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Where to Start When Organizing Your Home

organizing your home

When you finally decide to start organizing your home the first question that comes up is “where do I start?” Is there a certain order to follow? Do we start with the largest rooms? The most used? The most cluttered? Unfortunately, it all depends on who you speak to. Each professional organizer will have a different viewpoint. It also depends on you and the resources you have available. How much time do you have to devote to this? Do you have anybody to assist you? Will you be hiring a professional organizer?

Here is where we at ClutterBGone would begin the process of organizing your home.

Which room gives you the most grief?

We always ask our clients which room they would like to gain control of the most. organize your homeIt’s easy to say the whole house but there is one room that is causing you the most grief. One room that is resulting in more misplaced items, more lost productivity, one room that became a drop zone, maybe even one room that looks the worse than the others.

How much time can be dedicated to the task?

Each room you work on will require a much different amount of time. Kitchens will often be the most cluttered room but can be organized rather quickly because we are working in a smaller area with many of the same items such as dishes, spices and the likes. Bedrooms on the other hand can take a lot more time. ClutterBGone receives a lot of requests to organize bedrooms, and bedroom closets in particular. Each item must be looked at to make a decision on whether to keep, donate or toss. Then, it all has to go back in a way that is organized, with a system that works for you.

Do you have the space for storage?

organize your homeOnce the organizing process starts you are going to have items that you want or need to keep but rarely use. These items will need to be stored away. Do you have the space for the storage of items? Do you have the materials required to store items like shelving or containers? The area that you use for storing unused items must also be organized in a way that makes it easy to find and retrieve items.

Slow and steady wins the race

All that clutter wasn’t created overnight so it’s going to take some time to gain control of your room and home. Keep the end goal in mind and recognize the small victories as they occur, like an organized drawer or a cleared surface. Dedicate the time that is needed. Enlist the help of family or friends or a professional organizer to help with the task.

Overcoming clutter and getting organized again will take some time and dedication on your part but the results will wow you with a transformed living space and a feeling of accomplishment on your part. ClutterBGone has seen this time and time again.

If you are about to start the decluttering process to get your home organized give ClutterBGone a call at 647-642-5669 or click here. We can help you decide where to start and have your home organized in no time.

 

 

How to Stay Organized in Very Small Spaces

organized small space

I recently went on vacation and had the opportunity to tour a US Naval ship. The sleeping quarters were extremely small, and I noticed how the sailors kept all their possessions in very small spaces. It got me thinking about those that live in really small spaces like condos. Here’s a few tips on how to maximize your very intimate space.

Be ruthless about what comes in

When you live in a small space you really need to make tough decisions about what comes in to your home. Generally, I really have to love something to purchase it, especially clothes. When you live in tight spaces you can attain that cluttered look really quickly. Remember our one in, one out rule.

Declutter on a regular basis

ClutterBGone always recommends that you declutter on a regular basis, but it’s even more important when space is at a premium. organized small spaceDiarize this task if you need to. Take a look around and note what you haven’t looked at or picked up in the last year or more. That wedding book from ten years ago, the small appliances that don’t get used. They can be donated, sold or even put in storage to keep your small space organized and decluttered.

Increase your closet space

Adding a closet rod in your closet will double your storage capacity. organized small spaceThis works really well if you have 9- or 10-foot ceilings as most condos these days do. We’ve even put small dressers into a closet to increase the space in the bedroom which resulted in a less cluttered look.

Increase your dresser space

Rolling your t-shirts instead of folding them can increase your space in a dresser. Organizing by color can help you identify what you own and eliminate you buying something you already have and don’t need.

Take advantage of all spaces

Look up. Use the vertical space where you can to add shelves or hooks. This can get items off the floor or off the horizontal spaces. This makes your room look a lot more spacious and organized. Do you have room under your bed to store a clear container with last seasons clothes? ClutterBGone knows where to look for additional space and how to take advantage of it.

There are unlimited ways to improve your storage in a small space and ClutterBGone knows how to stay organized in tight spaces to give you the clutter free look. Just contact us here to see how we can help you.

Do You Have These Pieces Of Clutter In Your Home Right Now?

pieces of clutter in the home

Most of us aren’t able to objectively identify items that are no longer needed. We keep things because we think they have value or we think we may need them some day. Unless they are really broken beyond repair we tend to hold onto things we just don’t need or use. That is how clutter accumulates. Here is a quick list of some of the more popular items we find in clients’ homes that really need to go.

Glasses

ClutterBGone has found so many pairs of prescription glasses in homes that have not been worn in many years. In some cases, we have found 6 or more. Besides the pair you use now, keep the most recent pair in case something happens to your current prescription and donate the rest, so the frames can be reused.

