Case Study: Decluttering & Downsizing an Estate After the Passing of a Loved One – Part II

Estate downsizing GTA

Last week we told you about a recent downsizing project we had completed for a client whose parents had passed away. They had been living in their GTA home for over 50 years. Their home was chock full of items to be disposed of in one manner or another in order for the home to be listed for sale and ultimately sold.

We had completed the initial consult, were surprised with the actual scope of work to be done and met with a rather unpleasant surprise, a mouse infestation. Enough of the teasing, let’s get to the results.

The results

As we were pulling items from the crawl space, much of what we retrieved was so severely infested with mice feces and urine that it had to be tossed in the waste bin we had dropped. We actually filled four entire 20-yard bins with items that could not be salvaged for either donation or sale. The crawl space alone took our team 2 full days to empty and sort – tough work as the crawl space was only 3 feet in height. All work down there was performed on a mechanic’s creeper on wheels so we could easily maneuver.

During the process we were thrilled to discover a large number of vintage items that would reward our client with good prices during auction. There was also a significant number of tools, electric and otherwise that would be auctioned off as well, including a generator, numerous drills and other cool items.

Remember the garage I mentioned earlier? Estate organizing GTAWhen we began sorting through everything we found not only a wooden desk buried beneath debris, but also a kayak, motorcycle, boat motor other sporting goods as well as a variety of construction items, all easily auction able.

When we reached out to an on-line auction house we had worked with in the past, they were pleasantly surprised to see the large variety of items, including all the housewares, dish wares and furniture items, plus a piano and vintage accordion!

Once we carved out all the items for sale, donation, trash, toxic waste and keep, we ended up with over 147 lots of items for auction! We then coordinated with a team the auction house provided to come in and professional photograph and catalogue all the lots, coordinating the timing of the auction with the deadline for listing the home for sale.

I don’t know if you have ever followed an online auction but boy, does the action ever heat up on the last day and in the last few hours. Estate organizing GTACoins, clothing, furniture and everything you can think of was sold during the auction. Have you heard the expression “one mans junk is another mans treasure”? Well it’s so true. I myself was so surprised at what some of the items brought in at the end of the auction. All the items in the auction came in at just under $10,000! And to think the real estate agent and client initially thought they would just toss everything into the waste bins! Thank goodness, we were able to advise them otherwise.

In summary

ClutterBGone loves to give back and with our generous clients we’re able to do that on a regular basis. Many items from this project went to a few different charities including one for new immigrants. Our team was in the home for seven days and managed to get through everything and get the house in order and staged for sale. The house sold within 30 days of the job completion and sold for over market value. It would have been for a lot less in its original state.

And the auction? Our client made enough to pay for our services and then some so he was extremely happy and that’s what it’s all about to us – a happy client.

We’re so thrilled with the results of this project and with the effort put in by our team. Our service partners were also a big help on this one.

Big or small we love them all. Downsizing and organizing is what we do. Contact us here to see how we can rescue you from your organizational challenge!

Case Study: Decluttering & Downsizing an Estate After the Passing of a Loved One

Estate organizing GTA

We recently completed a project that we’re eager to share with you. A client whose parents had passed away contacted us through their real estate agent. They needed help in organizing their parents’ home (deceased for 3 years) for sale. The home had been left empty for 3 years and nothing had been done inside the home to clear out any possessions whatsoever, including food. The parents had lived in the same GTA home for over 50 years.

Our client was not at all interested, nor did he have the time or means, to clear out the home to prepare it and make it presentable for sale. Since it had been abandoned for such a long time and with food sources in the home, mice had decided it was a great place for them to set up shop. The home was a good size, over 2,000 square feet with a crawl space that was jammed full of boxes and contents. Time to call in the big guns.

The initial consult

I met with the real estate agent and our client at the home for our initial consultation and needs assessment. Initially, when speaking to the agent over the phone he advised there wasn’t much in the home and that he felt everything there would be thrown out. downsizing in torontoI was skeptical but kept an open mind.

