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How to organized to make your home dementia friendly

5 Organizing Tips To Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

There’s no question that we all need a certain amount of organization in our daily lives. After all, this gives you some kind of peace and control. And when you live with or are taking care of someone with dementia, this becomes even more important. Learn how to organize your home to make it safe and friendly for those living with dementia.

Tip 1: Set Up Home Routines

One of the best things you can do to stay organized in your home when someone has dementia is to set up a routine. This is just like when you have a baby. A routine helps to deliver comfort and security in an uncertain world.

It’s best to have an activity and care plan in place that allows everyone in the home to know all the activities that are planned for each day. Place the plan somewhere in the home that’s very central and noticeable – perhaps a whiteboard in the kitchen and direct them to it each day. The fewer changes you make to the plan, the better. For example, if the person in your home suffering from dementia is used to reading a book after lunch,  avoid scheduling a doctor’s appointment at that time.

Tip 2: Use Labels

Labels and signs in the home can be extremely helpful for someone with dementia. After all, they can help them find items they need regularly or simply find the way to the bathroom or the kitchen.

Using signs for medication use should also be considered. A simple sign serves as a reminder that they need to take the medication at a specific time, drink a glass of water or eat a snack.

How To Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

Tip 3: Find A Place For Everything

As we mentioned above, home organizing is incredibly important for someone with dementia. The truth is that it’s not hard for people with dementia to struggle to remember where to find things in the kitchen, for example. In case they are trying to prepare tea and they can’t remember that the mugs are in one place and the tea bag in a different place, they won’t probably even bother looking for them. And this can end up hurting their overall health causing frustration. Don’t move items around to different places in the home. Keep things functional and in their designated places, and ensure you use labels and signs as mentioned above.

Tip 4: Reduce Decisions

While you shouldn’t prevent people with dementia from their options, it is wise to reduce the number of their decisions. Simply put, you need to find a balance so that they are still allowed to choose but not to a point where they may feel overwhelmed.

For example, if you need to take this person to the doctor, allow them to choose the outfit. However, instead of opening the wardrobe and letting them choose from a wide variety of pieces, you can simply grab 2 or 3 outfits at most and let them choose from those.

Tip 5: Keep Their Surroundings Clutter Free

It’s important to keep their surroundings as clutter free as you can to avoid overwhelm and frustration. Researchers from Princeton University found that clutter can actually have an impact on ones ability to focus on a given task – specifically stating that the visceral cortex can get overwhelmed by task irrelevant objects. If this is possible for someone without dementia, think about how much more important is is to keep your space clutter free and organized for one suffering with dementia. In the bedroom for example, remove all clutter from the floor to ensure your loved one doesn’t trip and fall – keeping all shoes and slippers in the closet when not in use. Situate their bed so it’s facing the way to the bathroom, leaving the bathroom light on at night. In the kitchen, ensure surfaces are clutter free and that there is a space for everything.

Home organizing may not be very easy when you live with or need to take care of someone with dementia. However, it doesn’t need to be hard either. Overall, you need to think that home organizing is crucial to ensure the person doesn’t feel agitated, frustrated or stressed – and most importantly, for their overall safety. If you find yourself in the position of needing to organize your home to accommodate someone with dementia and need a little extra support – feel free to call us! We’re more than happy to help and make this an easy transition for all involved.

How To Organize Your Car

An organized car, like an organized office, makes spending time there a lot nicer.

We spend a lot of time in our cars. From driving to work in the morning in rush hour to shopping, visiting friends or family, running kids to events or even just for the pleasure of driving, there is hardly a day that goes by that you don’t get into your car.

For many people their car shows off their personality and tells the world a little bit about themselves. A fast sports car, a large family car, a working truck all say something about their drivers. How we look after our cars tells people something as well.

We never want to come across as disorganized. An organized car shows people that you are an organized person. Sometimes, though, we don’t have the time to pay enough attention to these things.

If you’re constantly losing and searching for items in your car, suffering constant breakdowns and embarrassed about anyone seeing the inside of your vehicle, it might be time to organize your car.

