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10 Hidden Spots To Find Extra Storage

Hidden storage

 

The truth about storage is that you can never have enough. As an organizational specialist, I am constantly thinking about new and creative ways to bring more storage to your home or office. It doesn’t matter whether your space is small or large.

Even in a larger home you’ll find you seem to grow into your home, perhaps buying more than you need simply because you think you have more space. As a result, we are always thinking of new ways to store it, stack it or stow it away.

When considering storage options, keep your lifestyle in mind and you can develop rooms that are both sensible and cozy. Here are my ten hidden spots to find extra storage in your home:

  1. Wall partitions with built-in storage compartments

Sometimes you need a divide and conquer approach to cater your space to specific tasks and that suit the many needs of your family. Wall partitions are great because they not only serve to separate zones in your living space but can also be aesthetically pleasing, functional and an efficient method to store anything from books to games, decorative items, and photos.

Give yourself permission to not fill every nook and cranny. Keeping spaces open and clutter-free is the key to making this work.

  1. Vintage suitcases

Vintage leather or wicker suitcases can be stacked to serve as an end table or coffee table and also provide hidden storage for your video or CD collection, photos or files.

storage_-_suitcase

It’s a great, inexpensive way to achieve that extra storage space and create an interesting design element as well.

  1. Headboards with storage shelves

The idea here is to have pieces that are multifunctional. Especially if you’re challenged with storage.

  1. End tables or coffee tables with shelving underneath

These are great for storage of family board games or cards, videos and even those remote controls that we all seem to have a lot of.

Stylish containers with lids can be stored in the shelving and can upgrade your room’s style and serve to hide items like toys and DVD’s. More décor appealing items such as books and throws can be kept in open bins to be more visible. Choosing containers with a single, beautiful material can cut down on visual clutter.

  1. Empty luggage

Empty luggage can serve as storage for off-season clothing if your closets cannot accommodate all of your belongings. Why have empty suitcases lying around if you could fill them with your off-season items? Simply fold your off-season clothing neatly, place in the suitcase and store either under your bed, under a staircase, in the bedroom or any other space in which they will fit.

  1. Storage ottomans

These are a big favourite of mine for quick and easy storage.

Storage-Ottoman-With-Tray-Fabric

Not only with tops that open, but the ones with lids that flip upside down for multi-functional use as a tray/side table. Once again, think multi-functional, especially if you’re in a tight space.

  1. Baskets

They come in every conceivable shape and size and can be utilized next to a chair, under a bench or stool, inside a closet and even attached to a wall. They can hold everything from photos, extra paper, toys and even towels. Use them in bathrooms to store extra toilet tissue if there are no cabinets, or attach them to the wall easily with a couple of screws and they can house bath products, tissue, towels and more!

  1. Benches

Benches that open are another great secret storage space. With a safety latch, your kids may even think this is a great hiding place! Use one in your front entry, placing baskets inside and store hats, mitts, scarves and even your pet items for easy access when you go out the door.

  1. Trunks

Steamer trunks can serve as both a coffee table, an extra place for linen storage or serve as a great costume/tickle trunk for dress up. Make sure you have a safety latch on these trunks as the lids can be quite heavy for small children.

  1. Architectural columns

Hollow architectural columns are a great idea if you are doing some renovating and are looking for a creative way to add extra storage. Make them hollow and you can add shelves or a door on either side.

Modern Home Interior Columns Room Divider Ideas Book Storage

If you paint them the same colour as the walls they will not stand out as much and actually blend into the walls.

Stretch the storage and function of your spaces. Because small spaces can quickly turn into over-stuffed messes, organizing your space with creative solutions can go a long way to conquering the clutter.

If you are looking to simplify your home, find secret storage spaces and get rid of clutter, these ten tips for finding new spots to store everyday items will help you get organized so you have more time to relax, enjoy every day and then spend more time on the things that matter the most to you.

