The Final Stages Of An Organizing Project….

The last two days of this project went extremely well! Firstly, the final refresh of the landscaping made a huge difference to the curb appeal. Check it out, before and after:
Front of House Before Staging
Front of House After Staging
With the home decluttered and cleaned, my pre-staging evaluation began. 3 hours later I had reviewed every square foot of the site and made detailed notes on what needed to be done in order to enhance the home for sale with the priorities that would garner my client the biggest bang for his buck. On the day of staging, my assistants and I worked laboriously for 7 hours re-designing and enhancing every room and space in the home. Normally I would be bringing in furniture and other items for staging. However, for this particular project my client’s wish was to use only existing furniture and accessories. On my recommendation, he also authorized a small expenditure for additional decorative items that I felt would enhance the living room and dining room areas. Not a lot of money, but I stretched those dollars to the max! I’ll be posting all the before and after pictures for this project on my gallery in the next few days so be sure to check them out.

Day 5 On Site Organizing & Decluttering…

By this time we had all the shredding completed, items targeted for removal were gone, the landscapers were primed and ready, praying for some dry weather, and a cleaning service booked to scour the site top to bottom. An electrician was also brought in by my client to complete some outstanding repair work. We had so many people on site this day. The major areas left to declutter before starting my pre-staging evaluation were the office and wardrobe room on the main floor so we turned our focus to these two areas.

Wardrobe Room Before Organizing

This was important as the cleaners were slated to come by in two days so the home had to be ready for them. By the end of the day I was happy with the progress made and, leaving several homework items for my clients to complete, I looked forward to the next site visit two days later when final decluttering & cleaning would be completed and I could begin my evalution.

On Site Day Four, Organizing & Decluttering……

As mentioned in my last blog post, we were facing very tight time lines for this project. Everything slated for either, recycle, donation or trash had to be clearly identified and/or outside ready for the disposal trucks. In over a dozen clear plastic recycle bags we packed clothing, linens and footwear slated for donation. Over a dozen green garbage bags of trash were removed together with various furnishings, many of which were slated for donation as well. Hundred of books were also packed up to be either recycled or donated depending on the condition. Attic Before Organizing
As a result of mice droppings, many of the books were not suitable for donation. We had two full truck loads for removal and it took two men from JunkMaster Inc. a total of four hours to remove the targeted items from the site and load the trucks. Then there were the over 60 boxes of files that had to be shredded along with a number of clear plastic bags containing personal papers. Shred-It was hired to come by the site with their on-site truck to destroy these items. While all this was happening, I also had subcontracted a company, Dirt Girl Landscaping, to do a garden refresh to enhance the curb appeal of the home. Two extremely overgrown Skyrocket Junipers were overtaking the front entrance and the first order of business in that regard was to have them removed. Perennial gardens were also to be refreshed, weeded, mulched and enhanced with seasonal mums. By the end of the first week on site we were on target and things were looking good!

Ambitious Project – Organizing, Decluttering & Staging – Step One

As promised in my last blog post, here are a few of the steps taken to get this project off the ground.
Upon arrival at my client’s site, we began reviewing each of the rooms and with various colour coded sticky paper in hand, we surveyed each and every space in the home to determine which items were destined to be removed from the home for donation, recycle or trash; which items were to be given to family members, and which items were going to be removed but stored in another location, off site. Once all the rooms were processed in this manner, we then made our way up to the attic. This is when my stomach began it’s acrobatic display of flipflops and twirls. Here are a couple of pictures taken to give you a sense of what we were dealing with. Disorganized Attic Disorganized AtticThere was very little space to even maneuver. The ceilings were high enough, however there were so many items stored, that there was very little space to walk. Furthermore, there were sections of the attic where safe footing was sparse, so we had to be very carefull where we stepped. Once in the attic, the same process of selecting which items were to go where was continued. And, as luck would have it, this first day of the project the temperature outside was about 27 degrees celcius which meant that the attic was at least 10 degrees hotter and very humid. 5 of the 8 hours of this first day were spent in the attic, moving items out and onto the lawn in a collection area. The last two hours of the day additional labour was brought in for the heavy lifting and continued evacuation of the attic. We made a huge dent that first day! Hot, sweaty, tired and exhausted, (and, if I’m being honest, still a little overwhelmed,) I reviewed our progress for the day, reviewed with my client the anticipated agenda for day 2 and left to go home to a good night’s sleep. My client was very happy with the progress made and I still hear his words clearly in my head when he said, repeatedly, “this is so much happiness for me”. It’s good to hear that I can provide a little happiness to my clients. I just love that.

