Posts

downsizing seniors

How To Help Our Seniors With Downsizing

People have different responses to getting old but one thing we can be sure of is that ageing is inevitable. When people get to the age where they are regarded as senior citizens, one of the problems they face is moving and downsizing and making difficult choices of what to keep and what to let go. This period is usually very emotional for some, however can be something to look forward to and become excited about.

Here are a few steps to consider when helping a senior downsize.

Consider Their New Home

Downsizing usually involves moving into a smaller and more manageable environment and the new space is the first thing that must be considered. Ideally, it is not a process that should be rushed. You have to check out their your new home’s space – the floor plan, the kind of environment and community that is being entered into.  Is your senior downsizing into a nursing home or assisted living facility? Are they moving in with friends or family, a retirement community, or are they buying or renting a smaller house or condo?

The Seniors Guide To Downsizing

Take An Inventory Of Their Current Home

The next step usually involves taking an inventory of items in different parts of their current home. It is advisable to start from the part of the house with the biggest items or the area of the house that has the most stuff.

While doing this, you will be able to identify different categories that items might fall under e.g. Regularly used objects, sparsely used objects and high-value objects. Every room in their house must be checked so you don’t miss anything important – ensuring everything is well-organized when moving and they don’t end up with items they don’t need in their new space.

Do They Need It?

De-cluttering is a very important step in the downsizing of your seniors. You have to ask yourself certain questions as you pack-up and box items like:

  • Do they need this item? Is it used regularly?
  • Will the item fit into their new space easily?
  • Is the item of high-value financially?
  • Do they have multiple versions of the item?
  • Does the item limit their mobility or accessibility in their new space?
  • Do they love it?

Answers to such questions are usually difficult but very necessary when planning their move.

Find Innovative Ways To Take Care Of Disposed Items

You’ve sat with your senior and have decided what belongings will make the move and which ones won’t. When disposing of the items that won’t be moved with them,  you need to decide what to do with them. You can have the items donated to charity or given to friends or family members that may find the items valuable. Another option is to have an auction or sale especially when some of the items are still valuable and would be able to generate some needed income. When downsizing, it is important to always get rid of old and harmful items that can’t be repaired no matter how much sentimental value they carry – you don’t want to keep harmful objects in their new environment as your senior approaches their golden years.

As we mentioned above, this process can be emotionally draining for some so it best be done with the help of loved ones, family or friends. However, if it gets too difficult, you can always consult with us. We love assisting our seniors!

Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needs

Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needs

Special needs kids and their families often come to terms with various struggles when it comes to getting more organized in all aspects of their lives. Organization in this type of scenario might require a different approach. We hope to provide some organizing tips for kids with special needs and their families.

Clear The Clutter

It is a known fact that clean, organized, and clutter-free homes are much better for people’s mental health and emotional stability. This is particularly true when it comes to special needs families. Keeping a clean and decluttered environment can be essential for the care of kids (and any other person) with special needs. This is especially important if you need specialized equipment for the care of your child with special needs, such as wheelchairs or other features. Give everything a home, don’t bring in any excess clutter and train your kids to put things away after their use.

Develop Systems!

When caring for children with special needs, it is important to adopt systems that would facilitate access and tracking of important Organizing Tips For Kids With Special Needsresources and items – anything from accessories, to medication and documents. Some parents like to color-code folders, boxes, and other storage solutions, as a way to be able to identify what they need easily and seamlessly. This is not purely a matter of keeping a space organized, but it is also about maximizing the efficiency of everyday living, leading to a much better and consistent quality of care.

Mind Your Schedule

Keeping up with yours and your child’s schedules can be extremely important when you are taking care of children with special needs. Today, technology makes it a lot easier to save and edit calendar data and manage your busy schedule. From doctor appointments and regular check-ups to daily routine commitments, it is vital to keep up with every aspect of the care-taking process. Here are some apps that you may find helpful –

Astrid – There are lots of list-making and to-do apps out there, but Astrid gets high marks from reviewers for its clean interface and ability to share lists with someone (like your spouse) to collaborate. It also allows voice entries so you can speak an item into the phone while walking down the sidewalk.

