How Being Organized Can Change Your Life

organizing can change your life

When we at ClutterBGone complete a project with a client we frequently hear how being organized has changed our clients’ lives. It really is one of the reasons why we love what we do. There are many benefits to being organized. You will feel a peaceful calm at home, your health and finances will be in better shape and it can have a positive impact on your relationships.

Let’s look at some of the benefits in more detail.

Improve your productivity

Both at home, and at work, your productivity will improve. You won’t be wasting as much time looking for things in an organized environment and once you’re organized the system we leave you with will keep you organized. You’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones or even have the time for that cup of coffee in the morning.

Save money

organizing can change your life Many people don’t understand just how much money you can save by being organized. Bills will be paid on time thereby saving late fees. Your credit score will improve as well. You won’t be buying duplicates of items that you can’t find but know you have somewhere. In more than one case we found cheques that were misplaced! Luckily, they weren’t stale dated yet.

Feel that sense of calm

Just being in an organized space is relaxing. Not only is clutter an eyesore but it’s stressful just looking at it. Now, just imagine living in an organized space. No more running around looking for things that you need at the last minute. No more panic attacks when you need something but can’t find it. This sense of calm will also transfer over to other members of the family and who wouldn’t want that?

Being organized is healthy for you


Let’s face it, stress is a killer and being disorganized can cause a lot of stress. organized can change your lifeOnce you are organized you’ll find you have the time to do things you love or always wanted to do. You’ll have the time to hit the gym or meet up with friends or sometime for a quick walk at lunch time. Many of us don’t do these things because we “don’t have the time”. Let us help you find that time.

In a nutshell, being organized brings you a sense of calm that translates to improved health and wellness. So, what are you waiting for? Contact ClutterBGone here to find out how we have changed the lives of many clients and how we can change yours.

Where to Start When Organizing Your Home

organizing your home

When you finally decide to start organizing your home the first question that comes up is “where do I start?” Is there a certain order to follow? Do we start with the largest rooms? The most used? The most cluttered? Unfortunately, it all depends on who you speak to. Each professional organizer will have a different viewpoint. It also depends on you and the resources you have available. How much time do you have to devote to this? Do you have anybody to assist you? Will you be hiring a professional organizer?

Here is where we at ClutterBGone would begin the process of organizing your home.

Which room gives you the most grief?

We always ask our clients which room they would like to gain control of the most. organize your homeIt’s easy to say the whole house but there is one room that is causing you the most grief. One room that is resulting in more misplaced items, more lost productivity, one room that became a drop zone, maybe even one room that looks the worse than the others.

How much time can be dedicated to the task?

Each room you work on will require a much different amount of time. Kitchens will often be the most cluttered room but can be organized rather quickly because we are working in a smaller area with many of the same items such as dishes, spices and the likes. Bedrooms on the other hand can take a lot more time. ClutterBGone receives a lot of requests to organize bedrooms, and bedroom closets in particular. Each item must be looked at to make a decision on whether to keep, donate or toss. Then, it all has to go back in a way that is organized, with a system that works for you.

Do you have the space for storage?

organize your homeOnce the organizing process starts you are going to have items that you want or need to keep but rarely use. These items will need to be stored away. Do you have the space for the storage of items? Do you have the materials required to store items like shelving or containers? The area that you use for storing unused items must also be organized in a way that makes it easy to find and retrieve items.

Slow and steady wins the race

All that clutter wasn’t created overnight so it’s going to take some time to gain control of your room and home. Keep the end goal in mind and recognize the small victories as they occur, like an organized drawer or a cleared surface. Dedicate the time that is needed. Enlist the help of family or friends or a professional organizer to help with the task.

Overcoming clutter and getting organized again will take some time and dedication on your part but the results will wow you with a transformed living space and a feeling of accomplishment on your part. ClutterBGone has seen this time and time again.

If you are about to start the decluttering process to get your home organized give ClutterBGone a call at 647-642-5669 or click here. We can help you decide where to start and have your home organized in no time.

 

 

Back To School Organization

back to school organizing

Whether you’re a parent that loves to have your kids home for the summer or a parent that can’t wait for the school year to begin, it’s time to get the kids organized for back to school. Being organized at the start of the year will lead to organization throughout the school year.

