Posts

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.

Resolve to Get Organized This Year

resolve to get organized

With the new year fast approaching a lot of you will be making resolutions to make 2019 better than 2018 was. If you are one of those that makes New Years resolutions, then I know a lot of you will be resolving to get organized this year. In order to avoid being in the same cluttered mess at the end of January, here are some tips on how to help you stick with your clutter free resolution.

Know why you want to be organized

Jot down the main reasons for wanting to get organized. resolve to get organizedDo you want to have more time to spend with your family or friends? Do you want to reduce your frustration and anxiety levels when you can’t find things? Will being more organized improve your relationships? Will you save money on past due and interest charges and improve your credit rating? Whatever the reason, write them down and keep the list in a conspicuous place until the task is completed. It will be a constant reminder to you.

Tackle one room at a time

Rather than running around the house picking up clutter, pick the one room that causes you the most grief. Start on that room. Be realistic about how much you can give to the task at one time. With every drawer you organize, with every pile you make disappear or with any space you open up give yourself a pat on the back and realize the step you have taken towards an organized and clutter free pace.

Give, store or sell?

There are so many ways to rid yourself of the items you are not going to keep. Family members may want some of the items as a keepsake. Any items that are in good working order or aren’t worn could be sold in a consignment shop or on line. Many charities would love to receive your gently used items to restock their shelves after the holidays.

Get any help you need

A lot of the clients that ClutterBGone has worked with in the past could not have done it alone and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Enlist the help of friends or family if you feel you just can’t get it done yourself. You can also hire a professional organizing service like ClutterBGone. We can get you organized in no time with our highly skilled team just like we have with hundreds of satisfied clients in the GTA.

So, if you have resolved to get organized in 2019, good for you! Keep these tips in mind. And if you need professional help to get organized just contact us here to get the ball rolling. We love what we do!

How to Spot Signs of Hoarding

signs of hoarding
The definition of hoarding is to amass and hide or stow away. Hoarders have difficulty parting with their possessions regardless of what the value may be. Typically, what sets a hoarder apart from someone who is disorganized or lives in clutter is the type of items they have like newspapers, bags, boxes and even old food. If you, or someone you love, is heading towards being a hoarder here are a few signs to watch for.

The inability to throw anything away

Hoarders aren’t able to throw anything away. They feel an attachment to everything that they have regardless of its state or value. Often, they don’t see that they have a problem. Researchers have found that victims of hoarding have abnormal activity in regions of the brain involved in decision making – particularly in what to do with objects that belong to them. Not only do hoarders collect too many things but they feel unable to throw them out even if they are useless.

Anxiety sets in at the thought of discarding an item

Have you heard the term disposophobia? signs of hoardingIt’s the fear of losing things or fear of getting rid of something. It’s also known as ‘Hoarding disorder’. This disorder causes the sufferer to save everything and brings on anxiety at the thought of having to get rid of any of it. The heart rate elevates, the breathing increases and the sufferer would rather run away than face a decision.

The inability to sort, categorize or organize any possessions

Unlike somebody who is just disorganized or lives with clutter, a hoarder is not able to sort their possessions in any manner. Their possessions need to be close to them and organizing them or storing them in any manner is out of the question.

The loss of living space

Slowly the living space will disappear in a hoarders’ home. Possessions will take over all space that is available leaving nowhere to sit, sleep or entertain. Once this happens hoarders will become more isolated as they become embarrassed about their home and don’t want visitors. Visitors will judge or will want to intervene.

The home is becoming unsanitary

Keeping the home of someone who hoards clean is almost impossible. There are too many items to get to an area that needs cleaning. Dirty dishes pile up, left over food is left out, laundry doesn’t get done, toilets aren’t cleaned, etc. A dirty home can quickly become unsanitary or even unhealthy.

If you recognize the beginnings of any of these signs in, you or a loved one contact ClutterBGone here for a free assessment to see how we can turn things around and get your space organized and clutter free.

When You Should Hire A Professional Organizer

Hire a professional organizer

Does your hall closet look like a four-season disaster? Does your bedroom look nothing like a place you would want to sleep in? Do you spend too much time, and get too frustrated, looking for items? Do you just not have the time to get organized yourself?

