Posts

Professional Organizer standing in front of organized closet

Working with a Professional Organizer

Seeing a messy space turned into a tidy environment is really satisfying to watch! It’s not surprising that Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix, ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’, is actually becoming one of the most inspiring offerings on the streaming service.

With her revolutionary method, she has become a celebrity of sorts in the de-cluttering world, and viewers love to see her in action as she transforms many spaces, and lives.

In the same spirit, ClutterBGone is all about changing lives and tidying up spaces, allowing people and businesses to maximize their full potential!

What We Do Professional Organizer standing in front of organized closet

For the past eight years, ClutterBGone has gained a lot of experience working with clients from all walks of life. From downsizing businesses, to homes and office spaces, anything goes. While working with people from different backgrounds, we have learned a very important thing. Organization is not just about tidying up a room. It’s about clearing the mind!

Clean, organized spaces help people regain some peace and calm in their lives, not to mention, enhance their productivity and focus.

Our Services

We can provide a broad range of services and accommodate almost every de-cluttering need – from clearing severe clutter, to helping people arrange their closets, homes, or office spaces. Do you simply need to purge some of your stuff and need help figuring out what you need, or don’t need? We can also assist you with that! In most cases, we can provide a custom service that’s tailored to your space, needs, and lifestyle. The best approach is to talk to us in advance and make sure we are on the same page with your needs!

Will You Force Me To Get Rid Of Stuff?

Not at all – they’re your belongings, and you are the only one who should decide what stays, and what goes. We’d be happy to give you suggestions and guidance, as well as a little encouragement and motivation. However, it’s your decision at the end of the day! We understand that things have a value, especially personal things, that might be attached to memories and life events.

Processing Times calendar: declutter your life today.

The length of the process might depend on the scale of the project itself. Full home re-organizations will take longer than smaller projects such as closet de-cluttering, for instance. We’ll be sure to let you know our estimates as early as possible in the process, so you can get a good idea of how long we think it will take for us to complete the task (or tasks).

Your Privacy Matters To Us

At ClutterBGone, we strictly adhere to the code of ethics of the Professional Organizers of Canada.

We completely understand that your privacy is very important to you. For this reason, we will never give out any information about you or your business for any reason, at any time. We take pride in our reputation, and the fact that we have earned the trust of so many customers. This is why you won’t ever be hassled with ads or any other content without your explicit consent.

ClutterBGone serves customers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can turn your space from mess to best!

And in the meantime, feel free to download our free organizing checklist at www.clutterbgone.ca

Understanding Why We Accumulate Clutter

understanding clutter

We are a society that constantly buys items. We need new clothes to keep up with the latest fashions. We love to have the latest in electronics. Our kitchens are full of gadgets that make our lives easier. With our living spaces becoming smaller it’s almost essential to stay organized. Organizing itself can be quite easy. We accumulate, we pare down and sort through and get rid of some of our items but without understanding why we accumulate the clutter you’re doomed to repeat the process.

What is truly important?

Of all your possessions there are only a few that are truly important to you. understanding clutterWe hold onto many items out of sentimentality. Maybe it belonged to a loved one. Perhaps you still hold on to those old high school awards. When was the last time you even looked at them? Will your loved ones want them when you are gone? Choose just a couple of these items and purge the rest. ClutterBGone knows how to make sure those memories are with you without the clutter.

Material items define your success

Keeping up with the Jones’ is a real thing. We clamor for the latest and greatest in all things. Just look at the line ups when a new phone is launched. How about those Boxing Day line ups all to get a great deal? What are these people doing with the things they already have? Obviously, success shouldn’t be measured on what you own but rather what you accomplish, how you achieve your goals and how happy your home life is.

It was too good to pass up

We always run into a bargain or a sale that we believe is just too good to pass up. understanding clutterWow! Eighty percent off something that I may need at some point? Who could pass that up? You should. Even eight percent off is still too much to pay for something you just don’t need. Besides, there will always be a sale at some point. If you truly want to live clutter free, then purchase only what you need and when you need it. Keep in mind that everything you buy requires some maintenance whether it is cleaning, dusting or moving it around and it takes up valuable space too.

Letting go is overwhelming

We see this with a lot of our clients. Just the thought of letting go of something can bring on the sweats and anxiety. They don’t know where to start so just keep putting it off. A professional organizer understands this and works with their clients to reduce the anxiety and work with them at their own pace. You don’t have to do this alone.

