Get Organized For The End Of The School Year

end of school organizing

Whether its public or high school, the end of the school year is swiftly approaching. There will be lots of stuff coming home with the kids as the school year ends. Like everything else in your home, these items need to be sorted, organized and purged.

Backpacks

The backpacks will be retired for the summer but before they are check them out for wear and tear. end of school year organizingThey get a lot of use through the year so it may be time to replace them at the beginning of the next school year. Maybe your babies have “grown up” and want a more mature looking backpack next year. In that case maybe the current one can be handed down or donated for continued use. Check the backpacks for any lunch leftovers too. You don’t want to be tracking down a terrible smell later in the summer!

All that paper

The end of the school year may bring a lot of paper into the home. Notebooks, art projects, test papers and a lot of paper and documents that were accumulated and kept in the desk through the year will be coming home. We’re all proud of our children but we can’t keep everything they create. Go through it all, preferably with your child, and sort into what you will keep and what you will discard. I like to keep a memory box for each child and place the keepers in there. Others will create a sort of scrapbook and place them in that. Either way you and your child will have easy access to everything you found important enough to keep.

Keepsakes

Kids will collect many keepsakes through the school year. end of school organizingRibbons for participating, trophies for doing well, special drawings, school yearbooks, heck maybe even a few notes from a secret admirer? What will these mean to you and your child in a year or five or ten? Decide what goes in the memory box and what goes.

Old school supplies

A lot of the notebooks, pens, pencil crayons and other supplies can be kept for next year. Go through them for wear and discard what is not needed or usable any longer.

Go through all of the school items as soon as they come in at the end of the school year. This will reduce the clutter in the home and teach your kids responsibility and organization. Now let’s get ready for summer!!!

Spring Decluttering of Your Home

spring decluttering

Oh, spring! You have finally arrived! In the GTA there were times when we thought spring would never get here. Now that it has, people are out enjoying the sunshine. Many others are tackling the job of spring cleaning. ClutterBGone has a lot of experience in decluttering homes at this time of year. Let’s share some of our experiences with you.

Pick a starting point

You have to be organized in your approach to organize your home. Pick a room, one that you can organize the easiest. Make a list of what needs to be done in that room and get started. Once the easiest room is done you will have the sense of accomplishment to carry on.

Allow enough time

As much as you would really like to, you’re not going to get the whole house completed in a single weekend. spring declutteringIt takes time to sort and purge and organize as you go and working 8 to 10 hours a day on decluttering isn’t really reasonable. You will get frustrated and lose interest and the quality of your work will suffer. We find 6-hour increments work best.

Have the right tools

Before you begin assess what you have and what you will need for organizing. Do you have enough hangers? Are they all the same type for an organized look? Do you need a utensil tray? Will you need clear storage boxes? ClutterBGone has organized many homes and knows what you will need and most often we have these items in stock and bring them with us in case you need them.

Leave sentiment outside

We all have certain items that we keep for sentimental reasons and we would never suggest getting rid of everything. spring declutteringBut keeping that ratty sweater because the kids bought it for you or that appliance that doesn’t work because you “may” get it fixed one day just adds to your clutter and disorganized state. Be realistic about what you need and use. Keep the things you really love and take a real hard look at the rest. Sometimes a third party is needed to be impartial.

Scheduled maintenance

Just like your car, your furnace and heck, even your hair, your decluttering requires maintenance. Schedule an hour or two a month to keep your space organized and clutter free.

ClutterBGone has helped countless homes get organized and we love spring organizing! Contact us here to see how we can help you declutter your home for a fresh start to the summer.

5 Signs That You May Be Disorganized

signs you are disorganized

Do you ever wonder if you are chronically disorganized? ClutterBGone has worked in many homes in the GTA and have seen the signs. Here are five signs that you may be disorganized.

You can never find things

It continually takes you a lot longer than you thought to find things. How many times have you gone to look for something and you know where it is – at least you thought you did. After quite a bit of time you find it only because you have torn the house apart and spent a lot of time doing so. Now you are even more disorganized with everything strewn about.

Your social life is suffering

You are embarrassed or experience shame to have company come over. signs you are disorganizedI get it, when we have company over we want to make a good impression and show a neat and organized household. Who wants to have company – family or friends – over when we have items all over the counters and boxes of possessions piled up on the floor? Being disorganized can cause some people to crawl into a shell and become unsocial.

Your life is full of stress

You are stressed just thinking about having to get organized. It’s a fact that stress is a killer. We all deal with stress differently and stress can have an adverse impact on our health. If you are feeling stress or anxiety over the thought of getting organized don’t let it get the best of you. Reach out for help either with family or friends or from a professional.