Grocery IQ – Allows you to make and access your shopping list from your phone and even keep lists for different stores. Add favorite/every week items with just a tap or two, coordinate your coupons to maximize savings, and sync your list between multiple devices.

Develop Routine Habits

Routine habits can be extremely beneficial to the lifestyle and wellness of children with special needs. Make sure that you take the time to organize some viable daily activities, even when it means starting from the very basics, such as getting up at a specific time, or eating meals at a given time consistently throughout the week. Having a routine can be absolutely wonderful for the stability of your kids, and for their overall health. This is an aspect that’s often overlooked, albeit it can be extremely important. If you’re finding it overwhelming and would like a little extra support bringing order to your home – please reach out. We’re here to help.

home organizing tips

Fall Organizing Tips – Where Do I Start?

Fall seems to be the season for fresh starts. The crisp and cool mornings and the new school clothes get you in the mood for organizing this time of year. You feel the urge to get yourselves and your home in great shape. But you may be asking yourself – where do I begin?  If this sounds like you, the following Fall organizing tips may help you get started with your organizing:

Fall Organizing Tip 1: Simplify morning routines

If your Fall mornings tend to feel a bit busied and chaotic, try simplifying your routines. Ensure that the everyday essentials required by your kids in the morning are easily accessible such as back packs, sports gear etc – perhaps at the door so they can see it and grab it on the way out. With regards to the dreaded lunch making – try setting up bins in your refrigerator that the kids can pick items from and assemble their own lunches.

The most common problem between you and an organized home is simply just a lack of routine. Have a look at your current daily routine and try to establish new ways of planning out how to maximize your time. Get your kids involved too – they’ll love it. Having an organized morning routine will leave everyone feeling less stressed and ready for the day.

Fall Organizing Tip 2: Do you wear it?

A simple technique to organize any closet is to get rid of the clothes you don’t wear at the end of each season. Try looking at your closet with a fresh set of eyes. Clear out your unworn shorts and sundresses at the end of summer so that you have less clothing to store and fewer accessories to deal with. Put the clothes that you wish to keep in a labelled bin ready for easy access for the next appropriate season. If you find items in your closet that you won’t wear again – ever – then it could be time to take a trip to Goodwill or – ClutterBgone is a proud supporter of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness. They will happily take your gently used items and put them to good use.

Fall Organizing Tip 3:  Organize the kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I tend to slack off in the ‘home cooking’ department during the summer months. Everyone is so busy running here and there so quick meals tend to be our go-to. When the Fall rolls around however, I love an organized kitchen. When my kitchen is clean and well-organized, I feel I can tend better to the needs of my family by cooking healthy meals, turning on the crock pot and locating my apple peeler. Ensure that your kitchen drawers are ‘junk-free’ and that the utensils you use often are easily accessible. Consider purchasing small bins (dollar store) for your food pantry and labeling them for such things as your cereal, pasta, kids snack crackers etc. It gives a neat and organized feel.

fall organizing tips

Try one or two areas at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to organize every area of the house in one weekend. Grab a nice pumpkin latte (if that’s your thing) and enjoy the crisp cool breezes of Fall. Remember, we are always here for you. Should you need some extra guidance or support, we are just a phone call away and would love to assist you in your organizing needs this season.

decluttering for beginners

Decluttering Guide For Beginners

Tired of your cluttered home and dreaming of starting afresh? We hope this decluttering guide for beginners will allow you to enjoy your home in style!

Start With Storage Spaces

Before you start decluttering rooms you need to make space in your storage areas. This can include the garage, basement, attic, cupboards, closets, wardrobes, and anywhere else you have things hiding away! This is an easy place to start clearing out possessions that are just gathering dust in storage. On top of this, you’ll need to have fresh space to start storing and re-organizing your home. Trust us, you’ll appreciate the extra space once you start decluttering!

decluttering your home

Make Piles

Decluttering can be an overwhelming process and unless you have a professional organizer at your side, it can be tiring work. On top of this, decluttering can also be emotional too. It’s difficult to say goodbye to our possessions. For many of us, there will be things we want to keep; some we want to clear away, and then a lot that will be in-between. Do you want to keep it or not? This is where the pile method comes in! Start a pile for the things you are keeping and then another for the items that you’re not sure of. This is the “maybe” pile and you can come back to this later. You don’t need to make the hard decisions all at once. For the things, you’re definitely getting rid of have bags ready to store them in.

