5 Reasons To Hire A Professional Trained Organizer

I get asked once and again, from not just prospective clients but from a lot of other people as well – “Why hire a professional organizer? I could do that myself.” In fact, many of our client’s well intentioned friends who feel they are organized say this to our clients without truly understanding what we do and how we do it.

The fact of the matter is that trained professional organizers for which this is a full time business are highly skilled professionals, often with a background in either psychology or sociology and communication. Most skilled professional organizers have the training and expertise to not only implement the basic principles of organization, but also to provide creative solutions, maximize space, have a ton of credible resources and have the ability to address some of the underlying issues and challenge some of the distorted thinking that comes with being chronically disorganized.

cluttered filled hall

Here are 5 basic reasons to hire a professional organizer.

Time & money

1) We will actually save you time and save you money. Lots of it. Everybody’s time is worth something. If you are performing the work yourself you are not doing something else whether it is going to work, enjoying extracurricular activities or just plain relaxing. We are trained and have the expertise to develop and implement solutions to chronic disorganization. As such we can successfully complete an organizational task in a much shorter period of time.


2) Being disorganized costs you. I’m not talking just money here (although that still factors in).  I’m talking success. How much time do you waste looking for things? Are you paying interest charges on bills because you paid late due to not being able to find the bill? Is your clutter or disorganization affecting your marriage or straining friendships?  Are you missing out on opportunities?  Are you less productive?  Do you appear disorganized at work leading to missing out on promotions? Is your child’s disorganization affecting success at school?

Some people become embarrassed to have company if they feel their home has become out of control or they feel that visitors may be judging them based on the surroundings rather than as who they are. A professional organizer will de-clutter, organize and create a system to maintain a clutter free and less stressful life.


3) We can help you tackle those projects you have been putting off.

You know those projects that you have been putting off because you feel it is too much of a task for you or think it is too large for you handle? We are ready willing and eager to get at these projects. They are our Disneyland! Once complete you will feel that a heavy load has been lifted right off your shoulders. You will breathe easier, feel less anxious. You will want to use that space, that valuable real estate that you have worked so hard to pay for. And who knows, maybe even invite guests over that have not visited for some time due to your embarrassment of your home.


4) We are your organizing coach. Sometimes you just need a gentle push to get you going or to guide you through the steps to complete the task. We are there with you all the way for as much or as little as you need us. Do you have a small room or closet that needs attention? Great! A larger room that will take more time? That’s good too. We have seen and done it all and no job is too large or too small. We just want to help.

No Judgments

5) We are non-judgmental and unbiased. Is your place a mess – in your eyes? Do you still have your childhood toys? Paper everywhere? A ton of stuff from a family member who has long since passed on? You can’t see the floor because of all the stuff?  Perhaps your basement is unusable space?  No problem. We are there to help and to get you organized with compassion and gentle guidance, and set up with a system to make your life easier. We are not here to judge but to develop and implement solutions for you.

If you have an organizational task for which you just don’t  know where to start, call me now for a free telephone consultation and we can chat.  No judgments.  Just solutions.

Spring Cleaning & Downsizing Your Home

Every year thousands of older adults face the decision of whether to downsize to smaller living accommodations or to stay in their existing homes. For some the decision to downsize is made for them due to serious illness or perhaps the death of a loved one. Sometimes the comfort and safety of people comes into play. But regardless of the reason, the upheaval and relocation can be traumatic. My experience in this industry has clearly indicated that it is even more so for those over the age of 65.

sunny condo

For example, I received a call from a gentleman whose mother was living alone and had recently injured her leg falling over piles of newspapers that she had collected. He was concerned for her health and safety due to the amount of belongings and clutter that she had accumulated. He wanted to move her into a condominium and was looking for assistance in helping to sort through a lifetime of her possessions. He had no idea where to start.

Safety first

Safety is usually the first thought that comes into mind when considering downsizing. Home location and its construction are very important issues to consider. A few questions you may want to ask yourself are: (i) is the home easy to get around in? (ii) can the maintenance of the home be easily managed by the occupant? (iii) how close is the home to local shopping centres and banks?