ClutterBGone understands the reasons why people accumulate clutter and how hard it can be to declutter and get organized. We understand the psychology behind clutter and work with you, side by side, to get you to an organized and clutter free home. Contact us here to start the process.

Get Organized in 5 Easy Steps

organize in 5 steps

One evening I was looking up the definition for “organize” in the dictionary. Don’t judge, I’m a professional organizer after all! The definition reads, to arrange in a structured whole, but it was the synonyms for organize that caught my eye : put in order, arrange, sort, categorize, and systemize were just some. It then got me thinking about what we at ClutterBGone use to keep us on track through our process. The acronym “SPACE” is an easy way to remember our steps for a successful organization.

SPACE in our industry stands for Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Evaluate and they’re the 5 steps we use and encourage with all our clients.

Sort

When organizing or downsizing the first step is to sort your belongings by category. organize in 5 stepsIf you were organizing in the kitchen you would sort all your pots, pans, utensils and such to see just how much you had of each. When doing a closet sort your shirts or blouses, dresses, pants, etc. You really don’t know how much you have of something until you see it all laid out in front of you.

Purge

Once the sort is completed the second step is the purge. Don’t confuse purge with getting rid of everything. All you are deciding here is what will stay and what will go. Go can mean donating it to a charity or giving it to a family member or friend. It can mean selling it through various ways or yes, by throwing it out. We find that the purge process is where someone really needs a third party to help. A third party, like a professional organizer, is non-judgemental and can help you make decisions quite a bit quicker.

Assign

Assign is the third step. This step is when you are going to assign a home for your item. You will want to do this based on the layout of the space, the space available and how often you need the item. ClutterBGone has the knowledge, systems and experience to help you make these decisions. You’ll love the systems we leave you with to keep your space organized. And we can usually find space that you just can’t see.

Containerize

Once you have completed the previous steps, you can store the items you have with containers you already own or purchase some new, clear containers to do the job. organize in 5 stepsRemember to store items in containers using the smallest possible container that will house all the items in a particular category. Most professional organizers will carry an inventory of commonly used containers to save time.

Evaluate

The last step is to ensure you review the spaces you have organized and to evaluate if any changes are required on a regular basis. You don’t want to fall back into a disorganized space after all the work that you have put into it.

These are the five steps to go through in order to organize any space. We would love to hear how you make out or better yet, we would love to help you in your next organizing project. Just contact us here.

Decluttering Tips For Hoarders

 

declutter tips for hoarders

Do you see signs that indicate you’re a hoarder? Do you know someone that hoards? Hoarders save items that others may find worthless. They collect items to the point where it affects their living and work spaces as well as their relationships with others. To help you avoid some of the challenges that come with hoarding, we have put together this list of tips to declutter when you see signs of hoarding.

Recognize what hoarding is

Although close to 5% of the population display signs of hoarding, I doubt many of you are true hoarders. Hoarding is a disorder that has most recently stemmed away from the relation to OCD and has become a category of mental illness on its own. Most times than none the individual really requires professional help. You may be chronically disorganized and living with clutter but that’s different than being a true hoarder.

Slow and steady

Don’t rush through and get rid of some items that may have value to you or others. declutter tips for hoardersOrganizing and decluttering isn’t a sprint. The clutter in your life didn’t appear overnight. Pick a room or a space that gives you the most grief and start there. Stay with that area until it’s complete. Now stand back and realize what you have accomplished. This will give you added energy to move on to the next space.

Handle it once only

One rule that ClutterBGone follows is, “if you touch it, finish with it”. In other words, once you have picked something up you must determine what it is, what it is used for, when was the last time it was used and more importantly what to do with it. Now you must make the decision to keep it, discard it, sell it or donate it and put it into the respective pile. There is no setting it aside and deciding later. I strongly believe clutter is easily explained as postponed decision. Later seldom comes and later is the reason for the build up of clutter in the first place.

The owner is the boss

When it comes to the final decision, the owner of the item is the ultimate decision maker. If you are helping a friend or family member you can’t make these decisions for them no matter how much you may disagree with them. This will only lead to arguments and the whole process can come to a standstill. You wouldn’t want other people coming into your home and making decisions regarding your possessions.

