family meal planning

Clever Ways to Organize a Busy Family

When it comes to organizing the family, the ultimate objective is to bring people together, and it’s important not to lose sight of that. Planning is essential to get there with less stress, as you’ll see in each family organization idea below.

Set a Weekly Family Meeting

This one is a great place to put in place before or soon after the start of the school year. Begin the first meeting by saying that this is a safe place for everyone to share their thoughts and ask questions.

Then, begin to discuss the family goals, such as getting homework done or getting enough sleep. From there, figure out the priorities to reach those goals, such as everyone sleeping a certain number of hours per night.

At the start of the next meeting, ask what went well the last week and what didn’t go as planned? What will your family work on this week? The activity helps families connect and organize their time together.

family organizing app Make Lists and Maintain a Calendar

These tools – to-do lists and a calendar – are essentials for organizing your family. There are several apps available that make it easy for each person in the household to add items to the shared grocery shopping list and add events to the shared calendar.

When people rely on you, and you need them, too, collaborative apps are convenient and valuable. Share them with those whose input you need and want and explain how to add tasks or mark them as done.

Or, if you prefer pen and paper for the lists and calendar, that works too! Just make sure you keep them in a place where everyone in the family will see them, such as on the fridge or pinned on a corkboard in the entranceway.

Organize Chores Too

You didn’t think we’d skip the household chores list, did you? Getting everyone involved is important as it can instill a sense of pride in kids, and they learn to appreciate their home more.

A great place to start with children is cleaning their rooms. Young kids can become responsible for picking up their toys after playing with them. To help instill a positive connotation with chores, talk about how wonderful their room looks when it’s clean and how putting away toys keeps people from hurting themselves stepping on them.

When teaching the importance of maintaining a clean house, you must lead by example. If your child feels they do chores only so you won’t have to, they may start to resent it. Instead, they will see the tasks in a better light if you are organizing the home alongside them.

Menu Planning

Another area of family organization is meal planning. Taking the time to think about meals for the coming week and the shopping list based on that plan will help save your family money. Including everyone in the house in this task brings you all together, and people can also speak up about what they like or don’t like.

For each meal, write out the ingredients you need to prepare it. Look at what else is needed too, such as paper towels, and add them to the list.

By making a list of what is necessary, you can avoid impulse purchases at the store. Stick to the list and notice how much money you save!

A Few Last Words

Organizing the family involves much more than only physical items, as you can see above. Organizing time and people is also important. Reach out to our professional organizers to learn more! We are happy to share more suggestions with you and customize them to your unique family.

professional organizing vs home staging

Professional Organizing vs Home Staging

Although these two experts are useful when selling a home, home stagers and professional organizers have distinct differences. Understanding how they differ can help you to determine which one is the best for your needs.

Organizing vs. Showcasing Items

The main difference between the two involves their purpose. While an organizer declutters the living space to liberate the owner of too many possessions, a home stager rents furniture and decor to ultimately get the owner more money from the property sale.

To achieve their purpose, each expert goes about it differently. A professional organizer works with the individual to declutter and reimagine existing items, potentially giving them away or finding where to best store them at home.

On the other hand, a stager adds items to the house to improve its appearance in the eyes of a potential buyer. Furthermore, these things that the stager brings in are not typically unique to the house but could go in the interiors of numerous properties for sale.

The organizer, meanwhile, would help you determine what furniture and accessories flow well in your specific space, based on what you currently own. They will also suggest what needs packing away.

professional organizing vs home staging

Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Obviously, both professions have a great purpose. They are not mutually exclusive, either.

Many people work with both professional organizers and stagers to get their home on the market faster and sell it at a price they are satisfied with. Our Realtor’s Program focuses on providing real estate agents with the access to our organizing services at a discounted rate and includes a voucher for the future.

This partnership enables those who are selling their homes to get the expert help necessary for a smooth transition onto the market. Given the stress commonly involved in putting a home up for sale, the Realtor’s program provides support at the right time.

From compassionate guidance when organizing to helping sort and box, as well as coordinating pickup of donations and junk collection, our professional organizers provide a great help with a listing. We have the skill to overcome challenges and encourage new ways of looking at how to organize the home for the homeowner.

Also, after the sale, when the homeowner is ready to move, the ClutterBGone team can help another terrific way. We can pack up the home efficiently in as little as 1-3 days. This means that the homeowner won’t have to live around boxes for weeks.

Want us to help unpack and set up the new home too in an organized way? Yes, we can do that too!

Have an Easier, Better Process

Selling a house and moving is a lot for anyone. Rather than going it alone, reach out as a homeowner or realtor to ClutterBGone for an easier journey.