Limitations regarding the physical abilities of the people in the home are also relevant and need to be considered. Can basic personal hygiene be handled? What about manoeuvrability in and out of the bathtub or shower? What about memory issues as it relates to safety? Leaving a burner lit on the stove or a pot boiling over can be a potentially dangerous situation.

Let the idea of downsizing marinate.

If you know an older adult who should consider downsizing, it’s best that you introduce them to the idea slowly. Many well-meaning family members may push too hard resulting in more resistance. Sometimes it’s helpful to suggest to your parents that they may wish to make the decision of moving to a smaller home when they still can. Sometimes illness or injury, like that of my client, ends up making the decision for you and you are then forced to move when perhaps you don’t feel ready.

Emotions play a role.

Adult children often don’t play an active role in the downsizing process due to other obligations. And that`s okay. The stress and tension can be very high for all members of the family and it’s often best to call and hire an experienced professional organizer to assist and make the process run smoothly and act as project manager.

Adult children often feel a lot of turmoil when long time family possessions are sorted and pared down. I have personally seen the upheaval of emotions cause conflicts among family when these conflicts could easily have been minimized by initiating a few simple organizing and downsizing strategies to be prepared.

For me, working with older adults is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. We don’t just work for our clients, but with them, side by side, hands on coaching, motivating and encouraging. Working collaboratively we`ve helped clients make decisions on what to keep, what to pass on to family or others and what to be discarded.

The preparation of a move to a smaller home is the first step of a fresh start, a new chapter in your life and perhaps an even greater adventure! Preparation is key to a successful downsize so that precious memories can still be treasured while streamlining for a simpler and more efficient lifestyle.

If you know anyone who could use professional guidance and assistance in the downsizing process we are here to help. Call us now to learn more.

I Smell Spring! Get Your Home Organized!

In our part of the country it’s been a long and cold winter. In fact, over the Family Day weekend in February the temperatures dropped to the minus mid-twenties and with the wind it felt like -35. It definitely has been one of the coldest winters in recent memory and boy are we ready for the arrival of spring!

Signs of spring

Here is a list of things we’re going to do in our home to prepare for the arrival of one of my favourite seasons:

Goodbye Winter Wear

1) As the weather starts to get milder and I start to smell spring in the air,  I always organize our home for the next season and go through the heavy winter coats to see what still fits, what is worn and for the adults what is still in style. Anything that is longer in style or doesn’t fit can be boxed or bagged and dropped off at your local charity.

Anything that is very worn, stained or damaged can be bagged for trash. In some cases you may be able to take some gently used, nor longer worn items to a consignment shop but keep in mind that they only take winter items in the fall, not in the spring. They also have to be in great shape Don’t take it personally if they won’t accept your things.

2) Pull down those boxes of scarves and mittens, pull out all of the boots and do the same thing. Anything not needed can be dropped off at a donation location for those that may need them next winter. Kids grow out of boots quickly and are always in need at charity organizations for those that cannot afford new footwear for their own kids.

3) Pull out all of your spring and summer coats and shoes and divide them into piles for each person in the home. Then take those piles and further refine them accordingly to type of outerwear. Go through each item to ensure that they too are still fully functional, not damaged, still fit and for adults not out of style (if you care about fashion).

Again, many charities would love to receive your donations of gently used clothing and with spring almost upon us now is the perfect time to be donating spring and summer items.

Clean Up

4) When it’s time to switch the coats and footwear in the hall closet from warmer to light, take the winter items out and give your hall closet a good cleaning. Out with the dirt and salt from the boots and in with the fresh, lighter coats. I’ll leave the rest of the spring cleaning up to you but you will certainly feel that spring has come when you open your closet to see the lighter garments hanging there without all the signs of old man winter.