The Top 9 Things To Do When De-cluttering & Organizing Your Home

Tidy-modern-living-room

When we perform our initial consultation and assessments with our clients we often get asked, “what are the top things are that should be performed to organize and de-clutter a home?” As a result, I’ve put together a list of the top 9 for your reading pleasure:

  1. Start with the closet
    For me, the front hall closet is often the place to start. It’s the first area you see when you come home to put your coat and shoes away and the first place your guests will see when they arrive. Plus, entry closets are generally quite small and therefore will not take much time giving you a sense of accomplishment that will carry you forward to other parts of your home.organized-closet-hall
  2. Flat surfaces
    If there is a flat surface anywhere, there is an opportunity to accumulate clutter.  It’s so easy to lay something down with all the good intentions in the world to put it away later.The trouble is, later never does come. Keep flat surfaces clear of clutter at all times.
  3. Junk drawers
    I’ve given up my fight against junk drawers realising that we all do need a place for miscellaneous items. Notice that I didn’t say “junk”? In my experience, we all spend more time looking for items in this drawer than in the time we use the item when we find it. Keep these drawers with only the necessary items and find a home for the rest.
  4. The wire octopus
    An area that often gets neglected are the wires that you always see peeking out from under desks and TV stands. With TV’s, cable boxes, sound systems, gaming consoles and computers all hooked up, there can be a lot of wires and cables to hide. There are a lot of choices to use to hide these cables and a lot of options to implement to keep these from tangling up.
  5. Bedroom closets
    Your bedroom closets provide a great opportunity to create more space. Add an additional rod to double your hanging capabilities and while you’re in there take the time to separate your clothes into piles of what you wear and what you don’t. There are a lot of consignment shops that will take your gently used clothing to sell and of course, there are a lot of charities that would love to repurpose what you don’t wear, provided they are in good shape.
  6. Kitchen counters
    How many of you keep a variety of small appliances on the kitchen counter? How many of you actually use these small appliances on a regular basis? Toasters, kettles and coffee machines are OK left out (as long as they are used) but keep the rest in a cupboard or drawer out of sight for a clean, organized look.Kitchen-Counter-Decor
  7. Use clear containers
    Clear containers are typically the only ones you will see me use. You can easily see what’s inside of a clear container as opposed to opaque and for small children, this is especially important so they can see where everything is and where it goes when they are done.
  8. Have a plan
    Besides #1 above, this is probably the most important of all. You know the old saying – those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Make a list of the areas in your home that you want to tackle. Rank them according to importance and the time you have.Make sure you have the necessary time and the tools to get the job done and go at it. Know where the donation centres and consignment shops are in your area if you are going to need them and get any items you are selling or donating out of the house asap. A pile of items left hanging around your house to dispose of is not going to give you the sense of accomplishment that you need.
  9. Call us. We’ll handle the other eight!
    In all seriousness, clients normally call us after they’ve made one or several attempts at de-cluttering or organizing themselves. Life gets in the way whether it’s work or family and the time that is needed for these projects often is not found.When we’re working on your project you have our full attention and dedication to a job that is going to wow you at the end.

Give us a call for a free telephone consultation for any organizing or de-cluttering project that is needed in your home, no matter how big or small.

Time Management And Getting Organized At Work

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We have worked with many individuals and small offices in getting organized so they can work more effectively, find things easier and live or work in a less cluttered state. Once this is done the challenge now becomes how to manage your time as time management and organization do go hand in hand.

Here are some time management tips to get you on the right track.

Busy vs. overwhelmed

We are all judged on the actual results we produce rather than the number of hours we spend doing something or “looking busy”. Stay focused on the task at hand and minimize multi-tasking as few of us are actually very good at being able to give your all to more than one task at a time. Clutter around us is a distraction that often interrupts our focus and reduces our effectiveness on the task we are trying to complete.

Priorities and prime time

Identify when you feel that you are at your peak during the day. When do you feel the most productive? Are you a morning or an afternoon person?

priorities

Save the really important stuff for this time so you can give it your best. If it is really important don’t give it anything less.

