Seasonal clothing switch out

Every Fall & Spring I make it a priority to assess my closet. Before I moved into a home with more space, I had to make the best of sharing a very small closet with my husband. In the spring, (around May) I gather my ‘Seasonal Tote’ full of my warmer weather clothes and begin the switch out.

 

I pile all of the cold weather clothes from my closet  onto the bed and go  through every single item before it goes into storage for 5-6 months.

With a few questions in mind I determine;

  • Did I wear this piece of clothing this season?
  • Is it in good shape?
  • Do I feel good in this?
  • Is it clean?

 

If I can answer yes to the above questions, into the ‘seasonal tote’ it goes. If any of the answers are no, it either goes into a donation pile or into the trash.

Once I have emptied the closet of all colder weather clothes, I can then begin to fold or hang all of my spring and summer clothes. Evaluating each piece as place it in the closet, I can assess once again the questions asked above.

 

 

This process ensures I only keep in my closet what I truly use and enjoy. There is no point to having clothes in your closet that you don’t like, or don’t flatter your body. Everyone has that favourite t-shirt of pair of jeans. Why not make every piece of clothing you own, your favourite?


My trip to ‘Type A Home’

I love Victoria. I love pretty much everything about living on this part of the island. What I don’t love? the limited amount of boutique style shops that specialize in certain items. I would love it if we could see less of the big box stores and more ‘mom & pop’ shops set up. Finding good, well made organizing products is difficult in Victoria, and too often I am forced to order online and even from the U.S. which can get pretty pricey. So I was so excited when I saw that the owners of Parc Modern had opened up a sister store specifically for all things Organizing, called Type A Home.

This husband and wife team didn’t disappoint. The main level Uptown store location was filled with items for travel and car, to kitchen and bathroom. I circled the store a few times, each loop finding something else both practical and functional. There were one too many items to list as favourites, so I selected my top 5 below.

If you haven’t made it in to Type A Home yet, make sure to pop in and see how these well selected, thought out- organizing products can help you organize and simplify your home.


5 habits for a Clutter-Free home

Creating a clutter-free home doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it take zero effort to maintain. Keeping an organized home clutter-free and tidy takes small daily habits to keep your home functioning well. Below are a few habits that I think are both realistic and easy to follow.

1.Handle Physical Mail immediately. I always recommend switching to online banking and receiving bills and invoices electronically but there are a few exceptions when physical mail is essential. Once the mail arrives at the house, don’t let it sit on the counter and pile up. Process it right away, recycling what can be discarded and sort what needs to be addressed or filed. A simple paper divider or paper tray in a kitchen corner or office is a great idea for the “in between” papers being received at the house and the filing cabinet.

2. 10 minute tidy before bedtime. Every night before my family heads to bed, we do a quick run through of the main floor and tidy. This isn’t something that takes more than 5-10 minutes and usually consists of:

  • filling and turning the dishwasher on
  • clearing off all counters in kitchen
  • any wet laundry to go in dryer
  • all clean and folded clothes put away
  • lunches made for next day
  • play room tidied and all toys put away

3. Keep Kitchen counters clear. Besides the everyday essentials,  the kitchen counters should be kept clear. Making easy storage space for items like blenders and toasters allows them to be easily and quickly put away when you aren’t using them the other 23 hours of the day. Having clear counters will help to prevent you from ‘storing’ items in the kitchen and finding homes elsewhere.

4.Clean dishes after each meal. The rule in my household is whoever cooked, doesn’t clean up. (so that usually means I am cleaning). Most of the time nothing else is started until the dishes have been cleaned and loaded in the dishwasher. This includes wiping down all the counters and putting away any leftovers. We are even teaching our 3 year old to return his plate to the sink and put his napkin in recycling. Once the kitchen is clean and the dishes are done, half the house is basically tidy!

5. Complete 1-2 minute jobs immediately. Clutter often occurs because of procrastination, small jobs left unfinished that end up becoming major tasks. Try thinking of it this way; If a job can be completed within 2 minutes, tackle it right away. Jobs such as taking out the garbage, folding a towel, making a bed or sweeping the kitchen can all be completed in 2 minutes or less. Tackling these smaller jobs will help to minimize the impact the bigger tasks have.

