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holiday decluttering tips

Stress Less with These Holiday Decluttering Tips

The holiday season can be stressful and overwhelming for many of us. One of the best ways to avoid holiday overwhelm is to declutter and this doesn’t mean putting things away so that they’re “out of sight out of mind” because even though you’ve stowed the clutter away, you know it’s still there. Here are some quick holiday decluttering tips to help you out just in time for the holidays.

So Many Toys!

For those of you with children, you know they will be receiving more toys than they need –  adding to the masses of toys they already have. If your child is old enough, explain to them that it’s important to make room for new items.  They can donate toys that are in good condition that they have outgrown or don’t use anymore to children who are less fortunate. Here are some suggestions:

  • Throw out broken toys
  • Throw out games and puzzles that are missing pieces
  • Donate gently loved toys that are no longer played with
  • Display sentimental toys or stuffed animals on a shelf

holiday decluttering tips

Holiday Décor

Some people like to change their holiday décor from year to year and amass a mountain of decorative items that serve no purpose other than to take up storage space. If you have holiday décor items that you no longer use or want, either donate them or post them on your favourite buy and sell site to make a little extra cash. It’s a great way to offset holiday and New Year spending.

Holiday Kitchen Woes

If you’re hosting for the holidays, there’s a good chance you’re stressing over the state of your kitchen. It’s difficult to keep this high-traffic area clean and tidy but with some advance planning you can host and not destroy the kitchen in the process. Do as much baking and prepping of side dishes in advance as you can then remove all things from the counter that you will not be using. Do you have a slap-chop that sits in a cupboard and doesn’t get used? Get rid of it! We often receive gimmicky gadgets for the kitchen that profess to make our lives easier but sit unused year after year. Free up valuable cupboard real estate space by getting rid of:

  • Broken and chipped dinnerware, bakeware, glass and mugs
  • Broken utensils
  • Donate or sell small appliances that you do not use

That’s a Wrap

Sort through your ever-growing stash of wrapping supplies. Recycle ripped and crumpled wrapping paper and gift bags. Throw out flattened bows and torn tissue paper. Simply get rid of any wrapping items that you will not be using again. It’s also a great idea to purchase a wrapping organizer which will help to keep these items sorted and stored in one neat and tidy container going forward.

 

Even a small amount of decluttering can go a very long way in creating an enjoyable and memorable holiday with family and friends.

Happy Holidays from us here at ClutterBGone!

organizing for the holidays

Holiday Organizing Tips

The holidays are an absolute wonderful time of year, without question. However, sometimes, we’re left feeling more stressed-out over our to-do lists and planning to enjoy it fully. We’re hoping to help you out a little here, with some holiday organizing tips.

There’s An App For That

We all tend to stress-out a little (or a lot) over our shopping lists and to-do lists this time of year. But what if we had an app to help us stay focused and on-track? Zapier has provided a list of iphone apps that will help you list and keep track of your shopping items, gifts, groceries and more. And Ubuntupid shares their top Android to-do list apps here. I’ve used the simple Samsung Notes app to keep track of my holiday shopping list. I’ve found it quite helpful in keeping me organized this time of year. Using a list will ensure you don’t over-spend, or buy the same gift twice by mistake!

 

holiday organizing tips

Manage The Unneeded Gift Clutter

Just because someone has given you a gift, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. The joy is in the giving and receiving. As Marie Kondo put it ‘Presents are not things, but a means for conveying someone’s feelings.’ Try not to keep a gift out of obligation or guilt. This will only clutter up your home with items that don’t bring you joy. Perhaps even consider re-gifting to someone you know will enjoy the gift very much.

Holiday Cards Are Everywhere

Holiday cards are coming by mail in the masses. Your counter spaces and table-tops are covered with holiday cards for lack of other places to put them. Consider archiving the ones you absolutely cherish – the ones with the family pictures attached for example. Place them in a keep sake tote and only display a few. We’ve even been known to display some of our favourites on the Christmas tree. Archiving some of the cards will cut down on the cluttered feeling – and you will have peace of mind knowing that the ones you wish to keep are filed away.

christmas card organization

Schedule Your Time

Time – oh my! This is maybe the biggest stressor over the holiday season. Try scheduling your time backwards from the holidays and block off specific time periods to do certain tasks. Don’t just block a Saturday off for ‘shopping’ – be as specific as you can. From 9-2pm on Saturday you’ll be Holiday shopping. Block off times for baking, wrapping, visiting. An organized calendar will help with the chaos the holiday season can sneak in.

Organize as many tasks as you can this holiday season and you might just find yourself enjoying this special time of year a little more than you have in the past. Our wish for you! If you need a little extra support – we’re always here.

storage solutions for small homes

How To Make Storage Work in a Small Home

If you live in a small home, apartment or condo perhaps you find it difficult to make use of the space and it feels too cluttered and un-organized. We’ve seen this time and again with clients. Small spaces can be a fun challenge! Here are some ideas we’ve utilized in some of our clients smaller spaces to help them fall in love with their space again; leaving their homes more organized and relaxing.

Be Creative With Your Rooms and Spaces

Oftentimes in smaller homes, rooms will need to play double duty! Your living room and dining room may need to learn how to co-exist. Designating areas or zones will help clarify and determine what area of the room is used for what. This will also help determine which items belong where in those designated zones. Making sure that dining room items such as dishes or glassware make their way back to the dining cabinet or that remotes and such are to be left in the living room area only.

Your office could share space with a guest bedroom or your kids play area. With smaller spaces, every inch of space generally has to be utilized. Get creative with it.