Maintain balance

Work can easily consume us and have a negative effect on both social and family lives. A Boston College Center survey confirmed that executives who are able to balance work and personal life are less stressed, feel more successful and can manage both their work and personal lives much easier. Find the balance, reduce the stress and enjoy life!

Benefits of setting goals

Setting goals is important for all aspects of your life. How else can you identify the priorities or the things that require your time now and what can wait? Schedule time for yourself, write it down in your planner, and use that time to work on those priorities.

Goals1

Make sure this time is blocked out and ensure that you’re not disturbed. Setting goals will make you work smarter and allow you to manage your time more effectively. Achieving those goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and increase your chance of success in your personal and business life.

Personal policies

It’s very important to establish our own personal policies in both your personal life and your work life. These policies can help you achieve your goals and should be policies you believe in and live by. A business policy could be simply that you will not work on weekends or no more than 2 evenings a week in order to help balance your work and family time. Or perhaps you’re always working on large projects so one project must be handed off if another more important project is brought to you.

Personal policies can include not snacking after dinner or donating a certain amount to your favourite charity each month. Policies should be used as guidelines and feel free to change them as circumstances dictate. There may be times when working more than you want to is required and will benefit the family life.

Use these tools to bring more balance to your life, to get you more focused and organized and to reduce stress. Let us know how you make out!

Exactly What Can A Professional Organizer Do?

Organized bedroom

When you hire a professional organizer you aren’t just hiring someone to come in and tell you what to keep and what to get rid of. A Professional Organizer does so much more. Most of us are trained by and are part of, the Professional Organizers in Canada.

We work with many different types of clients and deal with all sorts of situations in a professional and caring manner.

Besides the organizing and downsizing assistance that we provide, here’s a list of other services and knowledge that we bring to every client.

Moving assistance

A Professional Organizer can help you with moving, whether it’s you that is moving across town or across the country or whether you’re arranging for a loved one to downsize or move to another residence. We have the experience and training to pack safely and help you downsize and stay organized at the same time.

Organizing your crafts and hobbies

Many of you have hobbies and collections that take up a lot of space.

A Professional Organizer can help you display your treasures better, pack it for you or set up a system to help you keep track of what you love, all your supplies, materials and artistic endeavors saving you time to spend on your craft.

Home offices

Most homes now have an office that is used by the entire family to pay bills, spend leisure time on the computer or even connect to work. As a Professional Organizer, we specialize in getting filing systems implemented that work for you and your family.

home-office-desk-and-furniture

We also endeavor to create a system of paper organization such that should you become ill, someone else in your family or circle or friends can easily step right in and take over for you when you cannot.

We organize spaces to make you more productive and efficient and save you tons of time.

Small business offices

Document control, filing systems and productivity are a specialty of ours and we come into your office and first, see how you and all your staff work to come up with a system that works for all and gets the most productivity out of your office. We care for the environment and while we do that we initiate recycling and shredding policies and re-purpose items whenever possible.

As a Professional Organizer, we are sensitive to and protective of the environment and have a long list of partners and service providers that can assist if you wish to donate, sell or recycle a lot of what you have but no longer require. We can’t take it away ourselves but we do have reliable business contacts that can.

We are sensitive to your needs

We understand that for some clients it can be a bit embarrassing to ask for our help but that’s what we’re here for and that’s what we live for, to help you and transform your space and your life.

Organized space

We’re non-judgmental and also have experience in working with people that have hoarding tendencies, ADHD or just don’t have enough time, desire or physical ability to do it themselves. Sometimes you just need to bring in a professional.

In times of bereavement

When a loved one passes it can be difficult to tackle the possessions that they have left behind. Emotions can often make it difficult to take this on yourself. A Professional Organizer can take the reins to coordinate the sale, consignment or donation of items in the home paying particular attention to the wishes of the family.

These are just some of the many specialized services that professional organizers can provide. If you feel overwhelmed by an organizing dilemma, you don’t have to tackle it alone. Contact ClutterBGone here for an assessment for any of your organizing, downsizing or de-cluttering needs.

