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A Little Bit About ClutterBGone

ClutterBGone

We’ve written about Professional Organizers and what they do in past. I thought I would let you know a little bit more about ClutterBGone in particular and what we are all about.

Background

ClutterBGone has been in business for the past seven years so we have a lot of experience in helping clients downsize, get organized and get some calm back in their lives. We service the entire Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and have several teams so we can work on several projects at the same time. All team members are fully trained and are fully insured.

How does the whole process start?

Once you recognize the need for assistance and reach out to us we come to you for a one on one to see the space that you require help with. We look at what you want to accomplish, in what timeframe, how you use the space and whether or not you will need any organizing products. We’ll let you know right then and there how much the project will cost you. ClutterBGoneWithout this initial consult we can’t possibly give you an estimate.

How long will the project take?

That depends. We have organized complete homes as well as smaller projects like a hall closet. But, we will let you know after the initial consultation how long we think it will take. We’ve been doing this long enough that our estimates after our first meeting are usually spot on. We will schedule sessions according to your timetable and how involved you want to be. We are able to work whenever you need us to.

Will you make me throw things out?

No. You are the boss. ClutterBGoneYou make all the decisions on what stays, what goes, what gets donated and what gets sold. We will encourage you and challenge you on certain things but you ultimately make the decision. Our goal is to teach you as we go along about the value of things compared to the space you have and when I say value I’m not just talking about the financial value. At ClutterBGone we recognize that sentimental value plays an important part too.

Will all this be confidential?

Of course. ClutterBGone has built our business and reputation on trust. We will never give or sell any of your information to anybody at anytime. You will never receive any advertising or information from us without first consenting. We also adhere to the code of ethics of the Professional Organizers of Canada.

If you are at the stage where you recognize the need for a little professional help just contact us here. ClutterBGone is ready to help you with your organizing needs as we have done with many other clients in the GTA.

Ways You Can Be Organized

ways to be organized

At ClutterBGone we specialize in helping people become organized and take advantage of the space they have. During our initial consultations we see a number of ways that people could easily become more organized without investing a lot of time or money. This normally involves a bit of discipline but if you can commit to the procedures you can see immediate results. For those do-it-your-selfers, here are a number of ways to quickly and efficiently make your home more organized.

Incoming mail

Whether you still have door to door mail delivery or have to travel to the “super” boxes to get your mail you have probably noticed that most mail delivered these days is of the “junk” variety. ways to be organizedWith many of us now receiving and paying our bills on line what’s left to deliver is usually flyers announcing a new home for sale or special offers for the product of the day. The hallway table is an area where we see an accumulation of mail, school papers, etc. that can quickly acted upon. Once picked up ensure that anything you are truly not interested in is deposited into the recycle bin.

Ask for help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength to recognize that you need help and more so to ask for it. You know your limitations and often a fresh set of eyes can see things differently and help you purge, sell or donate a lot faster than you could by yourself.

Saving items for emotional reasons

I’ve seen clients saving items from their deceased parents for emotional reasons. downsizing in torontoThere is nothing wrong with that to a point. But at some point you have to realize that not everything holds a financial or personal value to you. Your parents probably wouldn’t want you burdened with things you won’t use either. Try creating a treasure box to save and showcase the truly valuable mementoes from your parents. ClutterBGone also has other ways to save and display your memories.

There really is enough room

Everybody is downsizing, space is at a premium and homes are getting smaller but if you really tried I bet you could find the room for more items that you really need. Basic closets come with one closet rod. It’s really easy, and economical, to add another closet rod to double your space. No room to store your winter duvet? How about a storage box under the bed? The list could go on. Of course, we know a lot more easy and economical ways to organize and save space.

Use the KISS approach

Keep it simple. You could spend days thinking of how to organize or downsize but really there are many great systems and ideas out there that require minimal time and dollars. Read up on the newest ideas or visit your closest organizing products store.

Stop for a moment and take a real hard look at what you are trying to accomplish. It does not have to be that hard. If you need outside help, contact us at ClutterBGone. We have lots of experience in organizing spaces of every size.

What is Chronic Disorganization?

 

 

We all get disorganized many times in our lives. When we get ill or a family member becomes ill. When work requires a lot of extra time devoted to it or it calls us away for a bit. We move or get married. Whenever we are thrown a curve ball or something out of the ordinary appears we tend to become a bit disorganized, but we eventually get back on track.

The difference with chronic disorganization is that we don’t recover from these instances and the disorganization will worsen with time. The clutter continues to accumulate and suddenly you are overwhelmed. Sometimes procrastination will also become a challenge because you just don’t have the time or energy to do anything about it.

What is chronic disorganization?