Leading up to school starting

I’ll bet there have been little to no restrictions on bed curfew through most of the summer. Start to wean them back on to a schedule a week or two ahead of school opening so they are not dragging their you know what from the very start of school.  You know your kids and their interests. Plan on which extracurricular activities they’re going to participate in during the school year and keep in mind that these activities, although beneficial, can impact their grades so make sure your child can balance both school and activities they participate in.

Shopping for school

Back to school shopping can be fun as well as daunting.  back to school organizingTry to purchase only what you require to start the year as you will find additional items need to be purchased as the year gets under way.  Try to have one binder for each subject or at the least have dividers to separate the subjects in one binder.  Remember the one in, one out rule on clothing too. Teens have an opinion and are not afraid to give it so have them come along when shopping.  It will go easier when they have some input. Bring your patience and negotiation skills as well as your wallet.

Study space

Students need a clean and quiet area to study in – no matter what they will tell you.  Set aside an area that is clear of all clutter and is relatively quiet for studying and have the student choose the time of day they want to study.  Giving them some input stands a better chance of them following the schedule.  Have this area stocked with the “tools of the trade” (pens, paper, etc.) so there are less interruptions during this study time.  A planner in this area can also be helpful to keep track of what is due when and which days of the week sports fall on.

Be organized prior to each day

Pack what is required the night before.  back to school organizingThis may be a challenge for you and your kids, but if you remember when you were a teen every minute of sleep in the morning is needed.  Packing the evening before will ensure that they have everything for the day so when they blow out of the house in the morning like a hurricane they will have all they need.  Throw a few healthy snacks into their bag, so when hunger sets in there is a lesser chance they will head to the junk food machines.

Teens have been through this before but still need assistance and sometimes a bit of a push to get ready for the new school year.  Making sure they are ready and organized will give them a head start and perhaps teach them a bit about being organized.  ClutterBGone has assisted many families in getting homes, rooms and home offices organized for the start of the school year.  If you require assistance you can reach us at info@clutterbgone.ca or 905-642-5669.

Organize Your Paper Mountain

organize paper

Whether you go to work in an office or work from home, chances are you have a small mountain of paper that needs to be addressed. Did you know that a sheet of paper is roughly 0.004 inches thick? Hardly noticeable but when you start piling paper up it can be quite messy and ominous to tackle. ClutterBGone gets a lot of calls to help with paper. Here’s our tips to keep your paper from becoming a mountain.

Act on it right away

When paper arrives don’t let it rest on your desk or table. Create a system to get that paper off the surface. Use a labelled file folder, an in-box or any other system to move the paper along. Keep trying a system until you find one that works for you.

Delegate

Whether at work or at home there will be somebody who needs to know that, that piece of paper has arrived. organize paperWho pays the bills? Who responds to invitations? Whoever is responsible for the paper or the accounts or whatever action needs to be taken needs to know what has come in and needs an action. Pass it along, with a note if needed, so it doesn’t rest on your desk needlessly.

Make a decision right away

A lot of the paper that crosses our desk is not needed at all. I go to my mail box and most of what is in there is junk mail – flyers and ads. Out they go right after a quick peek. Don’t hang on to them for others to see unless you really believe they will be worthwhile or used.

Out with the dated

If you still have magazine and paper subscriptions consider an electronic version. organize paperIf you still need the feel of paper (and I do with a good book) ensure the previous issue is recycled when the new one comes in. If you really need to refer back to an article or story then take a picture of it with your phone. It doesn’t take up any space.

Set aside a bit of time

This would apply more for the office but set aside a bit of time to ensure that your desk or workspace is cleared of paper each day. You will feel more organized and productive when working at a clean and organized work area.

Go digital

A lot of us are still receiving statements and paying bills via paper. I myself switched as much as I could to digital copies. I can receive and pay bills online and electronically “file” a copy of the bill on my computer. It’s always there in case I need it. With the vast majority of paper that we file never getting looked at, doesn’t it make sense to go digital at home?

Even in this electronic age, paper is everywhere and accumulates quickly. If you don’t stay on top of it you will have a mountain of paper before you know it. You don’t have to scale that mountain alone. ClutterBGone has assisted many homes and offices in reducing the mountains of paper that come and go and devising systems to keep it that way. Just reach out to us here to see how we can help you.