ADHD & Clutter – A Recipe For Chaos?

Organized-Living-Room

ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a psychiatric disorder causing attention control, which can cause attention deficits. Many adults with ADHD have cluttered homes and work spaces.

Some of you are able to function quite well in these surroundings and surprisingly can find anything you need quite quickly in a state that we would consider to be extremely cluttered. For those that cannot, here’s how to prevent clutter from overwhelming you.

Plan it

Whether you use sticky notes or hang a calendar in your room or use a day timer type of book, these physical reminders can control everyday chores from getting out of control.

Planner - weekly 2

If Thursday is garbage day, write it in the calendar. If you have bills that need to be paid write them in your book as soon as they come into the house.

Break it down

If you have been diagnosed with ADHD you may get overwhelmed with the number of things that need to get done. For most of us we can juggle our daily list of things to do and make changes on the fly but other things can easily distract those of you challenged with ADHD and before you know it you have a clutter everywhere.

The key is to break things down into smaller manageable tasks and stay with it until it is complete. Larger tasks should be broken down into smaller portions that you know you can complete within the expected timeline. If something comes to mind while you are working on a different chore, write it down and come back to it later.

Shopping trips

Shopping can be very tricky unless you’re prepared. Compulsivity is a symptom of ADHD so items are easily forgotten and items that are not required are purchased. This results in unnecessary expenses for the items you didn’t need and a return trip to the store for the items you forgot.

Shopping

Make a list and stick with it, no matter what. If cost is a factor use your calculator on your phone as you shop so you stick to your budget. I would suggest that you stay away from the bulk, membership type stores to reduce the temptation of purchasing more than you actually need.

The office desk

Whether at home or at work ADHD typically leads to a very cluttered desk. A lot of time is wasted in looking for things or moving things from one place to another. Find an organizing system that works for you. Initiate the practice of everything going into your “In” basket and once it’s taken from there you’re committed to finishing whatever it requires to complete it, right down to filing it away. Color coded files work for some and bins work for others. They key is to find the system that works for you.

Take a break and clear your mind

The most important thing is to recognize when you begin to feel overwhelmed. At this point it is OK to step away, process and relax. Don’t forget that your mind can also get cluttered so step away, take a few deep breaths and let it go.

If you live with someone who has ADHD or are challenged with it yourself, you may be living in a state of controlled clutter. The clutter can make your life feel like it is constantly out of control.

You may be able to function quite well with clutter all around you but many others cannot. Perhaps the significant others in your life are feeling overwhelmed with the clutter or you are feeling challenged with it yourself. If you are in the camp of those that can’t function well with the clutter and would like to get it under control, we would love to help. Give me a call or contact me here to learn more about how we can help.

Who Knew Being Organized Was Sexy?

Bedroom-Couples

IKEA recently conducted a survey in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal and found that 31% of respondents felt more satisfied after reorganizing a closet than after having sex. I don’t know if this says more about being organized or perhaps just more about their sex life (lol), but there are many benefits to being organized and here are just a few.

You’ll have more time for more important stuff

The first thing that pops into my mind after reading this blog title is that perhaps you have more time to spend with your partner and focus on what you guys are passionate about. Clutter can cause tension and conflict in a relationship, which obviously has an impact in the bedroom. There are of course a million other things that you can do with your time other than constantly trying to cut through the clutter to get organized.

You now have the time to pamper yourself, plan your meals, get caught up with that book or finally get around to binge watching that television series you’ve wanted to start. Whatever it is you want to do with that time, it is now available to you.

Where did that extra space come from?

Have you been complaining about the lack of space in your home and are convinced that you need to upgrade, renovate or move? The majority of people that bite the bullet and get organized suddenly find additional space that they were convinced they didn’t have. And that may be without even discarding anything.

Organized space

We have some pretty creative ways to maximize your existing space and carve out newly found areas to work with. Throw in a little downsizing and purging in with organizing and you’ll find that you have enough space for everything.

Where did that extra cash come from?