The consult is the most important part of our process. It allows us to see the full scope of the project, assess the client’s needs and behavioral characteristics and allows us to accurately judge the number of hours a job will take and see how many team members will be required. We were on site for one and a half hours.

Not quite as it seemed

During the consult we learned, and saw first hand, that the home had not been lived in for many years. The parents were quite elderly and had not done much, if anything, in the way of downsizing or reducing clutter due to their physical limitations.

We determined that we were dealing with a full home plus garage and all rooms were full of furnishings, memorabilia, and appliances, even food in the kitchen. The contents were just as if a family were living in the home. The basement crawlspace was jammed. Did I mention the garage? Oh, boy! A lot of work would be required to get the house ready for sale but we were up to the challenge

The plan

Our client originally thought and even advised us during the consult, that almost everything was trash. Estate organizing GTAAs we assessed the home we quickly determined there was a great deal of value in the contents that the client could monetize with the right platform for selling. We felt at least $5,000 could be recouped if not more. As such we began pulling and sorting items into categories or lots that could then be auctioned off.

The plan was to go in and make a quick determination on whether an item was to be kept by our client, trashed, donated or sold. The real estate agents were interested in getting the home listed quickly to take advantage of the GTA market (and to get their commission) but we at ClutterBGone saw an opportunity to make the client some money back on his decluttering investment. We hate to see items just go into landfills, especially when there are people in need of items and where our clients can monetize items.

An unpleasant surprise

We saw signs of mice (droppings and nests in various places) that had been living in the house for some time. Initially, it did not appear that it was a huge infestation however as we uncovered and moved belongings it was evident that we needed protective masks and gloves and needed to call in the professionals to decontaminate the furniture and flooring. Mice droppings can be very dangerous to breathe in so it’s important to take precautions.

We frequently work with a contamination expert who came in quickly for us and made it safe for us to work and safe for others coming into the home. The decontamination process took over 2 days! We even saw mice droppings inside the freezer!

The process

We delegated a team of 3 ClutterBGone professionals into action. Estate organizing GTAEvery item was touched and sorted. Obvious trash went right into the 20-yard waste bin we had dropped. Some items the client had advised us to put aside for him and other large furniture items would be kept in the home for staging purposes.

Some items were slated for donation and the majority of items were slated for the on-line auction that we were coordinating on behalf of our client.

The results

I myself was amazed at the results and I’m eager to share them with you but you’re going to have to wait until next week to find out ……….

We love working on estate projects and if you’re in need of help with one we’re just one click or phone call away. Let us rescue you!

Stay tuned!

Important Questions You Should Ask a Professional Organizer

questions to ask an organizer

If you are looking to hire a Professional Organizer in Toronto, there are critical questions you should be asking. Just as in real estate, there are professional organizers that are in this industry full time and then, as in most industries there are some people who claim to be professional organizers that work on a part time basis without much if any training or experience, looking to make a quick buck.

At ClutterBGone we believe informed and knowledgeable clients are the best clients, so here are the top questions you should ask a Professional Organizer before you hire one.

  1. Are you an active member of the POC?

    Here in Canada there is an association for professional organizers called the POC – Professional Organizers of Canada. Members are bound by their code of ethics to ensure that you receive trusted, confidential and committed service. We at ClutterBGone are fully trained in organizing, decluttering and downsizing services.

  2. What is your area of expertise?

    Some Professional Organizers specialize in residential organizing, some strictly working with businesses and some specialize in clients with ADHD. Select the one that most closely matches your requirements and that you feel a connection with.

  3. Do you have paid up professional liability insurance?

    Much like movers, Professional Organizers should carry their own liability insurance to cover accidents or damage to your property however caused. Of course, we’re all careful in our work but you never know when an accident can happen and if it does you want to ensure that you are covered. After all, it’s your home we’re coming in to.

