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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!

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.

 

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.

How Does The Pareto Principle Work In Downsizing?

pareto principal organizing

Do you know what the Pareto Principal is? It’s commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of the effort is gained by 20% of the people. Commonly, 80% of sales income comes from 20% of the customers. Teachers will spend 80% of their time with 20% of their students. You probably spend 80% of your time with 20% of your friends. You get the idea.

How does this principal apply to downsizing?

In our home

Once our kids have moved out (and I mean for good) we spend 80% of our time in 20% of the spaces in our home. organized hallwayWe use the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and our “TV” room but rarely venture into the other rooms. Spare bedrooms, home office and even the finished basement rarely gets used anymore. That’s a lot of extra room to have to clean, or at the very least dust. Consider downsizing to a more manageable living area. Use the equity gained in the sale of your larger home to do the things you really want to do.

Our clothes closet

Surely you have a lot of clothes hanging in your closet that haven’t been worn for a very long time. We all have our favourites that we love to wear. The rest just hang in our closets. There are two things I like to do in my closet. First, quite often I will reverse all the hanging items in my closet. organizingAfter I have worn something I will put it back with the hangar facing the correct way. After about three months I can see what has not been worn. It can be an eye opener. Secondly, I will sometimes leave the price tags on an item and date it with the date I bought it. When I use the item I will see how long it has been since I bought it. Sometimes another eye opener. The point is that 20% of our clothes are worn 80% of the time so unless you really love the piece and really need it, resist the urge and save the space and the money.

If you follow this principal when you are downsizing or organizing you will come to realize that you don’t really miss the 80% of items or space you once had.

ClutterBGone challenges you to adopt the 80/20 rule when you start the downsizing and organizing process for whatever reason you need to do so. If you need assistance with downsizing or organizing we can be easily reached by clicking here. We would love to show you how the Pareto Principal applies to you.

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!

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.

Will You Resolve to Get Organized in Toronto This Year?

get organized in Toronto

Are you one of those people that ring in the New Year with resolutions? Personally, I don’t but many of you likely do. If getting better organized is one of your New Years resolutions then help is just a click away.

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. get organized in the new yearDid 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? I’m obviously not talking about the necessities in life, just the things you buy that you would like to have.

Go paperless

Paper can be the biggest cause of clutter in your Toronto home and we work with you to reduce your paper clutter and set up a system to maintain a streamlined and clutter free system in your home. get organized in the new yearMost of your bills can be automatically paid through your bank now with receipts and even advance reminders coming to your inbox. And then you don’t have to worry about losing a bill or being charged for a late fee. Do you still receive magazines and newspapers? If so, make sure to recycle them before the next issue comes in or better yet, go electronic.

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 Toronto and York Region 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.

So, if you have a resolution to get better organized ClutterBGone would love to help you start the year off clutter free!

5 Questions You Should Ask A Professional Organizer

I just got back from a Professional Organizing conference and I can tell you this business is booming! There was so much more that we learned. With most families having dual incomes there seems to be more money to spend on things you don’t want or like to do yourself. This saves you time to do the things you really want to do. Also, many families are now downsizing to smaller homes as they get ready to retire and don’t have the knowledge or ability to downsize themselves, and don’t want to take things with them that they know they will not need. Lastly, many seniors are transitioning from their own homes to seniors’ residences or living with family and again need help with the move. As this business grows so too do the companies and individuals that provide the service. I really want to work with informed clients so I put together this list of questions that you should ask any Professional Organizer that you are thinking of hiring.

What are your qualifications?

Here in Canada there is a professional organization 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 are trained and certified in organizing and downsizing techniques and have access to the latest trends and organizing items.

Do you have insurance?

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

Pricing

Make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are being charged and for what services. An hourly or a job rate can vary but the least expensive quote may not be the best. 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 will keep you updated on any changes.

How long have you been doing this?

I recently spoke to someone whose main occupation was that of a cleaning lady and she came upon an opportunity to help a client downsize. She called looking for tips on how to help someone downsize (I did not give her any!). It was obvious she had never done this before and after I got off the phone I remember thinking how this potential client may be feeling after the job is done. Like any other business it is difficult to get started and to get some experience under your belt, but if you have a big job that needs to be done ensure that whoever does it is experienced.

Do you have references?

You would be amazed at the number of people that are embarrassed to ask for references. Get three and call one or two. Be sure to ask them at the end if they would hire them again if required and if not, why not?

So those are the must ask questions when you are looking for a Professional Organizer to help with your project. Just like ClutterBGone, ensure they are certified, insured and experienced and have references to back it up. Contact us when you are ready to begin your project in the GTA. We are ready for your questions!

organizing your kitchen

New Home Building And Space

ClutterBGone, your home organizers in Toronto, have been to many newly built homes and we’re constantly amazed at how little thought goes into storage when designing and building new homes. Sure, you get closets and pantries and kitchen cupboards but regardless of whether your home is a small condo in Toronto or a large estate home in Aurora, more thought needs to go into how you’re going to store your belongings to get and stay organized.