Pare down multiples

Many people who are disorganized or live with clutter have multiples of the same items. declutter tips for hoardersThey forgot they had it or quickly need it and couldn’t find it, so they run off to the store to purchase another one and now have more than 2 or 3 of the same items. These items are easy to make decisions about. They are the perfect candidates to sell, donate or give away.

Learn about yourself as you go

During this process you may learn a lot about yourself. Are you just chronically disorganized? Perhaps a schedule for monthly maintenance of your space will help. Do you compulsively purchase items to cheer you up or to feel great about that sale item? There are other ways to get that same feeling without sacrificing your space and money. ClutterBGone has helped many of our clients in the same situation you may find yourself in now.

So, if you think you display some signs of hoarding let these tips help you in your decluttering efforts. As always, if you can’t do it alone there are professionals out there to assist you. ClutterBGone has helped many clients throughout the GTA become organized and clutter free and we would be proud to help you. Just contact us here.

Let’s Get Organized at Work

 

The new year is a good time to start fresh both personally and professionally. When your peers and your superiors see an organized office, they see someone who is productive and in control. You can find thing easily thus improving time management and can work more effectively. Let’s see how ClutterBGone can get you better organized at work.

Stay focused on one task

Although we think we can work on more than one thing at a time the fact of the matter is we can’t. Dividing your concentration and efforts on more than one task reduces the focus you put on a project which reduces the quality of work. organized officePrioritize your tasks and give each one the full effort they require.

What is your peak time?

We’re not all morning people, or afternoon people for that matter. I normally need a couple of cups of coffee and a bit of time to reach my optimal working time. Know what yours is and save the most important tasks for this time if you can.

Clutter is a distraction

I’ve seen a lot of desks with an enormous pile of paper scattered everywhere on them. These people typically don’t know where to start and waste a lot of time just getting ready to start a project. A lot of time is also wasted looking for files, reference materials and office supplies. Handle the paper once when it comes in. Devote time each day to paper if you need to.

Do you have home and office balance?

A lot of studies have been done confirming that people who have a balance between the office and home typically are less stressed and we know what stress can do to the body. organized officeThey also feel more in control of their lives and feel more successful. Work is something that can easily consume us and have a negative effect on our personal lives so find the right balance for you. Maybe it means limiting the evenings per week you will work late or perhaps you can let go of some of the less important projects to staff. Whatever it is, find your balance for less stress in your life.

Set your goals and write them down

Set your goals and revise them often. They could be daily, weekly or monthly goals. Write them down and leave them where you will see them. Without setting your goals how else will you know what needs your attention and what you have accomplished? Block out time for the really important stuff and let people know it’s “do not disturb” time.

We all want to be successful at work. Use these tools to bring more balance to your life, be more productive and stay organized. Let ClutterBGone into your office to help you get organized as we have done to others. Just reach out to us here.

 

Organize for Your Winter Vacation

 

 

organize for travel

With winter here, and more of it ahead of us than behind us, I’ll bet quite a few of you are lucky enough to get away to a sunny destination. Travelling can be stressful enough with the line ups, security checks, cramped airline seats and all that goes with it. Reduce that stress by being organized before you leave.

Make a list

I drive my husband crazy with my lists and I always make a list of what to bring when we travel. This serves two purposes. organize for travelIt ensures that I bring everything I need (and no more) and stops me from having to purchase items I don’t need when I get to my destination.

Use packing aids

There are so many items that can help you take advantage of the space inside of your suitcase. I own a couple of those small packing cubes where I put socks and smaller items. In a pinch plastic grocery bags will protect your shoes. And here’s a tip – place all your liquids like shampoo and sun screen in zip lock bags. The last thing you need is these liquids spilling out during your trip. I use an undergarment bag to keep everything in great shape during arrival and it makes it so much easier to unpack at my destination.

Unpack right away

I know you want to get your vacation underway as soon as possible but take the few minutes upon arrival to unpack and get everything put away. You will feel more at home and won’t look like a wrinkled mess when you go out for dinner.

Use your electronic devices for stress free travel

I love those apps that allow me to store my boarding passes on my phone. organize for travelI no longer have to juggle things while in line to retrieve my boarding pass. You can also use your phone or other electronic devices to access the airlines entertainment system on board. Store your books on your Kobo or similar device to reduce space and weight on your trip. There are many apps as well that will track your flight to let you know when there are delays or changes to your trip.

