selling your home

What to Declutter before Listing Your Home

When someone is interested in buying your home, they want to see every part of it. They look in every nook and cranny, so it’s vital to have the rooms looking their best. That involves maximizing the space by reducing clutter. Help house hunters envision themselves living there by organizing it well and preparing to put it on the market. These tips can help you do exactly that.

Begin Outside

Good curb appeal is essential. In other words, put in the time and effort to make your home look great from the street when a potential buyer first sees it. Doing so can increase your home’s value and even get you an offer sooner.

That means giving your front door, outdoor lighting, and any outdoor living spaces a once-over to make sure they look fantastic. A fresh coat of paint or stain on the front door and a trim lawn could make a huge difference. As for a rundown-looking exterior, it might put off buyers who assume the inside needs a lot of work.

Create a Warm Entranceway

The entryway is their first impression of the house, so make it look clean and welcoming. That involves removing any clutter, such as mail, newspapers, and extra clothes.

Also, consider adding a coat rack for visitors to hang their jackets when they come to the open house. It encourages them to enter and look around. A glamourous lighting fixture in the entrance can also create interest and excitement.

clean entranceway

Clear Closets

A big draw for many potential buyers is having plenty of storage space. To help the closets look spacious, box up any off-season items and donate those you no longer use or need.

Organize the clothes by type (shirts, pants, etc.) for a clean look. Finally, if you have a walk-in closet, add a mirror to reflect the light and make the space look more open.

Make the Living Room the Star

Begin by painting, if needed, and then removing smaller furniture items to open the room up. Remove personal photos too so that anyone attending the open house can start to see their own families living there.

Also, clear off surfaces, except for lamps and one or two pieces of decor for a clutter-free space – the fewer items in the living room, the cleaner its appearance.

Declutter Your Kitchen Too

The kitchen is another room that many folks will scrutinize in a house for sale. So, it makes sense to declutter the cabinets and drawers in this room.

Rather than stressing yourself out, spread the task over several days, and limit yourself to 30 minutes each day. Group similar items together (pots and pans, plastic containers, etc.). Be sure to remove most things from the countertops, too, for a clean appearance.

Consider adding organizing systems too that provide more vertical space. Well-organized drawers and cabinets make an outstanding first impression.

Contact Us to Help

For more valuable tips on decluttering your home before putting it on the market, reach out to our professional organizers today! We help you make the house look amazing by minimizing your overall clutter so it draws in prospective buyers.

Moving Hacks

These Moving Hacks Make Packing Much Easier

Packing is one of the most stressful parts of moving for many people. To help make the process smoother, find tips below that our professional organizers use when helping people move from one home to another.

Label Boxes in Detail

Rather than only writing “kitchen” on the box, add more detail. For example, you might write a list below that heading, such as:

  • Dishes
  • Tablecloths
  • Dishtowels

Adding these specifics will save you time later when looking for certain items amidst a dozen or so boxes all labeled “kitchen.” Also, write “breakable” when applicable.

Finally, label multiple sides of the box. That way, if your boxes are stacked against a wall in the new place, you’ll be able to read what is inside without having to move a ton of boxes to figure it out.

Moving Hacks

Put Items within Other Items

This trick saves a lot of space and boxes when done right. For example, put your spices into pots and containers you would be packing anyway, rather than putting them in separate boxes of their own. To keep the lids on pots, tie rubber bands between the two.

As for your clothes currently on hangers, there’s no need to take the garments off them. Instead, simply hang them in a garment box so you won’t have to rehang and iron them at your new house.

If you have suitcases, use them to hold small possessions too. They become like extra boxes! Plus, they’re easy to move with wheels on the bottom, which makes moving heavy items like books much easier. Laundry baskets and trash cans also can hold things conveniently.

Use Painter’s Tape

The tape isn’t for painting but instead is a valuable part of your packing supply kit. It can be useful for marking moving boxes, for example, if you’d rather than write on the box itself.

Also, the tape can hold loose hardware on furniture in place during the move. Painter’s tape also comes in handy for keeping drawers and doors closed, as well as taping screws and washers on the main items after disassembling them.

As it is sticky but not overly so, the tape isn’t likely to damage most surfaces. But, if in doubt, do the research beforehand as to whether to use it to ensure it won’t ruin your valuable property.

For the Immediate Items

You will need certain items on moving day and the following day, so these are ones to pack separately and keep close. Some people call it the “essentials box.”

