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A Guide To Helping Your Parents Downsize

Seniors downsizing

One of my family members is a senior who is currently going through the process of downsizing. It got me to thinking that most of us will have to address this at some time in our lives with a loved one.

Some of our parents are not going to be able to stay in the larger family home and are going to need help in downsizing to a smaller dwelling be it a smaller home, a condo or even a retirement residence. If you find yourself in the position of having to assist a senior in downsizing here are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.

Emotions

The move and the preparations that are required are going to be an emotional time for both you and your parents. seniors downsizingExpect some tears, some smiles and maybe even some arguments. Keep your feelings in check and remember that it’s your parents that are being uprooted and moved leaving behind a lot of memories. Remember how you felt when your parents moved when you were young and the feelings you had? Most important is do not be judgemental. Perhaps a third party will be required to help with the process

Plan the new space

You will know the approximate size of the new rooms so sit down with your parents and decide what pieces of furniture are just not going to fit into the new living quarters. Maybe now is a good time to help out a child or a grandchild that could use a piece of furniture that is not going to fit into the new place. Explain that the piece will still get good use and will provide memories of them to the new owner. Maybe a sale would be in order with the money from the sale being used for something special that they want or need.

Precious memories

Decorative items are really the ones that make the place feel like home. Ensure that you know which are most important and pack them carefully. Once in the new place have them hung or displayed in a place for all to see to reduce the anxiety of the move. These memories will bring a sense of home and calm to them.

Now is the time to purge

I don’t know if it’s an age thing or not but many elderly people I’ve met tend to hang on to things and don’t want to let go. downsizing seniorsNow is a great time to go through the closets and drawers and toss anything that is worn to the point it is no longer wearable or donate anything that just doesn’t fit anymore.

As you go through the process remember the three piles – toss, donate and sell. Don’t be judgemental, be patient and let them know that there are people that could use the things they don’t need or don’t have the space for anymore. And remember – we are all going to be there at some point so compassion and empathy now will probably come back around later.

ClutterBGone has assisted countless GTA families with this process. We’re non-judgemental in our approach, compassionate and caring. If you need assistance with helping a loved one downsize just call (905-642-5669) or click here to contact us.

Spring Decluttering of Your Home

spring decluttering

Oh, spring! You have finally arrived! In the GTA there were times when we thought spring would never get here. Now that it has, people are out enjoying the sunshine. Many others are tackling the job of spring cleaning. ClutterBGone has a lot of experience in decluttering homes at this time of year. Let’s share some of our experiences with you.

Pick a starting point

You have to be organized in your approach to organize your home. Pick a room, one that you can organize the easiest. Make a list of what needs to be done in that room and get started. Once the easiest room is done you will have the sense of accomplishment to carry on.

Allow enough time

As much as you would really like to, you’re not going to get the whole house completed in a single weekend. spring declutteringIt takes time to sort and purge and organize as you go and working 8 to 10 hours a day on decluttering isn’t really reasonable. You will get frustrated and lose interest and the quality of your work will suffer. We find 6-hour increments work best.

Have the right tools

Before you begin assess what you have and what you will need for organizing. Do you have enough hangers? Are they all the same type for an organized look? Do you need a utensil tray? Will you need clear storage boxes? ClutterBGone has organized many homes and knows what you will need and most often we have these items in stock and bring them with us in case you need them.

Leave sentiment outside

We all have certain items that we keep for sentimental reasons and we would never suggest getting rid of everything. spring declutteringBut keeping that ratty sweater because the kids bought it for you or that appliance that doesn’t work because you “may” get it fixed one day just adds to your clutter and disorganized state. Be realistic about what you need and use. Keep the things you really love and take a real hard look at the rest. Sometimes a third party is needed to be impartial.

Scheduled maintenance

Just like your car, your furnace and heck, even your hair, your decluttering requires maintenance. Schedule an hour or two a month to keep your space organized and clutter free.

ClutterBGone has helped countless homes get organized and we love spring organizing! Contact us here to see how we can help you declutter your home for a fresh start to the summer.

5 Signs That You May Be Disorganized

signs you are disorganized

Do you ever wonder if you are chronically disorganized? ClutterBGone has worked in many homes in the GTA and have seen the signs. Here are five signs that you may be disorganized.

You can never find things

It continually takes you a lot longer than you thought to find things. How many times have you gone to look for something and you know where it is – at least you thought you did. After quite a bit of time you find it only because you have torn the house apart and spent a lot of time doing so. Now you are even more disorganized with everything strewn about.

Your social life is suffering

You are embarrassed or experience shame to have company come over. signs you are disorganizedI get it, when we have company over we want to make a good impression and show a neat and organized household. Who wants to have company – family or friends – over when we have items all over the counters and boxes of possessions piled up on the floor? Being disorganized can cause some people to crawl into a shell and become unsocial.