Travel tips

When I travel, I bring a few disinfectant wipes with me to wipe down the trays, arm chairs and buttons. I know the airlines don’t do a great job at this. Bring a few snacks with you so you aren’t purchasing expensive food items on board that you normally wouldn’t eat.

Travelling can be a very stressful time but being organized and ready can take a lot of stress out of it. If you are one of the lucky ones to get away this winter have a great time and follow some of these organizing tips to make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.

Resolve to Get Organized This Year

resolve to get organized

With the new year fast approaching a lot of you will be making resolutions to make 2019 better than 2018 was. If you are one of those that makes New Years resolutions, then I know a lot of you will be resolving to get organized this year. In order to avoid being in the same cluttered mess at the end of January, here are some tips on how to help you stick with your clutter free resolution.

Know why you want to be organized

Jot down the main reasons for wanting to get organized. resolve to get organizedDo you want to have more time to spend with your family or friends? Do you want to reduce your frustration and anxiety levels when you can’t find things? Will being more organized improve your relationships? Will you save money on past due and interest charges and improve your credit rating? Whatever the reason, write them down and keep the list in a conspicuous place until the task is completed. It will be a constant reminder to you.

Tackle one room at a time

Rather than running around the house picking up clutter, pick the one room that causes you the most grief. Start on that room. Be realistic about how much you can give to the task at one time. With every drawer you organize, with every pile you make disappear or with any space you open up give yourself a pat on the back and realize the step you have taken towards an organized and clutter free pace.

Give, store or sell?

There are so many ways to rid yourself of the items you are not going to keep. Family members may want some of the items as a keepsake. Any items that are in good working order or aren’t worn could be sold in a consignment shop or on line. Many charities would love to receive your gently used items to restock their shelves after the holidays.

Get any help you need

A lot of the clients that ClutterBGone has worked with in the past could not have done it alone and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Enlist the help of friends or family if you feel you just can’t get it done yourself. You can also hire a professional organizing service like ClutterBGone. We can get you organized in no time with our highly skilled team just like we have with hundreds of satisfied clients in the GTA.

So, if you have resolved to get organized in 2019, good for you! Keep these tips in mind. And if you need professional help to get organized just contact us here to get the ball rolling. We love what we do!

How to Spot Signs of Hoarding

signs of hoarding
The definition of hoarding is to amass and hide or stow away. Hoarders have difficulty parting with their possessions regardless of what the value may be. Typically, what sets a hoarder apart from someone who is disorganized or lives in clutter is the type of items they have like newspapers, bags, boxes and even old food. If you, or someone you love, is heading towards being a hoarder here are a few signs to watch for.

The inability to throw anything away

Hoarders aren’t able to throw anything away. They feel an attachment to everything that they have regardless of its state or value. Often, they don’t see that they have a problem. Researchers have found that victims of hoarding have abnormal activity in regions of the brain involved in decision making – particularly in what to do with objects that belong to them. Not only do hoarders collect too many things but they feel unable to throw them out even if they are useless.

Anxiety sets in at the thought of discarding an item

Have you heard the term disposophobia? signs of hoardingIt’s the fear of losing things or fear of getting rid of something. It’s also known as ‘Hoarding disorder’. This disorder causes the sufferer to save everything and brings on anxiety at the thought of having to get rid of any of it. The heart rate elevates, the breathing increases and the sufferer would rather run away than face a decision.

The inability to sort, categorize or organize any possessions

Unlike somebody who is just disorganized or lives with clutter, a hoarder is not able to sort their possessions in any manner. Their possessions need to be close to them and organizing them or storing them in any manner is out of the question.

The loss of living space

Slowly the living space will disappear in a hoarders’ home. Possessions will take over all space that is available leaving nowhere to sit, sleep or entertain. Once this happens hoarders will become more isolated as they become embarrassed about their home and don’t want visitors. Visitors will judge or will want to intervene.

The home is becoming unsanitary

Keeping the home of someone who hoards clean is almost impossible. There are too many items to get to an area that needs cleaning. Dirty dishes pile up, left over food is left out, laundry doesn’t get done, toilets aren’t cleaned, etc. A dirty home can quickly become unsanitary or even unhealthy.

