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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.

 

Keep Your Everyday Zones Clutter Free

clutter free homes

There are a few spots or places that we use every single day that, when they become cluttered, can cause anxiety and bring your productivity to a halt. Each of these spaces are easy to accumulate clutter. Let’s take a look at them and see how we can keep clutter at bay.

Your workspace

Whether you work from home or go to an office we are spending a great amount of time at our workspace. clutter free homeWe make a living here, conduct business meetings or even manage our household finances from here. When our work space is cluttered, it reflects on our productivity, anxiety and our attitude towards others. We can’t find what we are looking for which results in wasted time. Lost documents can cause frustration, lost time and even cost us money. ClutterBGone has helped to organize many home and business work spaces resulting in improved productivity and reduced anxiety.

Your computer

Don’t forget the computer, it can get cluttered too! Think of your computer as a filing cabinet and understand all the information that gets stored in there. The inability to find what we are looking for costs you time and money

Your closet

Each and every one of us goes into our closets several times a day. Many of our clients have told us that the closet is the most disorganized area of their home. It can make for a very stressful start to your day. Get rid of what you are no longer wearing, can’t fit into anymore, has long gone out of style, doesn’t belong to you in the first place, and is never going to be repaired. ClutterBGone loves organizing closets and can’t wait to show you how an organized closet can change your day.

Your car

We spend so many hours in our car each day either going back and forth to work, going shopping or running the family around. The car is no different than your home. What is in the trunk, the glove box, or the back seat? Too busy to have your car serviced when it was due? Not only will an organized car look and smell better but it will save you money when you don’t neglect the maintenance.

Your garage

Speaking of the car, how organized is your garageclutter free zones? Most garages that we have organized starting out as extra storage spaces. How often have you said “just put it in the garage for now”? As a result, you’ll find almost everything in the garage but the car! Get your garage organized so you know where everything is and you can get your second most valuable possession (your car) in the garage to protect it, and you, from the elements.

The kitchen

We saved the best for last. The kitchen is the focal point in our home. Not only do we prepare our daily meals here but the kitchen has become a space for talks and discussions. People are in and out of the kitchen all day so it is easy to become cluttered. Keeping a kitchen organized allows you to be more productive during meal prep. It becomes more inviting for conversations. Let ClutterBGone into your kitchen to get it organized and to develop a system designed for you to keep it that way.

Our teams at ClutterBGone know the areas in a home that cause grief and we have the experience to leave the trouble areas in your home organized and clutter free. Reach out to us here to get started.

 

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.

 

How To Keep Small Spaces Organized

Living in a really small space can sometimes feel like you’re living a real-life Tetris game. Living spaces are smaller now so we have to make do with what we have. Here are my suggestions for keeping small spaces organized.

Build upwards

The absolute best way to stay organized and take advantage of space is to go up. Whether you have the standard 8 to 9 foot walls or you’re lucky enough to have higher walls, utilizing the wall space can create more space for you than any other way. You can add a wall unit, add shelving or hang whatever you need on your wall space. You wouldn’t believe the spaces we have created for clients.

Take advantage of dead space

Take a look around your living space. Do you have space under a bed? Is there space over your closet shelf? ClutterBGone’ s organizers are experts at finding and utilizing space you don’t know you have.

Rotate your wardrobe

Rather than having all of your wardrobe items for the entire year crammed into your closet try keeping only a season or two in there at a time. organized small spacePack the off-season clothes and store them away (remember that dead space?). This will give you more space to work with and give your closet a more organized look.

Store items where they are used

Doesn’t it make sense to keep your dishes near the kitchen prep area? Are your glasses near the fridge? Storing items near to where they are used saves steps and results in less clutter with a more organized work area.

Keep it tidy

It goes without saying but a little bit of clutter can look like a lot in a small space and a pile of laundry quickly becomes a mountain. Do a little each day and things will stay more organized.

Look for smaller versions

Know the space that you have to work with. organized small spacesI love my coffee in the morning, especially those single serve pods, but I don’t have the space for the large machine. Instead, I found a great one serving machine that takes up about a third of the space. Do you need a four-slice toaster or will two do the job?  And if you live in a small space avoid the temptation of going to those big bulk stores. You will find you will need to store items everywhere giving your space a very cluttered and disorganized look.

Invest in space saving products

Products like shoe organizers, clear containers, appropriate hangers and other products offered can add to your storage space to help you stay organized. ClutterBGone knows all the latest space saving products and where to use them. We also have an inventory of organizing products ready to go.

