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Keeping Your Storage Area Organized

 

organized storage area

Typically, when you organize your home or just a single room you’ll have items that you want and need to keep but don’t know where to put them. In the case of organizing an entire home you’re probably going to have enough items to keep that you’ll want a storage area.

You probably haven’t thought of keeping your storage area organized, but we at ClutterBGone have!

Invest in shelving

You need a place to store your items and containers. Shelving will keep your precious items being stored high and dry but also makes it easy to retrieve. There are many types of shelving available depending on your needs. We can help you decide which ones are right for you and your needs.

Use clear containers

ClutterBGone promotes the use of clear containers in order to quickly identify the items that are in them. It saves time when you need to retrieve these items quickly for whatever reason. We’ve seen a lot of storage areas that look like a bomb went off with containers and lids strewn everywhere after trying to find something. Colour bins are a big no-no.

Label it

When ClutterBGone completes a project all bins and shelves are labelled. organized storage areaA label maker is a definite must when organizing. When you need those Christmas decorations once a year or when you need those craft supplies they’ll be easy to see and retrieve. Label both the container and the shelf so you and everyone else in the family, knows where it goes when it gets put back.

Use the vertical space

Just like the rest of your home, we like to take advantage of vertical space where it is available. Add a few shelves for extra storage space or hang a few items on the wall where you can.

ClutterBGone carries an inventory of all of the items you need for organizing your storage area so we are ready to go right from day one. We even carry our label makers everywhere! If you need help with your organizing project in the Greater Toronto Area, we are available to help. Just contact us here.

How To Keep Small Spaces Organized

Living in a really small space can sometimes feel like you’re living a real-life Tetris game. Living spaces are smaller now so we have to make do with what we have. Here are my suggestions for keeping small spaces organized.

Build upwards

The absolute best way to stay organized and take advantage of space is to go up. Whether you have the standard 8 to 9 foot walls or you’re lucky enough to have higher walls, utilizing the wall space can create more space for you than any other way. You can add a wall unit, add shelving or hang whatever you need on your wall space. You wouldn’t believe the spaces we have created for clients.

Take advantage of dead space

Take a look around your living space. Do you have space under a bed? Is there space over your closet shelf? ClutterBGone’ s organizers are experts at finding and utilizing space you don’t know you have.

Rotate your wardrobe

Rather than having all of your wardrobe items for the entire year crammed into your closet try keeping only a season or two in there at a time. organized small spacePack the off-season clothes and store them away (remember that dead space?). This will give you more space to work with and give your closet a more organized look.

Store items where they are used

Doesn’t it make sense to keep your dishes near the kitchen prep area? Are your glasses near the fridge? Storing items near to where they are used saves steps and results in less clutter with a more organized work area.

Keep it tidy

It goes without saying but a little bit of clutter can look like a lot in a small space and a pile of laundry quickly becomes a mountain. Do a little each day and things will stay more organized.

Look for smaller versions

Know the space that you have to work with. organized small spacesI love my coffee in the morning, especially those single serve pods, but I don’t have the space for the large machine. Instead, I found a great one serving machine that takes up about a third of the space. Do you need a four-slice toaster or will two do the job?  And if you live in a small space avoid the temptation of going to those big bulk stores. You will find you will need to store items everywhere giving your space a very cluttered and disorganized look.

Invest in space saving products

Products like shoe organizers, clear containers, appropriate hangers and other products offered can add to your storage space to help you stay organized. ClutterBGone knows all the latest space saving products and where to use them. We also have an inventory of organizing products ready to go.

If you need help organizing a small space, we have the team to help you. Just contact us here to get started.

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.

Add More Storage To Your Bathroom

organized bathroom

Besides the kitchen, the bathroom has to be the next toughest room to find extra storage. If you live in a small apartment or condo you know how difficult it can be. Until you’re ready to have us in to organize your space, here’s a few ideas for you to try.

Got a corner?

If you are lucky enough to have a corner in your bathroom then take advantage of it. A corner shelf will hold a lot of items and don’t be afraid to install it higher if you have to. It can hold things that aren’t used as often.

Have a look over the door

Yes, many people wouldn’t even think to store items over the door but in a small room this can add a lot of storage space. Extra towels, toilet paper and tissue can all be stored on a shelf above the door.organized bathroom

Under the sink

There is normally a shelf under the sink regardless of the size but the sink itself doesn’t usually allow for a second shelf. Try storing items in decorative baskets or other easy to retrieve totes or bins.

