How to organized to make your home dementia friendly

5 Organizing Tips To Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

There’s no question that we all need a certain amount of organization in our daily lives. After all, this gives you some kind of peace and control. And when you live with or are taking care of someone with dementia, this becomes even more important. Learn how to organize your home to make it safe and friendly for those living with dementia.

Tip 1: Set Up Home Routines

One of the best things you can do to stay organized in your home when someone has dementia is to set up a routine. This is just like when you have a baby. A routine helps to deliver comfort and security in an uncertain world.

It’s best to have an activity and care plan in place that allows everyone in the home to know all the activities that are planned for each day. Place the plan somewhere in the home that’s very central and noticeable – perhaps a whiteboard in the kitchen and direct them to it each day. The fewer changes you make to the plan, the better. For example, if the person in your home suffering from dementia is used to reading a book after lunch,  avoid scheduling a doctor’s appointment at that time.

Tip 2: Use Labels

Labels and signs in the home can be extremely helpful for someone with dementia. After all, they can help them find items they need regularly or simply find the way to the bathroom or the kitchen.

Using signs for medication use should also be considered. A simple sign serves as a reminder that they need to take the medication at a specific time, drink a glass of water or eat a snack.

How To Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

Tip 3: Find A Place For Everything

As we mentioned above, home organizing is incredibly important for someone with dementia. The truth is that it’s not hard for people with dementia to struggle to remember where to find things in the kitchen, for example. In case they are trying to prepare tea and they can’t remember that the mugs are in one place and the tea bag in a different place, they won’t probably even bother looking for them. And this can end up hurting their overall health causing frustration. Don’t move items around to different places in the home. Keep things functional and in their designated places, and ensure you use labels and signs as mentioned above.

Tip 4: Reduce Decisions

While you shouldn’t prevent people with dementia from their options, it is wise to reduce the number of their decisions. Simply put, you need to find a balance so that they are still allowed to choose but not to a point where they may feel overwhelmed.

For example, if you need to take this person to the doctor, allow them to choose the outfit. However, instead of opening the wardrobe and letting them choose from a wide variety of pieces, you can simply grab 2 or 3 outfits at most and let them choose from those.

Tip 5: Keep Their Surroundings Clutter Free

It’s important to keep their surroundings as clutter free as you can to avoid overwhelm and frustration. Researchers from Princeton University found that clutter can actually have an impact on ones ability to focus on a given task – specifically stating that the visceral cortex can get overwhelmed by task irrelevant objects. If this is possible for someone without dementia, think about how much more important is is to keep your space clutter free and organized for one suffering with dementia. In the bedroom for example, remove all clutter from the floor to ensure your loved one doesn’t trip and fall – keeping all shoes and slippers in the closet when not in use. Situate their bed so it’s facing the way to the bathroom, leaving the bathroom light on at night. In the kitchen, ensure surfaces are clutter free and that there is a space for everything.

Home organizing may not be very easy when you live with or need to take care of someone with dementia. However, it doesn’t need to be hard either. Overall, you need to think that home organizing is crucial to ensure the person doesn’t feel agitated, frustrated or stressed – and most importantly, for their overall safety. If you find yourself in the position of needing to organize your home to accommodate someone with dementia and need a little extra support – feel free to call us! We’re more than happy to help and make this an easy transition for all involved.

organizing for the holidays

Holiday Organizing Tips

The holidays are an absolute wonderful time of year, without question. However, sometimes, we’re left feeling more stressed-out over our to-do lists and planning to enjoy it fully. We’re hoping to help you out a little here, with some holiday organizing tips.

There’s An App For That

We all tend to stress-out a little (or a lot) over our shopping lists and to-do lists this time of year. But what if we had an app to help us stay focused and on-track? Zapier has provided a list of iphone apps that will help you list and keep track of your shopping items, gifts, groceries and more. And Ubuntupid shares their top Android to-do list apps here. I’ve used the simple Samsung Notes app to keep track of my holiday shopping list. I’ve found it quite helpful in keeping me organized this time of year. Using a list will ensure you don’t over-spend, or buy the same gift twice by mistake!

 

holiday organizing tips

Manage The Unneeded Gift Clutter

Just because someone has given you a gift, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. The joy is in the giving and receiving. As Marie Kondo put it ‘Presents are not things, but a means for conveying someone’s feelings.’ Try not to keep a gift out of obligation or guilt. This will only clutter up your home with items that don’t bring you joy. Perhaps even consider re-gifting to someone you know will enjoy the gift very much.

