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.

stress free holiday season

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

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

Decline Holidays Invites with Less Difficulty

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

Make a Holiday Binder

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

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

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

stress free holiday season

Keep the Holiday Spirit in Mind

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

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

Get a Few Things Done Ahead of Time

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

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

A Thoughtful Approach

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

closet organization tips

Professional Tips for Organizing Your Closet

When it comes to the bedroom closet, if it’s heaped full of clothes, shoes, purses, and bags, then it’s time to sort through the clutter. The disorganization can make finding anything a nightmare, especially in the morning. To help simplify your life, here are quick tips from our pro organizers.

Create Zones in the Closet

One of the most important things is to abide by the grouping rule. This means to group similar items together in different places in the closet.

Doing so will make it easy to know exactly where to look for a certain item. For example, group skirts together, blouses together, and so on. Some people even sort them further by color.

Add Shelving

If it seems impossible to have all the clothes you love in the closet without feeling messy and overcrowded, consider adding storage options. The addition of wall shelves, for example, can make it significantly easier to group sweaters, pairs of shoes, or something else.

By making use of vertical space, you will maximize the usefulness of the closet. Plus, shelves are affordable, especially if you find them on sale.

organizing closet tips

Sort Your Clothes

You knew this one was coming, and here it is. The chances are good that some of the items there are ones you don’t wear. It could be that you’re simply tired of them, they no longer fit well, or they’re damaged in some way.

Whatever the reason, take them out of the closet to sort into piles. One pile is for donation, another pile is to fix, and the third pile is to toss if it is beyond repair.

Also, our organizers suggest putting aside seasonal garments that you’re not wearing right now. Simply put them in a rubber tote and rotate them as seasons change to pare down the wardrobe.

But It’s Difficult to Part with Things

The final tip from our organizers likely won’t surprise you as we know peoples’ habits well. Now that you’ve purged once, do it a second time.

Why? It is difficult for most people to part with clothes as the garments hold memories. Plus, it’s easy to think, “One day I might wear this.”

So, go through the closet one more time. Are there any more things you don’t need that are still hanging in there?

How a Tidy Closet can Ease the Mind

When you walk into the bedroom closet every morning, the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed by clutter. That’s not a great way to start the day.

Similarly, as you change into sleepwear at the end of the day, it’s irritating to be in a messy area. That feeling does not align well with the restful evening you were planning!

Why put yourself through that every day? Instead, look forward to an organized closet with a clean floor that contains only the items you wear.

If you’re unsure where to start, reach out to our team to help you every step of the way. The professional organizer you work with is as involved or hands-off as you want them to be, and we provide simple solutions for combating clutter.

organized kids bedroom

How to Keep Kids’ Rooms Clutter-Free

If your child’s bedroom is an eyesore that you can never seem to keep tidy, then this guide is for you. That’s especially true if your boy or girl doesn’t clean up often, if at all.

Get the Kids to Help

While you might assume that your child won’t want to help organize the room, the opposite is usually true, explains our professional organizers. Kids are often excited to be part of the process.

That makes sense when you consider it from their viewpoint. You’re spending time together and talking about toys – What’s not to like?! Plus, they feel important when they’re involved.

Ask Them to Show You Around Their Room

Before decluttering even begins, ask your little one for a tour of the bedroom. Doing so will help you identify what toys are important to them and brainstorm functional zones for the room.

If they omit talking about a certain item, that shows you that it isn’t valuable to them. That’s likely one for the “Donate” or “Sell” piles.

organized kids bedroom

Sorting Their Clothes

When dresser drawers and closets are full of clothes, it is difficult to find a specific piece, and the room looks sloppy. It can slow down the morning routine, which puts stress on everyone.

To help you decide what to keep and get rid of, ask yourself a few questions for each garment. Firstly, does it still fit or not? If not, then there’s no need to hold onto it.

Secondly, are there are tears in it or other signs of wear? If it needs a small fix, decide whether you want to invest the time to do it or not. If so, create a separate pile for garments to repair and keep it in a separate room.

Organize School Stuff Too

Create a zone in the room, specifically for doing homework. Provide them with a desk and bins specifically for school supplies.

Also, encourage your child to keep their backpack and homework only in this part of the room. That way, they will always know where to look for school-related things, which saves them time and makes your morning routine less hectic.

Get Creative with Language

The reality is that most kids have heard “Put that away” many times. They likely won’t respond with enthusiasm to that phrase.

Instead, be imaginative with how you talk about organizing things. For example, you might say, “Let’s Give This Toy a New Home” when referring to where to store something in the kid’s room.

The word home has a positive connotation that they are likely to respond to well. They will see the activity as more enjoyable than a chore.

Start Sorting at Their Level

What this means is that you start organizing from the floor up. Begin at the child’s level to involve them right away. Furthermore, if the child can see where things go, they are more likely to put them back in the proper place.

Final Words on a Clutter-Free Bedroom

The last tip is to keep your own bedroom tidy and clean. When you are organized, then your child is likely to be too. Why? Because they look up to you and mimic your behavior.

