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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.

Storing Your Hockey Gear

storing hockey gear

With the pro hockey season now winding down it’s time to get that hockey gear stored until next season. Our friends at Pro Stock Hockey have offered some tips on how to correctly store your gear so it’s fresh and in great shape the next time you play.

Pick a spot

Hockey families will have a lot of equipment to store especially if there’s more than one child playing and possibly Mom and Dad as well. Pick a spot where everything can be stored together and where it can be kept dry. Design a system whether it’s a shelf or hanging on a wall and ensure everyone uses it.

Sticks

Sticks need to be secured to make sure they aren’t falling onto a car or worse, onto a small child. storing hockey gearWe have seen many different ways to keep sticks secure. We can recommend something to you that will work in your space.

 

 

 

Extra gear

You know how fast kids grow and that means they grow out of equipment. Once it can’t be used, sort it and get it out of the house. There are numerous charities that would love to take your used gear. Also, you can sell it at a second-hand sports store or sell it yourself online.

Sweaters and pants

Being a hockey family I’m sure you are familiar with that hockey “scent”. That is usually caused by sweaters and, socks and pants being left in the bag. Hang these up when being stored to eliminate that nasty smell.

The extras

Try to use a bag that has extra pockets to store the miscellaneous items like tape and pucks.hockey gear It will make them easier to find when needed. And don’t forget to put skate guards on your skate blades to protect everything else. Hockey equipment is costly so it needs to be protected.

 

ClutterBGone has helped many clients get their hockey gear (and other sports equipment) organized and stored. Reach out to us here to see how we can help you.

Thanks to our friends at Pro Stock Hockey. The link to there article is here.

Organize Your Garage For Spring

organized garage

Can you feel Spring in the air? It has been a long and brutal winter in the GTA. The calendar says spring is finally here. Normally we like to throw open the windows and get into our “spring” cleaning. Well, don’t forget the garage during this time.

Your garage has probably been neglected during the cold winter months. It now needs a good old de-cluttering and organizing just like any other area of your home.

Where did I put those backyard items?

You probably tossed a lot of items into your garage last fall and over the winter. Time to get them out, clean them up and get them ready for the mild weather.

Start with an empty canvas

Pull everything out of the garage to start fresh. garage organizingTake it all off the walls, off the shelves and even out of the rafters. Lots of dust will have accumulated over the winter and a lot more will get kicked up as you clean. Take this opportunity to wipe everything down as it comes out. Use a sweeping compound on the floor to reduce the dust that gets into the air and finds its way into the house.

Give yourself enough time

Depending on the volume of clutter, you may need more than one day. A lot of our clients don’t have the time or simply understand and acknowledge that their time is worth more. Many of our garage projects take a minimum of 6 hours and can sometimes exceed 24 hours with a team of two depending on the size of the garage and the sheer volume of items stored (dumped) inside. Remember, it’s not just tidying up, it’s creating a system of organization when it goes back in, so you can easily find those items again when they are needed.

Get it back in neat and organized

Rakes, shovels and the like should go back in securely on the wall, so they can’t fall on anything or anyone. Designate a space for sporting equipment, garden accessories and supplies and label where it goes. Once everything is up and out of your way you can be sure that your garage will stay in a clean, tidy and organized manner. Everything will be within reach and easy to put back and retrieve once you’ve invested in a system of organization for your home.

I know most of you are itching to get into your yard work and get back into the garage. Contact us here to find out how ClutterBGone can help you organize your garage in Toronto and the surrounding area. We love to organize!!

Are You Using A “Floordrobe”?

closet organizing

Urban Dictionary describes a floordrobe as a form of storage for clothing which requires no hangers, drawers, doors or effort. Simply drop on the floor and you have a floordrobe. Obviously, this is a play on words, but I have seen many “floordrobes” in my time as a professional organizer. If you want to see your floor again here are a few things you can do.

Use the height

Many of you don’t see the height that is available in closets. You hang your clothes and accept the fact that there is a lot of space below your clothes. Raising the single rod you have and installing a second rod below instantly doubles the amount of storage space available to you.