On top of the tank

The space above the toilet is perfect for a shelf (allow enough room for the lid to be removed). If shelving is an issue get a basket that blends in with your décor to store items you need close at hand.

On the wall

There are so many creative items that allow you to store the things you need on your wall – within easy reach. organized bathroomShelves, baskets, hooks and many other organizing tools can be used in a variety of ways to increase space and keep you organized.

More ideas

There are so many storage ideas that can be utilized to increase the storage capacity of a small bathroom. ClutterBGone has seen and used many of these and we have the experience to help you increase your small space and get you organized.

We can help you too. Just contact us here.

Life Transitions And How ClutterBGone Can Help You

life transitions

Life seldom follows the path that we think we have set for it. It always seems to throw us a curve. Here are a few of life’s changes and how ClutterBGone can assist you with adapting to them.

The move

Moving is a big change in your life. Being prepared and organized all through the packing and moving process can reduce stress and save you money. life transitionsOrganized homes sell faster, pack easier and move quicker. We have assisted many clients on this big day. We can pack, help you move and even help unpack on the other end. We’re pros at any stage of the move. When you are ready just give us a call.

Divorce

Nobody likes to think about the end of a relationship but it does happen. Sometimes we are just too emotional to purge, sort and handle the things that need to be done. Perhaps you are still working or you’re busy looking after kids. We will come in and do the sorting, purging and organizing for you. We can even help you get organized administratively if this wasn’t your responsibility up until now. Divorce is overwhelming and we can impartially help you through it.

The returning child

Some kids are like a boomerang in that they will always come back. life transitionsMaybe you’ve already dedicated their bedroom to another use. Perhaps you have even already downsized and moved. We can help get your child settled in and their space organized. We will even leave them with a system to stay organized to relieve your stress. When they leave again though is totally up to you.

A death in the family

We’ve worked with quite a few clients where either a spouse or a parent has passed away and they are responsible for the disposition of the deceased’s belongings. We are sensitive to the fact that emotions are raw and have the experience to sort and purge items with your guidance. We have the contacts to handle the loved ones goods whether they are donated or sold.

The newborn is here

Welcoming a baby in to the world is one of life’s greatest joys. Be ready with a neat and organized space for your bundle of joy. We’ll make it easy to put things away and have easy access to them whether they are clothes, toys or supplies.

At ClutterBGone we have seen the impact that life’s transitions can have on people. We have assisted many of our clients through all of these and more. We can help you too. Just contact us here.

5 Questions You Should Ask A Professional Organizer

I just got back from a Professional Organizing conference and I can tell you this business is booming! There was so much more that we learned. With most families having dual incomes there seems to be more money to spend on things you don’t want or like to do yourself. This saves 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 too do the companies and individuals that provide the service. I really want to work with informed clients so I 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.

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 in to.

Pricing

Make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are being charged and for what services. An hourly or a 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?

I 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 (I did not give her any!). It was obvious she had never done this before and after I 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!

Organizing With Multi Generational Families

organizing with multi generation families

With today’s high cost of living and skyrocketing house prices there are more and more families now living with more than 2 generations in the home. An in law suite is best but not everyone can afford the cost or space of separate living quarters. If this includes you and your family there are a number of things you can do to keep your home better organized.

When they first move in

Your home will have to have the room to accommodate the arrival of more members. organize with multi generation familiesOnce they have settled in arrange a weekend when you can all perform a purge to create as much space as possible. This gives all of you an opportunity to rid yourselves of items you no longer use and to create the space you’re going to require. You may be surprised to see the bonding that can take place during this time as well.

Acceptance

What may be important to you may not be to others and vice versa. Accept the fact that some belongings will be kept that you may not agree with but define the space that is allotted to everyone for storage. Let them be the final judge of what they keep.

Space required for new items

If you have Mom and Dad staying with you, you’re going to need increased space for medicine. Typically, older people require more medicine which always needs to be kept out of reach of any children in the home.organize with multi generation families

In the kitchen, be prepared to share the fridge and cupboards for different foods that they like or require for dietary needs. Will you assign a shelf in the fridge or cupboard for their special needs? Don’t forget about the important papers that come with them. Wills, power of attorney’s, and other important papers need a space of their own too.