If you recognize the beginnings of any of these signs in, you or a loved one contact ClutterBGone here for a free assessment to see how we can turn things around and get your space organized and clutter free.

When You Should Hire A Professional Organizer

Hire a professional organizer

Does your hall closet look like a four-season disaster? Does your bedroom look nothing like a place you would want to sleep in? Do you spend too much time, and get too frustrated, looking for items? Do you just not have the time to get organized yourself?

It sounds like you may be needing a professional organizer to get your home organized and clutter free. Many of our clients never thought they would be hiring the services of a professional organizer, but our testimonials speak for themselves.

Here are some of the reasons why ClutterBGone has been hired to help many clients in the GTA.

You don’t know where to start:

Organizing and decluttering a whole home can be a daunting task. Professional organizers are trained to hone-in on the areas that give you the most trouble and take it from there. We also learn how you operate in an area and organize it with that in mind. Our team can tackle an entire home in no time.

Paper piles

Not everyone has an act for organizing paper. hire a professional organizerBeing disorganized in your home office can cost you money with late fees applied because of lost bills. After a while your credit score can take a hit and that can cost quite a bit when you are refinancing a home or loan. ClutterBGone has organized small and large offices and we have staff that specialize in paper.

Improve your mental health

It’s no secret that disorganized people live in a state of anxiety. Some even suffer from depression. All that clutter can weigh you down. Once you are organized and clutter free you will feel like a load has been lifted off your shoulders. You will want to use the rooms that have not been used in a quite a while. You will also want to have company over and entertain.

Find things again

Do you have a closet full of clothes but can’t find anything to wear? Does it take you forever to find your gloves or scarf but know they’re there? Disorganized people spend more than a year of their life looking for things and this always happens at the most inopportune times. Wouldn’t you like to have some of this time back and reduce the anxiety it causes?

Maybe you eat out more than you want to because of a cluttered kitchen. Perhaps you’re paying for the storage of items you no longer use or need. Or, maybe you can’t get your car into the garage this winter due to the mounds of items already in there.

Whatever the reason, a professional organizer can get you organized and eliminate your clutter in no time. Contact ClutterBGone here to see how we can help you.

 

How to Downsize When You Retire

downsize when you retire

More and more people are retiring or preparing for retirement as the population ages. As we start out in life, we purchase a small starter home and increase in size as our family grows. Most of us stay in this larger family home after the kids are gone to hold the family gatherings. Or maybe even to keep the space available for the returning kids.

It’s difficult to let go of the home that you have lived in for many years. There are many memories there too but at some time we need to downsize into a more manageable space. If you’re about to retire and are thinking about downsizing your home here are some tips to help you.

Define the reasons for downsizing

There are a variety of reasons why people want to downsize when they retire. You can free up cash or reduce mortgage payments allowing you to do the things you want to do in your retirement years. Maybe the stairs at home have become a bit of a challenge and you need to move into a bungalow or maybe you just want to move closer to the kids and the grandkids.

Let go of the clutter

downsize when you retireAfter living in your home all those years, you’ve surely accumulated a lot of items. There’s furniture and decorations to consider. Will all these fit into your new space? The sentimental items are the hardest to go through and decide what to keep. Emotions can sometimes take over and stop you from making the tough decisions. That is where a professional organizer like ClutterBGone can help. We are non-judgemental and don’t have the emotional attachment that you do.

How much space do you need?

When downsizing be realistic about the space you need. Do you need the four bedrooms, 3-bathroom home that you currently have? Do you need the two-car garage? Will you be hosting the family dinners that you use to? Will you be having company over as often? In most cases we have seen clients reduce the footprint of their kitchen and dining rooms drastically.

What will you do with the items not coming with you?

downsize when you retireNow that you’ve made the decisions on what comes with you and what doesn’t, what will you do with the items you no longer require? It’s an easy decision for the items that you’ve been storing for the kids. Call them up and have them pick it up. For the rest, determine what will be sold, what will be donated and what will be thrown out. Again, this is something that’s a lot easier with a professional.

So, if you’ve made the decision to downsize when you retire, follow these tips to make the transition go smoother. And, if you need the assistance of a professional, ClutterBGone has helped many others in the same situation that you are about to find yourself in. Contact us here to find out more.