It sounds like you may be needing a professional organizer to get your home organized and clutter free. Many of our clients never thought they would be hiring the services of a professional organizer, but our testimonials speak for themselves.

Here are some of the reasons why ClutterBGone has been hired to help many clients in the GTA.

You don’t know where to start:

Organizing and decluttering a whole home can be a daunting task. Professional organizers are trained to hone-in on the areas that give you the most trouble and take it from there. We also learn how you operate in an area and organize it with that in mind. Our team can tackle an entire home in no time.

Paper piles

Not everyone has an act for organizing paper. hire a professional organizerBeing disorganized in your home office can cost you money with late fees applied because of lost bills. After a while your credit score can take a hit and that can cost quite a bit when you are refinancing a home or loan. ClutterBGone has organized small and large offices and we have staff that specialize in paper.

Improve your mental health

It’s no secret that disorganized people live in a state of anxiety. Some even suffer from depression. All that clutter can weigh you down. Once you are organized and clutter free you will feel like a load has been lifted off your shoulders. You will want to use the rooms that have not been used in a quite a while. You will also want to have company over and entertain.

Find things again

Do you have a closet full of clothes but can’t find anything to wear? Does it take you forever to find your gloves or scarf but know they’re there? Disorganized people spend more than a year of their life looking for things and this always happens at the most inopportune times. Wouldn’t you like to have some of this time back and reduce the anxiety it causes?

Maybe you eat out more than you want to because of a cluttered kitchen. Perhaps you’re paying for the storage of items you no longer use or need. Or, maybe you can’t get your car into the garage this winter due to the mounds of items already in there.

Whatever the reason, a professional organizer can get you organized and eliminate your clutter in no time. Contact ClutterBGone here to see how we can help you.

 

How Being Organized Can Change Your Life

organizing can change your life

When we at ClutterBGone complete a project with a client we frequently hear how being organized has changed our clients’ lives. It really is one of the reasons why we love what we do. There are many benefits to being organized. You will feel a peaceful calm at home, your health and finances will be in better shape and it can have a positive impact on your relationships.

Let’s look at some of the benefits in more detail.

Improve your productivity

Both at home, and at work, your productivity will improve. You won’t be wasting as much time looking for things in an organized environment and once you’re organized the system we leave you with will keep you organized. You’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones or even have the time for that cup of coffee in the morning.

Save money

organizing can change your life Many people don’t understand just how much money you can save by being organized. Bills will be paid on time thereby saving late fees. Your credit score will improve as well. You won’t be buying duplicates of items that you can’t find but know you have somewhere. In more than one case we found cheques that were misplaced! Luckily, they weren’t stale dated yet.

Feel that sense of calm

Just being in an organized space is relaxing. Not only is clutter an eyesore but it’s stressful just looking at it. Now, just imagine living in an organized space. No more running around looking for things that you need at the last minute. No more panic attacks when you need something but can’t find it. This sense of calm will also transfer over to other members of the family and who wouldn’t want that?

Being organized is healthy for you


Let’s face it, stress is a killer and being disorganized can cause a lot of stress. organized can change your lifeOnce you are organized you’ll find you have the time to do things you love or always wanted to do. You’ll have the time to hit the gym or meet up with friends or sometime for a quick walk at lunch time. Many of us don’t do these things because we “don’t have the time”. Let us help you find that time.

In a nutshell, being organized brings you a sense of calm that translates to improved health and wellness. So, what are you waiting for? Contact ClutterBGone here to find out how we have changed the lives of many clients and how we can change yours.

Getting And Staying Organized For The Holidays

Image result for christmas images
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and maybe you’re already getting tired of the holiday ads on TV. It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. We all know that the holidays around Christmas are the most stressful of the year. Here are a few ideas to help stay calm and organized during this hectic time.