Among the essentials for the household are toilet paper, dish soap, dish towel, all-purpose cleaner, drinks, snacks, coffee maker and coffee, can opener, and mini first aid kit. Also, plan to have a box of personal items to get through the first evening and morning at the new residence, including toiletries, toothbrush and toothpaste, and clothes.

Packing Help from the Pros

Whether you need help packing part or all your house, our organizers are happy to help you. We also offer unpacking services at your destination. Having someone by your side who has a lot of experience been doing this type of work can provide reassurance and keep everything on track. Reach out for more information today!

Unpacking after Moving

Unpacking after Moving: A Timeline to Keep You on Track

Moving is an exciting time as it means the start of a new chapter. It often involves stress, though, as you plan out how best to get through the process. After all, it’s not likely something that you do regularly. To help you after move-in day, when you find yourself amidst boxes, refer to this timeline to start to settle into your new home.

The First Day

While it is tempting to set out on the first day to unpack all or most of the boxes, that puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders. As soon as you get into the new place, unpack any perishables from your previous home and put them into the fridge or freezer.

Also, unpack some basic items, such as plates, cups, utensils, a can opener, and a pot. That way, you will be able to fuel up on breaks while unpacking.

Focus on getting the main beds set up too. If you have beds for guest rooms, those can likely wait. But putting together the frames for the beds for you and your kids now is essential. If you have pets, put their beds in place too.

Add soap and towels to at least one bathroom too. Also, unbox essential toiletries too for that night and the following morning.

Unpacking after Moving

The Next Day

Next on the priority list is the closets and kitchen. Unbox the clothes that are likely to be worn that season. The garments for the rest of the year can wait.

Hanging them up or folding them as you go is ideal, rather than just throwing them into the bottom of the closet. Otherwise, you will be stuck sorting later, which only creates another task.

In the kitchen, put away the non-perishable food items. Also, unpack any everyday things that you have not yet put away in drawers or cupboards, such as the rest of the plates, drinkware, pots, and pans.

Over the Next Few Weeks

Now that the essentials are put away, you can unpack what you want over the next couple of weeks. For example, the TV room might be next on the agenda if you want to start having family movie nights together. Or maybe your home office needs setting up next so that you can begin to work again after taking time off for the move.

What is important here is that you only tackle one room at a time when it comes to unboxing and organizing. Otherwise, you risk becoming overwhelmed and not being as productive.

When unpacking each box, find a suitable place for each item, rather than haphazardly putting them on a shelf or the floor. If you decide certain things are no longer needed, sort them into piles for garbage (if broken), donation, or sale. Some items may also go best in storage areas in the basement or attic.

Making Your House a Home

Creating a space that is feels uniquely like your family is a process. As you unbox more things and find places to put them throughout the interior, it will begin to feel more like home.

If you are finding it difficult to carve out time to unbox or decide how to organize a room best, reach out to our friendly organizers for help. Our unpacking and move-in professionals make it easier for you and your family to settle in and help you do so in less time. Getting organized sooner helps you start to enjoy feeling at home!

professional organizer help with moving

Reasons to Hire a Professional Organizer When Moving

The average person will likely move up to 10 times in their lifetime. Shocking – I know! The mindset of a move creates an enormous amount of stress – even if the move is a positive one. Planning and organizing a move requires extra energy and time that we may not have in our already busy lives. Searching for our new home, arranging movers, turning services on or off, packing and unpacking. These become extra projects to manage during our non-working hours. A professional organizer can offer support from logistics to action-plans.  There are many reasons to hire a professional organizer prior to moving but we will share just a few with you here.

Organization

Professional Organizers often get called upon to assist with the task of getting organized prior to and during a move. They can assist with tasks such as providing a packing strategy, helping you decide which items to take and which to donate or toss. Juggling a variety of moving tasks isn’t easy. However, with the right organizational ‘know-how’, it can be done.

help with moving

Unpacking

Let’s not underestimate how expensive a move can become. There’s time taken off work, money spent on moving trucks or support, not to mention eating out costs because your kitchen is in disarray! If you hire a professional organizer for just one thing – let them help you unpack and organize your kitchen in your new home. If you’ve ever moved before, you know all too well how much time it takes just to un-pack and organize this one highly-valued room! Let the professionals tackle the load of unpacking while you get some work done, go grocery shopping, or better yet – take a nap!