Be Prepared

Before you start decluttering you need to be prepared. We recommend purchasing extra strength garbage-bags and some cleaning products. Also, make sure you have a selection of storage boxes, and paper and pen to jot down notes. By starting prepared and ready to go the decluttering process will be more seamless and simple.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Decluttering may seem like a simple job, but once you get started it’s easy to get snowed under the sheer amount of things to do! If possible, ask some friends or family to come over and help with your de-cluttering. You can even make it fun and offer some pizza and drinks afterward! This is a great way to make the process more fun, simple, and quick.

Donate To Charity

After you have finished decluttering donate your unwanted possessions to charity. However, make sure you get in touch with local charities first to see if they accept donations. You may need to do a few trips to get rid everything. Keep in mind that you should only donate items that are in good shape, anything beyond use should be disposed of beforehand.

When you’re decluttering make sure you take your time. It’s important to go at your own pace and keep motivated. After you’ve finished, sit back, relax, and enjoy your brand new space! If you need a little extra support, we here at ClutterBGone are here for you! Contact us today for a consultation.

Who Needs A Professional Organizer?

Who Needs A Professional Organizer?

Do you want to tidy up your home but just don’t know where to start? Discover the slew of benefits of hiring a professional organizer. Continue reading to find out more!

It’s More Than Just Cleaning

Many people believe that a professional organizer is simply someone who’ll help arrange your home. However, an organizer is so much more than that. A trained organizer enables their clients to take control over their home and life. It could be anything from re-organizing an empty nest or moving out a deceased loved one’s possessions. Home is where the heart is and an organizer is the first step towards creating a space that is perfect for your lifestyle and needs.

Do I Need An Organizer?

This is a personal question that only you can truly answer. The best way to work out whether you need a professional organizer is to ask Who Needs A Professional Organizer? yourself the following questions. Do you feel overwhelmed with your possessions? Do you believe your space represents your personality? Is there anything you want to change in your home to make life easier? If you answered yes to any of these questions it’s time to consider whether a professional organizer could be the perfect fit for you.

Is An Organizer Just For Hoarders?

There’s a popular myth circulating that a professional organizer is only for people with hoarding tendencies. In fact, an organizer can assist with a diverse number of needs! For instance, if you feel your place is cluttered and you just can’t get on top of the mess, an organizer can be invaluable. At the end of the day, an organizer will help you only as much as you want to help yourself!

What Can A Professional Organizer Do For Me?

There are so many different things that a professional organizer can assist you with. Below, is a brief list of just some of the amazing work they can do.

 

An organizer can:

  • Arrange your space effectively. This can help you to enjoy your home and cut down your cleaning time.
  • Instill strong organization principles in the client: A professional organizer will help to improve your everyday life. Being organized is a lifestyle, not just a cleaning method!
  • Help you to downsize: Many people hire an organizer when they are downsizing to a new home. This could be for retirees, empty- nesters, or even just a family moving to a new area. Downsizing is difficult, but with an organizer on your side, they can make the process seamless and painless.
  • Take control: Many people feel totally overwhelmed by their homes, and can’t even enjoy the space they have.

 

At the end of the day, an organizer helps to empower and encourage their client to take control of their space and improve their quality of life. Let us help you with your professional organizing needs – We here at ClutterBGone specialize in ensuring your peace of mind.

5 Questions to Ask Professional Organizer

5 Questions To Ask Any Professional Organizer

We always learn so much from attending Professional Organizing conferences! With a growing number of dual-income families these days, there seems to be more money to spend on things you don’t want or like to do yourself. Thus, saving 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 do the companies and individuals that provide the service. It’s best that clients are informed, so we 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.

5 Questions To Ask Any Professional Organizer

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 into.

Pricing

Make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are being charged and for what services. An hourly or  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?