Time To Get Your Taxes Organized

Well, February has passed and you should have all the documents you need to get your taxes prepared. Whether you do your taxes yourself or you have someone else do them, just getting your documents ready can be a stressful time. Taxes are something that you should be thinking of throughout the year but unless you are running your own small business I’ll bet tax time is the only time you think of them.

How long do I keep my tax records?

Keep your tax records & supporting documents for six full years.

Even if you do not have to attach certain supporting documents to your return, or if you are filing your return electronically, keep them in case your return is selected for review or audit. Revenue Canada may request documents other than official receipts as proof of any deduction or credit you claim, such as cancelled cheques or bank statements.

This six-year period starts at the end of the tax year for which you are filing. So, if you are filing your 2017 taxes shortly you will need to keep files from 2017 back to 2012.

What do I do with older records?

After the six-year mark (2011 files can be safely disposed of after your 2017 taxes have been filed) you can safely destroy older files. organize your taxes

Ensure that they are properly disposed of by shredding them! Do not leave anything to chance. If you don’t own a shredder most office supply stores will provide a shredding service for a nominal fee. I recently stopped into my local office supply store and had a box of documents shredded for just a few dollars.

Notice of assessment

You will receive a notice of assessment from Revenue Canada once your taxes have been filed and reviewed. It will confirm that your return was assessed and whether you owe taxes, whether a refund is owed to you or if there is a zero balance. If there are no discrepancies between your filing and this notice, then file it away with the taxation year that it applies to. You will need it for your next tax year when you file.

Filing throughout the year

Throughout the year you are going to accumulate receipts for many different items that you may or may not require for tax purposes depending on your individual circumstances. Open a file and label it according to the current tax year.organize your taxes Papers and receipts you need for taxes should be placed in this file. This current year folder will make it a lot easier to keep track of important documents you get throughout the year, like donation receipts, etc. All the papers you need to prepare your taxes will all be in one place.

You can even go one step further, especially if running a small business, and separate your tax receipts into categories like health expenses, business expenses, car expenses, office supplies, etc. to be even better organized for the upcoming tax year. You may want to separate your paperwork this way anyway if you want to track the cost of running your household on an annual basis.

Tax time can be pretty stressful but if you plan ahead and have an accessible file with everything you need, things will go a lot smoother. ClutterBGone loves organizing paperwork. It’s not too late. Tax time is here, are you ready?

When Is It Time To Organize Your Office?

organize your office

The environment in which you work has a drastic affect on your productivity. Working in a messy, disorganized space is distracting and will have negative effects on work results. What signs do you see that tell you it’s time to organize your office?

You can’t see your desk

OK, this sign may seem obvious to most of us but many of you work at a desk that is literally covered in paper and your excuse is that you work better in a cluttered state. The simple fact is that mess leads to stress. Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity and sends signals to our brain that the work is never done.

You can’t find the tools you need

How much time do you spend looking for your pen, stapler or whatever else you need to do the job? Having to pause what you’re working on to find something breaks your concentration and increases the amount of time you need to complete the task at hand.

You’re in and out basket is 3 feet high

I’ve seen it. You get busy and so your inbox becomes a drop zone. organize your officeYou’ll get around to sifting through it to see what came in that is important. Likewise, your outbox should be labelled “I’ll get around to filing sometime later” box. There are important items in each of these boxes and putting it off only creates more stress and decreases productivity having to look through for something you need later. More importantly there may be important items you haven’t seen that are needed to produce quality results. Set up a system that allows you to address both of these boxes daily.

Where did your screen saver go?

Putting shortcuts on your desk top is a great way to save time. Too many can have the reverse affect when you can’t find the short cut or file that you require. Limit these shortcuts to just the really important files that you access daily.

Organize your email

Your electronic files may be more important than your paper files. We constantly access our email throughout the day. Organize your email just like your paper files to improve productivity. If you don’t need an email delete it now. Schedule times throughout the day to review your email and turn off notifications so you can concentrate on the task at hand.

A well-organized work area gives you a sense of accomplishment. It also allows you to be more productive, accurate and to complete the task quicker. ClutterBGone has organized offices for home and for small businesses. Contact us here to see how we can make your more productive in the office.

Time Management And Getting Organized

Organized home office

We love working with small offices in the Greater Toronto Area to help you get organized so you can work more effectively, find things easier and work in a less cluttered state. Once this is done the challenge now becomes how to manage your time as time management and organization do go hand in hand.