  4. What are your fees?

    Price should never be the decision-making factor in your choice of a Professional Organizer. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” rings very true in this industry. An hourly rate may be less than another however the lower charging organizer may work a lot slower and have less experience ending up costing you more in the long run. questions to ask an organizer

    An hourly or a job rate can vary but the least expensive quote may not be the best. Also make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are being charged and for what services. How many people are working on the project? How many hours are estimated to complete the project? What is your protection if the estimate far exceeds the projected time or cost? An experienced Professional Organizer can be fairly accurate in their estimate and very transparent when it comes to all costs associated with your project and will keep you updated on any changes.

  5. How long have you been doing this?

    Like any other business it’s difficult to get started and to get experience under your belt but if you have a big job that affects the running of your home don’t you want to ensure that whoever does it is experienced and that the job is done right the first time? Ask how many client projects a Professional Organizer has completed in the last 3 years? At ClutterBGone we have over 300 projects completed with over 300 super excited and happy clients!

  6. Who is responsible for supplies?

    Some professional organizers have access to all the latest storage items and others will expect you to purchase and get what you need. This may not be the most practical for you as your life is busy and you may not have the time to shop around for items. questions to ask an organizer

    At ClutterBGone we have a large inventory of organizing products so most of the time there is no need for you to worry about shopping for items unless you truly enjoy that. We bring what we may need and pass on any industry discounts to you on many of the products we use. Because we keep a good inventory on hand we rarely need to charge our clients for shopping or sourcing fees where other organizers may need to.

  7. How many people will be coming into my home?

    Know before hand who is coming into your home and ensure that the cost of these people is in your quote. We employ only trained professionals and send you a photo of all who will be entering your home for your peace of mind.

  8. Do you take photos or videos?

    Privacy is very important to us and only after you sign a release will we take any pictures or videos.

  9. What will I do during this process?

    As much or as little as you wish. At ClutterBGone we encourage our clients to work with us but some clients just want to be there for direction and decision making and that’s absolutely fine with us. We will involve you as much or as little as you wish.

  10. Do you have references?

You would be amazed at the number of people that are embarrassed to ask for references. questions to ask an organizerDue to the confidential nature of our business we can’t always provide you with client’s names and contact information. However, we can direct you to HomeStars.ca as well as other client centered review sites where you can read first hand our client’s experiences with us.

So those are the must ask questions when you are looking for a Professional Organizer to help with your project. Ensure whomever you hire is fully trained and qualified, insured and experienced and have references to back it up. ClutterBGone has been assisting clients in the GTA for many years now and we would love to assist you. Call now or contact us here to learn more about how we can change your life!

 

Living With A Professional Organizer – Things I Learned

Professional organizer GTA

I have always thought I was a fairly neat person and although I will admit that I’m not the most organized person, I didn’t think I was unorganized. However, my wife is a Professional Organizer in Toronto and living with her, I’ve found out just how organized I really am! In the beginning, I was a tad annoyed with how organized things have to be but eventually I became appreciative of those things that may have bothered me in the past. Let me give you a few examples:

Clothes

For a guy how easy is it to maintain your wardrobe? You buy something new, pick up dry cleaning or put away your laundry by hanging it up or putting it in the drawers, right? Professional organizer GTANot so. I have learned that you hang your clothes according to colour and have all your shirts hanging the same way. Not only does this give you a neat appearance but it makes selecting your clothes a whole lot easier. I couldn’t believe how easy it was deciding what to wear with a system like this. There are a lot more tricks pertaining to clothes that can be taught as well.

One in, one out rule

This rule just seemed silly to me. Why would you want to get rid of something just because something new came in? Well, it turns out this may just be the best advice an organizer can give you. Rather than having closets and drawers that are crammed to the point where nothing else will fit in or a dresser drawer that is overflowing, if you follow this rule you will always have a neat and organized space with easy to find items. And really, when you have something new you don’t really want to use the older items anyway.