So, how do I organize my car?

An organized car is one that is clean, tidy, well-maintained and provisioned. It’s easy to do and is well worth the pay off.

To start with, completely empty out your car including the trunk. It’s best to start with a clean slate. To this we can add, rather than take away. It’s also a great chance to clean your car and find lost items. Grab a garbage bag and throw away any rubbish, hoover it out, and clean any surfaces and windows. The first time might take a while, but it will be quicker and easier the next time.

Organizing your documents is the most important thing to do. Insurance and registration should always be with you. But maintenance records, owner’s manual, and receipts are useful to carry around as well. I like to put mine in a folder with separate pockets. You can put this underneath the driver’s seat if your glove box isn’t big enough.

Keep a page with a note of the last time your car had an oil change, new tires or brakes, and an engine service among other things in the folder as well. This will focus your mind on getting those things done before something breaks down. A well maintained and organized car won’t let you down and will be cheaper to run in the long term.

The trunk is a great place to keep bulkier items. If your car does breakdown, or you get stuck somewhere in bad weather, being well organized and prepared will make a world of difference. Besides the obligatory spare tire, keep a fully stocked first aid kit, blanket, bottled water, jumper cables and a fresh pair of socks. Trust me on the socks.

Finally, a roll of garbage bags, a pack of wipes and some emergency cash in your glove box will come in handy. You can hide the cash in an envelope if you are worried about it.

A car is a tool. The better we treat it, the more useful it will become. A car helps you get places. An organized car just makes the journey more enjoyable! Call us if you need some help!

organize for back to school

Organize For Back To School

Organization is key if you want to avoid stressful back to school mornings. The summer holiday is over and the fun is coming to an end. The time creeps up on most parents and we leave the planning until the last minute – leaving room for stress.  You end up looking for unorganized school items for hours. We want to provide you with some tips on how to organize for back to school to help make it as smooth of a transition as possible.

Create a checklist 

Before the day sneaks up on you, make it a point to create a checklist of all the things the kids need prior to going back to school.  Are their supplies in order? Do they need new supplies? Have they outgrown their clothes over the summer break? Where are their school bags? Do they need new indoor shoes? Create a checklist and tick whenever you have something ready.

Adjust your clock

This might sound simple or silly but it’s very effective and makes such a difference. Set all the clocks in the house ten minutes ahead. The most common mistake families make in the morning is underestimating the time it takes to do something. For example, they may think it will take 10 minutes to get ready while in reality, it will take 20.

Organize kids’ closets

If you don’t organize your kid’s clothing well, they will likely head out the door wearing their Sunday best clothes without any worry – or worse – the joggers with the holes in them.  You could try picking out their clothes every weekend and placing them on five hooks in the closet, one for every day of the week.

organize kids closets for back to school

Organize paperwork

If the kids came home with paper piles to be signed as well as permission slips, be sure to sign them before they go back to school. Back to school means back to sports, field trips and other school programs and you don’t want your kids to miss any or tell you the day before the trip.

When parents are faced with the back to school rush, they feel like there is no time to organize. Professional organizers advise you to take things slowly. If you are overwhelmed, you can always get a professional organizer to guide you on how to avoid all the stress and rush that comes with going back to school – and all throughout the school year too!

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

You have guests coming to your house and it looks like a mess. The kids have been playing all around the house and you need the space organized before the guests arrive. All this can be chaotic and hectic plus it can take a toll on you. Most people find space to bundle all the clutter especially in the garage or in one corner to try and un-clutter the visible spaces. This is however not a solution and it won’t work. If you want an organized and presentable living space, get some guidance, coaching and support from a professional organizer.

Every space is redeemable with an organizer on site. Organizing is more than just putting things in place. It’s all about efficient storage solutions and ideas coupled with space planning.