If you need help organizing a small space, we have the team to help you. Just contact us here to get started.

Organizing Statistics That May Surprise You

organizing statistics

I wanted to share with you some interesting organizing statistics released by the Professional Organizers In Canada. I was quite surprised by some of these, as I’m sure you will be too.

The number of us that are disorganized

Eight of ten of us admitted to being disorganized. Most Canadians are at least somewhat disorganized at home, at work or with their ability to manage time. Add children to the home and you have a much higher chance of being disorganized. Surprisingly, younger Canadians in the 18 to 34 year range admitted to being disorganized more than older Canadians.

What is the most disorganized area?

Twenty nine percent of all Canadians say that their home is their most disorganized aspect of their life. organizing statisticsTake men out of the equation and that number rises to 34%. The basement is said to be the most disorganized area of a home. Not surprising since ClutterBGone has seen what the basement in many homes is used as – a storage area for goods seldom used. When you compare homes with and without kids 82% say a home with kids is disorganized. Only 21% without kids admit to being disorganized.

The office

Seven out of ten disorganized Canadians say that their workplace is disorganized. No surprise in that the desk is the most disorganized area in the office. In order to be at your most productive you need a neat and organized work space.

Have you ever tried to get organized?

Most have tried to become organized but one in six never have. Just over a third that have tried to get organized have failed. Sixteen percent have never tried to get organized and some don’t even know where to start.

Is it time for professional help?

Three in ten Canadians are willing to hire a professional organizer to help them get organized. organizing statisticsA professional organizer is trained in the latest organizing trends and knows all of the storage containers and systems that will work for you. Professional organizers are trained, skilled specialists who help people create order where it is lacking in their lives, so that they can make long-term improvements and keep disorder at bay. We take courses and are certified in what we do. We will come in and assess not only what needs to be done but how we got to this stage in the first place and then design a system that works for you to keep you organized long after we have left.

A large majority of Canadians feel that being disorganized negatively affects their lives. Just over ten percent admitted that being disorganized made them feel like a failure. Stress and anxiety play a large part in being disorganized.

Did you find some of these organizing statistics surprising? If you need help in getting organized why not enlist the services of a professional? ClutterBGone has helped many clients in the Greater Toronto Area and we would love to help you too. Just contact us here.

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.

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.

Ways You Can Be Organized

ways to be organized

At ClutterBGone we specialize in helping people become organized and take advantage of the space they have. During our initial consultations we see a number of ways that people could easily become more organized without investing a lot of time or money. This normally involves a bit of discipline but if you can commit to the procedures you can see immediate results. For those do-it-your-selfers, here are a number of ways to quickly and efficiently make your home more organized.

Incoming mail

Whether you still have door to door mail delivery or have to travel to the “super” boxes to get your mail you have probably noticed that most mail delivered these days is of the “junk” variety. ways to be organizedWith many of us now receiving and paying our bills on line what’s left to deliver is usually flyers announcing a new home for sale or special offers for the product of the day. The hallway table is an area where we see an accumulation of mail, school papers, etc. that can quickly acted upon. Once picked up ensure that anything you are truly not interested in is deposited into the recycle bin.

Ask for help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength to recognize that you need help and more so to ask for it. You know your limitations and often a fresh set of eyes can see things differently and help you purge, sell or donate a lot faster than you could by yourself.

Saving items for emotional reasons

I’ve seen clients saving items from their deceased parents for emotional reasons. downsizing in torontoThere is nothing wrong with that to a point. But at some point you have to realize that not everything holds a financial or personal value to you. Your parents probably wouldn’t want you burdened with things you won’t use either. Try creating a treasure box to save and showcase the truly valuable mementoes from your parents. ClutterBGone also has other ways to save and display your memories.

There really is enough room

Everybody is downsizing, space is at a premium and homes are getting smaller but if you really tried I bet you could find the room for more items that you really need. Basic closets come with one closet rod. It’s really easy, and economical, to add another closet rod to double your space. No room to store your winter duvet? How about a storage box under the bed? The list could go on. Of course, we know a lot more easy and economical ways to organize and save space.

Use the KISS approach

Keep it simple. You could spend days thinking of how to organize or downsize but really there are many great systems and ideas out there that require minimal time and dollars. Read up on the newest ideas or visit your closest organizing products store.