Kitchen

Just last week I put a frying pan away in the wrong spot and was “politely” reminded of where it goes. I use this as an example of why every thing needs a home. Professional organizer GTAI can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted in the past looking for things that were in the wrong place. A lot less time spent looking for things and a lot less frustration is the result of putting things back where they belong. Professional Organizers are great at creating space and systems to make your kitchen work more efficiently.

Giving back

This is by far the most important lesson learned from living with a Professional Organizer. Rather than tossing out things that I no longer require I take the time to look at it and decide if it is in good enough shape to donate. There are so many organizations that can use and even depend on donations to help the less fortunate. Everything from clothing to toys to small appliances and even items of value that can be sold at charity stores or auctions can be used to help someone else. Giving back is a large part of what Professional Organizers do.

So yes, being married to a Professional Organizer can have its challenges but it really does make life more organized, less stressful and more giving. If you are looking for downsizing or organizing services in the GTA contact ClutterBGone to learn how they can help you.

Are You Paralyzed By Clutter?

paralyzed by clutter

You have a desire to declutter and organize your home but life just seems to get in the way of this. Decluttering and organizing can be a very time-consuming experience leaving you feeling drained and overwhelmed. That’s where we come in!

Let’s look at the top reasons you may feel paralyzed by your clutter.

Lack of time

This is the biggest reason we hear for being hired to help our clients. You lead a busy life with work and family taking up every available minute. You hire gardeners, cleaners and even life coaches. Why not hire a professional organizer?

Attachment to an item

Even I have a few items that I’m emotionally attached to. clutter GTAItems that I know I will never use but they bring me comfort just knowing they are there. There is nothing wrong with owning a couple of items like these but too many of these items start to make your home look cluttered.

Let ClutterBGone show you how to showcase or store these items or let us help you decide how to part with them.

Guilt

Guilt can cause an emotional attachment. You may have spent a lot of money on something or you received an item as a gift and you feel guilty about getting rid of it. There are lots of ways that you can pass these items on without feeling guilty. Let us show you how.

You might need it some day

Some day just never comes. paralyzed by clutterYou hold onto items thinking you’ll use it or need it at some point but deep down you know you won’t. Let’s reclaim the space you need now by downsizing the items you know you just won’t use. Keep only those items that are relevant to your life right now. Especially if space is an issue.

You’ll miss the items

Will you, really? Think about the last time you used it. Was it over a year ago? Does the item fit still? Is the item useful? Does it bring you joy? If not, imagine the space it takes up that you could use for something more important, or the joy it could bring to someone else or even what you could do with the money it could bring to you.

Don’t let clutter paralyze you. Let ClutterBGone help with your organizing and downsizing needs. Contact us here for more information and to reduce your anxiety.

National Moving Month – Prepare to Pack For Your Move

Moving and organizing GTA

May is national moving month. At ClutterBGone we’ve taken on a lot of projects involving pack and moves over the years. They start out as organizing and downsizing projects to get our clients ready to move. Then during the initial sessions our clients see the value and investment in hiring us to assist with not only the downsizing but with organizing the packing aspect, the move itself, the unpacking, settling in and then setting up and organizing at the new home to make it efficient and functional from day 1.

With moving season upon us, here is a list of things to prepare for and when.

Three months out

Have the mover or the rental truck booked. Most important is to get references or a referral to someone you can trust. You may have all read about contents being held for ransom for more money by some of the fly by night movers out there. Be careful and hire someone reputable.
If you can move more towards the middle of the month there is also a greater chance of getting the mover you want. When you are hiring a moving company get references and ensure everything is in writing.

Two months out

Begin the job of sorting and paring down. This is where we come in. Packing for move in GTAYou’re going to be busy enough closer to move day than to be worrying about this task and why pay to have things moved that you’re ultimately not going to need or use in your new home? We can help with those tough decisions and with getting rid of the clutter that doesn’t need to follow you to your new home.

One month out

Now is the time to ensure you have the correct supplies. Boxes, mats, ropes, ties and similar supplies are going to be needed for the move. We have contacts for all these supplies so you can feel confident that this is taken care of.