Holiday Cards Are Everywhere

Holiday cards are coming by mail in the masses. Your counter spaces and table-tops are covered with holiday cards for lack of other places to put them. Consider archiving the ones you absolutely cherish – the ones with the family pictures attached for example. Place them in a keep sake tote and only display a few. We’ve even been known to display some of our favourites on the Christmas tree. Archiving some of the cards will cut down on the cluttered feeling – and you will have peace of mind knowing that the ones you wish to keep are filed away.

christmas card organization

Schedule Your Time

Time – oh my! This is maybe the biggest stressor over the holiday season. Try scheduling your time backwards from the holidays and block off specific time periods to do certain tasks. Don’t just block a Saturday off for ‘shopping’ – be as specific as you can. From 9-2pm on Saturday you’ll be Holiday shopping. Block off times for baking, wrapping, visiting. An organized calendar will help with the chaos the holiday season can sneak in.

Organize as many tasks as you can this holiday season and you might just find yourself enjoying this special time of year a little more than you have in the past. Our wish for you! If you need a little extra support – we’re always here.

storage solutions for small homes

How To Make Storage Work in a Small Home

If you live in a small home, apartment or condo perhaps you find it difficult to make use of the space and it feels too cluttered and un-organized. We’ve seen this time and again with clients. Small spaces can be a fun challenge! Here are some ideas we’ve utilized in some of our clients smaller spaces to help them fall in love with their space again; leaving their homes more organized and relaxing.

Be Creative With Your Rooms and Spaces

Oftentimes in smaller homes, rooms will need to play double duty! Your living room and dining room may need to learn how to co-exist. Designating areas or zones will help clarify and determine what area of the room is used for what. This will also help determine which items belong where in those designated zones. Making sure that dining room items such as dishes or glassware make their way back to the dining cabinet or that remotes and such are to be left in the living room area only.

Your office could share space with a guest bedroom or your kids play area. With smaller spaces, every inch of space generally has to be utilized. Get creative with it.

Utilize Closets + Vertical Space

Utilizing your vertical space is definitely a must when living in a smaller space. It not only maximizes space in your closets, but maximizes space in living areas of the home as well. Get yourself some nice furniture pieces like the one below and make use of the shelving.

making storage work in small houses

 

Of course, closet organizers are life-savers when it comes to small-space organization. Find some easy to install organizers at ikea or your local hardware store and organize your shoes, winter clothes, even photo albums!

Be Choosy About What Comes In

We, of course, speak of this tip a lot. It’s so imperative to be mindful of what items come into your small home, and what items are going out. One of my clients with a smaller home says she purges on a very regular basis. If she didn’t, she finds herself getting overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ laying around without an organized home. Clutter is more noticeable in smaller spaces, we find. All-the-more reason to implement some storage systems in your small home and be diligent about what’s coming in and finding a place to be stored or organized, and what is going out to free up that needed space.

storage solutions for small houses

The Floor Is Not A Storage Area

When you have a smaller space to work with, you may find it tempting to use the floor space as a storage area. Do you place bigger toys, musical instruments or the like on the floor for lack of a better area to keep them? This can all-too-quickly make your small space look cramped and cluttered. Make use of some of the tips above. Buy some attractive vertical shelving, make use of your closet spaces – but try not to place things on the floor. This sometimes seems like a good-enough option at the time, but it doesn’t give a fresh, clean, organized and spacious feel.

Organizing small spaces can be so much fun. It almost forces you to get creative with your rooms and closets. Less is more – especially when smaller homes are concerned. Have fun with it. And as always, if you need a little support and guidance – or are unsure of how to make your smaller home space more attractive and functional, give us a call! We’re happy to help.

clean up the kitchen

How To Keep Your Home Organized

Your home is now organized – the grunt work of organizing has been done! Perhaps you hired a professional organizer, or you tackled it on your own – either way – good job! I bet you feel more relaxed and energized in your newly organized space.

We find that we get asked this next question a lot. My home is now organized and looks and functions the way I want it to – so how do I keep it this way?

We’ve listed a few tips for you below that we have found to be quite helpful when it comes to keeping your space looking great.

Implement 5-Minute Organizing

Staying organized is a matter of developing good habits. If you don’t incorporate a few minutes per day of organizing, even the most organized person will suffer. Take just 5 minutes per day to tidy the counter, straighten the blankets and pillows on the couch, file, sort or recycle any mail laying around. Make your bed, tidy the shoes at the entranceway. All of these small tasks add up to bigger tasks before we know it if not dealt with more consistently.