Your life is full of stress

You are stressed just thinking about having to get organized. It’s a fact that stress is a killer. We all deal with stress differently and stress can have an adverse impact on our health. If you are feeling stress or anxiety over the thought of getting organized don’t let it get the best of you. Reach out for help either with family or friends or from a professional.

It’s not safe in your home

You or someone you love has fallen or tripped over something that is always out of place. signs you are disorganizedThis is the last thing we want but there are some people that just don’t know how to get organized and end up stacking things on the floor causing trip hazards or having so much in a cupboard that items fall out when the cupboard doors are opened. Most common accidents happen in the home so lets do what we can to maintain a safe environment for our loved ones and ourselves.

You are always late

Whether it’s for appointments or paying the bills or meeting up with someone, you are always late. Running late because you did not record the appointments where they are easily accessible with a reminder? Are you getting those nasty fees or penalties added on to your bill because you were late with the payment? How about those nasty credit card interest charges due to late payments? Ouch! Being disorganized can cost you time and money.

Do any of these signs ring true with you? If so, ClutterBGone can help you get and stay organized. We are just a click or call away. Contact us here or call us at 905-642-5669.

Decluttering Checklist For The “Big Move”

moving seniors

Guest blogger : Alejandra Roca

Adjusting to life in a senior living community can be tough. The move represents a fresh start with new friends and fun, but also the loss of a home, belongings, and freedom. You can help your loved one transition smoothly by planning in advance, staying organized, and honoring their feelings throughout the process.

Start planning early!

Create a calendar and set dates for moving-related activities. moving seniorsYou’ll need plenty of time to pack as there is likely to be quite a collection of items accumulated over the years. Items not moving with you can be set aside for donation or hold a garage or estate sale.

Limit your time

Seniors typically tire a bit earlier so limit the packing to just a few hours a day. This will probably turn into a bit of a trip down memory lane. If your loved one wants to stop and reminisce, join in – it won’t hurt anything.

Documents

This is a good time to go through all the important papers in the home. Make sure documents like passports and licenses are up to date. Wills and power of attorneys can be reviewed to ensure they still meet the wishes of your loved one. If one has not already been created, now is a good time to open a file or binder for easy access to records and other documents. Keep these documents in a central location, like a safe deposit box, and let other family members know where they are so nobody feels left out of the process. Now is also a good time to update the address of everything that requires updating.

Decide on the what comes

Your loved one can and should bring keepsakes to their new home, but they probably won’t have the square footage to accommodate everything they collected over the years. downsizing seniorsYour local donation centers can use a lot of what is not required in order to help others. Valuable items can be sold or gifted to other family members. Remember that, first and foremost, it’s your loved one’s decision whether or not to part with items. If you’re too close to the situation and your help becomes frustrating for them, consider hiring an impartial third party – like a professional organizer – who’s used to helping people let go.

Be kind, patient, and understanding with your loved one. Support them during the move, follow up after, and check in regularly as your senior settles in to their new home. Remember that you, too, will one day be in a similar situation!

ClutterBGone has assisted many families with moving a loved one to asssited living facilities and we can help you too. Just contact us here.

Alejandra Roca is part of the content marketing team at Redfin and enjoys writing about home decor and real estate trends.

Originally published on: https://www.redfin.com/blog/senior-guide-for-decluttering

The Reasons You Want To Get Organized

reasons to get organized

During our intake process we ask all of our prospective clients why they want to get organized. We received a lot of different answers but I thought I would share with you the most common reasons why people want to get organized.

Can’t locate things

I’m tired of not being able to find things or spending too much time looking for them. Does this sound familiar to you? We spend so much time looking for things we know we have or we know should be in a particular place but are not. We spend a lot of time and end up stressing out when we cant quickly put our hands on something we know we have, and it always happens at the most inopportune time. Cooking? Where is that utensil? Bill due? I know I put it here for future reference. Think of all the time you will get back and the reduction on your stress levels when you are organized and have a system in place to stay that way.

I would like to have company over again

How long has it been since you had company over? reasons to get organizedPeople who are disorganized find themselves pulling away from friends and family out of embarrassment or fear of what they may think about you if they see the state of your living condition. You don’t realize that it is you they love and want to spend time with but embarrassment gets in the way. Once you are organized you will find your social life opens up again and you are eager to have people come over again.

Safety

Whether it’s for the safety of yourself or for a loved one you want to be organized for safety reasons too. Too many things on the kitchen counter can be a fire hazard, something falling out of a cupboard when it is opened can hit you or someone else, tripping hazards on the floor can send someone to the hospital. Once organized your living area will not only look and feel better to you but it’ll be a safer environment as well. This is especially important for the older ones in our lives.