Lighten Up

5) In our home we have a heavier bedspread for winter warmth and in the spring we switch it up taking the lighter bedspread out of the bag and replacing it with the winter one. Don’t forget to launder or dry clean your winter bedspread before putting it away if need be.

Spring signals the arrival of a new start for the earth and many homes going up for sale. Consider it a new start for sprucing up your home and getting it organized for sale.  And if you’re not in the market to sell your house right now?  That’s okay.  But take care of these tasks and you will find spring arriving a lot sooner!  Who doesn’t want that?!

If you need some help getting started, call me now for a free telephone consultation.

6 Things You Need To Know to Organize Your Shoes

Women love shoes! No surprise there, but more and more men are beginning to own and appreciate the look and value of shoes with their collection of “kicks” and even dress shoes and boots.

We all may not have the collection that Imelda Marcos once did but if you have a collection of shoes, are looking for ways to organize your shoes and are tight for space and funds, here are a few things you need to know to help you store and maintain the condition of your shoes.

Original shoe boxes

Some people still use the system of keeping the boxes that the shoes originally came in and then take a picture of the shoes and affix it to the outside of the box. From this they can easily see what shoe is inside the box. This is not my number one choice as photos can fall off, and with the demise of instant cameras people are now moving away from this concept.

Clear shoe boxes

Clear shoes boxes are a great way to keep your shoes in good condition and dust free as well as and organized.


They can be kept stacked either in the hall closet or in your walk in bedroom closet and they make it so easy to see what is in each box to save precious time from pulling boxes down where perhaps pictures may have come off the outside of the cardboard ones. This is a good option although could become a bit pricey if you have a large volume of shoes to organize.

Racks & shelving

Shoe racks or shelves are an easy and affordable way to store your shoes. They are readily available from such stores as Canadian Tire and Home Depot, are easy to assemble and can be stacked inside your closet.

closet maid shoe racks

They come is various lengths and with each stack they hold at least 9 pairs of shoes. I personally like the Closet Maid Shoe shelf organizers which are fairly budget friendly.


Hanging shoe bags are another great option and amazing at storing shoes a large number of shoes vertically with an excellent price point. Shoe bags are even increasingly being used for the storage of a lot of other goods like make up or wash cloths in the bathroom or shoe cleaning items in the hall closet.

Under bed storage

For those that are challenged by space but still require or want a selection of shoes, there are a number of under bed shoe organizers that are easily stored and retrieved from under the bed. The downside to this is that it is way too difficult to see what you have. The upside is that this is a good way to store off season footwear.

My favourite

One of my favourite ways to store shoes is to use a piece of decorative crown moulding trim installed inside the closet and hang the shoes by their heels.

crown moulding shoe storage

It is practical, easy to install without any tools, and allows for shoes to be up off the floor but yet easily accessible and all within view all the while maintaining the shoes in good shape. You can even easily paint this piece of trim to match any décor.

If you have the space and the funds, shoe storage can be whatever you imagine it to be from complete wall units to specially built shoe drawers. There are many options for many price points so there is no reason not to get organized with your shoe collection.

Shoes are indeed a fashion statement and are not cheap, so decide what system is best for you, protect your investment, look your best and stay organized.  If you need help organizing any space in your home, simply contact me at 905-642-5669 for a free telephone consultation.

5 Clever Tips to Organize Your Child’s Play Area

It has been a long winter so far, and depending on where you live perhaps a little colder than normal, so the kids have likely been indoors more than usual. Are they, and perhaps even you, getting a little stir crazy? Do their bedrooms or playroom look a little out of control because of the extra time spent indoors? There is still a bit of winter left so here are a few clever tips to organizing your child’s play area.

1) Get it off the floor

Do you have one of those kid’s rooms where you cannot see the floor for all of the toys thrown all over the place? If so, have you provided your child with the organizational tools to keep an organized room?

Storage bins for organizing toys

Many parents wonder why the child’s room is in such a disorganized mess and the reality is that they may not have provided them with the necessary organizational system and containers to properly tidy up. Drawers, bookcases and shelves are a must for any child to keep their room organized and for you to show them how to designate a space for each type of toy. Electronics are especially important to get off the floor to teach the children about value and to prevent tripping hazards.