Chronic disorganization is having a history of being disorganized and all efforts to help or change your circumstances have failed. Disorganization is affecting your current quality of life to the point where you are embarrassed or don’t want anyone over and/or your personal and financial life have been affected. Also, you don’t see any real expectation of improvement.

How do I know if I suffer from it?

Are you surrounded by clutter? Do you have newspapers and magazines that you just cant get rid of? Have you purchased items that you haven’t put away for a while? Have you run out of room to put things?chronic disorganization Have you always been disorganized? Are you or your family members ashamed to have anyone come over? Are you always looking for things that you know you have? These are typical questions that someone with chronic disorganization will answer yes to.

What causes chronic disorganization?

The most common cause is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention. It’s almost impossible to stay organized with these symptoms. Many children attract ADHD and it stays with them through to adulthood. The American Psychiatric Association has stated that ADHD is a real and curable condition and affects about 1 in 20 adults. Depression is another trigger for chronic disorganization. Depressed people have a hard time getting motivated and constantly feel tired.

How can you get help?

Psychiatric and medical help is available. Professional Organizers can also help. We work with you and develop systems to keep you organized. We work at your pace and find solutions tailored to your individual needs.

ClutterBGone has helped many clients with different stages of chronic disorganization. Don’t suffer with it when there is help available. Call us at 905-642-5669 or click here. We’d love to help you.

Cleaning Out Your Late Parents Home

estate clearing

ClutterBGone receives many inquiries from people who have been left with the task of cleaning out their parent’s home after the passing of a loved. Many times one parent has passed previously and now the remaining parent has passed leaving a home full of memories to go through. Here’s a few tips to help the process go a little more smoothly.

Divide and conquer

If you have siblings get them involved. Besides being a traumatic time there will have to be a lot of time dedicated to this task. All hands need to be on deck to help and to support each other. You could also ask other family members and friends.

Be thorough

You would be surprised where ClutterBGone has found valuable items tucked away in homes where we have been called in to help when a loved one has passed. Some of the elderly still don’t trust banks. Others forget where they put things or forget that they even had them. Check all pockets, fan through books, look into the back of all dressers and drawers. You don’t want to miss something valuable even though it may be just a valuable memory.

Bring in experts

If needed, an appraiser can be worth their cost many times over. estate cleaningWhat you think may be insignificant may well be worth something. If there is a lot to sell give some thought to bringing in a third party to sell it for you. They will take a percentage of the sales but they take a lot of the work from you too. A professional organizer can help to sort, file and purge an estate when you just don’t have the time or people to assist you.

Donate the clothing

Most elderly people don’t spend money on clothes like people who work do. They just don’t need to. Unless you know there is a bit of vintage clothing in the home, you will be better off just donating the clothing to a charity that can ensure it is used by someone who could really use the items. Just check the pockets before giving it away!

Preserve the memories

You are going to come across a lot of memories during the cleaning out process. estate cleaningEnjoy it. Save all the pictures and letters that you want to and share them with family and friends. After the smiles and tears have gone consider preserving the memories in an album or a memory box.

As you go through your parent’s things a flood of memories will come. Enjoy the memories and take this time to say a final goodbye.

If you need help with cleaning out an estate ClutterBGone has assisted many families with this task. We are tactful, non judgemental and respectful. Contact us here to talk about it.

Don’t Leave Your Clutter For Others

leaving clutter to family

We don’t take our possessions with us when we pass. So, what do we do with all of our cherished items? Leave them to somebody else? ClutterBGone has worked with so many clients that have had to go through an entire house full of goods after the passing of a loved one, most of which nobody wanted.

Don’t leave the decisions to others

Most of our kids don’t have the same taste in home décor or furnishings and certainly not in clothes. Today’s Boomers want a more minimalistic lifestyle and don’t have the room for a lot of new items anyway. Leaving a house stuffed with items nobody will want is a burden on your loved ones. It will create stress on them to go through everything in a short amount of time while they are also grieving. Keep this in mind when preparing for your move or preparing your will.

Saying goodbye to items can be easy

Now that you’re no longer in the work force, someone else can use your work clothes. leaving clutter to familyThat suit or dress you no longer wear could help someone else look sharp in an interview. Are you going to use that silver server set you received as a gift a decade ago and still haven’t used it? The kids certainly don’t want it. Donate it to a cause where you’ll know it will bring joy to someone else. If you are up against a tough decision just ask yourself “Does it bring me joy”? If not, why keep it?

Money talks

You’ve heard that phrase “cash is king”? It’s true! Rather than leaving an item to someone that won’t use it or isn’t going to appreciate it, why not sell it and leave the money? Better yet, why not use the money for a little something you’ve always wanted?