Give Everything A Home

Evaluate the space you have. Evaluate what you actually use, how often you use it and where you use it. This process allows you to give every item a place where it belongs. Then, every time you use that item, put it back where it belongs. This will cut back dramatically how much clutter and disorganization you have around the home. Especially since things are coming in and going out on a consistent basis as life changes.

stay organized make your bed

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Make Your Bed Each Morning

We touched on the importance of making your bed in the 5-minute organizing point above. But it’s so important that we wanted to list it twice! In the 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas in Austin, Admiral McRaven shared his thoughts on the matter. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another,” he said. “By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.” A made bed just looks and feels better; increasing your overall levels of stress and betters your mood.

clean up the kitchen

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Clean Up The Kitchen After Dinner

Dinner has been enjoyed (hopefully!), you’ve taken a few needed moments to relax and unwind and now the sink full of dirty dishes and the messy counter top are starring you in the face. The last thing you want to do is clean up the kitchen at the end of a long day. You may find yourself saying things like ‘It can wait until the morning’, but when morning comes and you’re looking at the mess, your stress levels instantly rise and your frustrated with the mess. Do yourself a favour and simply clean up after dinner. It only takes a few moments.

By implementing these tips into your everyday routines, you’ll be on the right track to maintaining your organized spaces. Soon, these tips will become habit and long, overwhelming and stressful organizing days will be a thing of your past!

Of course, if you need some extra guidance and support – we are always here to help!

Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needs

Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needs

Special needs kids and their families often come to terms with various struggles when it comes to getting more organized in all aspects of their lives. Organization in this type of scenario might require a different approach. We hope to provide some organizing tips for kids with special needs and their families.

Clear The Clutter

It is a known fact that clean, organized, and clutter-free homes are much better for people’s mental health and emotional stability. This is particularly true when it comes to special needs families. Keeping a clean and decluttered environment can be essential for the care of kids (and any other person) with special needs. This is especially important if you need specialized equipment for the care of your child with special needs, such as wheelchairs or other features. Give everything a home, don’t bring in any excess clutter and train your kids to put things away after their use.

Develop Systems!

When caring for children with special needs, it is important to adopt systems that would facilitate access and tracking of important Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needsresources and items – anything from accessories, to medication and documents. Some parents like to color-code folders, boxes, and other storage solutions, as a way to be able to identify what they need easily and seamlessly. This is not purely a matter of keeping a space organized, but it is also about maximizing the efficiency of everyday living, leading to a much better and consistent quality of care.

Mind Your Schedule

Keeping up with yours and your child’s schedules can be extremely important when you are taking care of children with special needs. Today, technology makes it a lot easier to save and edit calendar data and manage your busy schedule. From doctor appointments and regular check-ups to daily routine commitments, it is vital to keep up with every aspect of the care-taking process. Here are some apps that you may find helpful –

Astrid – There are lots of list-making and to-do apps out there, but Astrid gets high marks from reviewers for its clean interface and ability to share lists with someone (like your spouse) to collaborate. It also allows voice entries so you can speak an item into the phone while walking down the sidewalk.

Grocery IQ – Allows you to make and access your shopping list from your phone and even keep lists for different stores. Add favorite/every week items with just a tap or two, coordinate your coupons to maximize savings, and sync your list between multiple devices.

Develop Routine Habits

Routine habits can be extremely beneficial to the lifestyle and wellness of children with special needs. Make sure that you take the time to organize some viable daily activities, even when it means starting from the very basics, such as getting up at a specific time, or eating meals at a given time consistently throughout the week. Having a routine can be absolutely wonderful for the stability of your kids, and for their overall health. This is an aspect that’s often overlooked, albeit it can be extremely important. If you’re finding it overwhelming and would like a little extra support bringing order to your home – please reach out. We’re here to help.

home organizing tips

Fall Organizing Tips – Where Do I Start?

Fall seems to be the season for fresh starts. The crisp and cool mornings and the new school clothes get you in the mood for organizing this time of year. You feel the urge to get yourselves and your home in great shape. But you may be asking yourself – where do I begin?  If this sounds like you, the following Fall organizing tips may help you get started with your organizing:

Fall Organizing Tip 1: Simplify morning routines

If your Fall mornings tend to feel a bit busied and chaotic, try simplifying your routines. Ensure that the everyday essentials required by your kids in the morning are easily accessible such as back packs, sports gear etc – perhaps at the door so they can see it and grab it on the way out. With regards to the dreaded lunch making – try setting up bins in your refrigerator that the kids can pick items from and assemble their own lunches.

The most common problem between you and an organized home is simply just a lack of routine. Have a look at your current daily routine and try to establish new ways of planning out how to maximize your time. Get your kids involved too – they’ll love it. Having an organized morning routine will leave everyone feeling less stressed and ready for the day.