Training

Now that everything is in and put away let everyone know what is expected of them to keep things clutter free. The more people living in the home the more opportunity there will be for the creation of clutter. Everyone has to take a role in maintenance to remain organized and clutter free.

Call an expert

Sometimes calling in an expert for a little help gets the ball rolling a little easier and can keep feelings in check. Contact ClutterBGone if you need help in getting things organized with a multi generational family.

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.

When Is Virtual Organizing Right For You?

virtual organizing services GTA

Virtual organizing is a new platform to assist certain clients in getting their space(s) organized. It may not be for everybody but how do you tell if it is right for you?

You’re self-motivated

You need to be self-motivated in order to take advantage of virtual organizing. Together we will set a goal and you can visualize the results and ensure you have what it takes to work independently to complete the tasks given to you. You are a do it yourself person.

You don’t need to be handy but you do need to be able to roll up your sleeves and get things done. We are there to help by giving you the guidance you need but with virtual organizing you are doing the physical work.

You are a busy individual

We all lead busy lives in this day and age, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time required to have a team come into your home to work side by side with you.
virtual organizingVirtual organizing allows you to carve out the time you need when you have it. We’re available when you are for guidance and advice so you’re working on your own schedule.

You don’t want people coming into your home

People have many reasons for not wanting people coming into their home. Some clients are a bit reclusive. Others may have a sick family member with them and feel having people coming into the home could be intrusive. We understand and are available to help you get organized through this new service we offer.

You live in a rather rural area

As much as ClutterBGone would like to be everywhere, we just can’t – until now. virtual organizing servicesVirtual organizing allows for anybody to take advantage of our professional service. We have been servicing the GTA with our trained, insured team and can now offer our virtual organizing services to anybody at anytime, anywhere.

So, when is virtual organizing right for you? The answer is right now. If any of the characteristics above stopped you from hiring ClutterBGone in the past, those obstacles are now removed with virtual organizing. Contact us today to get started on organizing your home.

6 Reasons Why You Haven’t De-cluttered Yet

professional organizer GTA

The procrastinator in you always gives you a reason to put things off. De-cluttering is no different and perhaps is even more difficult to start. Do any of these reasons for not starting the de-cluttering process ring true with you?

You feel guilty if you get rid of it

You pay good money for something so why get rid of it? You shouldn’t if you use it but if you don’t, there are a number of good reasons to let it go. de clutter GTAIt takes up valuable space you need, somebody else could use it, it’s non longer relevant to your life right now, the list goes on. Don’t feel guilty. In fact, feel relieved that you are able to let go and make room for something else or that you can brighten somebody else’s life with it.

It cost hard earned money

Of course it did but things do go out of style or don’t fit you or your lifestyle any longer or you just don’t use it. Take this opportunity to think of upgrading or being charitable. ClutterBGone works with many organizations throughout the GTA to ensure that your items can be used by those that need them.

“Owning Less Is Better Than Organizing More” – Anonymous

These things give you comfort

We are a society of consumers and “stuff” and our possessions give us comfort. That is true in some cases but letting go of things that you no longer use can give you a feeling of relief that at times can feel better than comfort. Let it go and get that feeling of giving back. You’ll be amazed at how that feels.

Hanging on for somebody else

I can’t tell you the number of times that clients have been holding onto items for other family members and then when it’s time to hand them over the family member doesn’t want them. de clutter GTAWhat’s valuable to you is not necessarily valuable or wanted by others and today’s families are living in smaller spaces with more transient lives and don’t have the same amount of room for storage. Check with the family now to see if they are going to want them later.

It’s an investment

Is it? If it truly is then have an appraiser have a look at it now. You may be surprised that an item doesn’t hold the value that you believe it does.

It might come in handy some day

Perhaps it will but chances are you are never going to use it again. Try this. Put all the items that you are struggling with letting go in a cardboard box with a date six months from now clearly written with a notation to “get rid of in six months”. When six months comes around and you haven’t needed to open that box ,it’s time to sell, donate or toss it.

If any of these reasons for not de-cluttering ring true with you then it may be time to contact us for a chat. We are specialists at helping our clients de-clutter in a caring and thoughtful manner.