We 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 (we did not give her any!). It was obvious she had never done this before and after we 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!

How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed

How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed

The clutter that accumulates in our homes can easily get out of hand leaving us to feel defeated,
distressed and overwhelmed. Clutter adds to our daily stressors and is an external expression
of our internal state of mind. When we are already struggling; becoming motivated to declutter is
a daunting task but it is one that will help you to feel calmer and more in control of your life.

Make decluttering easy on yourself with these easy steps.

Starting Small

Planning to declutter does not mean that it has to be done in one hour or one day. Set yourself
up for success by setting 15 minutes of decluttering activity. When the time is up, stop and
move on to another activity. 15 minutes of decluttering daily will give you the results you want How to Begin Decluttering When Feeling Overwhelmed
without feeling overwhelmed.

Plan

Make a plan; is there one room that needs really, really needs to be decluttered? Consider
starting there and the other spaces will follow. Block time in your calendar for this activity.

Enlist Support

Calling on a friend or family member for help is a great idea. They can help us stay on track,
they make the process much more fun. As friends and family have less sentimental attachment
to our stuff they can also help to provide perspective on whether or not an item really needs to
be kept, donated or tossed. A professional organizer is also worth considering as they have
many tips and tricks to make decluttering easier and efficient.

Distract Yourself

Not from the clutter but from the task. Listen to uplifting music, podcasts or audiobooks while
you work on the area you want to declutter. You may find that this is helpful and allows you to
accomplish so much more than you had originally intended.

Celebrate Success

Consider setting a date for a party or get together to celebrate your new decluttered space.
Not only does this give you something to look forward to it can also motivate you to stick to your
plan and accomplish the mission.

You will feel so much better when your home is a place of peace and comfort, a true escape
and safehaven from the chaotic world around all of us.

Remember, we here at ClutterBGone make it our mission to help alleviate the stresses that clutter can create. Call us for a consultation to see if hiring a professional organizer is right for you!

Your Step by Step DeCluttering Guide

Living in a cluttered environment can prove to be very stressful and pave the way to a whole host of other issues as well. Chaotic working and living environments have often been linked with anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health problems. In addition to that, a space that is not clean and tidy could undermine productivity and prevent you from performing at your best.

Here we will provide some tips on how you can prevent the aforementioned issues, as well as keeping your home or workspace decluttered and inviting, with this step by step decluttering guide!

Cleaning and Rearranging

People often think that their spaces are cluttered because they have too many things. At times, however, this Your Step by Step Decluttering Guideisn’t the case. In most cases, a cluttered space is that way only because you might not have found the right way to flatter your area with the way it’s set up and organized. Some organization experts have saved people thousands of dollars, and even saved them from having to get rid of some of their stuff, by simply helping them rearrange their spaces in a more suitable way. Sometimes, keeping a space clutter-free could really be all about redefining its layout and organization.

Removing Unwanted or Unnecessary Items

If all else fails, and you find it hard to organize your space due to the sheer amount of the things that you own, you should consider getting rid of some of your belongings (downsizing or decluttering). This could be quite a complex task for some people. Many of us struggle to see things we care about gone. Others always think that they might need something later on in life, so they don’t want to get rid of those things, just in case they might end up finding a use for them later on. Whatever the reason that keeps you from getting rid of your stuff, you should take a deeper look at yourself, and your things. Although you might feel like you’re giving up on something by throwing things out, you might stand to gain much more than you could possibly imagine, particularly in terms of peace of Your Step by Step Decluttering Guidemind.

Adopting healthier habits

Getting your space clean and organized is only half the battle. The other half? Keeping it that way! It’s quite easy to slip into your old habits if you are not careful. In order to prevent such issues, be sure to embrace a steady routine, and be mindful about keeping your space clean and organized on a regular basis. This way, daily maintenance will only take a few minutes of your time every day, and you won’t run into the same debilitating space issues again. 

Decluttering your space doesn’t have to feel stressful. If at anytime you’re in the midst of your decluttering process and need a little more guidance and support, we’re here for you! We here at ClutterBGone love supporting others in this journey!