We have the experience and understanding to help you through the process, based on our insights and tips learned over the years. Reach out to our friendly organizing team today to find out more about how this experience can help you.

kids helping organize room

How to Develop Your Child’s Organizational Skills

As you go around the house organizing, consider getting your kids involved in the process too. Encouraging their organizational skills around the house can help them with schoolwork in the near future, make things easier around the household, and instill good habits they take into adulthood. These tips for toddlers are ones that you can adapt to slightly older kids too.

Cleaning Up

If they spill their juice, show them how to wipe up the counter or floor. When it comes to small spills like this, your toddler will likely enjoy helping you clean it up.

When they get to the point where they can try pouring the juice themselves, there will be at least a few small spills. That’s to be expected! Show them how to clean the counter or floor with a washcloth, letting them slowly watch you do so before trying it independently.

Putting Things Where They Belong

After your toddler finishes playing with their toys, do they put them away? If you do it for them, start to include them in the process to help them begin organizing.

Create a basket each for different toys, such as one for wooden blocks and another one for crayons. When each bin holds only one type, it’s easier for your little one to distinguish where it goes.

Keep the bins at a low level that your child can reach. If they forget to put toys back at the end of the day, gently remind them. Help them do so and show them how much better the room looks once it’s clean to motivate them to do so again tomorrow.

kids organizing skills

Turning Off Lights

Energy use is not something you might think your toddler needs to know about yet but turning off lights when not in use is a good habit to begin at a young age. When they realize that being energy efficient is good for the future of the planet, they will want to do their part too.

Consider letting them turn on and off the light switch in a particular room, such as their bedroom or bathroom. Make it fun and easy for them to remember to do so by creating a fun song for them to sing as they turn off the light when entering the room and turn it off when leaving.

Getting Them Involved without Nagging

If you’re unsure how to make organizing fun for the youngster, here are a few pointers. It starts with using a positive tone of voice.

Even if you get frustrated, try to keep that encouraging, uplifting way of speaking. If needed, leave the room for a minute, or take a long sip of coffee before trying again to get your toddler involved in small organizing tasks.

Rather than nagging, be clear as to what you want them to do. For example, “please put your stuffed animals into the bin” (rather than “pick up after yourself”).

Do you want more tips on organizing around the home? Are you tired of trying to clear away the clutter all by yourself? Our professional organizers are here to help. Reach out today to talk about how we can help you achieve what you need at home.

guide to organizing the bedroom

Time to Organize Your Bedroom? This Guide’s for You

Your bedroom is the place you start and end the day, so spending the time organizing it to be a more restful and aesthetically pleasing room is well worth it. The tips below will help you do exactly that, from the drawers to the closet.

Drawers

Decluttering drawers is a great place to start. They are small areas that you can organize relatively quickly, and the space you open up by doing so is great for storing other items.

Clear out anything in your dresser, side tables, bed frame, and other drawers, only leaving behind what you use. Adding drawer dividers is an easy and inexpensive way to organize items and keep them that way. You can even make your own dividers from cardboard.

Under the Bed

While this isn’t a place that many people see, it is still an area that is prone to clutter. Rather than ignoring it with the “out of sight, out of mind” strategy, remove what’s under the bed and assess what to keep or donate.

Then, find a suitable storage solution for putting the possessions you want to hold onto. It could be as simple as a few plastic containers that fit beneath the bed.

organize your bedroom closet

The Closet

Go through your clothes ask yourself honestly what you still wear and what can go to charity or friends and family. Holding onto garments that you haven’t worn in the last year is likely just taking up valuable space in the closet.

Consider folding out-of-season clothes and storing them elsewhere to clear space. Putting them into luggage is an easy way to keep them without requiring extra room.

If you notice there’s no room for shoes, what about adding a floating shelf or two in the closet for them? You can also free up part of the closet by adding hooks to the walls for purses and hats. Walls are often a forgotten place for storage.

More Organizing Tips for the Bedroom

If you have a small bedroom, you might feel it’s hopeless to organize as clutter easily accumulates. But our professional organizers insist that with some creativity, even a tiny room is one they can organize and keep it that way.

For example, hang your clothes hamper from a hook on the back of the door so that it won’t take up floor space. Also, store tank tops on shower curtain rings rather than individual hangers to save space in the closet. You can fit a dozen on one ring!

Adding a headboard that has built-in storage is another suggestion. This headboard is where you can store books, extra clothes, clean sheets, and more.

Don’t forget the other end of the bed too. That is where you can put an ottoman with storage or a trunk. Fill it with blankets, sheets, towels, or folded clothes.