A Very Ambitious Decluttering & Staging Project

Over the past two weeks I’ve been working on an extremely ambitious project. My client requested assistance on a huge downsizing and decluttering project followed by the pre-sale preparation and staging of his summer home. Very tight deadlines here. He needed it completed and ready to list for sale in two weeks time, and there was tons of work to be done, numerous third party service providers to enlist in the project and logistics like no other! Of course I said yes and I was up for the challenge. Timing was (and is) everything. However, I have to admit that the first day on site was a bit intimidating, especially when I walked into the 1,000 square foot attic which was filled to the rafters with everything from furniture, memorabilia, family history, photos, a lot of dust and lots of mice poops! It wasn’t the first time I had walked up there, as I had viewed it during the in home consult and needs assessment, but to view it the second time, knowing the tight time lines we were working within, I would be lying if I said my stomach didn’t do a few flip flops that day. The good news is the project is near completion and within schedule right down to nearly the very hour of time I had estimated it would take. I feel pretty good about this considering the volume and scope of the job. Over the next few day’s I’ll be detailing the steps we took to get to completion on time and will include a few pictures so you can get a sense of what we were dealing with. Best of all was my client’s reaction during the process when he said “this is so much happiness”, and yesterday when he said he was “elated”, and that I “saved his life”. I feel very honoured and humbled to have been invited to assist in this very personal and challenging project and for that I am appreciative and thankful that I could help my client lighten the weight on his shoulders. More to come on this, so stay tuned.

Organizing Cosmetics – A Conundrum

Make Up DrawerOne of the common questions I hear from clients is how to best organize the drawer in their bathroom that holds cosmetics or grooming products for men. Most women have all their make up in a bag in the bathroom making it difficult to see what they have and where. And men seem to have a jumble of items falling about in the drawers they use. A simple solution is to purchase a low rectangular container similar to a utensil organizer that you might use for your kitchen drawer. They can be found in basket form, clear plastic or molded resin at major retail stores. Each section of the container can be allocated to a particular product. You can even add small square or rectangular clear plastic containers (as shown here) to sit inside the larger one to further segregate your cosmetics just like this one recently completed for a client. Try it and your mornings will start with less frustration and stress!

Staying Organized – A Challenge

Staying organized is not always easy. There’s a couple of things each of us can do to keep it simple. For instance, if you eat a lot of take-out, store all your take-out menus in a binder in the pantry or kitchen cupboard. And with kids back in school, there’s always the problem of permission slips coming home and getting lost. Prevent that from happening by keeping a small basket or tray on the kitchen counter where your kids can drop off permission slips and you can deposit mail requiring immediate action. Simple.

Setting Boundaries With Organizing Memorabilia

Everyone has some form of memorabilia, whether it be your child’s artwork, high school yearbooks or ticket stubs from special events. I myself have a tote just for my own special items, as well as a tote for items from each of my children, no longer living at home. Although these items help us to recall the past, we all must live in the present. Keeping too much memorabilia can restrict us from living in the present by taking up valuable space we need to be able to use and access now. It’s a good idea to confine your memorabilia to a small tote or chest and not exceed this boundary. This way you prevent your sentimental items from turning into clutter. And remember……..The treasure is in the memory itself, not in the physical item.

Doggie Treat Organization – Containment is the key!

Doggie treat organization
I don’t know about you, but because my little pooch is such a cutie I like to buy her an assortment of treats. I used to place them on the shelf in my pantry but inevitably I found it difficult to find them when I needed them. So, I bought one of those little canvas bins you usually see at Winners or Walmart for about $5.00 and put all her treats in the bin. Now when I want to reward her, it’s a lot easier to simply pull out the bin and find what I’m looking for. Sometimes, I even let her decide. I just put the bin on the floor and she uses her nose to nudge the package she’s interested in! Check it out!

Garage Organizing – Simple Finale

This past Sunday I completed the installation of the various items to get my son’s garage organized. Being a recently new home owner, there wasn’t an issue of an over abundance of items, but rather simply the need to organize the garage in a simple and convenient, no fuss manner for him so it could remain tidy, be efficient, and function well with his newly found hobby of stripping down classic cars. We purchased very few products and built a couple of easy shelves, organizing the garage into a section for automotive materials and tools on one side, and sports and garden equipment on the other, with a simple garbage and recycle centre in the middle. Here is a picture of the garage before we started:

Garage before organizing

And here’s a couple of pictures of the garage after we finished:

Garage After organizing

Garage After organizing

As you can see, it was a no fuss, simple, low cost and straight forward solution that achieved exactly what he wanted. And best of all was the smile on his face when he walked out into the garage to see the end result! And of course the hug I received. Now that for me, was priceless.