Food containers

How many containers do you have without a lid? How many containers do you have that are really stained? The food container drawers are one of the most disorganized areas in a kitchen. If it can’t be used, or doesn’t have a matching lid, get rid of it.

Clothing

Do you dread opening your closet in the morningpieces of clutter in your home? Does it take you too long to find what you want to wear? Time is valuable in the morning and a cluttered closet can get your day started off in the wrong direction. Styles change, seasons change, heck even our bodies change. Pair down what’s not worn.

What about those single socks you’re saving? You know the dryer will never cough up the matching pair again. Donate any clothing that no longer fits or is in need of repair. A neat and organized closet or drawer will make you more productive and reduce your stress. Let us show you how.

Check the fridge

I love to grab some take out when I am in a rush or just don’t feel like cooking. But, I am never going to use those packets of condiments that are left over. We see them all the time in the fridges of clients. The same holds true for salt and pepper packets in the cupboards. Rather than trying to save a penny or two keep your kitchen clean and organized and toss them out!

Do you dare take a look in your junk drawer?

ClutterBGone has seen it all in junk drawers. Do you really need all those elastics, pieces of string, plastic forks and other useless items? I realize the need for a drawer to keep miscellaneous items (I don’t like the term junk drawer) but many people use this drawer as a drop point for items that will never see the light of day again. Make a point of going through this drawer several times a year and throw out what hasn’t been used since the last clean out.

Old electronics

Let’s speak to something all men can relate to. I’m not just talking single men but to all the husband’s out there as well. Many of you hold onto old electrical cords knowing you will find a use for it later but, you never do. What about that collection of TV remotes you’re holding onto?  Cell phones too. Why hang onto the older technology when the reason we upgrade is for the newer technology? Recycle or donate these items. You know you’ll never use them again, so why not give it to someone who will.

Small appliances

If you have any small kitchen appliances that no longer work I implore you to toss, recycle or donate them. You’re not going to suddenly enroll in a repair class and if they no longer work, why have them take up the space?

Reading material

We find older editions of magazines and newspapers in a lot of our clients’ homes. The rule of thumb is to toss out the previous issue when the new one comes in. If two editions have not been read by the time the third edition arrives it may be time to think about cancelling your subscription to save the money and avoid clutter. There’re so many other ways now to stay informed besides printed copies.

These are just a few of the many pieces of clutter that ClutterBGone has seen in many homes. We know what to look for and can help you keep your home organized and clutter free. Just contact us here to see how ClutterBGone has assisted others in the GTA.

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.

The Hall Entrance – A Case Study

organized hallway

First impressions are important, and your front door area is what people first see when they enter your space. I recently had the pleasure of organizing the main entranceway of a client’s home. My very first organizing job was a hall entry so I kind of have a soft spot for these spaces.

Renee is a married mother of three, with very active kids. Aside from her role as a mother and wife Renee is also an entrepreneur of a growing business run out of her GTA home, so things can get a little out of control when you’re being pulled in all directions. That’s when she called in ClutterBGone.

ZNews (a division of Zoomer Media) came along to film it all.

Sort

The first thing we did was sort all of the items that were in this area. Like items with like items. It’s an open area without a traditional hall closet so it can quickly become visually disorganized. Coats, boots, scarves and hats were all gathered and gone through with the client. Being spring we can take the fall and winter wear and set them aside for storage until next year.

Declutter

Next up, time to declutter! A family of five is going to have a lot of shoes, boots and coats. organized hallwaySome no longer fit or just aren’t worn. Others will be handed down to the younger kids. Items that are no longer required are going to be donated so others can use them. ClutterBGone is big on making sure that someone else can benefit or use things that no longer have a home in our client’s space. We like to promote an environmental friendly way to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our clutter does not belong in the ground, so we like to ensure something positive is achieved through our process. Keep in mind that the client is always in control of the decision-making process and determining where each item is destined to go. We’ll just help to give you a “nudge” now and again where needed and always keeping you on pace to get it all done in a timely manner.

Organize

Finally, the moment we’re all waiting for, it’s time to re-organize and finesse the space based on what is left. This is where we like to get creative. We put everything away in a neat and organized fashion. We also want to ensure everything is accessible to the client but also the little ones. Items are then containerized and labelled to ensure we leave you with a system to stay organized.

Before you knew it, we left with a very happy client who is now eager to have people come through the front door. A few items were donated so others can use what we didn’t need on this site. Renee and her family were very happy with the end result. As mentioned earlier, I have a soft spot for hall entryways, so I was really pleased to take this on. Thanks to ZNews for coming out. You can check out their short video of the job here.

Do you have an entrance or space that needs some organizing? Contact ClutterBGone here. We would be honoured to help organize your entry way too.

