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.

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

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.

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!

Why You Buy Things You Don’t Need

buy things you don't need

We are a society of consumers. Go to your local mall at almost any time and look at the sea of people shopping. I dare you to easily find a parking spot at Costco but let’s not stop there, Amazon and other on-line retailers are also growing like crazy.

We buy a lot of things we really don’t need. We get the items home and realize we really didn’t need them. Have you ever thought about why you buy items you really don’t need? Below are a list of just a few reasons.

You can’t find what you’re looking for

I myself have done this. buy things you don't needWe need something but because we can’t readily find it we head out to buy another. The “lost” one always turns up doesn’t it? Having an organized space really does allow you to easily see what you have and saves you the money and time on buying another. We understand this is a common issue with clients we’ve worked with so let’s put an end to duplicate buying.

Buying things makes us happy

True, but at what cost? Sure, a new pair of shoes, a new appliance, whatever we purchase is bound to make us happy. That happiness only lasts a short time though and we’re on to the next. If this continues which most likely than not it does, you are then left with no space to put anything else and a room or rooms that’s cluttered. Let’s not even mention the credit cards bills that come later.

It’s a great deal

It’s only a great deal if you really need it. buy things you don't needMany of our clients’ homes are jammed with those “freebies” that come with another purchase. Guess what? They’re not free. The costs of those freebies are built into the cost of whatever you have to buy to get them and those freebies or samples are normally the things we end up throwing away when we start a project. Don’t be fooled into parting with your hard-earned money because the truth of the matter is you’re going to spend even more to rid your home of everything collected.

Fads

Remember the FloBee, that thing that attaches to your vacuum to cut hair? Do you own a fondue pot? A Chia pet? How about the Clapper? ClutterBGone has come across all of these, and more, in clients’ homes. Most of these fad items are just that – fads. It’s a blast to go down memory lane but I’ll bet you’re not that organized if you still have any of these items still in your home.

These are a just few reasons why we purchase things we don’t need or use. Do any strike a chord with you? If you need help getting organized or downsizing after having spent a few years accumulating things you don’t want then all you have to do is contact us here or give ClutterBGone a call at 905-642-5669.

Obstacles To Being Organized

organizing obstacles

If you have ever tried to reduce clutter in your life and get better organized, you may have noticed some obstacles that may have gotten in your way. Or maybe you didn’t realize why you couldn’t get organized. Here are some of the obstacles you may, or may not be, aware of that keep you from getting organized.

You are blind to your own clutter

You may be so used to the clutter in your life that you just don’t see it anymore. Clutter accumulates every day and its very difficult to see it grow when you live with it daily. An extra set of eyes may be all that is required to get your space organized and clutter free. So many of our clients have told us that they couldn’t have done it without us.

You lack a system to stay organized

Living in an organized space is like everything else we accomplish – it requires maintenance. organizing obstaclesOnce you have reduced clutter you don’t want it creeping back in. A system needs to be in place that works for you and enables you to maintain a clutter free, organized space. At ClutterBGone we don’t come into your home or office and just reduce the clutter and organize your space. We leave you with a system that works for you. We look at how you live and operate and leave you with a system that enables you to maintain a clutter free and organized space.

You don’t know where to start

Is your home or space so disorganized that you are having a tough time getting started? Do you start but can’t finish because it seems so daunting? That is where a professional organizer can help. We come in and assess a space to determine where to start. We can be as hands on or as hands off as you want. If you don’t know where to start maybe you just need a little coaching.

I’m too busy

Are you really? If you really want to reclaim your space, live a more organized life, find things easier or just have friends and family over again then you will make the time or make the investment to get organized. It really can change your life.

You aren’t an inherently organized person

We hear this a lot from most of our clients. organizing obstaclesMost of our clients aren’t really organized, that’s why they call us. If you aren’t organized, then help is just a call away. If you can’t fix your car you call a garage. If you don’t have time to clean your house you call a cleaning service. Getting organized is no different. If you really aren’t an organized person, then give us a call to help.

There really doesn’t have to be any obstacles to keep you from being organized. At ClutterBGone we have come across all the obstacles and have overcome them all. We can help you too. Just contact us here or call us at 905-642-5669.

Clutter And Seniors

clutter and seniors

We recently received a request from a person who wanted to discuss the effects of clutter on seniors, specifically Diogenes syndrome.  Diogenes syndrome, also known as senile squalor syndrome, is a disorder characterized by extreme self-neglect, domestic squalor, social withdrawal, apathy, compulsive hoarding of garbage or animals, and lack of shame. Clutter can have a dramatic impact on the lives of seniors with 1 in 20 seniors having tendencies consistent with hoarding. I think you will find her blog to be interesting, especially if you have a senior in your life.

Watching Out for Diogenes Syndrome in Seniors

It can be very hard to part with things we think we may need in the future, yet learning to let go of what we don’t have room for, is one of the first steps to a neat, tidy and hygienic home. If you have an elderly relative and you notice that they tend to hoard things, it’s important to understand that this can be very common; studies show that around one in 20 seniors have hoarding tendencies. Sometimes hoarding behavior can be extreme, or be accompanied by self-neglect, social withdrawal, and squalor. If so, your loved one may need specialist help, often a combination of pharmacological and psychological treatments, closely related to treatment for obsessive-compulsive treatment.