Holiday Shopping

stay organized during the holidaysThe shopping centers will confirm that a lot of you put off the holiday shopping until the last minute. Set some time aside to get it done earlier.  Calendarize it if you need to and treat it like an appointment – no changes.  Arrange a babysitter if need be or if you’re able to book an afternoon off work, even better.  The shopping malls get crazy with each passing day, as you know.  Last minute shopping is the perfect recipe for stress over the holidays and for purchasing items that tend to lead to clutter.

Gift Wrapping

Gather all of your wrapping supplies and keep them in one place.  Make a list of what you are short of and get out to buy what you need before the selection is minimal in the stores.  A basket or even a box will do to hold the tape, ribbons, bows, etc. that you will need.  I use an old cookie tin for bows to keep them from being flattened.  Gently tie all of your rolls of wrapping paper together.  Prepare a ‘wrapping station’ somewhere in the house and bring all of the gifts to this area for wrapping.  Everyone will know where the station is and you will not have to hunt down the supplies when other people wrap gifts.

Meal time

Christmas to me is all about the meal with family and friends. Sure, the gifts can be nice but there is nothing like the laughs and conversations you have around the dinner table. Make a list now of everything that you will need for dinner.  If you order a fresh bird for dinner, get it ordered soon to ensure the type and size is available. If wine is on your list, you can expect crowds at the stores so get out there early while your favourite is still in stock and avoid the long line-ups.  Don’t forget the extras like the cranberry sauce and rolls.  The Christmas meal is one of my favorites of the year.

Do you have room for the new arrivals?

Now is the time to go through the toys or clothes of your kids and purge what is no longer usable or just doesn’t fit any longer.  You know family is going to spoil the kids with a lot of gifts so make room now and reduce the stress of trying to make everything fit into the same space later.  Have the kids get involved.  It will build their excitement leading up to the big day. Don’t forget about your own closet too.

Gift Giving

I’m sure you have already given plenty of thought to what you are going to purchase for your loved ones.  Many of us anguish and plead for hints or ideas trying to give that special gift.  Many items over the holidays are returned or even worse, not used at all and end up adding the to clutter that people already have.  When in doubt gift cards are always appreciated and with the newer consumer laws most will not have an expiry date.

The holidays are traditionally a very stressful time for most of us but with a little bit of planning we can reduce the stress and stay organized during this time.  If you need assistance in getting ready for Christmas there is still time.  Contact us here to see how we can help.

 

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.

 

How Do My Friends Stay So Organized?

Do you have a friend that seems to be always organized and clutter free? Do you pop in sometimes unexpectedly and their home always looks so neat and tidy? There’s no secret to how they do it but continue reading and I’ll share how you can do it too.

One in, one out

This could be the mantra of ClutterBGone, especially with clothing.Related image Unless you are replacing your entire wardrobe, you need to get rid of one piece of clothing for every new one you bring into your home. This doesn’t only apply to clothing, same goes for all other items entering the home. If you are bringing in an item to replace one that isn’t working, make sure you are putting the old one out as soon as the new one comes in.

Be prepared to donate

I keep a box or bag in my home for items I want to donate, it’s clearly marked “Donate” so all family members know where it can be found. We constantly place items in it that we no longer need or use. Once filled or every couple of weeks or so, we take it in to our local donation center and start again. It helps to keep the house clear of items that are not used by any of us.

Keep the counters clear

Cluttered counters or any horizontal surfaces can make an entire home look cluttered no matter how tidy the rest of the house is. It’s so easy to put something down on a surface with good intentions to get back to it later but never do. Keep all your flat surfaces clear of all clutter to maintain a neat and organized look.

Shop with a purpose

Never go shopping without a list and a need. Remember the old saying, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach? The same holds true for shopping of any kind, not just groceries. Without a purpose to go shopping you will bring home more than you want or need. This just adds expense and clutter to your life.

Tidy up when you leave a room

Pick up everything when you leave a room and put them where they belong.Related image Dirty dishes, books and magazines, electronic devices, everything. It takes just a few seconds and will help keep your rooms looking neat and organized. You may have to drill this into your spouse and kids a few times but soon they will get into the habit as well.

So, you see there are no real secrets to how your friends keep their homes looking so organized and clutter free. It just takes a bit of knowledge and practice. ClutterBGone works throughout the GTA and has a few other tips we would love to share with you. Just contact us here to get started on keeping your home clutter free.