Fall Organizing Tip 2: Do you wear it?

A simple technique to organize any closet is to get rid of the clothes you don’t wear at the end of each season. Try looking at your closet with a fresh set of eyes. Clear out your unworn shorts and sundresses at the end of summer so that you have less clothing to store and fewer accessories to deal with. Put the clothes that you wish to keep in a labelled bin ready for easy access for the next appropriate season. If you find items in your closet that you won’t wear again – ever – then it could be time to take a trip to Goodwill or – ClutterBgone is a proud supporter of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness. They will happily take your gently used items and put them to good use.

Fall Organizing Tip 3:  Organize the kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I tend to slack off in the ‘home cooking’ department during the summer months. Everyone is so busy running here and there so quick meals tend to be our go-to. When the Fall rolls around however, I love an organized kitchen. When my kitchen is clean and well-organized, I feel I can tend better to the needs of my family by cooking healthy meals, turning on the crock pot and locating my apple peeler. Ensure that your kitchen drawers are ‘junk-free’ and that the utensils you use often are easily accessible. Consider purchasing small bins (dollar store) for your food pantry and labeling them for such things as your cereal, pasta, kids snack crackers etc. It gives a neat and organized feel.

fall organizing tips

Try one or two areas at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to organize every area of the house in one weekend. Grab a nice pumpkin latte (if that’s your thing) and enjoy the crisp cool breezes of Fall. Remember, we are always here for you. Should you need some extra guidance or support, we are just a phone call away and would love to assist you in your organizing needs this season.

organize for back to school

Organize For Back To School

Organization is key if you want to avoid stressful back to school mornings. The summer holiday is over and the fun is coming to an end. The time creeps up on most parents and we leave the planning until the last minute – leaving room for stress.  You end up looking for unorganized school items for hours. We want to provide you with some tips on how to organize for back to school to help make it as smooth of a transition as possible.

Create a checklist 

Before the day sneaks up on you, make it a point to create a checklist of all the things the kids need prior to going back to school.  Are their supplies in order? Do they need new supplies? Have they outgrown their clothes over the summer break? Where are their school bags? Do they need new indoor shoes? Create a checklist and tick whenever you have something ready.

Adjust your clock

This might sound simple or silly but it’s very effective and makes such a difference. Set all the clocks in the house ten minutes ahead. The most common mistake families make in the morning is underestimating the time it takes to do something. For example, they may think it will take 10 minutes to get ready while in reality, it will take 20.

Organize kids’ closets

If you don’t organize your kid’s clothing well, they will likely head out the door wearing their Sunday best clothes without any worry – or worse – the joggers with the holes in them.  You could try picking out their clothes every weekend and placing them on five hooks in the closet, one for every day of the week.

organize kids closets for back to school

Organize paperwork

If the kids came home with paper piles to be signed as well as permission slips, be sure to sign them before they go back to school. Back to school means back to sports, field trips and other school programs and you don’t want your kids to miss any or tell you the day before the trip.

When parents are faced with the back to school rush, they feel like there is no time to organize. Professional organizers advise you to take things slowly. If you are overwhelmed, you can always get a professional organizer to guide you on how to avoid all the stress and rush that comes with going back to school – and all throughout the school year too!

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

You have guests coming to your house and it looks like a mess. The kids have been playing all around the house and you need the space organized before the guests arrive. All this can be chaotic and hectic plus it can take a toll on you. Most people find space to bundle all the clutter especially in the garage or in one corner to try and un-clutter the visible spaces. This is however not a solution and it won’t work. If you want an organized and presentable living space, get some guidance, coaching and support from a professional organizer.

Every space is redeemable with an organizer on site. Organizing is more than just putting things in place. It’s all about efficient storage solutions and ideas coupled with space planning.

Having guests over? Don’t let this fill you with anxiety over the state of your house, let’s see what you can do about it:

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

Clear the entryway

When your guests first arrive, this is the first part of the house they will see. As they remove their jackets, they will be throwing eyes around so it’s good to make the area tidy. Put away any jackets and shoes that might be cluttering the entryway and if there is a lot of dirt, sweep it right out the front door. Add some wall décor to give a cozy vibe.

Get rid of clutter

The human brain is programmed to notice things that are out of place. Your guests won’t be looking for things to criticize but they will see it. Get a professional organizer to help you get rid of that pile of clutter. Never make a habit out of stashing clutter.

Clean your bathroom

Before the visitors arrive, always make it a point to clean the bathroom and especially the one that is frequently used by the guests. The visitors won’t take long to notice a messy bathroom and it doesn’t take a lot to clean and pick up any towels or clothes on the floor.