Spring Decluttering of Your Home

spring decluttering

Oh, spring! You have finally arrived! In the GTA there were times when we thought spring would never get here. Now that it has, people are out enjoying the sunshine. Many others are tackling the job of spring cleaning. ClutterBGone has a lot of experience in decluttering homes at this time of year. Let’s share some of our experiences with you.

Pick a starting point

You have to be organized in your approach to organize your home. Pick a room, one that you can organize the easiest. Make a list of what needs to be done in that room and get started. Once the easiest room is done you will have the sense of accomplishment to carry on.

Allow enough time

As much as you would really like to, you’re not going to get the whole house completed in a single weekend. spring declutteringIt takes time to sort and purge and organize as you go and working 8 to 10 hours a day on decluttering isn’t really reasonable. You will get frustrated and lose interest and the quality of your work will suffer. We find 6-hour increments work best.

Have the right tools

Before you begin assess what you have and what you will need for organizing. Do you have enough hangers? Are they all the same type for an organized look? Do you need a utensil tray? Will you need clear storage boxes? ClutterBGone has organized many homes and knows what you will need and most often we have these items in stock and bring them with us in case you need them.

Leave sentiment outside

We all have certain items that we keep for sentimental reasons and we would never suggest getting rid of everything. spring declutteringBut keeping that ratty sweater because the kids bought it for you or that appliance that doesn’t work because you “may” get it fixed one day just adds to your clutter and disorganized state. Be realistic about what you need and use. Keep the things you really love and take a real hard look at the rest. Sometimes a third party is needed to be impartial.

Scheduled maintenance

Just like your car, your furnace and heck, even your hair, your decluttering requires maintenance. Schedule an hour or two a month to keep your space organized and clutter free.

ClutterBGone has helped countless homes get organized and we love spring organizing! Contact us here to see how we can help you declutter your home for a fresh start to the summer.

Things We Buy And Never Use

things we buy

After having been in many client’s home over the years, I’ve seen a lot of things that are bought but never used. I thought I’d share this list with you to see how many of these you have and to perhaps give you a heads up if you’re thinking of buying any of them.

Exercise equipment

We’re reminded of this every year when resolutions come out to lose weight and get in shape. Shortly after the list of items you waste your money on come out and gym equipment is right at the top of the list. I’ll bet you that when ClutterBGone comes across gym equipment in a home, 9 times out of 10 there’s a layer of clothing or dust on it. You know yourself best, don’t buy it unless you know you’ll use it religiously. You don’t need clunky gym equipment to lose weight, weigh your options.

Kitchen appliances

This is the worst area of the house to find things that are bought but never used. items we don't useHow many of you have a fondue set? How about a bread maker? How’s that juicer working out for you? It’s hard not to see the benefits of the appliance when you’re shopping from the comfort of your couch at two in the morning, but these things take up a lot of valuable space either on your kitchen counter or in your cupboard. Appliances that you don’t use really hamper your productivity in the kitchen.

Magazines / Cookbooks / Newspapers

In this day of electronics, it’s so easy to find what you need on line. People tell me that I’m still old school but I have ditched the magazine subscriptions. I went digital with one of the subscription services and realized I still wasn’t reading them, so I stopped that as well. I’ve also donated my cookbooks and find all my recipes online (although I will admit to printing just a few of them).

Too many clothes

A lot of you will buy clothes for a lot of different reasons. too many clothesYou need them for a new job. You’re depressed and shopping helps. You’re trying to stay up with the latest fashion trends. I have two rules when it comes to clothes. I have to really love the piece and have a use in mind for it and something has to go when I get it home. Follow these rules and your closet will stay neat and organized.

Hobby supplies

ClutterBGone has sorted and organized numerous hobby rooms. During the process we have had to throw out a lot of dry paint, donate a lot of yarn and discovered many duplicates of supplies. Know what you absolutely must have when you go to the store to replenish your hobby supplies. Have an organized space for your supplies close to where you work. This is where ClutterBGone can help you.

We’ve helped clients organize every room you can think of and find many of these items that are just never used. If you have these items and more and need help in getting organized just contact us here. We love to organize!

Add More Storage To Your Bathroom

organized bathroom

Besides the kitchen, the bathroom has to be the next toughest room to find extra storage. If you live in a small apartment or condo you know how difficult it can be. Until you’re ready to have us in to organize your space, here’s a few ideas for you to try.

Got a corner?

If you are lucky enough to have a corner in your bathroom then take advantage of it. A corner shelf will hold a lot of items and don’t be afraid to install it higher if you have to. It can hold things that aren’t used as often.

Have a look over the door

Yes, many people wouldn’t even think to store items over the door but in a small room this can add a lot of storage space. Extra towels, toilet paper and tissue can all be stored on a shelf above the door.organized bathroom

Under the sink

There is normally a shelf under the sink regardless of the size but the sink itself doesn’t usually allow for a second shelf. Try storing items in decorative baskets or other easy to retrieve totes or bins.