It’s true. Organized people save money. Time is money and you’ll spend less time looking for things. You also won’t spend money on duplicate items not knowing you have one “somewhere”.

You don’t take as many trips to the store because you can’t find what you’re looking for. And, you won’t throw as much spoiled items out because you know what you have, properly stored and easily accessible.

Organized people are more social

There’s a good chance that you feel embarrassed about the condition of your home if you are challenged with chronic disorganization or just very disorganized. You don’t want others to see how disorganized you are so you try to avoid visitors coming to your house or make excuses to go to their place instead. Get organized and improve your social life! It will be an enormous weight off your shoulders.

Improve your health

Being organized can improve both your emotional and physical health. According to a U.S. study of women who felt that their homes were cluttered or full of unfinished projects felt more depressed and fatigued than those that felt that they were organized.

Organized Home in Toronto

Clutter can affect your mood, your sleep, your health and more. People who work in an organized kitchen are more apt to choose healthier options to prepare for a meal. People in disorganized kitchens tend to grab what is close or quick to prepare often giving in to poorer choices.

So, whether you would prefer to spend time organizing or spending time in the boudoir there are many valid reasons to get organized. If you want to learn more about how to create more space and save you time, contact me here and I would be happy to chat.

How Do I Help My Child Organize Their Room

Organized-kids-room

As a child you’ve probably been scolded and sent to your room to clean it many times. A very familiar sound in my house was my mother yelling “get this room cleaned up”.

Now that I’m older and wiser and have gone through it with my kids, I now know she was trying to get me to organize my room, not just clean it up. It wasn’t really dirty, just a whole lot of everything strewn around the room.

If like most parents you are tired of messy, cluttered bedrooms then here are some ideas to help your children to organize their room.

Get them involved

If you want your kids to learn how to be organized they need to be involved in the process. Don’t go in there on your own when they are at school or at a friend’s house. They will resent you taking control of their possessions and rightfully so. Let them make the decisions with your guidance and they will use this experience when they get older.

Use age and size appropriate systems

It’s tempting to put teen or adult sized furniture in a kids’ room with the thought that they will grow into them. However, kids can’t reach some of the shelves on adult sized furniture so there is a lot of wasted space and items are bound to get left on the floor or jammed onto a lower shelf giving a disorganized look.

Closet - child

In the closet try bringing the rod down so they can reach that too or better yet put a dresser inside the closet or use a hanging closet system for the child to keep their clothes in. Hangers too should be child size to make it easier for them to use until they graduate to adult size.

Bottom to top

As adults, we tend to store things from top to bottom. Let’s face it, as we get older we may find it harder to stoop down. For kids it’s the opposite. Store from bottom to top with the items they frequently use on the bottom so they aren’t struggling to get things or put them away.

S-P-A-C-E

Use the same Space principle that you would use with your own organizing project – Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Evaluate. Sort everything into piles of similar items. Purge the items your child doesn’t need any longer. Pay particular attention to toys and clothes that they have outgrown. Assign a home for everything that is staying. At this point your child can see the progress you both have made so far and can see that everything is easily retrievable.

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Containerize the smaller items to keep them together and to make it easier to find and store. Label the container so you both know where everything goes at a glance. Lastly, evaluate the system after a few weeks or so to ensure that everything is working as planned.

Allocate time for upkeep

Allocate 30 minutes or so every week or two or however often you think your child will need, for a quick tune up for anything that is out of place or starting to stray from the plan.

If your child is the owner of a disorganized room chances are they have never been taught how and why to keep their belongings organized. A little patience in teaching them will last them a lifetime and assist in success in school and their careers.

If you would like to learn how we can assist in organizing your child’s room, we have plenty of experience in just that. Contact us here for a chat.

Clutter Awareness Week

Organized-Family-Room1

In our industry, the last week of March is National Clutter Awareness Week. Although you should be aware of clutter and its impact on your life every day, an awareness week is a great time to stop and take a look around for those of you that tend to put things off.