Downsize, Donate or Ditch

Professional Organizers can help you decide what to do with all of your belongings prior to the move. There will be items you want to move and items you’re unsure what to do with. An organizer will help you decide whether or not to donate items and will even have suggestions on where to donate your items. They can advise you to throw out items with no value and they’ll help you decide which items to take and help you sort, pack and label by room to make for an easy transition when unpacking.

Moving is considered one of the five most stressful events in life. We at ClutterBGone’s don’t want you to go it alone. Our Professional Organizing team specializes in making all aspects of your move as stress-free as possible. Call us today for a free consultation.

Understanding Why We Accumulate Clutter

understanding clutter

We are a society that constantly buys items. We need new clothes to keep up with the latest fashions. We love to have the latest in electronics. Our kitchens are full of gadgets that make our lives easier. With our living spaces becoming smaller it’s almost essential to stay organized. Organizing itself can be quite easy. We accumulate, we pare down and sort through and get rid of some of our items but without understanding why we accumulate the clutter you’re doomed to repeat the process.

What is truly important?

Of all your possessions there are only a few that are truly important to you. understanding clutterWe hold onto many items out of sentimentality. Maybe it belonged to a loved one. Perhaps you still hold on to those old high school awards. When was the last time you even looked at them? Will your loved ones want them when you are gone? Choose just a couple of these items and purge the rest. ClutterBGone knows how to make sure those memories are with you without the clutter.

Material items define your success

Keeping up with the Jones’ is a real thing. We clamor for the latest and greatest in all things. Just look at the line ups when a new phone is launched. How about those Boxing Day line ups all to get a great deal? What are these people doing with the things they already have? Obviously, success shouldn’t be measured on what you own but rather what you accomplish, how you achieve your goals and how happy your home life is.

It was too good to pass up

We always run into a bargain or a sale that we believe is just too good to pass up. understanding clutterWow! Eighty percent off something that I may need at some point? Who could pass that up? You should. Even eight percent off is still too much to pay for something you just don’t need. Besides, there will always be a sale at some point. If you truly want to live clutter free, then purchase only what you need and when you need it. Keep in mind that everything you buy requires some maintenance whether it is cleaning, dusting or moving it around and it takes up valuable space too.

Letting go is overwhelming

We see this with a lot of our clients. Just the thought of letting go of something can bring on the sweats and anxiety. They don’t know where to start so just keep putting it off. A professional organizer understands this and works with their clients to reduce the anxiety and work with them at their own pace. You don’t have to do this alone.

ClutterBGone understands the reasons why people accumulate clutter and how hard it can be to declutter and get organized. We understand the psychology behind clutter and work with you, side by side, to get you to an organized and clutter free home. Contact us here to start the process.

How to Downsize When You Retire

downsize when you retire

More and more people are retiring or preparing for retirement as the population ages. As we start out in life, we purchase a small starter home and increase in size as our family grows. Most of us stay in this larger family home after the kids are gone to hold the family gatherings. Or maybe even to keep the space available for the returning kids.

It’s difficult to let go of the home that you have lived in for many years. There are many memories there too but at some time we need to downsize into a more manageable space. If you’re about to retire and are thinking about downsizing your home here are some tips to help you.

Define the reasons for downsizing

There are a variety of reasons why people want to downsize when they retire. You can free up cash or reduce mortgage payments allowing you to do the things you want to do in your retirement years. Maybe the stairs at home have become a bit of a challenge and you need to move into a bungalow or maybe you just want to move closer to the kids and the grandkids.

Let go of the clutter

downsize when you retireAfter living in your home all those years, you’ve surely accumulated a lot of items. There’s furniture and decorations to consider. Will all these fit into your new space? The sentimental items are the hardest to go through and decide what to keep. Emotions can sometimes take over and stop you from making the tough decisions. That is where a professional organizer like ClutterBGone can help. We are non-judgemental and don’t have the emotional attachment that you do.

How much space do you need?

When downsizing be realistic about the space you need. Do you need the four bedrooms, 3-bathroom home that you currently have? Do you need the two-car garage? Will you be hosting the family dinners that you use to? Will you be having company over as often? In most cases we have seen clients reduce the footprint of their kitchen and dining rooms drastically.