 

declutter newly listed house

How To Declutter Your Newly Listed House

So, you’ve just listed your house and now you’re eagerly awaiting to show it off! You might be wondering what to do next? If you want to make sure that you are giving people the best possible impression of your listed property, you need to understand that appearances matter a lot. A cluttered home might appear to be much smaller, not to mention colder and more chaotic. This might fail to give people a proper view of the full potential of your space, and as a result, you might miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about how we can help you declutter your newly listed house!

Remove as many items as possible declutter newly listed house

If you want to show off all the space in your home at its best, you should aim to remove as many items as possible from your house, before you show it to people. Some homeowners even go as far as booking storage units or pods, so that they can temporarily transfer some of their superfluous items, particularly if they still don’t have a suitable living arrangement or a place where they can unload some of their material. In addition to that, other people leave some of their items in their new homes, or with relatives and friends on a temporary basis. Better yet, why not go through your items and determine what you need verse what you can donate or get rid of to help off-load a large number of items. This is a great way to remove clutter from your newly listed house.

Keep it tidy

A tidier home will make a much more positive impression. Make an effort to keep things tidy, and compartmentalize your space, so that each room shines. For example, don’t keep a massive pile of old magazines on your kitchen counter: let people grasp the size of that space, and what it is all about!

Don’t use your front porch as a storage area for bulky items that won’t fit inside: keep it clean and clutter-free!

We could go on and on with similar examples, but I bet you’re entirely understanding the idea by now. Add value to each space, by making sure that it truly lives up to its full potential.

decluttering newly listed home

Use lighting to highlight your space

As you might know, a brighter space might often appear bigger and cleaner. By contrast, a poorly lit space might often come off as a much more cluttered and cave-like environment. If you want to make sure that you are adding the right value to every room of your house, make sure that everything is well-lit. If possible, use natural light as much as you can. This is the best type of light, and people always love to see how much natural brightness can come into your home.

If you’ve just listed your home, or preparing to do so in the near future – and need a little guidance and support in how best to de-clutter your space and prepare it for showings – we would love to help! Contact us today for a consultation.

organizing process support

Process of Organizing – What’s My Involvement?

Professional organizing is quickly gaining popularity. Professional Organizers are dedicated to delivering positive results for their clients. Most of us are familiar with what an organizer does, but what about the involvement of the client? What is their role in the process of organizing or de-cluttering?

We’ve all been stressed and overwhelmed with the state of our households. No matter how much we clean and tidy, things just always seem to get out of hand. Am I right?  Now, many people are hiring professional organizers to help them make sense of their space. If your home is getting organized by a professional organizer how much do you have to be involved? Should you be there monitoring their every move, or is it better to let the experts do their job?

Professional Organizing: Involved or Not?

The answer to this question above is yes and no! On the one hand, the client does need to be directly involved in the decision-making process.organizing process involvement It’s proven easier to let the organizer sort through the trash and treasures of your home by sorting and categorizing them into easier and more manageable categories for you to then be able to make decisions. We are never going to make decisions on your behalf as we understand these choices are extremely personal and sensitive.

For instance, an organizer may schedule a brief appointment to sort through family photographs or the kitchen cabinets. These are important and intimate items and only the client can make the final decision with these.

Will I need to throw things away?

When it comes to sorting through items, expert organizers will never pressure you to throw anything away. We are there for support, advice, and positive encouragement. An organizer will provide you with a foundation to assess what objects are important and which are not. The next step is to decide whether to keep the item or dispose of it. Then re-organizing the space to fit in with your new set-up, your routines and daily habits can take place.

Expert organizers are great at keeping decision-making sessions brief and concise. This allows you the freedom to be hands-on inorganizing process support the decision making process without getting overwhelmed with the entire organizing process.

It’s your choice

Each individual client is empowered to make their own decisions about how involved they want to be in the organizing process. Organizing can be time-consuming, so many organizers offer a lot of flexibility over how much the client wants to be involved in the project.

If you’re ready to tackle an organizational project of any sort, we are here to help you! At ClutterBGone we offer stress-free solutions to your organizational needs.