On top of the tank

The space above the toilet is perfect for a shelf (allow enough room for the lid to be removed). If shelving is an issue get a basket that blends in with your décor to store items you need close at hand.

On the wall

There are so many creative items that allow you to store the things you need on your wall – within easy reach. organized bathroomShelves, baskets, hooks and many other organizing tools can be used in a variety of ways to increase space and keep you organized.

More ideas

There are so many storage ideas that can be utilized to increase the storage capacity of a small bathroom. ClutterBGone has seen and used many of these and we have the experience to help you increase your small space and get you organized.

We can help you too. Just contact us here.

Are You Using A “Floordrobe”?

closet organizing

Urban Dictionary describes a floordrobe as a form of storage for clothing which requires no hangers, drawers, doors or effort. Simply drop on the floor and you have a floordrobe. Obviously, this is a play on words, but I have seen many “floordrobes” in my time as a professional organizer. If you want to see your floor again here are a few things you can do.

Use the height

Many of you don’t see the height that is available in closets. You hang your clothes and accept the fact that there is a lot of space below your clothes. Raising the single rod you have and installing a second rod below instantly doubles the amount of storage space available to you.

Uniformity is key

Sometimes you get discouraged just with the way the closet looks when you open the door. closet organizingThis leads to frustration and then you just don’t care about being organized and that’s when the floordrobe starts. Try a few simple things like using the same type of hanger, face all your clothes the same way, organize by type and color. At ClutterBGone we know all the tricks to keep your closet organized.

More space is available

Look at all the space that is available to you. Is there an inside wall where you can hang belts or ties? Can you use the back of the closet door to store shoes, robes or purses? We know where to look and what to install to make the most of your space.

Out with the old

One in, one out. Remember that saying? I’m a bit of a stickler with this. When you bring in a new item of clothing something has to go out. Your closet doesn’t go on forever in there so there is only so much it can hold. While you are at it, purge all the clothing that no longer fits you, is out of style or is in need of repair. Somebody else can use your older items.

Out of season items

If your closet looks like it is going explode then take the out of season items out and store them in containers. closet organizingPut them under your bed or somewhere else in the house. Just by doing this you are going to create a lot more space in your closet. Next season bring the items back in and remove the items you won’t be wearing during the upcoming season.

Closets are a major source of organizing anxiety. As a result, we tend to get frustrated and end up using chairs and even the floor to store our clothes. Not the greatest way to store your purchases is it? If you are one of those that owns a “floordrobe” then contact ClutterBGone here. We love to organize closets and love even more to see your happy faces when we are done.

Obstacles To Being Organized

organizing obstacles

If you have ever tried to reduce clutter in your life and get better organized, you may have noticed some obstacles that may have gotten in your way. Or maybe you didn’t realize why you couldn’t get organized. Here are some of the obstacles you may, or may not be, aware of that keep you from getting organized.

You are blind to your own clutter

You may be so used to the clutter in your life that you just don’t see it anymore. Clutter accumulates every day and its very difficult to see it grow when you live with it daily. An extra set of eyes may be all that is required to get your space organized and clutter free. So many of our clients have told us that they couldn’t have done it without us.

You lack a system to stay organized

Living in an organized space is like everything else we accomplish – it requires maintenance. organizing obstaclesOnce you have reduced clutter you don’t want it creeping back in. A system needs to be in place that works for you and enables you to maintain a clutter free, organized space. At ClutterBGone we don’t come into your home or office and just reduce the clutter and organize your space. We leave you with a system that works for you. We look at how you live and operate and leave you with a system that enables you to maintain a clutter free and organized space.

You don’t know where to start

Is your home or space so disorganized that you are having a tough time getting started? Do you start but can’t finish because it seems so daunting? That is where a professional organizer can help. We come in and assess a space to determine where to start. We can be as hands on or as hands off as you want. If you don’t know where to start maybe you just need a little coaching.

I’m too busy

Are you really? If you really want to reclaim your space, live a more organized life, find things easier or just have friends and family over again then you will make the time or make the investment to get organized. It really can change your life.

You aren’t an inherently organized person

We hear this a lot from most of our clients. organizing obstaclesMost of our clients aren’t really organized, that’s why they call us. If you aren’t organized, then help is just a call away. If you can’t fix your car you call a garage. If you don’t have time to clean your house you call a cleaning service. Getting organized is no different. If you really aren’t an organized person, then give us a call to help.

There really doesn’t have to be any obstacles to keep you from being organized. At ClutterBGone we have come across all the obstacles and have overcome them all. We can help you too. Just contact us here or call us at 905-642-5669.