Here are some time management tips to get you on the right track.

Busy vs. overwhelmed

You are normally judged on the actual results you produce rather than the number of hours you spend doing something or “looking busy”. Stay focused on the task at hand and minimize multi-tasking as few of us are actually very good at being able to give your all to more than one task at a time. Clutter around you is a distraction that often interrupts your focus and reduces your effectiveness on the task you’re trying to complete.

Priorities and prime time

You know when you are at your peak during the day. Time managementWhen do you feel the most productive working? Are you a morning or an afternoon person? Save the really important stuff for this time so you can give it your best. If it is really important don’t give it anything less.

Maintain balance

Work easily consumes you and can have a negative effect on both social and family lives. A Boston College Center survey confirmed that executives who are able to balance work and personal life are less stressed, feel more successful and can manage both their work and personal lives much easier. Whether you’re working in Toronto or York Region, find the balance, reduce the stress and enjoy life!

Benefits of setting goals

Whether it is your business operating in Toronto or Richmond Hill or any other area of York Region, or your personal life, setting goals is important for all aspects of your life. How else can you identify the priorities or the things that require your time now and what can wait?

Schedule time for yourself, write it down in your planner, and use that time to work on those priorities. Block this time out and ensure that you’re not disturbed. Setting goals will make you work smarter and allow you to manage your time more effectively. Achieving those goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and increase your chance of success in your personal and business life.

Personal policies

It’s very important to establish your own personal policies in both your personal life and your work life to stay organized.  These policies can help you achieve your goals and should be policies you believe in and live by.

A business policy to stay organized, decluttered and functionally well could be simply that you will not work on weekends or no more than 2 evenings a week in order to help balance your work and family time. Or perhaps you’re always working on large projects so one project must be handed off if another more important project is brought to you.

Personal policies can include not snacking after dinner or donating a certain amount to your favourite charity each month. Policies should be used as guidelines and feel free to change them as circumstances dictate. There may be times when working more than you want to is required and will benefit the family life.

Use these tools to bring more balance to your life in Toronto, to get you more focused and organized and to reduce stress. Let us know how you make out!

5 Steps to Control Your Paper Monster

organized office

Now is a great time of the year to gain control of your paper monster at home or in your office. Do it now before the end of the year arrives with all that it brings. New technologies were supposed to reduce the amount of paper we create but I’ll bet if you are anything like me you haven’t seen a decrease in the amount of paper that comes in your home or that you generate.

Follow these steps to control your paper monster in your home or office.

Gather it all up

Get all the papers together. organized officeCheck all of your drawers, coat pockets, desks, bags or piles you have lying around in your home or office and put it all in one place. If you have already filed a lot of paper away that’s great. We are just talking about all the papers that you have lying around.

Can you define what you really need to keep?

Now separate this big pile into two piles. One pile for what you need and one for what you don’t need. It may seem like common sense and easy to do but many of you hang on to paper for many reasons. “I may need to refer to it”, “maybe I need to return it” are reasons I hear a lot.

Take a good hard look at each piece of paper and put it into the appropriate pile. Anything in your discard pile should be shredded just to be on the safe side.

Receipts are a major source of paper clutter in many homes. If you have purchased a piece of clothing and it fits or you have consumed a food item then you don’t need to hang on to the receipt unless you need it for tax purposes.

Speaking of which, anything you need for tax purposes should be filed in your tax file right away. When you get home take the receipts out of your coat, pocket or wallet and slide it into your current year tax file for your accountant to deal with next year.

Which filing system is best for you?

Now you can divide your keep pile into categories. There are many different ways to file paper but I personally like to file them according to the type of paper that they are. organized officeFor instance, I have a Utilities section where I have created files for cable TV, hydro, etc. I have an Employment section where I have opened a file for every member of the household to put their pay slips, reviews or anything else employment related. I prefer this method as you can zero in on the category and have fewer files to go through to find what you need.

Label your files clearly and ensure you have enough room so you are not jamming the paper into your file folders. Your files should move freely in your drawer.

Assign a space for new paper

In order to keep your home free of paper clutter, assign a place for all paper and mail to be placed upon arrival into the home. This can be a small tray, bowl, basket or anything you like.