It’s not safe in your home

You or someone you love has fallen or tripped over something that is always out of place. signs you are disorganizedThis is the last thing we want but there are some people that just don’t know how to get organized and end up stacking things on the floor causing trip hazards or having so much in a cupboard that items fall out when the cupboard doors are opened. Most common accidents happen in the home so lets do what we can to maintain a safe environment for our loved ones and ourselves.

You are always late

Whether it’s for appointments or paying the bills or meeting up with someone, you are always late. Running late because you did not record the appointments where they are easily accessible with a reminder? Are you getting those nasty fees or penalties added on to your bill because you were late with the payment? How about those nasty credit card interest charges due to late payments? Ouch! Being disorganized can cost you time and money.

Do any of these signs ring true with you? If so, ClutterBGone can help you get and stay organized. We are just a click or call away. Contact us here or call us at 905-642-5669.

Storing Your Hockey Gear

storing hockey gear

With the pro hockey season now winding down it’s time to get that hockey gear stored until next season. Our friends at Pro Stock Hockey have offered some tips on how to correctly store your gear so it’s fresh and in great shape the next time you play.

Pick a spot

Hockey families will have a lot of equipment to store especially if there’s more than one child playing and possibly Mom and Dad as well. Pick a spot where everything can be stored together and where it can be kept dry. Design a system whether it’s a shelf or hanging on a wall and ensure everyone uses it.

Sticks

Sticks need to be secured to make sure they aren’t falling onto a car or worse, onto a small child. storing hockey gearWe have seen many different ways to keep sticks secure. We can recommend something to you that will work in your space.

 

 

 

Extra gear

You know how fast kids grow and that means they grow out of equipment. Once it can’t be used, sort it and get it out of the house. There are numerous charities that would love to take your used gear. Also, you can sell it at a second-hand sports store or sell it yourself online.

Sweaters and pants

Being a hockey family I’m sure you are familiar with that hockey “scent”. That is usually caused by sweaters and, socks and pants being left in the bag. Hang these up when being stored to eliminate that nasty smell.

The extras

Try to use a bag that has extra pockets to store the miscellaneous items like tape and pucks.hockey gear It will make them easier to find when needed. And don’t forget to put skate guards on your skate blades to protect everything else. Hockey equipment is costly so it needs to be protected.

 

ClutterBGone has helped many clients get their hockey gear (and other sports equipment) organized and stored. Reach out to us here to see how we can help you.

Thanks to our friends at Pro Stock Hockey. The link to there article is here.

Decluttering Checklist For The “Big Move”

moving seniors

Guest blogger : Alejandra Roca

Adjusting to life in a senior living community can be tough. The move represents a fresh start with new friends and fun, but also the loss of a home, belongings, and freedom. You can help your loved one transition smoothly by planning in advance, staying organized, and honoring their feelings throughout the process.

Start planning early!

Create a calendar and set dates for moving-related activities. moving seniorsYou’ll need plenty of time to pack as there is likely to be quite a collection of items accumulated over the years. Items not moving with you can be set aside for donation or hold a garage or estate sale.

Limit your time

Seniors typically tire a bit earlier so limit the packing to just a few hours a day. This will probably turn into a bit of a trip down memory lane. If your loved one wants to stop and reminisce, join in – it won’t hurt anything.

Documents

This is a good time to go through all the important papers in the home. Make sure documents like passports and licenses are up to date. Wills and power of attorneys can be reviewed to ensure they still meet the wishes of your loved one. If one has not already been created, now is a good time to open a file or binder for easy access to records and other documents. Keep these documents in a central location, like a safe deposit box, and let other family members know where they are so nobody feels left out of the process. Now is also a good time to update the address of everything that requires updating.

Decide on the what comes

Your loved one can and should bring keepsakes to their new home, but they probably won’t have the square footage to accommodate everything they collected over the years. downsizing seniorsYour local donation centers can use a lot of what is not required in order to help others. Valuable items can be sold or gifted to other family members. Remember that, first and foremost, it’s your loved one’s decision whether or not to part with items. If you’re too close to the situation and your help becomes frustrating for them, consider hiring an impartial third party – like a professional organizer – who’s used to helping people let go.

Be kind, patient, and understanding with your loved one. Support them during the move, follow up after, and check in regularly as your senior settles in to their new home. Remember that you, too, will one day be in a similar situation!

ClutterBGone has assisted many families with moving a loved one to asssited living facilities and we can help you too. Just contact us here.

Alejandra Roca is part of the content marketing team at Redfin and enjoys writing about home decor and real estate trends.

Originally published on: https://www.redfin.com/blog/senior-guide-for-decluttering

Downsizing During Divorce

downsize during divorce

Nobody likes to think of divorcing another. It means the end of a relationship and probably starting all over again. It’s a terrible thing to have to go through but sometimes it’s the only option left. The thought of moving, downsizing and separating yours from theirs can be overwhelming. ClutterBGone has helped couples through the process – here’s a few things to watch for.