Uniformity is key

Sometimes you get discouraged just with the way the closet looks when you open the door. closet organizingThis leads to frustration and then you just don’t care about being organized and that’s when the floordrobe starts. Try a few simple things like using the same type of hanger, face all your clothes the same way, organize by type and color. At ClutterBGone we know all the tricks to keep your closet organized.

More space is available

Look at all the space that is available to you. Is there an inside wall where you can hang belts or ties? Can you use the back of the closet door to store shoes, robes or purses? We know where to look and what to install to make the most of your space.

Out with the old

One in, one out. Remember that saying? I’m a bit of a stickler with this. When you bring in a new item of clothing something has to go out. Your closet doesn’t go on forever in there so there is only so much it can hold. While you are at it, purge all the clothing that no longer fits you, is out of style or is in need of repair. Somebody else can use your older items.

Out of season items

If your closet looks like it is going explode then take the out of season items out and store them in containers. closet organizingPut them under your bed or somewhere else in the house. Just by doing this you are going to create a lot more space in your closet. Next season bring the items back in and remove the items you won’t be wearing during the upcoming season.

Closets are a major source of organizing anxiety. As a result, we tend to get frustrated and end up using chairs and even the floor to store our clothes. Not the greatest way to store your purchases is it? If you are one of those that owns a “floordrobe” then contact ClutterBGone here. We love to organize closets and love even more to see your happy faces when we are done.

organizing your kitchen

New Home Building And Space

 

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

The ceiling is the limit

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

Kitchens

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

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

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

The laundry room

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

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

What you can do

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

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

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

Organizing and Decluttering Your Garage for Spring!

garage organizing

The snow is gone, the air is milder, the buds are starting to appear. All the signs of spring are here! So why aren’t you excited?

Are you having a tough time getting into your garage to find your gardening tools and patio furniture? Well, you’re not alone.

Your garage is a space that’s largely neglected during our cold winter months. Come spring, it needs a good old de-cluttering and organizing just like any other area of your home.

Let’s face it, the winter is cold and it makes it a lot easier to just store items in your garage and forget about them until you’re forced to deal with it head on. Who wants to work in an unheated garage during our cold Canadian winter? This causes you to dump things in the garage over the winter and you eventually must deal with it come spring.

Believe it or not, your garage is not the best place for storage.

Garages typically have solid concrete floors and despite the age of the garage, concrete still creates moisture. Moisture eventually finds its way into your possessions and can create mould. Many of our clients have had their possessions ruined by mould created from this type of moisture.

Do it right!

When storing and organizing items many should be contained so there’s no chance of anything falling on to you, your possessions or your car (for those of you that can fit a car into your garage). Containerizing is also important to protect your belongings from pests and moisture that can be severely damaging.

garage organizing GTA

Sporting goods should all be stored within easy reach and systematically according to seasonality. ClutterBGone has the experience and knowledge to use the right tools and items for easy and safe retrieval.

Time is precious

Depending on the volume of clutter you may need more than one day. A lot of our clients don’t have the time or simply understand and acknowledge that their time is worth more. Many of our garage projects take a minimum of 6 hours and can sometimes exceed 24 hours with a team of two depending on the size of the garage and the sheer volume of items stored (dumped) inside. Remember, it’s not just tidying up, it’s creating a system of organization so that you will never have to do it again.

Make a clean sweep.

Once everything is up and out of your way, you can be sure that we will leave your garage in a clean, tidy and organized manner. Everything will be within reach and easy to put back and retrieve once you’ve invested in a system of organization for your home.

I know most of you are itching to get into your yard work and get back into the garage. Contact us here to find out how ClutterBGone can help you organize your garage in Toronto so you never have to feel the fear of Spring.

8 Closet De-cluttering and Organizing Tips

How often do you open your closet and ask yourself “how am I going to get this in there?” or “where in the world did I put that?”. An organized closet is a must in order to start your day off on the right foot as opposed to crazed and frustrated. Closets are definitely smaller these days so it’s a necessity to have an organized, efficient and functional space for your clothing. Here are a few ideas to give you just that.