2)  Be Creative

I have often talked before about the many uses of hanging shoe bags for storage beyond the storing of shoes. I recently saw a shoe bag used for the storage of Barbie dolls and thought “what a clever idea”. Not only can the dolls themselves be stored in these but also the doll clothes and accessories.

Organizing toys

Don’t forget your little guy with his play figurines (do they still have GI Joe?) or for his cars. These bags are easy to hang on a wall, on a closet rod or on the inside of a door.

3) Milk Crates

Milk crates make for great storage and even though it may be difficult to get the old fashioned milk crates from the grocery store, there are now several different variations available everywhere from IKEA to Canadian Tire to just about any other store that carries storage bins. They are great for stuffed animals, balls or even the larger dolls that will not fit into the shoe bags.

milk crates for organizing

4) Use Clear Containers

I have said this many times in the past – use clear storage containers. It is so easy for both you and your child to find what you are looking for and if you can see what belongs in the container it makes putting it away so much easier for both and your child. These containers can be stored in a corner, in a closet or under a bed but once seen you will easily recognize what is inside.

5)  Edit & Liberate

Kids grow quickly and outgrow toys. At least twice a year spend some time with your child going through their toys to determine what is not being used any longer. Arrange for the donation of these toys and take your child with you so they can participate in the giving process. Or, if you are holding a spring yard sale let your child participate (if old enough) with their own table and all proceeds can either be donated or put away for them for new toys.

donate toys

However you choose to store your child’s toys make sure they are involved in the process so they learn the importance of maintaining a safe, trip free and organized environment. If your space is just too overwhelming for you to handle at the moment, call me now at 905-642-5669 for your free telephone consultation.  We are here to ease your chaos.  Your chaos.  Our solution,  Your peace of mind!

6 Perfect Home Office Spaces That Will Make You Jealous

Whether you are need a home office for your business or a workstation for your home, there is always a solution to get your home office organized and on track.  With many variations of home offices available, ranging from a simple desk to a more complicated built in system  the most important aspect is to make sure you can put your work away easily when the day is complete, as well as retrieve the information you need with ease and simplicity.

These 6 organized home office spaces offer lots of options for home organization.

Custom is cool

This first space is perfect use of a small niche in your home with custom cabinets and desk space with plenty of storage for books, files and supplies.   Well worth the price point if you work from home and require a functional space.

Built in home office

Basement Beauty

This next office in the basement is a creative use of the often under appreciated under stair space. Precious real estate is uncovered here and becomes useful.


Basement Office

Light & Airy

We love this use of space with the desk facing outward as opposed to working directly in front of a wall.  Lots of storage and good functionality and organization in the home office.

Home office desk door

Window side

Situating your home office desk in front of a window with a streamlined look and feel is a great way to work clutter free, enjoy nature and get your creative juices flowing for an organized work day.

Home Office desk

Dual Office Space

If you require a room with two work stations, this contemporary, streamlined design is the way to go.  We love the clutter free bookcase and clean, organized lines of desk space.  Lots of room to work efficiently.

L shaped home office

Tight on space

Just because you live in a smaller sized home doesn’t mean you can’t have a dual workstation or office.  This is a great office space in a small apartment, condo or townshouse.

Shared workspace in small area

Which work space do you love the best?

3 Common Household Items You Should Toss

It happens in every household. We accumulate so many possessions (food, makeup and otherwise) and then have so much trouble letting go of things. There could be a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you spent a ton of money on something, or maybe you just “love” it so much or maybe even you think that one day you will eventually use it.

One of the challenges with this type of thinking is that some things have a ”best before” date. This doesn’t necessarily mean it expires before that date or that you “best consume it” before this date. But for many items, food and makeup in particular, it speaks to a shelf life. Once you open the product that best before date goes right out the window.