3 weeks out

Before your move make sure all your change of address notifications is completed and start packing everything you know you will not need until after your move. We specialize in getting you packed in an orderly and organized fashion so your unpacking goes much smoother. We label all boxes so the movers know exactly where they go in the new home.

Three weeks out is also a good time to start to use up the food you have in the fridge and freezer as well.

Moving day

Pack a suitcase with incidentals in case you need anything during the day. Packing and moving GTAIf at all possible have someone look after the kids for the day, as you don’t want the little ones under your feet during this hectic time.

If at all possible have your own lock put on the truck once everything has been loaded so only you can open it at the other end. Finally, don’t stress it. Be thankful you don’t move very often.

If you’re moving during this time, best of luck. If you’d love to be packed up, moved in and all settled in your new home in a matter of a few days, give us a call and learn how we can make that happen, stress free, so you can enjoy your new home from Day 1!

How To Organize And Pack Your Entire House In A Weekend

packing and moving

If moving day has crept up on you and there’s not much time left for packing, there’s no need to panic. You can still get everything together before the moving van arrives in a couple of days time. At this stage your goal should be efficiency and speed and this can be achieved by checking out the following moving tips.

1. Designate a packing area

Select a specific area to do all of your packing and keep all of your supplies there such as boxes, packing tape, marker, bubble wrap, string, scissors, and boxes etc. This way you’ll have everything you’ll need in one location and won’t have to waste time looking for things.

2. Label boxes

It’s a good idea to label every box you pack so you don’t have to go hunting for things once you arrive at your new home. In fact, label or mark them on a couple of opposite sides and don’t forget to mark the breakable items as ‘Fragile.’

Don’t forget to indicate which room the box should be placed by your movers.  This will save you lots of time on the other end!

packing and moving

You may want to also pack the daily necessities in one box so you can get at them as soon as you need them. This would typically be things such as a change of clothes, towels, sheets and toiletries etc., toilet paper, some basic cleaning supplies, pet food for a couple of days, baby food for a couple of days, prescriptions and any other necessities  needed for the first couple of days in your new home.  Basically it would be the items you pack in a suitcase for an overnight trip.

3. Light vs heavy

It’s actually a better idea to put heavier items in a small box and lighter things in larger boxes. If several heavy items are packed in bigger boxes they usually become too heavy to carry or the box could break. You can pack a lot of lighter items in a large box though and this will save space and make it easier to carry.

4. Fill all containers

Since your dresser drawers are already filled with clothes, leave them there. There’s no point taking the clothes out and packing them in another container as it wastes space. Any items that can be used as a container should be, such as an empty chest or suitcase. If it’s going to take up room in the truck anyway so you may as well fill it up instead of leaving it empty. This includes using garbage bags for soft, unbreakable items such as clothes. A bag full of clothes can easily be squashed into a tight area of the truck without causing any damage. You can even use appliances as containers as long as they don’t become too heavy to comfortably move.

Packing isn’t always easy and if you’d like to learn more about how we can assist with your packing email me.

5. Pad your valuables

You can save space by using beach towels and/or blankets to pad valuable or breakable items such as lamps and artwork. The blankets can be wrapped around these items for added protection. And when it comes to lampshades, it’s a good idea to pack them inside each other according to size and keep them together in one box.

6. Use a dolly

A lot of time can be saved by using a dolly to move heavier items and appliances. If you don’t have a dolly it’s well worth the money to rent one for the day due to the time it will save. This is an ideal way to quickly move things such as fridges, stoves, washing machines, dryers and stacks of boxes etc.

7. Don’t pack useless items

If you happen to come across broken, unused and unwanted items while packing there’s no point taking them with you. The same goes for clothes that no longer fit. You can simply place all of these items in one large container. Give it to charity or toss it out if nothing is usable.

