thoughtful Approach

By planning and using the practical tips above, you can reduce stress significantly. That can help you get into the holiday spirit. For more suggestions on organizing your home and managing your time, reach out to our professionals today.

easy DIY home office ideas for your home

Easy DIY Ideas for Your Home Office

These DIY projects are easy ones that you can do to organize a home office. Even if you don’t consider yourself very crafty, the ideas here are ones you’re sure to be able to pull off for a clutter-free work environment.

Office Supply Holder: Rethink the Spice Jar

Spice racks are great for organizing small things, and we’re not just talking about spices. Use them for different screws and bolts in the garage, for example. For your workspace, fill each one with a certain office supply.

Among the most common supplies are staples and rubber bands. Another spice jar could be for thumbtacks. Rotate the spice jar easily to find what you need. The rack is small enough to fit on your desk or a bookshelf. See, we told you these ideas are simple!

Chalkboard Paint Accent Wall

Are you continually looking for scraps of paper to write down to-do lists? Instead, apply a coat of chalkboard paint to one wall of the office and then write your to-do lists on there each day to make sure you’re always on top of tasks.

You can also create a colorful calendar in chalk and change it every month according to your schedule. Being able to erase and redo what you’ve written on the wall whenever you want is a powerful feeling. Plus, you always wanted to write on walls in the house when you were a kid, right?!

Hang Curtains to Hide Clutter

If you have built-in shelving along one wall or a wide bookcase, you might worry that everything on it makes the room look crowded. The problem is that you need easy access to the papers, books, and other items stored on it. So, what to do?

The answer is to hang a curtain rod and curtains in front of it. This is a genius trick for instantly concealing items to give a cleaner look to the workspace. Draw the curtains shut and open them to retrieve something from a shelf easily.

Give Kitchen Glasses a New Life

If your kitchen shelves are overloaded with glassware, but they’re too cute for you to part with, then bring them into the home office instead. Fill one of them with pens and another with pencils, scissors, and other supplies that fit easily in them.

You can see what’s in each one and grab what you need during the workday. Again, this is a straightforward way to stay organized, and it looks stylish too!

organized papers

Organize Papers

Having a paperless office sounds nice, but it’s not the reality for most people. To help you stay on top of it, organize the paper into three specific areas.

Firstly, create a zone for papers that require immediate attention. Next, have a different place to put projects that you are working on, and ensure it is in your line of sight. The third area is a filing system for papers you want to keep but don’t often need access to. By creating these distinct zones, you will know where to look for different documents and find it easier to keep them tidy.

Being Organized to Be Productive

With a more organized office, you can be more efficient and likely will be less stressed too. Rather than looking at clutter, you will have a tidy space instead that works for you rather than being full of distractions. Find more useful (and easy) ideas by reaching out to our professional organizers today!