Out of season items

If space is a real issue, then store your out of season items elsewhere, but only if absolutely necessary. Removing these items that you aren’t going to use for months can free up a lot of space in your closet. If this is not possible then move them all to one side where they will not be in your way and rotate at the beginning of the new season.

Are there items you have that you never or rarely wear? Ask yourself “why am I holding onto this? “Do I really love wearing this?” Why keep anything you don’t love to wear or that feels good when you have it on?

Height

Take advantage of the vertical height within your closet by adding a second shelf for items that are not used that often like evening shoes and bags that are not used on a daily basis.

Make use of all space

Even small closets can normally accommodate some clear plastic drawers or hangers for the smaller items that you may have to store in there. Don’t forget to use the both sides of your closet doors for additional storage opportunities. We have lots of ways to maximize space when we work with our clients.

Add a second clothing rod

I’ve added a second clothing rod in all of my bedroom closets and almost doubled by closet storage space by doing so.

Tops on the top rod and pants on the bottom work well like this.

Time to say goodbye?

Do you have items in your closet that you have not had on for over 12 months? I would suggest it is time to seriously consider removing these items and either donate or sell them. After a year styles and sizes change and the chance that you are going to wear these items is likely slim to none.

Uniformity equals neatness

Create uniformity and a better visual with the use of the same size and type of hangers in your closet. And have your clothing all face the same way.

You will be surprised at just how organized your closet will appear with this trick. Slim hangers will also give you a bit more space.

See what you have

If you store shoes in your closet then use clear containers to hold each pair. Whether you store them on the floor or on the shelf you will be able to quickly identify your shoes and keep them in great shape. Old shoeboxes end up getting damaged and you end up pulling a few boxes down to see what’s inside. If you have the space you can install a hanging shoe organizer on your closet rod.

Back of doors

As mentioned earlier, take advantage of the space on the back of the closet door by installing a hook for your housecoats or a hanger for your belts.

Closets can be a real challenge and can really have an effect on the start of your day. Contact me now and we can work together to make the best use of your space and create a functional and efficient closet that will make you smile every time you open the door!

5 Reasons To Organize Your Closet Now

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that you probably have far more clothes than you need and probably more clothes than you actually have space for. Your clothes closet is one of the more “popular” spaces that I get hired to work on. With spring coming next (I promise, it is coming) now may be a good time to get your closet decluttered and organized.

My philosophy is to surround yourself with what you love. This means what makes you feel great when you have it on, what feels good on your skin, what flatters your body type and what suits your style.

See what you have

With an organized closet you’re going to be able to find what you need a lot faster and most weekday mornings you likely need all the time you can get. If you can’t see what you have and everything is just thrown in your closet it adds to the chaos and stress of an already busy morning.

Look your best

With an organized closet there is room for everything and everything can be found.

You are going to look and feel a lot better wearing clothes that don’t look like they were taken off the top of a pile and you will be able to see what you have therefore cycle through your clothes and not be forced to wear the same clothes because that’s all you could find.

Save on expensive closet makeovers

We recently organized a bedroom for a client who was sure she needed a new closet system for her walk in closet and had budgeted a good amount of money towards one. By the time we had completed de-cluttering and organizing her clothing and accessories, she had room to spare in her closet and she wasn’t going to miss a single item. She actually saved money by hiring us and not having to purchase a custom closet organizing system.

It just feels good

You open or walk into your closet several times a day. When you open that door and see an organized space it feels great! You can see everything, it is all organized by type and it is so easy to select what you need.

It can also be a stepping-stone for getting the rest of your home in order. Also, your clothes are kept in better shape in an organized closet, preserving their value, and who doesn’t feel good wearing better looking clothes?

Make some money

More and more people are shopping at high end second hand clothing stores and keeping your clothes in better shape in an organized closet will enhance the value of anything you may want to sell in these shops or elsewhere.

So, there’s five good reasons to organize your closet. I know you are going to want to add to your wardrobe with some new spring fashions so what better time than now to declutter first? If you need help with your organizing your closet, or any other part of your home, you can contact us here.