 


Why fewer toys will benefit your kids

Toys… they seem to be never ending these days. If you have children you understand! I am constantly telling clients, less! less! less! So for this post I complied a few reasons why fewer toys will actually benefit your kids.

Toys are not JUST playthings, they actually form the building blocks for our children’s future. While an abundance of these building blocks seems like a logical idea, kids thrive on much less toys than you would expect; and here’s why:

1. Kids experience more of nature. Children who are not bombarded with toys filing up their rooms, family rooms and basements, are more likely to explore the great outdoors, running, hiding, and involving themselves in physical exercise which leads to healthy bodies and healthy minds.

2. Kids learn to be more creative. So many toys prevent kids from letting their imagination run wild. With less toys, kids are forced to make believe, be creative and think outside the box.

3. Kids establish better social skills. Children with fewer toys, learn how to develop relationships with their peers and even with other adults. Instead of busying themselves with an abundance of toys, they learn how to converse back and forth with others.

4. Kids learn to take greater care of things. When children are overwhelmed with the amount of toys in their possession, they are naturally less likely to want to take care of them all. They do not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand.

5.Kids live in a cleaner, tidier home. If you have children, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over your entire home. Having fewer toys results in a less cluttered and more organized home.


5 Reasons to hire a professional Organizer!

So often I hear from clients, “I know I could do this myself but I didn’t know where to start,” or “I’ve tried organizing our home so many times but it doesn’t seem to work.” Some people feel shame or embarrassment with “having” to hire a professional organizer and that definitely doesn’t need to be the case! Plenty of people hire professional house cleaners or personal trainers, tutors for your children or dog walkers for your pups, so why the need to shy away from hiring someone to help you create a more functional home? Nothing to be ashamed of about that!
Hiring a professional organizer can be quite liberating . There is so much freedom in de-cluttering and becoming organized. What I love most about my job is working with families and seeing the huge changes that take place once we work together and create a beautiful space that they never thought possible.

 

So, below you will find 5 reasons why you might need to hire a professional organizer!

 

1.YOU NEED ACCOUNTABILITY

For the same reasons people will hire a personal trainer to help motivate and hold them accountable for reaching their fitness goals, you may need a organizer to help hold you accountable for your organizational goals. When your trying to organize yourself, it’s easy to talk yourself out of things like what items to hold onto or what items to purge. Its also easy to give up and go eat a bag of chips instead! What a professional organizer can do is encourage you along the way and keep you motivated to complete the task. When you’ve booked an organizer to come into your home, theres no excuses!

2. YOU NEED HELP MAKING DECISIONS

Organizing your home can be very overwhelming and you can easily get stuck in the process of de-cluttering because of the challenges your faced with when it comes to keeping or tossing household items. Professional organizers can coach you through every decision so that you are able to move forward and get through the challenges with a little more ease.

3. THE DAYS ARE TOO SHORT

There are only so many hours in the day, and with work, kids, school, groceries, cleaning, errands, and sports just to name a few who has time to sit down and organize a room? Hiring a professional organizer, can keep you focused on the task at hand and spending your time organizing more efficiently!

4. YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START

Oftentimes when a job seems too large we become paralyzed and put off starting for “another day.” An organizer can wok alongside you and break down that huge job into smaller more achieveable tasks.

5. YOU FIND IT HARD TO FINISH A PROJECT

As I mentioned, I hear this all the time. Usually when people have decided to hire me, it has come after multiple unsuccessful attempts to organize their home. You see these amazing homes and DIY organizing tips on Pinterest and think you can do it all in one quick go, but unfortunately it just doesn’t happen like that. Where a professional organizer can help is keep you focused and realistic about the process and motivated to achieve the look and functionality of the room until its complete.