 

Back To School Organization

back to school organizing

Whether you’re a parent that loves to have your kids home for the summer or a parent that can’t wait for the school year to begin, it’s time to get the kids organized for back to school. Being organized at the start of the year will lead to organization throughout the school year.

Leading up to school starting

I’ll bet there have been little to no restrictions on bed curfew through most of the summer. Start to wean them back on to a schedule a week or two ahead of school opening so they are not dragging their you know what from the very start of school.  You know your kids and their interests. Plan on which extracurricular activities they’re going to participate in during the school year and keep in mind that these activities, although beneficial, can impact their grades so make sure your child can balance both school and activities they participate in.

Shopping for school

Back to school shopping can be fun as well as daunting.  back to school organizingTry to purchase only what you require to start the year as you will find additional items need to be purchased as the year gets under way.  Try to have one binder for each subject or at the least have dividers to separate the subjects in one binder.  Remember the one in, one out rule on clothing too. Teens have an opinion and are not afraid to give it so have them come along when shopping.  It will go easier when they have some input. Bring your patience and negotiation skills as well as your wallet.

Study space

Students need a clean and quiet area to study in – no matter what they will tell you.  Set aside an area that is clear of all clutter and is relatively quiet for studying and have the student choose the time of day they want to study.  Giving them some input stands a better chance of them following the schedule.  Have this area stocked with the “tools of the trade” (pens, paper, etc.) so there are less interruptions during this study time.  A planner in this area can also be helpful to keep track of what is due when and which days of the week sports fall on.

Be organized prior to each day

Pack what is required the night before.  back to school organizingThis may be a challenge for you and your kids, but if you remember when you were a teen every minute of sleep in the morning is needed.  Packing the evening before will ensure that they have everything for the day so when they blow out of the house in the morning like a hurricane they will have all they need.  Throw a few healthy snacks into their bag, so when hunger sets in there is a lesser chance they will head to the junk food machines.

Teens have been through this before but still need assistance and sometimes a bit of a push to get ready for the new school year.  Making sure they are ready and organized will give them a head start and perhaps teach them a bit about being organized.  ClutterBGone has assisted many families in getting homes, rooms and home offices organized for the start of the school year.  If you require assistance you can reach us at info@clutterbgone.ca or 905-642-5669.

Get Organized For The End Of The School Year

end of school organizing

Whether its public or high school, the end of the school year is swiftly approaching. There will be lots of stuff coming home with the kids as the school year ends. Like everything else in your home, these items need to be sorted, organized and purged.

Backpacks

The backpacks will be retired for the summer but before they are check them out for wear and tear. end of school year organizingThey get a lot of use through the year so it may be time to replace them at the beginning of the next school year. Maybe your babies have “grown up” and want a more mature looking backpack next year. In that case maybe the current one can be handed down or donated for continued use. Check the backpacks for any lunch leftovers too. You don’t want to be tracking down a terrible smell later in the summer!

All that paper

The end of the school year may bring a lot of paper into the home. Notebooks, art projects, test papers and a lot of paper and documents that were accumulated and kept in the desk through the year will be coming home. We’re all proud of our children but we can’t keep everything they create. Go through it all, preferably with your child, and sort into what you will keep and what you will discard. I like to keep a memory box for each child and place the keepers in there. Others will create a sort of scrapbook and place them in that. Either way you and your child will have easy access to everything you found important enough to keep.

Keepsakes

Kids will collect many keepsakes through the school year. end of school organizingRibbons for participating, trophies for doing well, special drawings, school yearbooks, heck maybe even a few notes from a secret admirer? What will these mean to you and your child in a year or five or ten? Decide what goes in the memory box and what goes.

Old school supplies

A lot of the notebooks, pens, pencil crayons and other supplies can be kept for next year. Go through them for wear and discard what is not needed or usable any longer.

Go through all of the school items as soon as they come in at the end of the school year. This will reduce the clutter in the home and teach your kids responsibility and organization. Now let’s get ready for summer!!!