Using the suggestions above will help you to keep kids’ rooms clutter-free. The area will be a functional place for the youngster to enjoy, and you, as the parent, will appreciate the neatness.

home organizing for fall

Organizing Your Home for Fall

With each season comes the opportunity to freshen up the home. Just as you spring clean, now you can apply organization tips to fall too. By doing these activities now, you will have them out of the way before the holidays.

Bathroom Storage

With the mornings being hectic ones as you get the kids ready for school, it’s nice to create a routine that makes it easy to keep everything tidy. For example, put extra towels into fabric storage bins and keep them beneath the sink or another handy location. You can also set a tray on the counter for daily essentials so that they stay in one place.

Declutter Closets

The fall season seems to bring with it the desire to clear away any clutter from closets. It is likely part of the back-to-school schedule. If you find that you’re itching to tidy up clothes closets, then consider adding shelving or bringing a dresser into the closet, if there is room, to organize sweaters, shoes, purses, and more.

Entranceway Updates

Is your entranceway doing all that it can from a functionality perspective? Consider adding modern-looking hooks for coats, hats, and backpacks so that they do not have to go on a coatrack. Put shoes on a stackable rack or on a spinning shoe tree to keep them from becoming a cluttered mess on the floor.

organizing for fall

Clear the Kitchen Counters

Fall baking is more difficult to do when the counters are covered with appliances, dishes, and more. Open the kitchen’s look up, so it is more functional and appears larger than before, too, by removing those excess things.

A creative place to put them is on custom shelving that extends from the floor to the ceiling on one kitchen wall. Fill the shelves and then hang an elegant curtain across the front to conceal any clutter and give the kitchen a streamlined look.

Kids’ Items

For their skateboards, hockey gear, and other bulky items, put up brackets in closets for them to hang from when not in use. For any smaller items, clear bins are handy for compartmentalizing things while allowing kids to see the item they want right away, so then they don’t have to move everything to get to it.

Closed Storage

By now, you see that closed storage provides a way to keep several items out of sight so that the rooms of the home appear more spacious and avoid stressful clutter. In your home office, you can do the same with drawers in a desk containing hanging file folders, organized according to your needs. Also, consider getting a wall storage unit with doors and drawers that have supplies, your printer, books, and more.

Final Fall Home Tip

The last tip from our professional organizers is to store out-of-season items, such as t-shirts and shorts, in bins. Label them appropriately so that they are easily identifiable next year and put them in the closet. When the new season comes, swap clothes again.

With the tips above, you and your home will be feeling fall confidence. Let us know how we can help you feel more organized this season – We’re only a phone call away!

closet organizing tips

5 Professional Closet Organizing Tips

Do you look in the closets at home and wish you could wave a magic wand to organize them? What would that look like? If you want to simplify and make more sense of closet space, all within a short amount of time, then the closet organizing tips below from our organizing pros are sure to help you.

1.      Group Similar Items

This first tip is perhaps the most important one. It is the principle of grouping together similar things, whether pants are pairing with pants in your clothes closet or pasta jars beside pasta jars in your pantry.

Sorting them this way will make your life significantly easier. Not only will you save time in the morning finding your favourite pants to wear today as you know exactly where to find them, but you will also notice that the closet has a great cohesive look.

2.      Adjust Shelves

If you have yet to change the level on any shelf in the closet, now is the time. Often, shelving can move up or down, and doing so will allow you to fit more items without it looking cluttered.

On the other hand, you might want to create a custom built-in. This closet system is specifically designed for your needs and preferences; our organizers can help you measure for it and suggest how to maximize your use of the space

We can also help you decide where best to store things within this closet or another one. For example, items you frequently use can go on the center shelf of the linen closet, rather than low or high shelves.

closet organizing tips

3.      Hang Most, Fold Some

Whenever possible, hang clothes. They are then less likely to wrinkle, as well as being easier to locate a certain item than piles of shirts, pants, skirts, and sweaters.

The exception to this rule is the sweaters that might stretch if you put them on hangers rather than fold them. Put the ones you wear the most often on top of the folded pile to easily access them.

4.      Empty it First

If you’re unsure where to start, emptying everything out of the closet is a great first step. Then clean the shelves thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated over time.

Following that comes decision time. Now is when you say yay or nay to what will go back into the closet. Those things you have not used for a year or longer are best put into the donation pile, or you might want to sell them instead. Otherwise, they are taking up precious space without adding value.

5.      Get Creative with Storage Add-Ons

Look at what you love about the closet. For example, it might have a high ceiling.

In this situation, take advantage of the vertical space by adding multiple rods to hang clothes, purses, a shoe organizer, and whatever else is useful for you. Then, look at what you aren’t such a fan of and focus on solving those issues. If there aren’t any shelves, for instance, then you might put a dresser in the closet for additional storage.

Are you looking for more help? Reach out to our professional organizing team to find out how to improve your closet space. We have lots of great ideas!