Food – Does it need to smell funny?

packaged foods

Take foods for instance. That best before date we see on the pre-packaged foods means its taste, nutrition and safety are pretty much guaranteed before that date. But once opened, that date is irrelevant. Even if something doesn’t have a foul odor or still tastes fine, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume. Bacteria and other organisms can still be growing in the food before any foul odor or foul taste is detected. So if you are ever in a position when you are wondering if something is still okay to eat, it probably isn’t. Toss it and be safe.

Cosmetics and clutter

Makeup is another challenge. The amount of money the average woman spends spends on cosmetics makes it very difficult to toss that foundation bottle you bought last year that still has some left, or that mascara that you’re pretty sure you could get another few weeks’ use of. The issue is that liquids go bad pretty quickly once opened and exposed to air. Even those little samples you get at the store can go from nice to nasty pretty quick.


Pump style containers that hold your moisturizer or foundation tend to last longer than ones in a jar because with jars of liquid your fingers (that hold bacteria) are constantly being dipped into the container thus lending to faster contamination. The general rule of thumb is 6 months for moisturizer or foundations in a container, up to a year if you have a pump mechanism for either. Of course, if the product seems to smell a little funny all of a sudden, then it’s time to toss it.

Powdered makeup last the longest provided you keep your brushed clean.  You can usually count on two years for powdered products.

Mascara is the worst. Once you open that tube you should toss it after 3 months tops! Don’t play the chance game with your eyes! If you have ever had pink eye you know exactly what I mean.  Use a Sharpie and mark the date of that sucker so you don’t take the chance of keeping it longer than you should.

Bed pillows bacteria

This last one is something we see in almost every home we work in. Bed pillows. They have a shelf life as well, especially if you are not protecting them in a thick pillow protector. Without protection, your pillows should be tossed out after one year. The reason for this is that grease from your scalp and oils and bacteria from your face and mouth soak into the pillow leading to bacteria growth which yellows the pillow and is a wonderful breeding ground for dust mites. Yuck! Do you really want to take the chance that you sleeping companions are dust mites?!

bed pillows

With more expensive pillows you should be getting them professionally cleaned every couple of years. But if you see any yellowing on your pillow or have had it over a year without a pillow protector, toss that baby in the trash and give yourself and your family a nice gift of a fresh, new pillow to sleep on.

If you have any questions about the shelf life of any other items you may have in your home, just contact us and we will answer your questions.
In the meantime, play it safe and don’t risk your health and safety!

Year End Organizing Checklist

Another year has come and gone. It feels like we just started 2014 and here we are entering 2015 already. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to either get or to stay organized here are a few things you can do to start the New Year in an organized state.


Out with the old

The New Year is a great time to purge old files and make space available for new files. No need to hang on to the monthly hydro, cable, etc. bills (unless you are a business owner). Just keep the last bill or year-end statement and purge the rest. If you have legal or tax implications you would be advised to check with your lawyer or accountant before tossing any document that you may require but most monthly bills can be safely tossed. This would also be a good time to review your files and see if the categories are working for you and either delete or add as required.

Do you really need those presents?

This is a time of year that we receive a lot of gifts that are meant well but maybe just are not our style or fit in with our decor. Rather than putting them away where they will never be used why not re-purpose them now.


Charities are always looking for donations and can find a good home for that item you know you will never use but you just couldn’t hurt the feelings of the giver. Now is also a good time to create a new “gift centre” for gift giving later in the year (but not to the original giver of course!).

Holiday decorations

Now is a great time to review the decorations as you pack them away. Do you have damaged decorations that did not get used but are holding onto for sentimental reasons?  Decorations that you “may” just use one year. How about the decorations that you just have too many of?

broken holiday ornament

The kids may want those to get a good start in their own home or for sentimental reasons themselves. In any case, now is a great time to take stock of what you have versus what you want or need and be prepared and organized for next season.

Start the New Year off right with an organized outlook and you will be surprised how it will transfer over to other aspects of your home and life. If you feel anxious getting organized for the new year or need some assistance, contact us here for your free telephone intake.