What will you do with the items not coming with you?

downsize when you retireNow that you’ve made the decisions on what comes with you and what doesn’t, what will you do with the items you no longer require? It’s an easy decision for the items that you’ve been storing for the kids. Call them up and have them pick it up. For the rest, determine what will be sold, what will be donated and what will be thrown out. Again, this is something that’s a lot easier with a professional.

So, if you’ve made the decision to downsize when you retire, follow these tips to make the transition go smoother. And, if you need the assistance of a professional, ClutterBGone has helped many others in the same situation that you are about to find yourself in. Contact us here to find out more.

The Negative Side Of Clutter

Clutter is negative

I doubt that anyone has ever thought of clutter in a positive way. Even the real hoarders would admit there is nothing positive about clutter. Clutter affects our lives in a host of negative ways. Let’s look at the negative side of clutter that has a negative impact on our lives.

Clutter Frustrates

Your looking for something that you need now. It’s important and needs to be found. Having to sift through clutter is time consuming and annoying. It raises your frustration levels and anxiety, neither of which are good for your health.

You’ve started a project outside and its starting to get late. You need something you know is in the garage. With all the items that you’ve put in the garage you have a tough time finding it. Dinner is ready, the kids need to be fed and you still haven’t found what you need. Again, frustration sets in ruining the rest of your evening.

Clutter is distracting

Clutter keeps you off your A game. It distracts you.clutter is negative Clutter and disorganization at work reduces your productivity. You spend more time looking for things and less time actually working on that project with an impending deadline. How many of you have started working on one thing only to get distracted once you start sifting through clutter that is around you? Not very productive is it?

Clutter is disruptive

Few things impede forward progress like clutter. It kills momentum in its tracks. In the distraction of looking for what you need, you get side tracked into tending to another issue or losing interest in the one you needed to complete.  Often times, that momentum is hard to get moving again in the right direction.

This happens everywhere. At the office. In your bedroom closet. Your desk. The kitchen. Every time you have to sift through the clutter to find what you’re looking for, you lose momentum. This often leads to another unfinished project left hanging over your head.

Clutter costs you money

Over 20% of North Americans can’t locate their bills and end up paying late fees because of it. Over $1 billion is not redeemed annually because of gift cards that can’t be located.clutter is negative Talk about a waste of money. Your time is worth something too. The average person wastes almost an hour a day looking for items that they have. What else could you do with that time? Are you one of the millions that rents an outside storage locker for items that can’t be stored at home? Being disorganized can hit you right in the pocketbook.

So, you see, there is a lot of negativity surrounding clutter. ClutterBGone has seen firsthand the effects of clutter and has helped many clients eliminate their clutter and create a system to stay clutter free. Give us a call at 905-642-5669 or contact us here to discuss how we can reduce the clutter in your life.

 

A Little Bit About ClutterBGone

ClutterBGone

We’ve written about Professional Organizers and what they do in past. I thought I would let you know a little bit more about ClutterBGone in particular and what we are all about.

Background

ClutterBGone has been in business for the past seven years so we have a lot of experience in helping clients downsize, get organized and get some calm back in their lives. We service the entire Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and have several teams so we can work on several projects at the same time. All team members are fully trained and are fully insured.

How does the whole process start?

Once you recognize the need for assistance and reach out to us we come to you for a one on one to see the space that you require help with. We look at what you want to accomplish, in what timeframe, how you use the space and whether or not you will need any organizing products. We’ll let you know right then and there how much the project will cost you. ClutterBGoneWithout this initial consult we can’t possibly give you an estimate.

How long will the project take?

That depends. We have organized complete homes as well as smaller projects like a hall closet. But, we will let you know after the initial consultation how long we think it will take. We’ve been doing this long enough that our estimates after our first meeting are usually spot on. We will schedule sessions according to your timetable and how involved you want to be. We are able to work whenever you need us to.

Will you make me throw things out?

No. You are the boss. ClutterBGoneYou make all the decisions on what stays, what goes, what gets donated and what gets sold. We will encourage you and challenge you on certain things but you ultimately make the decision. Our goal is to teach you as we go along about the value of things compared to the space you have and when I say value I’m not just talking about the financial value. At ClutterBGone we recognize that sentimental value plays an important part too.

Will all this be confidential?

Of course. ClutterBGone has built our business and reputation on trust. We will never give or sell any of your information to anybody at anytime. You will never receive any advertising or information from us without first consenting. We also adhere to the code of ethics of the Professional Organizers of Canada.