Emotions

Your emotions, and those of your partner, are raw and things can quickly boil to the top making a peaceful separation of items extremely difficult. Friends and family are typically not impartial. Keep your emotions in check anytime you are dealing with the physical aspects of a separation.

The new space

Typically a move after a divorce is a move to a smaller space, rarely is it a move to larger premises. Be ready for the move and be realistic about the space you are moving into. Downsize ahead of the move to prevent clutter and disorganization from day one in the new place. Bring with you only the things that you absolutely love and let them be the start of your new lifestyle.

What to keep

Decorate your home with a mix of old and new. downsize during divorceYou may not want to bring those wedding gifts you received from his/her family but a few pieces that you love from your old home will make you feel at home in your new place right away. You don’t need to keep everything that your spouse gave you either but try to be practical about what you need and what you want. This is where a third party can help.

Do you need help?

There’s a lot to do when going through a divorce and you don’t have to do it alone. You will need a lawyer and perhaps a realtor. If emotions are getting the better of you both then maybe a professional organizer can assist during this time. ClutterBGone is impartial, non judgemental and has helped other couples through this difficult process.

If you need help during divorce or any other life change just contact us here. We would be happy to have a chat.

The Reasons You Want To Get Organized

reasons to get organized

During our intake process we ask all of our prospective clients why they want to get organized. We received a lot of different answers but I thought I would share with you the most common reasons why people want to get organized.

Can’t locate things

I’m tired of not being able to find things or spending too much time looking for them. Does this sound familiar to you? We spend so much time looking for things we know we have or we know should be in a particular place but are not. We spend a lot of time and end up stressing out when we cant quickly put our hands on something we know we have, and it always happens at the most inopportune time. Cooking? Where is that utensil? Bill due? I know I put it here for future reference. Think of all the time you will get back and the reduction on your stress levels when you are organized and have a system in place to stay that way.

I would like to have company over again

How long has it been since you had company over? reasons to get organizedPeople who are disorganized find themselves pulling away from friends and family out of embarrassment or fear of what they may think about you if they see the state of your living condition. You don’t realize that it is you they love and want to spend time with but embarrassment gets in the way. Once you are organized you will find your social life opens up again and you are eager to have people come over again.

Safety

Whether it’s for the safety of yourself or for a loved one you want to be organized for safety reasons too. Too many things on the kitchen counter can be a fire hazard, something falling out of a cupboard when it is opened can hit you or someone else, tripping hazards on the floor can send someone to the hospital. Once organized your living area will not only look and feel better to you but it’ll be a safer environment as well. This is especially important for the older ones in our lives.

Stress reduction

Being disorganized causes stress. reasons to get organizedAnd we know what stress does to your health. We touched on it above but being disorganized can put a lot of stress on you to the point where it can affect your health. We all know stress is hard on the heart and we should all be doing as much as we can to reduce or eliminate stress in our lives.

 

Save money

Who doesn’t want to save money? How many times have you run out to purchase a greeting card or wrapping paper, a grocery item or something else at the last minute (here’s that stress thing again) because you couldn’t find it at home? You know you have it and you know it’ll turn up when it isn’t needed. Get organized and you will not need to run out for that duplicate item.

So, do any of these reasons ring true for you? Get organized and save time, stress and money and improve your lifestyle. Let me know if you have any other reasons. We would love to hear from you.

Organize Your Garage For Spring

organized garage

Can you feel Spring in the air? It has been a long and brutal winter in the GTA. The calendar says spring is finally here. Normally we like to throw open the windows and get into our “spring” cleaning. Well, don’t forget the garage during this time.

Your garage has probably been neglected during the cold winter months. It now needs a good old de-cluttering and organizing just like any other area of your home.

Where did I put those backyard items?

You probably tossed a lot of items into your garage last fall and over the winter. Time to get them out, clean them up and get them ready for the mild weather.

Start with an empty canvas

Pull everything out of the garage to start fresh. garage organizingTake it all off the walls, off the shelves and even out of the rafters. Lots of dust will have accumulated over the winter and a lot more will get kicked up as you clean. Take this opportunity to wipe everything down as it comes out. Use a sweeping compound on the floor to reduce the dust that gets into the air and finds its way into the house.

Give yourself enough time

Depending on the volume of clutter, you may need more than one day. A lot of our clients don’t have the time or simply understand and acknowledge that their time is worth more. Many of our garage projects take a minimum of 6 hours and can sometimes exceed 24 hours with a team of two depending on the size of the garage and the sheer volume of items stored (dumped) inside. Remember, it’s not just tidying up, it’s creating a system of organization when it goes back in, so you can easily find those items again when they are needed.

Get it back in neat and organized

Rakes, shovels and the like should go back in securely on the wall, so they can’t fall on anything or anyone. Designate a space for sporting equipment, garden accessories and supplies and label where it goes. Once everything is up and out of your way you can be sure that your garage will stay in a clean, tidy and organized manner. Everything will be within reach and easy to put back and retrieve once you’ve invested in a system of organization for your home.