8. Teamwork

You can pack a lot quicker if you have helpers. Nobody likes to help move, but don’t be afraid to ask friends and relatives to lend a hand and then turn it into a social event.

packing and moving

Of course, don’t open the beer and order the pizza until everything is done. But the refreshments can be an incentive to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

9. One at a time

It’s tempting to pack as much as possible as quickly as you can, but instead of trying to clear out three rooms at once, just pack the items from one room at a time. Also, keep things that have multiple parts all together with bags or tape.

10. Don’t panic

Pack things at a steady and consistent pace and don’t panic if you can’t find something. Since you’re going to be moving and clearing out your home you’ll come across everything sooner or later. There’s no need to waste time by hunting for a specific item as it will be found sooner or later.

With some pre-planning and organization even a clutter filled house can be packed away in a single weekend!  Need help from a professional organizer?  If you live in Toronto or the surrounding GTA, contact me here for a consultation. We have helped a lot of clients get ready for their moving day and we’ll ease the stress and anxiety of moving day!

 

Did You Resolve To Get Organized This Year?

How is your New Years resolution to get organized this year going?

Like most resolutions, we make, probably not well. Getting organized is one of the most popular resolutions that people make each year. I am not one for setting new years’ resolutions. In fact, my resolution this year was to not make any resolutions!

I believe we set ourselves up for failure when we put expectations upon ourselves when we’re not ready. It’s like quitting smoking or going to the gym. You’re just not going to be successful unless you are mentally prepared. It’s no wonder that less than 10% of those that make new years resolutions keep them.

Until that time comes here are a few things you can do to start the year off right.

One in, one out rule.

This is the perfect time to implement this rule with all the new items you purchased or received over the holidays. Did you receive a new item of clothing that you kept? Great! Did you donate, give away or toss a piece of clothing to make room for it? Follow the simple one in and one out rule to reduce the clutter that accumulates and keep clutter at bay.

Do you really love it?

Over the last few years this has become a mantra of mine. Unless I really love something I won’t buy it. This doesn’t just apply to clothing but to all of my household purchases. Why purchase something that you really don’t just love?

Go paperless.

Paper can be the biggest cause of clutter in a home and we work with a lot of clients reducing their paper clutter and setting up a system to maintain a streamlined and clutter free system.

Most of your bills can be automatically paid through your bank now with receipts and even advance reminders coming to your inbox. And you don’t have to worry about losing a bill or being charged for a late fee.

Be charitable this year.

Charities are always looking for donations to assist those that are less fortunate and can use what you no longer require. Locate your favourite charity in town and feel good about helping others.

Hire a professional!

Just like hiring a gardener or a handyman, a professional organizer is trained in all facets of organizing and downsizing and follows the rules and a code of ethics set out by our association. We have the skills and the contacts to help you downsize, organize, move and much more.

When you’re ready, you’ll know it. Until that time comes, try one or two of these tips to start the process. As always, we are here to help. Just contact us here.

5 Tips For Your Upcoming Move

Two generation family looking at a house for sale

I have noticed a lot of “For Sale” signs going up in my neighborhood and the “Sold” signs are going up just as quickly. Regardless of how the economy is doing the real estate market is remaining hot. Spring is the busiest time for the real estate market as families try to coordinate their move with the school years. At ClutterBGone, we have taken on a lot of projects involving a move over the years. They start out as an organizing and downsizing project to get clients ready to move house.

Then during the initial sessions the clients see the value and investment in hiring us to assist with not only the downsizing but with organizing the packing, the move, the unpacking, settling in and then setting up and organizing at the new home to make it efficient and functional from day 1.

So with moving season upon us I decided to let you know how best to organize for your move.

1) Three months before your move have the mover or the rental truck booked. Most important is to get references or a referral to someone you can trust. Summer is a busy time for moving as parents want to get their kids settled into a new school for the beginning of the school year.

moving-truck

Can you move early in the month or in the middle? There will be more availability as most moves are done near month end. If you are hiring a company get references and ensure everything is in writing.