Making the Most of Your Bedroom

The tips above will help you keep the room tidy and organized, which allows you to enjoy a restful night of sleep and wake up to a calm atmosphere, rather than cluttered chaos. Reach out to us for more bedroom organizing solutions!

benefits of organizing

7 Benefits of Organizing Your Home

You’ve likely often heard that decluttering and organizing the house is good to do, but the reason for it might not be apparent. Here are seven of the top benefits of doing so.

1.      Save Money

When everything is sorted and in its set place, seeing what you have and what is missing is readily apparent. How will that save you money? You will no longer be going to the store to buy something you already have but didn’t know it because of the clutter!

2.      Less Stress

Continually looking at a messy area like a kitchen gets tiring, literally. It can weigh on your mind, reminding you that the room needs organizing as you go about your already busy day. Once tidied, the stress leaves your mind and body as you feel in control of your living environment again.

3.      Sleep Better

You might not realize it, but a cluttered bedroom can keep you awake at night. Plus, organizing last-minute before bedtime in preparation for the next day can wind up your mind, which isn’t going to help you relax. When you enter a clean, decluttered bedroom, you can feel more at ease, which is conducive to good sleep.

4.      Save Time

Looking for items when you need them within messy piles gets tiring. It takes up valuable time in your day, slowing you down and adding unnecessary stress. When you find a place to store things and put them back there each time after use, you will find that you save time. That frees you up to do more of what you enjoy, such as a hobby or time with family.

5.      More Confident

When you are proud of the tidy, organized home you live in, you are more likely to be confident. You can look forward to having loved ones over and showing off the great-looking space. Rather than feeling shame about where you live, positive feelings about your living environment will surround you, and that’s a great thing! Plus, taking care of your place can be empowering.

benefits of organizing

6.      Healthier Environment

When the room is clean, it no longer holds dirt, dust, and bacteria that can harm your physical health. You may also notice your body struggling to deal with the stress that accompanies clutter. Your mental health can benefit in the ways already discussed, so it’s important to organize the house to feel your best in both body and mind.

7.      Have Loved Ones Over

Enjoy being able to have family and friends over at the last minute when you have an organized home. It is easier to maintain when you keep it tidy and there is no anxiety about a mess awaiting visitors who show up unexpectedly at the front door.

As you can see, there are many benefits to an organized home environment. If you feel overwhelmed by the clutter or are not sure quite where to begin, reach out to our friendly organizers for help today. You deserve to enjoy the benefits listed above!

professional home organizer

Top Tips and Tricks from a Professional Organizer

If your home feels cluttered, who better to provide the tips and tricks to banish it than a professional organizer? Our team of organizers uses methods based on what has worked for previous clients, and here are the top strategies:

Know what Organizing Is and What It’s Not

Organizing is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but there are many different ideas when it comes to defining it. Our team believes that organizing involves more than just tossing paring down the number of possessions, although that certainly is important.

Decluttering is also an emotional process and helps you see clearer what you want to get from an area. When you go through items in a closet, for example, it is a journey into the past. The space that you have at the end of it, after sorting and removing items, leaves room for what you need and want.

Put Limits on Items to Prevent Overbuying

This tip refers to limiting the number of items in a certain category, such as sweaters, that you possess. By putting a number on it or saying that you won’t have more than can fit in a particular bedroom drawer, you hold yourself accountable to only buying a certain number of sweaters (or any other item).

Another idea is to impose a rule whereby you only buy a new sweater when you get rid of one. That way you always must be conscious of what you have in the house. Not only will your home be less prone to clutter, but you will likely also save money by not overspending.

home space with purpose

Give Purpose to the Spaces in Your Home

A great way to look at organizing is as assigning purpose to rooms and creating zones within them. This makes more sense than simply trying to get as few things as possible because empty spaces can quickly fill with clutter.

Begin by giving each room a purpose. If different family members use the room for different purposes, that can start to make it disorganized and cluttered.

Ask yourself what works and what doesn’t with the current space. You want each space to work well for you, with the items you frequently need within easy reach, so they are not hard to grab or put back.

Ideally, you will store specific things in specific places so that everyone in the household knows where to find them. Then, everyone is also more likely to return them to the same places after use.

Give Away Donations Right Away

Once you’ve sorted through your home and decided what to donate, you’ll want to take them to the non-profit organization as soon as possible. That is because you might otherwise be tempted to put things back in the house.

While you created a donation pile of things you no longer need, they obviously appealed to you at some point, or you wouldn’t have bought them, to begin with. So, take them to the charity so that someone else can start to enjoy the items.

We are happy to share other tips when our professional organizer meets you virtually or in-person. Whether you want to de-clutter around the home or at work, we have strategies to help you.

organizing for dementia

Organizing the Home for People with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia in the home is likely to be more challenging when there is clutter. Find out why, and how to organize the residence to help your loved one using this guide.