Stop for a moment and take a real hard look at what you are trying to accomplish. It does not have to be that hard. If you need outside help, contact us at ClutterBGone. We have lots of experience in organizing spaces of every size.

What is Chronic Disorganization?

 

 

We all get disorganized many times in our lives. When we get ill or a family member becomes ill. When work requires a lot of extra time devoted to it or it calls us away for a bit. We move or get married. Whenever we are thrown a curve ball or something out of the ordinary appears we tend to become a bit disorganized, but we eventually get back on track.

The difference with chronic disorganization is that we don’t recover from these instances and the disorganization will worsen with time. The clutter continues to accumulate and suddenly you are overwhelmed. Sometimes procrastination will also become a challenge because you just don’t have the time or energy to do anything about it.

What is chronic disorganization?

Chronic disorganization is having a history of being disorganized and all efforts to help or change your circumstances have failed. Disorganization is affecting your current quality of life to the point where you are embarrassed or don’t want anyone over and/or your personal and financial life have been affected. Also, you don’t see any real expectation of improvement.

How do I know if I suffer from it?

Are you surrounded by clutter? Do you have newspapers and magazines that you just cant get rid of? Have you purchased items that you haven’t put away for a while? Have you run out of room to put things?chronic disorganization Have you always been disorganized? Are you or your family members ashamed to have anyone come over? Are you always looking for things that you know you have? These are typical questions that someone with chronic disorganization will answer yes to.

What causes chronic disorganization?

The most common cause is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention. It’s almost impossible to stay organized with these symptoms. Many children attract ADHD and it stays with them through to adulthood. The American Psychiatric Association has stated that ADHD is a real and curable condition and affects about 1 in 20 adults. Depression is another trigger for chronic disorganization. Depressed people have a hard time getting motivated and constantly feel tired.

How can you get help?

Psychiatric and medical help is available. Professional Organizers can also help. We work with you and develop systems to keep you organized. We work at your pace and find solutions tailored to your individual needs.

ClutterBGone has helped many clients with different stages of chronic disorganization. Don’t suffer with it when there is help available. Call us at 905-642-5669 or click here. We’d love to help you.

Organize Your Paper Mountain

organize paper

Whether you go to work in an office or work from home, chances are you have a small mountain of paper that needs to be addressed. Did you know that a sheet of paper is roughly 0.004 inches thick? Hardly noticeable but when you start piling paper up it can be quite messy and ominous to tackle. ClutterBGone gets a lot of calls to help with paper. Here’s our tips to keep your paper from becoming a mountain.

Act on it right away

When paper arrives don’t let it rest on your desk or table. Create a system to get that paper off the surface. Use a labelled file folder, an in-box or any other system to move the paper along. Keep trying a system until you find one that works for you.

Delegate

Whether at work or at home there will be somebody who needs to know that, that piece of paper has arrived. organize paperWho pays the bills? Who responds to invitations? Whoever is responsible for the paper or the accounts or whatever action needs to be taken needs to know what has come in and needs an action. Pass it along, with a note if needed, so it doesn’t rest on your desk needlessly.

Make a decision right away

A lot of the paper that crosses our desk is not needed at all. I go to my mail box and most of what is in there is junk mail – flyers and ads. Out they go right after a quick peek. Don’t hang on to them for others to see unless you really believe they will be worthwhile or used.

Out with the dated

If you still have magazine and paper subscriptions consider an electronic version. organize paperIf you still need the feel of paper (and I do with a good book) ensure the previous issue is recycled when the new one comes in. If you really need to refer back to an article or story then take a picture of it with your phone. It doesn’t take up any space.

Set aside a bit of time

This would apply more for the office but set aside a bit of time to ensure that your desk or workspace is cleared of paper each day. You will feel more organized and productive when working at a clean and organized work area.

Go digital

A lot of us are still receiving statements and paying bills via paper. I myself switched as much as I could to digital copies. I can receive and pay bills online and electronically “file” a copy of the bill on my computer. It’s always there in case I need it. With the vast majority of paper that we file never getting looked at, doesn’t it make sense to go digital at home?

Even in this electronic age, paper is everywhere and accumulates quickly. If you don’t stay on top of it you will have a mountain of paper before you know it. You don’t have to scale that mountain alone. ClutterBGone has assisted many homes and offices in reducing the mountains of paper that come and go and devising systems to keep it that way. Just reach out to us here to see how we can help you.