Talk to your family about what they want

If you aren’t sure about who wants what, have a discussion with your family and find out. leaving clutter to familyThis can be a little sensitive to some but it will ensure that a special memory will be left to the right people. In previous jobs we have even had the names of family members put on the back or bottom of an item so there is no confusion at all. Let them know that leftover items will be sold, donated or tossed.

We all love our possessions but they don’t hold the same value to someone else. If you have recently retired or will be moving to a smaller space soon, now is a great time to make some decisions about what you will keep and what you won’t. ClutterBGone has assisted a lot of families in this exact same situation. We can also help you. Just contact us here.

Limit The Money You Spend On “Things”

own less stuff

Have you ever read George Carlin’s book titled A Place For My Stuff? He also has a hilarious stand up routine on stuff. In a nutshell he talks about the stuff we collect and how we have to have bigger homes in order to store our stuff. Crazy when you think about it in those terms.

It reminded me of an article I read some time ago about spending your money on experiences instead of things. We work hard for our money and rather than spending our leftover money on things we absolutely don’t need or don’t love, how about buying some of life’s experiences or little pleasures instead? You’ll feel better, have less clutter and probably get a little more enjoyment out of life.

Keeping up with the Jones’

Do you tend to compare yourself to others? own less stuffI just have to have that new set of golf clubs Tom has. I need to purchase a new dress for the party or our friends will think I wear the same thing all the time. I’ve seen this a lot and it’s one reason why there is so much clutter in homes. Live with what you have and what you need and you will be surprised at how much you have to do other things.

New becomes old quickly

Purchasing something new gives us a good feeling but the feeling quickly fades. Sometimes we end up asking ourselves why we bought it in the first place not long after the initial purchase. Shopping is often an emotional experience. Had a bad day? Feeling bad about yourself? Let’s go shopping! Shopping can get to be a habit. Before you know it you have a closet full of clothes you don’t need or wear and you have a storage room filled with items you never use.

Now you’re in that rut

Have you looked around and were surprised to see what you have accumulated? own less stuffYour closets are full. You may have duplicates of items you don’t need. Maybe you’re having trouble putting your hands on something you know you have. So many people I have talked to over the years admit that they didn’t realize how much money they have spent on needless items. And it makes them cringe to think what they could have done with that money like take a trip or pay down debt.

I wouldn’t expect everyone to become a minimalist but having less can lead to having more. It’s never too late to start. ClutterBGone has kick started many families into spending less on “stuff” and enjoying more out of life.

Downsizing And Donating

downsize and donate

I was driving through Markham recently and passed a sign put up by the Town. It said “Time to downsize? Donate now”. I was surprised, and pleased, that a town would encourage residents to both reduce clutter and help others while doing so. It got me to thinking just how downsizing can help others.

It helps you first

You will be the first one to feel the benefits of downsizing. organize and donateLetting go of items you no longer need or want will give you a feeling of freedom. You will feel more in control of your life. You will find things quicker and spend less time looking for what you need. You will actually save money because you are no longer purchasing items you have but can’t find. Have you been embarrassed to have company over due to the state of your home? Once the downsizing process is complete you will be proud to have people come over, even unexpectedly.

It helps others

Whether you donate it or put it in a consignment shop you are helping others. Many of your used items will be used to help others in need. A piece of clothing that is needed for a job interview or to stay warm. A piece of furniture that is needed but isn’t affordable just now. You know how expensive kids sports equipment is. You could be helping a child get into after school sports. Many of your items will be repurposed to help others and it will stay out of the landfill.

Make some money while downsizing

If you have items with some value there is nothing wrong with turning those unused items into a little bit of cash to buy that something you have had your eye on. Maybe the cash could be added to your vacation savings jar or a nice dinner out. There are a number of consignment shops in the GTA that will take some of your items on consignment for a split of the sale. We have worked with many of them and know where and how you can make the most of what you have.

Sell vs. donate vs. trash

It can be hard to determine what can be sold, what can be donated and what should be trashed or recycled. downsize and donateEveryone has different ideas of worth and sentiments start to play a big part in your decision-making. That is where a third party becomes useful. ClutterBGone has been helping clients downsize and organize in the GTA for quite a while now. We have the experience to help you make quick decisions and we know which pile your item will end up in.

Good for Markham for encouraging a clutter free life and in turn helping others. Lets hope other towns and municipalities get on board.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to donate your used goods. ClutterBGone has worked all across the GTA and works with many charities and donation centers that would love to have your items. If you are looking to downsize we are discreet, non judgemental and thorough. Just contact us here to find out more.

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.

Storing Your Hockey Gear

storing hockey gear

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

Pick a spot

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

Sticks

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

 

 

 

Extra gear

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

Sweaters and pants

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

The extras

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

 

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

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