Stress reduction

Being disorganized causes stress. reasons to get organizedAnd we know what stress does to your health. We touched on it above but being disorganized can put a lot of stress on you to the point where it can affect your health. We all know stress is hard on the heart and we should all be doing as much as we can to reduce or eliminate stress in our lives.

 

Save money

Who doesn’t want to save money? How many times have you run out to purchase a greeting card or wrapping paper, a grocery item or something else at the last minute (here’s that stress thing again) because you couldn’t find it at home? You know you have it and you know it’ll turn up when it isn’t needed. Get organized and you will not need to run out for that duplicate item.

So, do any of these reasons ring true for you? Get organized and save time, stress and money and improve your lifestyle. Let me know if you have any other reasons. We would love to hear from you.

Are You Remodelling Your Kitchen?

kitchen remodelling

I recently read an article in Canada’s largest newspaper stating that an uncluttered kitchen was a homeowners remodelling goal. In fact, storage was the number one function concern for most people. The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that, for 75 per cent of the homeowners, decluttering counters was the No. 1 priority. That was followed by 66 per cent who wanted to put things away and 49 per cent who focused on recycling.

Respondents agreed that kitchen renos are a major and expensive undertaking: the cost for a 200-square-foot or larger kitchen averaged about $52,000 or about $32,300 for smaller kitchens. Why spend all that money just to have another disorganized kitchen?kitchen remodelling

Storage is a priority in today’s kitchen. Sixty-three per cent of those surveyed chose storage as the No. 1 function concern, followed by space planning (38 per cent), entertaining (32 per cent) and cleanliness (32 per cent).

All of this comes as no surprise to ClutterBGone as we have created space and organization in many kitchens. Let’s take a look at some of our golden kitchen rules when remodelling your kitchen.

Keep horizontal surfaces clear

If you must keep small appliances on the counter keep it to the ones that you use every day like the toaster, coffee maker, and maybe your smoothie machine. Appliances that are seldom used should be stored elsewhere. You’ll be amazed at just how neat and organized your kitchen will look with a clutter free horizontal surface.

Keep it clean

Now that the surface is clear, ensure it is kept clean with a quick wipe a few times a day. By doing this your surface will look more organized and you will end up putting things away when you clean.

Keep your daily use items within reach

Organize your kitchen so that the items you need are easily within reach of the task you are performing. kitchen remodellingIf you are cooking make sure your pots and pans are close by. Try to have your glasses stored next to the fridge. Your dishes close to the dishwasher for easy return. This will save you steps and time and will reduce the traffic chaos in your kitchen.

Keep the junk out of your junk drawer

I don’t believe in junk drawers but I do believe in having a drawer to keep miscellaneous items needed in the kitchen like pens, string and things like that. But, this drawer has to be reviewed periodically to ensure you don’t end up with a true junk drawer.

If kitchen remodelling plans are in your future, then you may need to contact ClutterBGone to help get ready or to help you get organized after the project is completed. We have helped organize many kitchens and would love to help you too.

Things We Buy And Never Use

things we buy

After having been in many client’s home over the years, I’ve seen a lot of things that are bought but never used. I thought I’d share this list with you to see how many of these you have and to perhaps give you a heads up if you’re thinking of buying any of them.

Exercise equipment

We’re reminded of this every year when resolutions come out to lose weight and get in shape. Shortly after the list of items you waste your money on come out and gym equipment is right at the top of the list. I’ll bet you that when ClutterBGone comes across gym equipment in a home, 9 times out of 10 there’s a layer of clothing or dust on it. You know yourself best, don’t buy it unless you know you’ll use it religiously. You don’t need clunky gym equipment to lose weight, weigh your options.

Kitchen appliances

This is the worst area of the house to find things that are bought but never used. items we don't useHow many of you have a fondue set? How about a bread maker? How’s that juicer working out for you? It’s hard not to see the benefits of the appliance when you’re shopping from the comfort of your couch at two in the morning, but these things take up a lot of valuable space either on your kitchen counter or in your cupboard. Appliances that you don’t use really hamper your productivity in the kitchen.

Magazines / Cookbooks / Newspapers

In this day of electronics, it’s so easy to find what you need on line. People tell me that I’m still old school but I have ditched the magazine subscriptions. I went digital with one of the subscription services and realized I still wasn’t reading them, so I stopped that as well. I’ve also donated my cookbooks and find all my recipes online (although I will admit to printing just a few of them).