Get a professional organizer

Sometimes you can look at the house and the mess and simply give up. There are piles of clutter in one corner and the other things are overflowing out of your storage space. Get help from a professional organizer who will guide you on space planning and give you efficient storage solutions and ideas.

Do you have a specific dumping site in your house that you want to get rid of? Are your wardrobes efficiently organized for effective storage? Simply get a professional organizer and go from clutter to calm in all the spaces you have in the house from the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, closets, and storage spaces. ClutterBGone services the greater Toronto area. Call us today for your consultation.

Tips On How To Clear The Clutter And Get Organized

Staying organized can be quite essential to your daily life – but yet, as we all know, it’s not always easy to keep a clutter-free space. Here, we hope to help you with a few tips on how to clear the clutter and get organized.

Tips on how to clear the clutter and get organized

Clutter & Organizational Tip 1: Sort Sort Sort!

One of the most significant issues for people looking to de-clutter their space is realizing that they have much more than they actually  need. As you know, we tend to accumulate a lot of things throughout our lives, and sometimes, (a lot of the time) we might not even use half of them! Is it worth keeping piles of things you no longer use or appreciate? Only you can answer this question. If you’re looking for a fresh, clutter-free environment, the best thing you can do is to sort through your stuff and try to get rid of those items that you no longer need to take up space anymore.

Clutter & Organizational Tip 2: Don’t slack on your good habits

Now that your de-cluttering journey is well under way, it’s important to stay focused on the task. Many people, unfortunately, tend to lose track of their commitment, and as a result, they end up back at square one and disorganization sets in again quick. Staying organized is not hard if you remember to keep your things tidy on a daily basis. This means putting things back in their designated space once you are finished with it. Think of it as one of those important daily habits, such as brushing your teeth. You’ll get so used to keeping a decluttered environment, it will just become second nature.

Clutter & Organizational Tip 3: Ask for help Tips on how to clear the clutter and get organized

Sometimes, it’s quite hard to make it on your own when it comes to organizing your space and keeping a clutter-free routine. Thankfully, you can get someone else to help! Family members or friends could be of assistance, and if you think you need an outsider’s outlook, you could always consider hiring an organizing professional. We help home owners and small businesses de-clutter and organize their spaces so they can enjoy a clean, clutter free environment. We’re honoured that our clients invite us to come into their homes and small businesses. That’s a huge leap of faith and we appreciate that trust. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and genuinely unhappy with any of your spaces, we can help you get organized, de-cluttered and provide a positive, lasting change and transformation.

declutter newly listed house

How To Declutter Your Newly Listed House

So, you’ve just listed your house and now you’re eagerly awaiting to show it off! You might be wondering what to do next? If you want to make sure that you are giving people the best possible impression of your listed property, you need to understand that appearances matter a lot. A cluttered home might appear to be much smaller, not to mention colder and more chaotic. This might fail to give people a proper view of the full potential of your space, and as a result, you might miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about how we can help you declutter your newly listed house!

Remove as many items as possible declutter newly listed house

If you want to show off all the space in your home at its best, you should aim to remove as many items as possible from your house, before you show it to people. Some homeowners even go as far as booking storage units or pods, so that they can temporarily transfer some of their superfluous items, particularly if they still don’t have a suitable living arrangement or a place where they can unload some of their material. In addition to that, other people leave some of their items in their new homes, or with relatives and friends on a temporary basis. Better yet, why not go through your items and determine what you need verse what you can donate or get rid of to help off-load a large number of items. This is a great way to remove clutter from your newly listed house.

Keep it tidy

A tidier home will make a much more positive impression. Make an effort to keep things tidy, and compartmentalize your space, so that each room shines. For example, don’t keep a massive pile of old magazines on your kitchen counter: let people grasp the size of that space, and what it is all about!

Don’t use your front porch as a storage area for bulky items that won’t fit inside: keep it clean and clutter-free!

We could go on and on with similar examples, but I bet you’re entirely understanding the idea by now. Add value to each space, by making sure that it truly lives up to its full potential.

decluttering newly listed home

Use lighting to highlight your space

As you might know, a brighter space might often appear bigger and cleaner. By contrast, a poorly lit space might often come off as a much more cluttered and cave-like environment. If you want to make sure that you are adding the right value to every room of your house, make sure that everything is well-lit. If possible, use natural light as much as you can. This is the best type of light, and people always love to see how much natural brightness can come into your home.

If you’ve just listed your home, or preparing to do so in the near future – and need a little guidance and support in how best to de-clutter your space and prepare it for showings – we would love to help! Contact us today for a consultation.