I know most of you are itching to get into your yard work and get back into the garage. Contact us here to find out how ClutterBGone can help you organize your garage in Toronto and the surrounding area. We love to organize!!

Are You Remodelling Your Kitchen?

kitchen remodelling

I recently read an article in Canada’s largest newspaper stating that an uncluttered kitchen was a homeowners remodelling goal. In fact, storage was the number one function concern for most people. The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that, for 75 per cent of the homeowners, decluttering counters was the No. 1 priority. That was followed by 66 per cent who wanted to put things away and 49 per cent who focused on recycling.

Respondents agreed that kitchen renos are a major and expensive undertaking: the cost for a 200-square-foot or larger kitchen averaged about $52,000 or about $32,300 for smaller kitchens. Why spend all that money just to have another disorganized kitchen?kitchen remodelling

Storage is a priority in today’s kitchen. Sixty-three per cent of those surveyed chose storage as the No. 1 function concern, followed by space planning (38 per cent), entertaining (32 per cent) and cleanliness (32 per cent).

All of this comes as no surprise to ClutterBGone as we have created space and organization in many kitchens. Let’s take a look at some of our golden kitchen rules when remodelling your kitchen.

Keep horizontal surfaces clear

If you must keep small appliances on the counter keep it to the ones that you use every day like the toaster, coffee maker, and maybe your smoothie machine. Appliances that are seldom used should be stored elsewhere. You’ll be amazed at just how neat and organized your kitchen will look with a clutter free horizontal surface.

Keep it clean

Now that the surface is clear, ensure it is kept clean with a quick wipe a few times a day. By doing this your surface will look more organized and you will end up putting things away when you clean.

Keep your daily use items within reach

Organize your kitchen so that the items you need are easily within reach of the task you are performing. kitchen remodellingIf you are cooking make sure your pots and pans are close by. Try to have your glasses stored next to the fridge. Your dishes close to the dishwasher for easy return. This will save you steps and time and will reduce the traffic chaos in your kitchen.

Keep the junk out of your junk drawer

I don’t believe in junk drawers but I do believe in having a drawer to keep miscellaneous items needed in the kitchen like pens, string and things like that. But, this drawer has to be reviewed periodically to ensure you don’t end up with a true junk drawer.

If kitchen remodelling plans are in your future, then you may need to contact ClutterBGone to help get ready or to help you get organized after the project is completed. We have helped organize many kitchens and would love to help you too.

Things We Buy And Never Use

things we buy

After having been in many client’s home over the years, I’ve seen a lot of things that are bought but never used. I thought I’d share this list with you to see how many of these you have and to perhaps give you a heads up if you’re thinking of buying any of them.

Exercise equipment

We’re reminded of this every year when resolutions come out to lose weight and get in shape. Shortly after the list of items you waste your money on come out and gym equipment is right at the top of the list. I’ll bet you that when ClutterBGone comes across gym equipment in a home, 9 times out of 10 there’s a layer of clothing or dust on it. You know yourself best, don’t buy it unless you know you’ll use it religiously. You don’t need clunky gym equipment to lose weight, weigh your options.

Kitchen appliances

This is the worst area of the house to find things that are bought but never used. items we don't useHow many of you have a fondue set? How about a bread maker? How’s that juicer working out for you? It’s hard not to see the benefits of the appliance when you’re shopping from the comfort of your couch at two in the morning, but these things take up a lot of valuable space either on your kitchen counter or in your cupboard. Appliances that you don’t use really hamper your productivity in the kitchen.

Magazines / Cookbooks / Newspapers

In this day of electronics, it’s so easy to find what you need on line. People tell me that I’m still old school but I have ditched the magazine subscriptions. I went digital with one of the subscription services and realized I still wasn’t reading them, so I stopped that as well. I’ve also donated my cookbooks and find all my recipes online (although I will admit to printing just a few of them).

Too many clothes

A lot of you will buy clothes for a lot of different reasons. too many clothesYou need them for a new job. You’re depressed and shopping helps. You’re trying to stay up with the latest fashion trends. I have two rules when it comes to clothes. I have to really love the piece and have a use in mind for it and something has to go when I get it home. Follow these rules and your closet will stay neat and organized.

Hobby supplies

ClutterBGone has sorted and organized numerous hobby rooms. During the process we have had to throw out a lot of dry paint, donate a lot of yarn and discovered many duplicates of supplies. Know what you absolutely must have when you go to the store to replenish your hobby supplies. Have an organized space for your supplies close to where you work. This is where ClutterBGone can help you.

We’ve helped clients organize every room you can think of and find many of these items that are just never used. If you have these items and more and need help in getting organized just contact us here. We love to organize!