Under Sink Home Organizing – Found Space

kitchen-sink-storage-trays-1

There is a lot of space available for storage under sinks in a bathroom or kitchen if you just have the right tools. We all keep cleaners, rags, makeup, hair dryers and a lot more under our kitchen and bathroom sinks. These are challenging spaces with pipes and corners and bends but with a little creativity, you can take advantage of this space.

Clear bins

I use clear bins for all my projects but especially in these hard to reach and see places. Clear bins allow you to easily see and retrieve what you need. Label them as well so when you open the door you can see what is located where. Clear bins with lids allow you to stack them and use even more of the vertical space.

Shelves and caddies

Wire shelves and risers can almost double your space in these crowded spots. They are available in a variety of sizes at most department and organizing stores. They are easy to install and help to take advantage of height under the sink.

Tension rods

Tension rods, like the ones holding your shower curtain up, comes in all sizes. Measure the space under your sink and install a tension rod to hold cleansers, brushes and the like on the rod freeing up the bottom space for larger items.

Turntables

Instead of pulling everything out from under the sink try putting in a turntable (lazy Susan) to bring what you need to the front. These are normally used in the kitchen but they also work well under the sink.

Storage on the door

Don’t forget the inside of the door if space allows. Kitchen cleansers and sponges can be stored there or hair dryers and make up in the bathroom.

under-sink-storage-on-door

There are many organizing products that can be mounted on the inside of your cabinet door either with screws or heavy duty Velcro.

Gliding trash bins

If your home is like mine you may have your garbage bin, recycle bin and compost bin all under the kitchen sink. That’s a lot of bins all jammed together.

under-sink-garbage

Consider putting in gliding trays to pull them out when making a deposit to avoid a mess under the sink. It will also be easier to take out the trash with a gliding shelf.

Under sink storage can be a real challenge but with some planning and a few affordable organizing items you can make it much more manageable.  Good luck! I know you can do it!

Organizing Your Garage – 4 Things You Must Do

garage

I hate to say it, but winter is just around the corner and it’s time to get the garage ready to put your car in there for the winter. I can’t tell you the number of garages I see with possessions stacked to the ceiling.

It can be the absolute worst place to store items due to the condensation coming from the concrete floors and walls and the changing temperatures. I see a lot of garages turned into man caves (smoking rooms) too with fridges, heaters and big screen TV’s.

In our home, we have a single car garage and that’s where my car goes in the winter. My husband readily agreed to that to avoid having to clear off a second car after a winter storm. So, let’s get out to the garage and get it ready for the winter.

Get rid of what you don’t need

The garage is an easy place to dump things and get back to them ‘later’. Especially when there are no cars in there. In North America, almost half of homeowners admitted that the garage was the most disorganized area of the house. It’s little wonder that we receive a lot of calls regarding garages.

garage-4

Tackle the garage with the same mindset that you do with the rest of the house. If you haven’t used an item in over a year it is time to sell, donate or toss it.

Chemical “freezies”

Now that you have gotten rid of what you don’t need any longer let’s get ready for the cold weather. Place all of your liquids in a tote or box and bring them inside. They won’t freeze or gel and will still be good for next spring and summer.

Don’t forget the garden hose. If it’s on a reel, I like to unwind it to get the water out and then rewind it, disconnect the main hose and take the reel off the wall with the hose attached and store it inside. Sometimes it’s tricky to get all of the water out of those plastic fittings in the reel but this has saved us buying a new reel.

Store it high

Most garages are nine or ten feet high or more. Give some thought to storing things high with either ceiling racks, tall shelving or using manual or electric ceiling hoists for bikes. Some affordable ones can be found at your local hardware or big box store. If you are really in a pinch for space consider a small storage box or deck box for some items.

Zone in

When arranging the items you’re keeping in the garage designate a shelf for each type of item and label each shelf accordingly. Car accessories such as windshield wash and ice scrapers on one shelf, driveway salt on another and kids winter accessories on yet another.

garage-5

This will help with easy retrieval when needed. Containerizing goes a long way to keeping items in place. And labels are important!

Organizing your garage and getting it ready for winter doesn’t have to cost a lot but it will take some time to do it correctly. If you do need assistance in creating space to get your car in the garage for winter, contact us here. ClutterBGone has done that for a lot of people just like you.