The ceiling is the limit

Think height when you design new homes and where you will be storing your items. Nine-foot ceilings, and higher, offer a lot of potential space for storage but ensure you have incorporated accessibility as well. Shelves, racks and cabinets can all be installed to take advantage of wasted space.

Kitchens

The kitchen is the most used room in your home and is normally the most disorganized and cluttered even when you have loads of cupboards and shelving. I would never build a home without slide out shelves in the kitchen cupboards and pantries or rotating turntable in every corner cupboard.

Slide out shelves allow you to bring everything to you without having to play Tetris knocking thing over just to find what you want. Putting items away and keeping them organized is so much easier as well. A turntable that comes in various sizes eliminates those hard to reach areas in the cupboard. You know the ones I mean. The areas where we literally toss items into and hope we don’t need them again for a long time.

As professional organizers working in Toronto, Oakville, and York Region, we’ve worked on many new builds to ensure that the space being designed will actually work for the belongings you own. When designing your kitchen, it’s a good idea to call in a professional home organizer before the design/execution process.

The laundry room

Putting laundry rooms on the top floor, where all the laundry is created, was one of the greatest things builders have done. I hope you aren’t one of the unfortunate ones who still must travel to the basement to do laundry.

A shelf or cupboard in the laundry room should also be a standard feature. Having an organized laundry room with a space for your cleaning aids, ironing board and other items helps you stay organized in this area from day one. Ensure any cupboard shelving is high enough to contain those large laundry products.

What you can do

Know the space that you’re moving into. Many clients that we’ve worked with haven’t allowed for smaller bedrooms, and when they put their huge king-size bed with their large headboard and the rest of the matching furniture in there it just doesn’t fit. This leads to an unorganized and cluttered room.

Work with your home organizer and home addition contractor to make the rooms that are important to you larger with better storage for all your clothing items. Add to a walk in closet by reducing the size of a guest room. Add a pantry to the kitchen by eliminating a closet. Think about the space you need and what’s important to you. It will be too late during the final inspection tour or when you have moved in.

ClutterBGone, home organizers have an eye for space and can help you get organized before or after your move. For your mess SOS contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with your new home organization.

The Best Way to Organize Your Shoes

organize your shoes

This just in! Women love shoes! No surprise there but even men are beginning to own more shoes with their collection of “kicks” and trendy dress shoes. Shoes have always been a fashion statement and the old saying that you can tell a lot about a person by the condition of their shoes still holds true. We all may not have the collection that Imelda Marcos once did, but if you have a collection of shoes yourself and are tight for space there are several ways to store and maintain the condition of your shoes.

Old shoe boxes

Still the most inexpensive way to store shoes, keeping them in the box they came in still works. The trouble is that these boxes aren’t see-through and we used to take a picture of the shoes and attach it to the outside of the box. Who processes pictures anymore? This solution may work for some but it is not ideal and these boxes are typically chunky and take up much too much space.

Clear shoe bins

Clear shoe bins (either acrylic or plastic) are the most popular way for storing shoes. ClutterBGone has brought in countless clear shoe bins to many clients. They provide protection to your investment and keep them clean and dust free and most importantly, visible.

organize your shoesShoe racks

We have also installed many shoe racks in many homes. They come in all different styles to match your décor and requirements depending on whether they are installed in a closet or in a hallway. Some can be stacked to maximize your space and most are cost effective and others serve as a furniture piece with hidden shoe storage.

Shoe bags

Remember the shoe bags that your parents used? Well, they are still around and still work great for tight spaces. However again, you have the problem of lack of visibility so unless you have a great memory, this solution may not be the best for you.

Shoe bags are increasingly being used for the storage of a lot of other goods like make up or wash cloths in the bathroom or shoe cleaning items in the hall closet.

Want to go upscale?

For the walk in closets or under the bed there are a number of different types of organizing products available from cubbies to built-ins. The sky (or your bank account) is the limit.

Hanging vertical shoe organizers

If you have the closet hanging space this is a great solution. Hanging organizers come in various styles, some holding a dozen pairs and others holding over 40! See which style works best for you.

Want to keep it economical?

One of my favourite ways to store shoes is to use a piece of decorative wood trim installed horizontally inside the closet and hang your high heel shoes by their heels. organize your shoesIt is practical, easy to install and allows for shoes to be up off the floor but yet easily accessible and visible all the while maintaining the shoes in good shape. You can even easily paint this piece of wood to match any décor.

Shoes are a fashion statement and are sometimes quite the investment so decide what system is best for you but do have a system to protect your investment look your best and stay organized.

ClutterBGone has handled many shoes over the years and would love to help you organize, and maybe pare down, your shoes.