Utilize Closets + Vertical Space

Utilizing your vertical space is definitely a must when living in a smaller space. It not only maximizes space in your closets, but maximizes space in living areas of the home as well. Get yourself some nice furniture pieces like the one below and make use of the shelving.

making storage work in small houses

 

Of course, closet organizers are life-savers when it comes to small-space organization. Find some easy to install organizers at ikea or your local hardware store and organize your shoes, winter clothes, even photo albums!

Be Choosy About What Comes In

We, of course, speak of this tip a lot. It’s so imperative to be mindful of what items come into your small home, and what items are going out. One of my clients with a smaller home says she purges on a very regular basis. If she didn’t, she finds herself getting overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ laying around without an organized home. Clutter is more noticeable in smaller spaces, we find. All-the-more reason to implement some storage systems in your small home and be diligent about what’s coming in and finding a place to be stored or organized, and what is going out to free up that needed space.

storage solutions for small houses

The Floor Is Not A Storage Area

When you have a smaller space to work with, you may find it tempting to use the floor space as a storage area. Do you place bigger toys, musical instruments or the like on the floor for lack of a better area to keep them? This can all-too-quickly make your small space look cramped and cluttered. Make use of some of the tips above. Buy some attractive vertical shelving, make use of your closet spaces – but try not to place things on the floor. This sometimes seems like a good-enough option at the time, but it doesn’t give a fresh, clean, organized and spacious feel.

Organizing small spaces can be so much fun. It almost forces you to get creative with your rooms and closets. Less is more – especially when smaller homes are concerned. Have fun with it. And as always, if you need a little support and guidance – or are unsure of how to make your smaller home space more attractive and functional, give us a call! We’re happy to help.

organizing using calendar

How to Organize Your Professional Life

Our homes are not the only place where organization can be of value. As workers and professionals, we have deadlines, projects and work during the week. It is challenging to organize your professional life with so many priorities, meetings and commitments. It is a reality that if your professional life is disorganized, it might be suffering. We’d like to introduce you to various tools that can put the spark back in your professional work life. These are some useful tools that have helped us to stay organized both in personal and professional life.

 

Evernote

This program allows you to keep track of one to one notes and to keep ideas you want to research and pursue. The best part, is the ability to search the topics and the keywords in the notes. The search function in this application alone sets a standard of the organization tool. Another feature of importance is the ability to organize the notes and tag them with useful keywords for search reference.

 

ColorNote

We have enjoyed making to-do-lists to satisfy our tasks. With the use of smartphones on the increase, we use the ColorNote app to organize our notes and create perfect to-do-lists on the go. With the app, it is easy to set up alerts, and reminders for each task – otherwise we may forget.

organizing using calendar

Calendar

You may use Gmail or outlook for your calendar needs. Digital calendars are great ways to help you stay organized. The time blocking tool on the schedule is a valuable tool to perform specific tasks. Research has shown that your are more likely to complete a task when it has been scheduled on your calendar.

 

Unrol.me

If you’re like me, you have an enormous email inbox full of subscriptions. It’s super stressful to open up your computer each morning to find an overwhelming amount of emails to tend to – most of which are not important. Unrol.me scans your inbox to provide a list of all your subscriptions. From this list you can then decide which to unsubscribe from and which to keep.

 

LastPass

Gone are the days of needing to create and remember all your passwords. Who uses the same password for everything? To give yourself more password variation with added security consider using a password manager such as Lastpass. Now you can relax in the knowing that the app is remembering all your passwords.

professional life organizational apps

Exercise + Self Care

This may seem like an odd item to list – but exercise is a great way to clear your mind and get focused. Step away from your desk and go for a quick walk – grab a glass of water while you’re at it. Taking a few minutes away from the task can prepare you mentally and physically to come back more energized and overall more organized. You will be refreshed, renewed and ready to get on top of the to-do-lists.

 

In our professional lives we are painfully aware that time is of the essence. Unfortunately, we cannot add hours to our days but by implementing some tools and applications today, we can become more organized and save ourselves time tomorrow. Give us a call if you need some extra support or advice on how to stay more organized in your professional life!

 

the stress of bringing clutter into your life

3 Ways You Might be Bringing Clutter Into Your Life

One of the most common things you’ll hear about people struggling with clutter at home and in their life is that they can’t find a way to manage. It’s hard to manage a mess if you don’t understand the root issues that are actually causing it. In this article, we will talk about 3 main behaviors that often lead people to accumulate too much clutter. Keep reading to learn more!

You are emotional about certain items

This is a tough one. Nobody can tell you to throw something away, and if you feel attached to an item on an Are you bringing clutter into your life? emotional level, it is really only up to you to determine what to do with it. It’s important to take a hard look at yourself and search your feelings. What does that item really mean to you? Is it the item that’s worth keeping, or the memory that will forever be etched in your heart and in your mind?

You think that certain items might be useful down the line

Are you the kind of person with drawers filled with mixed batteries, random knick-knacks, ketchup sachets from the diner and hotel slippers from your last vacation 2 years ago? I am looking at you! So many people amass so much clutter through the years, due to their inability to get rid of things that they think they might need further down the line. The irony is that if they do end up needing these things, there are high chances that they might forget they have them in the first place and buy them new anyway!

Guilt

If you really think about it, a lot of it comes down to guilt. Even the first 2 pointers in this article are related to guilt. the stress of bringing clutter into your lifeIn a sense, people might feel guilty about throwing away stuff that once has meant something to them, or even things that they might think they’ll need some day.

“Oh, it’s such a waste!” How many times did you stop to think something like that while you were considering throwing something out? It’s important to understand the process of guilt and try to overcome it. Instead of letting guilt dictate your actions, take a step back and think about it with an open mindset. Being more honest with yourself is a great way to start your clutter-free journey!