We don’t always see clutter around us because like everything else we tend to get used to it. So, in honour of Clutter Awareness Week here is a list of what to look for if you think you have too much clutter.

What are you not using?

As a homeowner, you may have a lot of stuff that you’re not using and a lot of this holds some value to you. I don’t encourage you to get rid of things you cherish or that has value to a loved one, but I do encourage you to donate, sell or trash items that you know are not going to get used again.

How many DVD’s, CD’s or books are in your home that you won’t even look at again? What about the clothing that is worn or just doesn’t fit any longer? If you’re keeping something until you slim down why not buy something new as a way to celebrate that victory? Besides, styles change and it may no longer be something you want to wear when you do get to the size you want.

What is getting in your way?

Do you get so used to things being around that you forget that they no longer work or are worn out? You may walk past or around these items every day without a single thought. “I’ll get around to selling or fixing that some day” are very common excuses I hear almost every day. That “some day” is here, this week.

Organized bedroom

Take advantage of Clutter Awareness Week to have these items sold or repaired now and reduce the clutter in your home. If you know of a senior in this position you could be saving them from a nasty fall by helping them reduce the clutter in their homes.

Is clutter preventing you from enjoying the things you like to do?

Clutter has a huge impact on your everyday life. Perhaps you feel embarrassed to have friends or relatives over for fear of being judged. Perhaps you have become housebound with the cycle of clutter becoming worse. Clutter Awareness Week is a great time to take charge and enjoy the things that clutter has been preventing you from doing.

Set aside some time this week to tackle your clutter. If the thought of de-cluttering frightens you or makes you anxious, start off with something small like a closet or a drawer. You will be surprised at how victorious you will feel and will want to tackle bigger areas soon.

Don’t forget there are so many charities that could use your old items. Consider giving to your local favourite charity or to any of the refugee charities that will appreciate your generosity.  Another option is to turn your old items into cash at a consignment store or perhaps you wish to sell them on-line.

Take some time this week to really take a look around. Take pictures if that will help and really look at what you see. Is your space functional, efficient and inviting? If yes, great! If not, set aside the time required to get things back in order or contact us here for a no obligation chat.

Easy Tips To Organize Your Home Office

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More and more people are working from home these days, either running their own business or because companies see the value in having their employees work from home anywhere from one to five days a week.

It’s important to have a space designated specifically for your work so you can be productive, efficient and not waste time.

A home office needs to be both comfortable and motivating and should be free from distractions that will allow you to focus on work. Here are a few tips to keep you organized and help you do just that.

Clear surfaces

I am a stickler for clear surfaces. A cluttered surface results in a lot of wasted time looking for that something that you know is “here somewhere”. Keep just the essentials within reach and keep your work area clear for increased productivity.

Stay focused

We all like to think that we can multi task but the truth is we can’t. Once you try to work on two things at the same time we aren’t able to keep the same focus on both tasks.

Stay focused

Stay on course with one task and move on to the next when it is completed or, if something is really important and moves up the priority ladder, put the other item away to give your all to the job at hand.

In and out trays

Put everything that comes in during the day into the in tray and assign a time of day to go through it. Doing this once a day rather than each time something comes in will save you a lot of time through the day. Likewise, with the out tray. Put all of your filing and outbound mail in there and attend to it once a day.

Choose a filing system that works

Filing is not the most interesting part of our day but it will go smoother if you have a system that works for you. Rather than having all my files together alphabetically, I have set up broad categories first like “Utilities” and “Automobile” and then have the files within these categories alphabetized.

Filing

This way I know what area I need to go to and don’t have to look through the entire file drawer to find something or put something away. It works for me but you need to find what works for you to save time and be better organized. If you are a highly visual person you may want to consider a colour coded filing system to easily locate a file based on colour. For instance, anything banking related could be a green folder. Any critical documents, like employment records, health records, school records, driver’s license and registration etc., could be assigned a blue folder. Leisure activities and reference files could be assigned a yellow folder. Think about what colour a certain category is to you and then go from there.