The Problems with Clutter

Being surrounded by an abundance of possessions is overwhelming for most people, but often even more so for those who have dementia. Too much stimuli can make focusing on a task difficult and remembering the sequence of activities.

Furthermore, clutter makes finding an item more difficult. Not only is that frustrating, but it also adds more confusion to the loved one’s mental state.

Living areas can become unsafe too when several things occupy a space. It can become a health risk over time, especially for those with dementia who begin hoarding to achieve a sense of control.

organize for dementia

How to Address Clutter

Your loved one likely has an emotional connection with the clutter. They may not be able to distinguish between what to keep and what to toss. For example, they might assign a high value to something like an empty cardboard box.

Thus, decluttering can be extremely upsetting for the individual. Our organizers understand this point well and, therefore, our focus is on clearing away what compromises the person’s safety or health. For instance, removing items close to the stove that pose a fire hazard and throwing out spoiled food in the fridge.

We can also facilitate the process of removing clutter from home as soon as possible. Otherwise, someone with dementia is likely to rummage through the garbage and bring back items into the house.

If they like sorting items, we can help them fulfill their need to be productive. One example is sorting a drawer full of socks.

More Organizational Tips

For those things that the person with dementia is likely to misplace, consider getting extras of them. Reading glasses are a common example.

Also, we suggest clearing possessions from places in the home that are tripping hazards. Stairs, the living room, and the hallway are areas where the person likely spends a lot of time. Thus, removing items from the floors in these areas is important.

Our friendly organizer can help you move furniture from these places to other parts of the house where they will not compromise safety. We can also help with identifying and removing hiding spots if your loved ones are hoarding.

Supporting People with Dementia

Whenever helping with organizing the home of someone with dementia, we always keep in mind their lifestyle, habits, and abilities. We use visualization tools to help your loved one stay organized too after we leave.

That means that the items that remain in the house are in clear view of the person living there. We can assist with labeling the possessions, too, so that locating them is not an issue.

They might not want things like family heirlooms stored away. In this case, we can help you find places where they are still easy for the individual to see them at home.

Find out more about our services specifically for those with dementia by reaching out to us today.

Home Organizing For Seniors

Easy Home Organizing Strategies for Seniors

Decluttering is something that many seniors do as they downsize in their retirement years. With more limited living space than before, paring down is important, but it can be incredibly challenging for those who have health issues later in life. The tips below help make organizing the home easier for older adults and loved ones who are helping them.

Start with the Living Room

For most seniors, the living room is where they spend most of their time, so it naturally accumulates clutter over time. It is a place for social visits with family and friends, as well as seeing any healthcare workers.

Having too many things in this area can be a safety hazard for the elderly who risk tripping over items. A cluttered room is also difficult to maneuver around for those who have a walker, cane, and wheelchair.

Thus, it makes sense to start in this room, organizing it to be more functional, safe, and visually appealing.

Take Items off the Floor

Keeping in mind the importance of a safer living space, remove as many things from the floor as possible. That includes excess furniture in addition to papers, rugs, and knickknacks.

A great way to achieve this goal is to use multifunctional furniture. For example, a popular coffee table design is one with a top that lifts to reveal a hidden storage area.

Identify which furniture and other possessions to keep and which ones to sell or donate. Another option is to move some furnishings from the living room to a less-frequently used area in the home.

Continuing with the topic of removing tripping hazards, make sure to pick up cables that are loose on the ground. Organize cables for the computer, TV, and more so that older adults might otherwise fall over and cause injury.

Home Organizing For Seniors

Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

Keeping the kitchen well-organized is also important to protect aging adults from the risk of illnesses due to expired or unsafe foods. One of the top tips in this room is to clean the fridge and freezer regularly.

Along with tossing expired items, wipe down the shelves and drawers with a gentle cleanser. Doing so will remove the chances of bacteria or mold growing in the appliance and get rid of crumbs and other food particles.

For seniors who cannot do so easily, this task is one that loved ones can help with. Alternatively, our professionals are happy to do so. We can also provide insights on how best to organize different foods and condiments in the fridge and freezer for fast access.

Finally, ensure that important things are within close reach in the kitchen. That will prevent older adults from reaching for items, which can be dangerous, or impossible for those in wheelchairs. When going through items in cupboards, discard anything that is broken as it takes up valuable space and could have sharp edges that are potential safety hazards.

Concluding Words

Paring down can be difficult for people of all ages, including seniors who have accumulated items over the lifespan. Our professional organizers gently ask questions that help older adults decide what to keep and what to donate or sell to make organizing easier.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and never pressure or judge. Reach out to us today to find out more about how to better organize the home for a safer, more comfortable environment.

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!

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.