Stay on top of it

As you file your monthly statements or bills away you may want to discard the oldest one so that only the last 6 months are always on hand. Don’t forget to put discarded papers through the shredder for privacy.

Paper clutter is a common sight in many homes and a major contributor to clutter everywhere. Don’t let the paper monster get a hold of you. Contact ClutterBGone to see why we love attacking the paper monster.

What Is Virtual Organizing?

Virtual organizing

You’ve heard the term virtual applied to a lot of different things, mostly as it relates to virtual reality where you can interact within a seemingly real or physical way. A great example is where you make funny faces into a looking glass to get immersed in another world. Well, who would’ve thought it would be applied to organizing? Virtual organizing is here and you don’t need the glasses for the real experience, just the electronic device of your choice!

Virtual organizing is just another way to get organized without the need for a physical organizer at your home. We help you get organized through videoconference. Virtual organizing works well as a compliment to a client who has already implemented an organizing system and just needs a little maintenance now and again or a self-motivated individual that like the DIY projects

Benefits

There are many benefits to virtual organizing for our clients. You all have busy lives. We understand that so why not make it easier? Arrange a virtual organizing session around your timetable and forget about travel costs and parking. Without having a physical organizer travel to your home or office there is less cost associated with the process. Virtual organizing GTAFor those that live in more rural areas you now have better access to a professional organizer.
Organizing can cause stress to our clients. Sessions can leave some clients feeling overwhelmed and pressured to make decisions quickly. Virtual organizing allows you to move at your own pace.

How we do it

First, we’ll “e-meet” to determine your needs and timeframe. Next, we will agree on a plan as to how and when things will be completed. We’ll make contact at agreed upon intervals to gauge your progress and receive any feedback. At that point we will set your new priorities for the next timeframe. All the way through this we are sharing our experience in space planning, organizing tools and other resources to transform your space.

What you need to know

Virtual organizing won’t be for everybody. A lot of ClutterBGone clients like to have someone working beside them or just aren’t capable of performing the work themselves. Virtual organizing GTAYou must be able to perform the physical work and be able to stay on course. Virtual organizing works well for those who are self-motivated individuals and the ones that like to DIY.

ClutterBGone has assisted many clients over the years to transform their homes and offices into fully functional spaces. If you require a little tune up or are on a bit of a budget, why not try virtual organizing?

Develop These 5 Habits For A Clutter Free Office

clutter free office

Offices can be one of the most cluttered areas. Whether you work from home or go to an office each day, it’s so easy to accumulate clutter, which affects your productivity. Here are a few simple habits to adopt to keep your office clutter free.

The one touch rule

This is an easy rule. When you touch something, act on it. You can delegate it, toss it, file it or recycle it but if you can follow one rule, this is the one. This simple rule alone can eliminate future accumulation of clutter. ClutterBGone has implemented this rule many times.

Set times for daily tasks

Your email, the snail mail that comes in, filing. All of these daily tasks need to be done but don’t necessarily need to be done as soon as they come in. home office organizingSchedule to look at your email at 2 or 3 set times per day. Schedule to open your snail mail at the same time each day (and remember the one touch rule). You have several tasks that you take for granted and perform each day. By scheduling these you’ll be more productive and accumulate less clutter.

Limit computer distractions

Just having a cluttered looking desktop can cause distractions. Keep your screen wallpaper simple and keep any icons to a minimum. Email notifications are the worst. Turn them off unless you are waiting for a life or death email to arrive. It’s too much of a temptation to look at your email too frequently. Things get left undone, you start working on something pertaining to the email and before you know it you have a cluttered desk full of unfinished work.

Keep a clear, unobstructed work area

You know what you use several times throughout the day. organized officeKeep these handy and put everything else away. Files you aren’t working on should be filed away. Unless you’re an artist you don’t need 10 pens on your desk. Staplers, coffee mugs, personal photos, newspapers, etc. all add to the cluttered look. With a cluttered work area it becomes too easy to add to the clutter and greatly reduces your productivity.

Set aside time at the end of each day

Set aside just five minutes to clear your desk or work area and prepare it for a clean start the next day. Your office will stay more organized, there will be less clutter and you will feel more productive the next morning. We implement this at all offices we work with.

Adapt as many of these 5 habits that you can for a clutter free office. Contact us to see how we can reduce the clutter in your office.