If you are at the stage where you recognize the need for a little professional help just contact us here. ClutterBGone is ready to help you with your organizing needs as we have done with many other clients in the GTA.

Don’t Leave Your Clutter For Others

leaving clutter to family

We don’t take our possessions with us when we pass. So, what do we do with all of our cherished items? Leave them to somebody else? ClutterBGone has worked with so many clients that have had to go through an entire house full of goods after the passing of a loved one, most of which nobody wanted.

Don’t leave the decisions to others

Most of our kids don’t have the same taste in home décor or furnishings and certainly not in clothes. Today’s Boomers want a more minimalistic lifestyle and don’t have the room for a lot of new items anyway. Leaving a house stuffed with items nobody will want is a burden on your loved ones. It will create stress on them to go through everything in a short amount of time while they are also grieving. Keep this in mind when preparing for your move or preparing your will.

Saying goodbye to items can be easy

Now that you’re no longer in the work force, someone else can use your work clothes. leaving clutter to familyThat suit or dress you no longer wear could help someone else look sharp in an interview. Are you going to use that silver server set you received as a gift a decade ago and still haven’t used it? The kids certainly don’t want it. Donate it to a cause where you’ll know it will bring joy to someone else. If you are up against a tough decision just ask yourself “Does it bring me joy”? If not, why keep it?

Money talks

You’ve heard that phrase “cash is king”? It’s true! Rather than leaving an item to someone that won’t use it or isn’t going to appreciate it, why not sell it and leave the money? Better yet, why not use the money for a little something you’ve always wanted?

Talk to your family about what they want

If you aren’t sure about who wants what, have a discussion with your family and find out. leaving clutter to familyThis can be a little sensitive to some but it will ensure that a special memory will be left to the right people. In previous jobs we have even had the names of family members put on the back or bottom of an item so there is no confusion at all. Let them know that leftover items will be sold, donated or tossed.

We all love our possessions but they don’t hold the same value to someone else. If you have recently retired or will be moving to a smaller space soon, now is a great time to make some decisions about what you will keep and what you won’t. ClutterBGone has assisted a lot of families in this exact same situation. We can also help you. Just contact us here.

Decluttering Checklist For The “Big Move”

moving seniors

Guest blogger : Alejandra Roca

Adjusting to life in a senior living community can be tough. The move represents a fresh start with new friends and fun, but also the loss of a home, belongings, and freedom. You can help your loved one transition smoothly by planning in advance, staying organized, and honoring their feelings throughout the process.

Start planning early!

Create a calendar and set dates for moving-related activities. moving seniorsYou’ll need plenty of time to pack as there is likely to be quite a collection of items accumulated over the years. Items not moving with you can be set aside for donation or hold a garage or estate sale.

Limit your time

Seniors typically tire a bit earlier so limit the packing to just a few hours a day. This will probably turn into a bit of a trip down memory lane. If your loved one wants to stop and reminisce, join in – it won’t hurt anything.

Documents

This is a good time to go through all the important papers in the home. Make sure documents like passports and licenses are up to date. Wills and power of attorneys can be reviewed to ensure they still meet the wishes of your loved one. If one has not already been created, now is a good time to open a file or binder for easy access to records and other documents. Keep these documents in a central location, like a safe deposit box, and let other family members know where they are so nobody feels left out of the process. Now is also a good time to update the address of everything that requires updating.

Decide on the what comes

Your loved one can and should bring keepsakes to their new home, but they probably won’t have the square footage to accommodate everything they collected over the years. downsizing seniorsYour local donation centers can use a lot of what is not required in order to help others. Valuable items can be sold or gifted to other family members. Remember that, first and foremost, it’s your loved one’s decision whether or not to part with items. If you’re too close to the situation and your help becomes frustrating for them, consider hiring an impartial third party – like a professional organizer – who’s used to helping people let go.

Be kind, patient, and understanding with your loved one. Support them during the move, follow up after, and check in regularly as your senior settles in to their new home. Remember that you, too, will one day be in a similar situation!

ClutterBGone has assisted many families with moving a loved one to asssited living facilities and we can help you too. Just contact us here.

Alejandra Roca is part of the content marketing team at Redfin and enjoys writing about home decor and real estate trends.

Originally published on: https://www.redfin.com/blog/senior-guide-for-decluttering