When does Hoarding Amount to Diogenes Syndrome?

Diogenes syndrome is characterized by the above-mentioned behaviors, in addition to a lack of ‘shame’ or sense of embarrassment about these extreme behaviors. clutter and seniorsIt was coined after Greek philosopher, Diogenes, a Greek philosopher (412-323 BC) who expressed contempt for social organization and promulgated the advantages of a lack of shame. It can exist on its own, or be a secondary effect of mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, or alcoholism. It is also commonly associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior (OCD)

Diogenes syndrome, which has an average onset age of 75, can be very hard to deal with for family members of affected seniors, since it is accompanied by an inability to attend to basic needs such as nutrition and hygiene. In very extreme cases, it can result in anemia, skin conditions and malnutrition. Seniors can also pose a fire risk for themselves and others, which is why it is important that seniors obtain professional help if extreme hoarding behaviors and other symptoms are noticed.

Hoarding can sadly involve animals; rescue organizations often find cats, dogs, and birds hoarded in homes, as well as dead animals buried beneath furniture and other hoarded items.

How to Help those with Diogenes Syndrome

Because seniors with extreme hoarding behaviors tend to be socially reclusive, it can be very difficult to convince them to see a doctor to obtain diagnosis and treatment, but efforts should be made in this sphere, since treatment can be life-saving. clutter and seniorsTests carried out when this syndrome is suspected include cognitive and malnutrition tests. Specialists will help set up a management plan, which may sometimes lead to institutionalization if the person is mentally ill or has dementia, legal interventions to determine competency, and the involvement of a public guardian or trustee. Experts always aim to balance the right to autonomy with responsibility for the affected senior. If possible, the person is sent home, but cognitive behavioral therapy and other treatments are usually prescribed, and affected seniors are encouraged to start making small changes that can increase in scope as time goes by. When hoarding is severe, family members should abstain from forcibly entering their loved one’s home and throwing things out, since Diogenes patients become increasingly depressed by this type of invasive action and begin hoarding new items in a short space of time.

Diogenes Syndrome involves much more than being untidy or collecting things; it is an extreme behavior which most often occurs in individuals aged 75 or above, and which can be accompanied by other illnesses, including dementia. The consequences of Diogenes Syndrome can be severe, but invasive action should be avoided, since it can worsen symptoms. Seniors should be gently referred to specialist services, so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.

Our guest blogger is Cassie Steele. Cassie lived through this with her parents and is now the content editor for a small senior care and information website. For more information, here is a link to her guide on this topic – https://www.shieldmysenior.com/diogenes-syndrome/

ClutterBGone has assisted many seniors with reducing clutter, downsizing and life transitions. Contact us here to see how we can help your loved ones.

organizing your kitchen

De-clutter and Organize to Improve Your Home Appeal for Sale

organizing with multi generation families

Spring will be upon us before you know it. Talk to any senior real estate agent in Toronto and they will tell you it’s the best time to sell your home. If you’re one of those selling your home there are quite a few things you can easily do to improve the re-sale value of your home.

Organize by room

Don’t panic. Start your organizing early and work on one room at a time. You may have lived in your home for a while so it may feel daunting. Don’t get the urge to scurry from room to room. Set up regular donation drop offs or pick up dates, so things don’t get left in the house too long giving it a cluttered look. ClutterBGone has helped many families with their moves to make this time less stressful.

Create space

Any real estate agent will tell you that space is very important to a potential home buyer. They will look in your closets and cupboards to see how much space there is for their items. An organized, decluttered space will look larger than it seems.Organized closet

Horizontal surfaces

Horizontal surfaces are magnets for clutter. It’s too easy for you to put things down on the kitchen counter or an occasional table when you get home. Get out of this habit and make your home look organized and clutter free.

The dreaded closet

Do you have one of those closets that you don’t like to open? We are often called with a mess S.O.S. to assist with those beasts. Organized closets can help sell your home faster. An unorganized and cluttered closet gives the look of reduced space. Let us show you how to organize your closet and make the best use of the space you have and get you more money for your home.

Maintenance is a must

You maintain your car. You maintain the exterior of your home. Your home interior is no different. Take 15 minutes a week to tour the house and have things put away that may be where they don’t belong. Don’t be afraid to get on the case of other family members too, they create the clutter as much, or even more than you do.

An organized home with the appearance of a lot of space can gain you thousands in the selling price of your home. ClutterBGone has helped many clients prepare their home for sale as well as packed and organize for their move. Click here to learn how we can prepare your home for sale and make you thousands of dollars in return.