Too many clothes

A lot of you will buy clothes for a lot of different reasons. too many clothesYou need them for a new job. You’re depressed and shopping helps. You’re trying to stay up with the latest fashion trends. I have two rules when it comes to clothes. I have to really love the piece and have a use in mind for it and something has to go when I get it home. Follow these rules and your closet will stay neat and organized.

Hobby supplies

ClutterBGone has sorted and organized numerous hobby rooms. During the process we have had to throw out a lot of dry paint, donate a lot of yarn and discovered many duplicates of supplies. Know what you absolutely must have when you go to the store to replenish your hobby supplies. Have an organized space for your supplies close to where you work. This is where ClutterBGone can help you.

We’ve helped clients organize every room you can think of and find many of these items that are just never used. If you have these items and more and need help in getting organized just contact us here. We love to organize!

Why You Buy Things You Don’t Need

buy things you don't need

We are a society of consumers. Go to your local mall at almost any time and look at the sea of people shopping. I dare you to easily find a parking spot at Costco but let’s not stop there, Amazon and other on-line retailers are also growing like crazy.

We buy a lot of things we really don’t need. We get the items home and realize we really didn’t need them. Have you ever thought about why you buy items you really don’t need? Below are a list of just a few reasons.

You can’t find what you’re looking for

I myself have done this. buy things you don't needWe need something but because we can’t readily find it we head out to buy another. The “lost” one always turns up doesn’t it? Having an organized space really does allow you to easily see what you have and saves you the money and time on buying another. We understand this is a common issue with clients we’ve worked with so let’s put an end to duplicate buying.

Buying things makes us happy

True, but at what cost? Sure, a new pair of shoes, a new appliance, whatever we purchase is bound to make us happy. That happiness only lasts a short time though and we’re on to the next. If this continues which most likely than not it does, you are then left with no space to put anything else and a room or rooms that’s cluttered. Let’s not even mention the credit cards bills that come later.

It’s a great deal

It’s only a great deal if you really need it. buy things you don't needMany of our clients’ homes are jammed with those “freebies” that come with another purchase. Guess what? They’re not free. The costs of those freebies are built into the cost of whatever you have to buy to get them and those freebies or samples are normally the things we end up throwing away when we start a project. Don’t be fooled into parting with your hard-earned money because the truth of the matter is you’re going to spend even more to rid your home of everything collected.

Fads

Remember the FloBee, that thing that attaches to your vacuum to cut hair? Do you own a fondue pot? A Chia pet? How about the Clapper? ClutterBGone has come across all of these, and more, in clients’ homes. Most of these fad items are just that – fads. It’s a blast to go down memory lane but I’ll bet you’re not that organized if you still have any of these items still in your home.

These are a just few reasons why we purchase things we don’t need or use. Do any strike a chord with you? If you need help getting organized or downsizing after having spent a few years accumulating things you don’t want then all you have to do is contact us here or give ClutterBGone a call at 905-642-5669.

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

De-clutter and Organize to Improve Your Home Appeal for Sale

organizing with multi generation families

Spring will be upon us before you know it. Talk to any senior real estate agent in Toronto and they will tell you it’s the best time to sell your home. If you’re one of those selling your home there are quite a few things you can easily do to improve the re-sale value of your home.

Organize by room

Don’t panic. Start your organizing early and work on one room at a time. You may have lived in your home for a while so it may feel daunting. Don’t get the urge to scurry from room to room. Set up regular donation drop offs or pick up dates, so things don’t get left in the house too long giving it a cluttered look. ClutterBGone has helped many families with their moves to make this time less stressful.

Create space

Any real estate agent will tell you that space is very important to a potential home buyer. They will look in your closets and cupboards to see how much space there is for their items. An organized, decluttered space will look larger than it seems.Organized closet

Horizontal surfaces

Horizontal surfaces are magnets for clutter. It’s too easy for you to put things down on the kitchen counter or an occasional table when you get home. Get out of this habit and make your home look organized and clutter free.

The dreaded closet

Do you have one of those closets that you don’t like to open? We are often called with a mess S.O.S. to assist with those beasts. Organized closets can help sell your home faster. An unorganized and cluttered closet gives the look of reduced space. Let us show you how to organize your closet and make the best use of the space you have and get you more money for your home.

Maintenance is a must

You maintain your car. You maintain the exterior of your home. Your home interior is no different. Take 15 minutes a week to tour the house and have things put away that may be where they don’t belong. Don’t be afraid to get on the case of other family members too, they create the clutter as much, or even more than you do.

An organized home with the appearance of a lot of space can gain you thousands in the selling price of your home. ClutterBGone has helped many clients prepare their home for sale as well as packed and organize for their move. Click here to learn how we can prepare your home for sale and make you thousands of dollars in return.