2) At least 60 days before your move begin the job of sorting and paring down. You are going to be busy enough closer to move day than to be worrying about this task and why pay to have things moved that you are not going to need or use in your new home? You will also have a feeling of calm once you’ve moved into your new home without having that pile of stuff that you don’t know what you are going to do with.

3) 30 days out is the time to ensure you have the correct supplies. Boxes can be ordered from your mover or purchased from a local moving supply company or even a hardware store. Three sizes should be sufficient. If you have hired a moving company you may want to inquire about wardrobe boxes and the cost for each. They are very handy for moving your clothes.

moving-boxes

You will also need a tape gun or two, good quality shipping tape, box cutters, lots of packing paper, bubble wrap and a few markers and labels.

4) 3 weeks before your move make sure all of your change of address notifications are completed and start packing everything you know you will not need until after the move. As you get closer to the date you can pack more. Once the boxes are sealed mark the room to which they are to be delivered once you arrive at the new home so you are not slowed down. Use up the food you have in the fridge and freezer during this time as well.

5) Moving day. Pack a suitcase with incidentals in case you need anything during the day. If at all possible have someone look after the kids for the day as you don’t want the little ones under your feet during this hectic time. If at all possible have your own lock put on the truck once everything has been loaded so only you can open it at the other end. And finally, don’t stress it. Be thankful you don’t move very often.

If you are moving this year best of luck. And if you would love to be packed up, moved in and settled in all in a matter of a few days, give me a call and learn how we can make that happen, stress-free, so you can enjoy your new home from Day 1!

Want To Get Out From Under Your Clutter Once & For All? Follow These 7 Tips

contemporary / very well decorated / show home living room

How do you do it? What is the secret? Why does clutter continually accumulate in my home? These are all questions I get asked continually when I meet with prospective clients. The answer is quite simple and when I work with clients we work out a system that enables them to keep clutter at bay. But there are tips or rules, that you need to follow.

Know why you want to de-clutter

Really think about this. We all know the benefits of de-cluttering whether it’s for safety reasons, embarrassment when having guests over, peace of mind, etc. Whatever the reason, know what your motivation is and think about that each time you begin the process. It will give you the drive to continue.

Do you really love it?

We all purchase on impulse and sometimes regret the purchase afterwards or worse, don’t even use the item we purchased. When I shop, other than for food, I look at the item and determine if I really love it or really need it. If the answer is no, then I don’t buy it. Regardless of whether the item is on sale or not this rule has rarely failed me.

Create a sorting system

Create a system that can be used each time you organize. As you organize you will want to place items in one of three piles – keep, give away (donate, sell) and toss.

sort

Your system can be something as simple as three signs or 3 baskets or large boxes. Whatever system you use, keep it and use it each time.

Keep flat surfaces clear at all times

It’s so easy to lay something down on a table or a counter with all the good intentions in the world to look after it later. Flat surfaces are like a magnet for clutter. Make this a rule in your home and enforce it. Soon everybody in the family will be on side with it.

Involve others

Like so many other issues in our lives there is not much we can do without the help or support of others. Family members all need to be on side in order for you to stay clutter free and educating them on the benefits will help you with this. Friends too can help by either digging in or giving gentle reminders when things need to be “tuned” up.

Continually donate

As fashion changes or clothing items become unusable (hey! We all change sizes now and again) I like to give to a local charity that I know passes these items on to others that can use them.

give

I keep a bag in my bedroom closet and everyone knows that items to be donated goes into this bag and about once a month the contents get delivered to the charity.

Don’t click those ads on line!!

Shopping habits have changed with many of us doing a lot of shopping on line. Whether it is an on line retailer or a social media site, almost all of these sites track your “clicking” habits and tailor ads specifically to you. The less you click the less you will be enticed to purchase something you don’t need. Delete your search history and cookies periodically to help.

Follow these tips and I can guarantee that you will live a clutter free life giving you more time to enjoy the things you love.