 

5 Questions You Should Ask A Professional Organizer

I just got back from a Professional Organizing conference and I can tell you this business is booming! There was so much more that we learned. With most families having dual incomes there seems to be more money to spend on things you don’t want or like to do yourself. This saves you time to do the things you really want to do. Also, many families are now downsizing to smaller homes as they get ready to retire and don’t have the knowledge or ability to downsize themselves, and don’t want to take things with them that they know they will not need. Lastly, many seniors are transitioning from their own homes to seniors’ residences or living with family and again need help with the move. As this business grows so too do the companies and individuals that provide the service. I really want to work with informed clients so I put together this list of questions that you should ask any Professional Organizer that you are thinking of hiring.

What are your qualifications?

Here in Canada there is a professional organization for professional organizers called the POC – Professional Organizers of Canada. Members are bound by their code of ethics to ensure that you receive trusted, confidential and committed service. We are trained and certified in organizing and downsizing techniques and have access to the latest trends and organizing items.

Do you have insurance?

Much like movers, Professional Organizers should carry their own liability insurance to cover accidents or damage however caused. Of course we are all careful in our work but you never know when an accident can happen and if it does you want to ensure that you and the organizer are covered. After all, it is your home we are coming in to.

Pricing

Make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are being charged and for what services. An hourly or a job rate can vary but the least expensive quote may not be the best. How many people are working on the project? How many hours are estimated to complete the project? What is your protection if the estimate far exceeds the projected time or cost? An experienced Professional Organizer can be fairly accurate in their estimate and will keep you updated on any changes.

How long have you been doing this?

I recently spoke to someone whose main occupation was that of a cleaning lady and she came upon an opportunity to help a client downsize. She called looking for tips on how to help someone downsize (I did not give her any!). It was obvious she had never done this before and after I got off the phone I remember thinking how this potential client may be feeling after the job is done. Like any other business it is difficult to get started and to get some experience under your belt, but if you have a big job that needs to be done ensure that whoever does it is experienced.

Do you have references?

You would be amazed at the number of people that are embarrassed to ask for references. Get three and call one or two. Be sure to ask them at the end if they would hire them again if required and if not, why not?

So those are the must ask questions when you are looking for a Professional Organizer to help with your project. Just like ClutterBGone, ensure they are certified, insured and experienced and have references to back it up. Contact us when you are ready to begin your project in the GTA. We are ready for your questions!

6 Similarities Between Swedish Death Cleaning and ClutterBGone

Swedish death cleanse

You probably see the title of this blog and think what can this be all about? Interestingly enough Swedish Death Cleaning is actually the newest trend in downsizing and organizing. A new book by Swedish author Margareta Magnusson entitled The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning may be worth a read.

This new book centers on the concept of de-cluttering before you die so you don’t leave an unorganized, cluttered mess to your survivors. This is something we at ClutterBGone preach to our clients in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area all the time as well so I thought I would see what other similarities we shared with this new book.

1. Don’t be a burden

Your belongings are yours and your family most likely will not want the vast majority of them. Swedish death cleanseMore so if they are left in a cluttered mess. Whether it is clothing, furniture or dishes, styles change and tastes are different. If you are saving items just to pass them on after you are gone then you are saving them for the wrong reason.

2. Will I be happier if I save this?

The author asks this question and if the answer is not an emphatic yes then it is probably time to let it go. If a family member doesn’t want it now, perhaps you could sell it, donate it or recycle it. We challenge our clients in the same way. If you don’t absolutely love it, then leave it.

3. Don’t start with sentimental items

Typically if you start the de-cluttering process with photos or other personal items you are going to get slowed down with memories and the whole project could get slowed down or even put off. Start with clothing, books or in the kitchen and save the sentimental items for the end of the project. A great idea, and one that we follow.

4. The suggested items to downsize

Like us, the author suggests areas that are easy to become cluttered and unorganized. We have been helping clients for many years now and know what to look for even before we get into your home.

5. Once you are done establish a maintenance program

At ClutterBGone we never leave a clients home without ensuring that we have set them up with a system to keep things in place and clutter free. Recently we completed a large home organizing project in Aurora when we unpacked and organized a client’s new home with everything in place and super efficient. We also have maintenance packages available for those that need it.

6. Think about your impending death

This can be a sensitive issue and no one really wants to think about this. But, you do want to think about the impact your clutter will have on your loved ones after you are gone. The earlier you start the process, the better. It’s a lot to put on your children and other family members when you pass on.Swedish death cleanse

This summer we completed a home de-cluttering project in Unionville where siblings were left with their parents’ home and 60 years full of memories. Wanting to sell the home quickly it needed to be seriously decluttered, keeping the valuable items and then prepared for sale.

With a team of 3 professionally trained organizers we sorted every single item in that house, all three floors, including a full crawl space and garage, pulling many items for auction, for family, recycle, toxic waste, trash etcetera. A lot of work completed in 11 days and three full 20-yard waste bins! Via auction our clients came out with almost $10,000 from the auctioned items that they were initially going to dump in the bin!

All in all there are quite a few similarities between the Swedish Death Cleaning and the de-cluttering and organizing services offered by ClutterBGone. Whether you need home decluttering and organizing in Newmarket, Aurora, Thornhill, Richmond Hill or any other town or city in the Greater Toronto Area we’d love to liberate you of that burden.

We can help you too. We just don’t have a scary name for it.