Having guests over? Don’t let this fill you with anxiety over the state of your house, let’s see what you can do about it:

How To Organize Before House Guests Arrive

Clear the entryway

When your guests first arrive, this is the first part of the house they will see. As they remove their jackets, they will be throwing eyes around so it’s good to make the area tidy. Put away any jackets and shoes that might be cluttering the entryway and if there is a lot of dirt, sweep it right out the front door. Add some wall décor to give a cozy vibe.

Get rid of clutter

The human brain is programmed to notice things that are out of place. Your guests won’t be looking for things to criticize but they will see it. Get a professional organizer to help you get rid of that pile of clutter. Never make a habit out of stashing clutter.

Clean your bathroom

Before the visitors arrive, always make it a point to clean the bathroom and especially the one that is frequently used by the guests. The visitors won’t take long to notice a messy bathroom and it doesn’t take a lot to clean and pick up any towels or clothes on the floor.

Get a professional organizer

Sometimes you can look at the house and the mess and simply give up. There are piles of clutter in one corner and the other things are overflowing out of your storage space. Get help from a professional organizer who will guide you on space planning and give you efficient storage solutions and ideas.

Do you have a specific dumping site in your house that you want to get rid of? Are your wardrobes efficiently organized for effective storage? Simply get a professional organizer and go from clutter to calm in all the spaces you have in the house from the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, closets, and storage spaces. ClutterBGone services the greater Toronto area. Call us today for your consultation.

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.

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!

Successful Transitions to Assisted Living

Steps for Successful Transitions to Assisted Living

Making the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility is often very difficult for all who are involved. Every situation is unique, some people recognize that they are ready to downsize and significantly reduce their domestic responsibilities while others may be extremely resistant to the very thought that they even consider leaving their home and their independence for a facility. Whichever circumstance that you find yourself in with your elderly relative, there are ways to make the transition easier for all involved.

Step 1 Transition to Assisted Living: Communication

It is very important to develop and maintain open lines of communication. If your relative is reluctant to move speak to them gently, with care and understanding. Let them know that their feelings are valid and offer reassurance that this does not mean a loss of independence – as this is typically the greatest fear. Point out all the things that they will no longer have to be responsible for such as taking the garbage out, mowing the lawn or keeping house. Help them to see that this leaves them free to fully explore their interests and activities at their leisure.

Successful Transitions to Assisted Living

Step 2 Transition to Assisted Living: Visit the Facility

Visit the facility well in advance of the move. Meet the staff and other residents – take a tour and become familiar with all the activities that are scheduled for your relative to participate in. Many facilities will allow and encourage your relative to join activities of their interest before the move has been finalized as a means to increasing familiarity and comfort in the decision.

Step 3 Transition to Assisted Living: Plan and Execute

A move such as this takes a lot of planning. Ensuring that your relative is involved in all decisions will help them to feel that they do in fact remain in control of their lives. Seek help from other family members or engage a professional who specializes in assisting families and their elderly relatives in transition. Make a plan together and ensure that you offer validation that it is a difficult transition and that while there are changes and some losses there are many gains as well.

Certainly these transitions are emotional. They represent significant milestones in the lives of all who are involved. Communicating with love and care goes a long way towards easing everybody’s feelings on the matter. Making informed decisions together with your loved one allows them to retain control and independence. Meticulous planning for the move and enlisting as much positive support as possible also contributes to a positive experience for all.

If you find you need support, we can work side by side with you or your parents and assist in de-cluttering, sorting and paring down possessions and help to create and preserve a legacy of treasures and memories that will never be forgotten. We’ll provide the knowledge and decision-making support to organize the home for sale if needed as well. With patience and guided assistance we help find new homes for unwanted and unused items through sales, donations and recycling, and ensure that vital documents and papers are in order and available for quick and easy access. Reach out!

 

 

 

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.

home organizing donated items

Where Do Our Donated Items Go?

Are you considering hiring a professional organizer but are concerned about your unwanted items ending up in a landfill? When an organizer comes in for some serious decluttering, where do all the extra items go? 