A shredder

A good shredder is a must to protect your privacy. You don’t want sensitive information blowing down the street and getting into the hands of someone who can harm your credit score or worse. The shredders that make confetti out of your paper are best as nobody is going to be able to put those pieces back together!

A weekly planner

Pick a planner that allows room to make some notes on each day and has room for priorities and items to follow up on. Planners that show a full week on both sides of the open book in my mind are the best in order to see what needs to be done that week at a glance. I’m pretty visual so that works well for me.

Planner - weekly 2

Check completed tasks off so you have that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Printers

Printers have come down in price quite a bit over the years but those expensive ink cartridges have not. If you choose to refill your cartridges take them somewhere reputable rather than doing it yourself. I have had no luck with refiling myself and would hate to hear that you have ink all over your desk.Printer

Unless the document is being presented to a customer or someone of similar importance, set your printing setting to print in black and white only to save on the color cartridge costs. Of course, it’s better to print less than more. When printing a document consider first whether it is absolutely necessary to have it in hard copy. Lots of information is now kept and stored online. Let’s not cut down more trees than we need to.

If you are one of the lucky ones that works from home make sure your office is set up to make the most of your productivity. ClutterBGone has assisted numerous small and home offices to get organized. Contact us here if you would like to learn more about what we can do for you.

It’s “Clean Out Your Closet Week”

Closet 1

The second week of March is “Clean Out Your Closet Week” and what better time to do so when the temperatures are on the rise and spring is just around the corner. Time to switch things up in the closet and get ready for the warmer months ahead.

Here are a few questions to ask your self about your clothing as you pare down and change over.

Does it fit?

I mean does it really fit? Don’t keep something just in case you lose those few pounds that you’ve been planning on doing for a while unless you are actively engaged in an exercise program with clear goals and objectives.

Don’t forget that a fashionable piece of clothing can look terrible on somebody if the fit is poor.

Will you ever wear it again?

Did you buy that special outfit for New Years Eve and know you won’t have a use for it again? We all do it.

Closet 2

We buy something for those special parties and wouldn’t be caught dead in it again at next year’s event. You’d be surprised just what you may be able to get for it at a consignment shop or one of those on line community groups or large scale consignment events. Why not get a little cash if you can?

Is it looking worn or ragged?

Take a real hard look at it. If you really are going to wear or use it again and it can be fixed for a reasonable fee than set it aside and get it in for repair. Don’t put if off any longer or it will make its way to the back of the closet again for another year. Unless you’re going for that worn look that includes scuffed up shoes, ripped tops and thread bare jeans, get it fixed or toss it out. Not even donation centres want your clothing if it’s stained, damaged or badly worn.

When did you wear it last?

Does this item look like you’ve had it since high school? I know styles come and go but if you’ve had an item for over a year and haven’t used it then it’s time to find it a new home. Some styles are timeless and I know some of you have a few classic pieces in your closet. However, the vast majority of you don’t and you know it.

Do I know anyone that could use this?

If you’re in the giving mood I’m sure you know somebody that could use it. Perhaps a friend, a relative or a neighbour is close to your size and would love to make use of what you cannot use anymore.

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Maybe you’ve lost a bit of weight or perhaps gained a bit over the last year. Once you come to grips with this is how you’re going to be it doesn’t mean the item can’t be used by someone else that would truly appreciate it.

What can I do with all the stuff I don’t need?

There are so many options of disposal when you have items you no longer need or want. Most charities would jump at the chance to take these items off your hands. I personally like to give to the not for profit charities so I know the value of the donations are maximized.

Every city and town has a couple of great consignment shops that will take your gently used items and share the proceeds with you. Most communities also now have groups on Facebook or check out varagesale.com where you can sell to people in your own area. There are lots of different opportunities to sell or donate items you no longer require.

Clean out your closet week has been timed to coincide with the changing of the seasons. Take this opportunity to clean out your closet, get a fresh start and stay organized. Help is just a phone call or email away. Contact me here to learn how we can help you get and stay organized.