5 Tips to Organize Your Linen Closet

With the seasons changing it’s time to think about switching up your linens to something warmer and that means opening up your linen closet. A linen closet may be one of the last places you may think to organize solely because it is one of those out of the way places where the door is almost always closed.

messy linen closet

Besides linens, we tend to store a lot of other items such as toiletries and other stuff that may get used in that part of the house.

It is therefore easy for it to become a very disorganized mess taking a lot of time to find what you need. Or you may end up purchasing items you didn’t require because you couldn’t find them.

Here are 5 tips to keep your linen closet neat and organized.

Baskets & containers

Use baskets or containers to keep corral smaller items and label them for easy identification and locating. Separate all of your toiletries, dental items and first aid supplies. Keep them in separate containers and label them so when you need that bandage you are not searching through other items to find it.


organized linen closet

Bundle sheet sets together keeping sheets for different bedrooms separated.

When doing laundry fold the top and bottom sheet and one pillow case.

Stack them or bundle them together and place them inside the second pillow case.

Now you can easily see what you have and you won’t have everything topple over on you when you are removing them from the closet for use.


Label shelves

Label the shelves that the linens are placed on.Once labelled everyone will know where the sheet sets are for their own beds and if you have help doing laundry or putting laundry away there are no questions as to where something needs to go.

labels for linen closet


Seasonal switch

Keep your seasonal linens (heavier bed spreads and comforters) up high. The larger and warmer bedspreads or maybe even flannel vs. linen sheets tend to get rotated only once every six months or so.

Therefore, if you have the space, keep these on the top shelf as you only need access to them a couple times a year.

basket linens

Face cloth frustration

Facecloths are always the most trouble. We all have a lot of these and they tend to fall over when they are put away.

Try putting them in a wicker or cloth basket to contain them or roll them up rather than fold them to prevent toppling. Besides, they will look neater when you open the linen closet door.

Try these ideas to keep a neat and organized linen closet and if you need assistance with this or any other project, simply contact us here.

Your chaos. Our solution. Your peace of mind.

Tips for Organizing the Kitchen Junk Drawer

If I asked you what the most disorganized place in your house is you would probably tell me your basement, your bedroom or maybe even a closet. Not too many would think about the kitchen junk drawer even though many of you have one. And where did we get this term from? I don’t recall picking out a “junk drawer” when we picked out our cabinets for our home.

junk drawer

The kitchen is the focal point of the home with constant activity. With meal preparation, entertaining, school work and other activities all taking place there it is an area that needs to be clear and organized at all times.

It’s no wonder it’s so easy to designate a drawer and toss everything into it when tidying up.

Neat and organized

But trying to find something in there can be a challenge at best! To organize this drawer we first have to take everything out and sort it. This is a great time to look at what you have, when you used it last and decide whether it goes back in – neat and organized – gets tossed, or finds a new home.

Those screwdrivers, 3 pairs of scissors, batteries and shoelaces can all be assigned a new home. You know I am a proponent of “if something has not been used then it isn’t needed” so take an honest look at it before deciding you need it.

Containers are essential

junk drawer containers

Now make sure you have some containers to store like items with like items before placing everything back. Rubbermaid and Ikea are great at supplying these types of small containers as are the dollar stores.

Have separate containers for writing implements, pads of paper, magnets or paperclips, etc. It will make the world of difference when you are looking for something.

Dunk the junk

Once you have done this you are left with a pile of miscellaneous items. Hey! Let’s call this junk. You should be able to pare this junk down to almost nothing once you give it a final review. If you still have items you wish to keep get another container and place these leftovers in it. Now you have one container with true junk and the rest of the drawer is truly required items.

organized junk drawer

Upkeep is important. Go through this one “junk” container periodically and the rest of the drawer at least once every three months and you will find retrieving items from your “junk drawer” a lot easier.

If you need assistance with getting your organizational task started, contact us for a FREE telephone consultation to get you on your way!