Recently, professional organizing had a surge in popularity. All of a sudden words like “de-clutter” and “minimalist” were familiar words on everyone’s lips. Even though taking control of your life through organizing is a positive thing there can be some troubling consequences. Second-hand charity stores were inundated with household items, from furniture and books to kitchen utensils and clothing. Because of this sudden influx of items, a lot of them were left outside. Great items that could have had a second life were damaged by bad weather or were simply taken to landfill because the charity stores didn’t have space.

Now, what does this tell us? That organizing is bad? Absolutely not! However, it’s a great story to keep in mind because this runs into the heart of the organizing philosophy. Each client in a professional organizing session is encouraged to take pride and ownership of their household items and living space. Yet, if there are things that are no longer needed it’s up to the client to dispose of them thoughtfully. Organizing effectively is not just a technique it’s a way of life. So keep in mind that when working with a professional they won’t just be focused on what you’re keeping. They will also provide advice and about what you should do with unwanted objects. home organizing donated items

Some of the options when disposing of extra household items include:

Charity:

This is a great option because the organization can make money off the sale of your donation. On top of this, they will also help people access good quality items for an affordable price. Just keep in mind that most thrift-stores only accept donations when they are open for trading. Dispose of your items with respect and thoughtfulness!

Sell:

One of the most exciting parts of de-cluttering is discovering that you have some unwanted items with some value! Visit a local second-hand store or try selling your things online. eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Maxsold are great online platforms to start. If you have a lot of things consider running a garage sale or trading at a local market or fair. Have fun with it!

Throw away:

Unfortunately, this is just one of the necessary evils of decluttering. However, sometimes it can’t be avoided. Always chat with your professional organizer first to see if they have any more sustainable ideas or resources about how this item can be re-purposed.

If you’re ready for a fresh start – call us and we’ll chat with you about your organizing and decluttering needs. We here at ClutterBGone will ensure that your unwanted items are taken care of in a respective manner.

cost of hiring a professional organizer

How Much Does A Professional Organizer Cost?

Are you interested in hiring a professional organizer but concerned about the expense? Let us help clarify the costs associated with hiring a professional organizer!

First off, there is no specific answer to this question. Each organizer or agency will most likely charge different rates. This can be dependent on a range of different factors. Some of these can include the experience of the organizer or the specific needs of each project.

The good news is that most organizers provide an initial thorough consultation with their client. From our experience,  the cost of a consultation assessment can cost clients anywhere from $75-$250 and can take anywhere from one hour to an hour and half and upwards (depending on the number of spaces being assessed and how much detail clients which to provide). The consultations  will help the organizer get a rough idea of the volume and scope of the project but also an in depth understanding of their client. Each person and home are unique, so this initial consultation is essential for the client to understand how much and how long a project will be. Let us outline some of the factors taken into consideration that can influence the cost of this service below:

Project timeline

This can depend on many different things such as the involvement of the client and the size of the home. cost of hiring a professional organizer

Personal client goals

Not everyone wants a total makeover. Some people may just want to regain control of their living spaces. Each specific need and request need to be taken into account to provide an accurate quote.

Space issues

If a home is difficult to move around freely in this can have a significant impact on the time it will take to de-clutter and organize each room.

The availability of storage space

This is an important aspect that many people don’t consider. A large part of organizing is reordering storage space. This entails finding easy and clear places for the client to locate important items. If there isn’t much storage space to work with, this can impact the time frame of the project. The organizer and client may need to get creative with innovative storage solutions!

Any foreseeable psychological challenges

This can include any number of things and will be ascertained during the consultation interview. An example of a psychological challenge may be a client clearing out their home while grieving the loss of a partner. This is a significantly different project with specific needs. It may require a longer time frame than an average organizing session. The sensitive and emotional nature of each project must be taken into account.

Physical constraints

This could entail a variety of physical situations that could be important when providing a price estimate. For example, the home could be on a top-story with no elevator!

A consultant will take stock of all of these features and provide a thorough estimate at the future cost of hiring a professional organizer. For an estimate, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you begin your journey to a more organized lifestyle!