 

These are just a few of the reasons you might find it necessary to hire an organizer. Personally, I love working alongside people in their homes. The messy, disorganized and chaotic homes are what I love to work with, so there is never any pretending or shaming. I am always so thankful when families welcome me into their homes, it’s a job i thoroughly enjoy and take pride in!

So, what are you waiting for?


Why you should have a junk drawer

Whether you’ve meant to or not, you likely have a designated “junk drawer” in your home. For most people, this drawer belongs in the kitchen, while for others its in the office or even a basket in a hallway somewhere.

Junk drawers are the perfect resting place for all the random items in your life. Where else does it make sense to keep the few batteries needed for the flashlight, some chapstick, rubber bands, hand lotion, calculator, coupons, etc.

What does belong in your junk drawer should be those items that you need daily or weekly that don’t necessarily need the space for their own home. If you throw things in here that need a more permanent home, this is where the junk drawer can become a catastrophe.

How to keep your junk drawer tidy?

Drawer dividers are essential to keep your junk drawers tidy. Each compartment can house a certain type of item or product. Also ensure you use the space in between the dividers and drawer walls as well. Separate the items by size and contain the various categories seperately.

A typical junk drawer before me 🙂

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A quick purge of items not used or expired and a $10 divider purchase ensures a functional and tidy space.

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7 Easy Organizing Tips

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Below are tips on how to organize various spots throughout your home. The last one is my favourite and truly the “secret” to remaining organized.

 

1) SORT THROUGH THE JUNK DRAWER

Junk drawers are a necessity, but they need some help once in a while. Tip: Once they’re organized, don’t try to eliminate them or the loose change and batteries will end up in another drawer. (Trust me on this one, I’ve tried.) Just try to organize your junk drawers every 2-3 months.

2) KEEP A LIST OF YOUR PASSWORDS IN A SAFE PLACE

With all the recent hacking stories in the news, I do not recommend keeping this list electronically. My recommendation is to write them down (in pencil) in a small notebook. When required to change a password, erase it and write down the new one. Keep your list in the same place so it never gets lost!

3) UPDATE YOUR MOVIE STORAGE

Do you watch a lot of streaming video on Netflix, Crave etc? Free up space and consider selling or donating DVDs you don’t watch or don’t need. UsedVictoria or Varagesale are great sites to sell unwanted DVD’s.

If there are home videos you would like to save, have them converted to a DVD or other type of media. But otherwise, ditch your VHS tapes! Get rid of that shelf of DVD cases! Put your DVDs in a binder (or two, or three) with plastic sleeves to save space.

4) CHECK EXPIRATION DATES

Check your pantry, medicine cabinet, make-up drawer, cleaning supplies, and toiletries.

If it’s expired, you shouldn’t have it. If you have good food that isn’t expired and you aren’t going to eat it, donate it to a shelter in Victoria. For all of these items (even if it isn’t expired), if you don’t need it or use it, then get rid of it! Pare it down and only keep what you need so you can free up space.

5) DITCH YOUR MISMATCHED SOCKS

Everyone has socks that just don’t have a match. Next time you find one or open that sock drawer, spend an extra 15 minutes to sort through the socks. The ones that don’t have a match should be ditched. If you find one, hold onto it for a week or so and then move on. Missing socks are a part of life and shouldn’t burden you! If you don’t want to throw them away, toss them all into a zip bag and donate to Goodwill, or another place that will also recycle clothing items.

6) KEEP TRACK OF YOUR INSTRUCTION MANUALS

To keep them organized, store your instruction manuals and receipts for major purchases all in a centralized spot. I recommend using a 3 ring binder with plastic sleeves or a folder, or in a accordion style file folder.

Another option is to ditch the manuals altogether and find a link to them online. Look up the item number, copy the link to the manual, and place them all into a document on your computer saved as “Instruction Manuals”.

7) STOP LISTENING TO ORGANIZING “EXPERTS”

Wait, what? Haha!

Despite what most of Pinterest, organizing stores, makers of bins, “experts” and bloggers tell you, you don’t need fancy new bins or dollar store items that can be repurposed. You don’t need to hang onto everything because you are not a store. Stop going to the thrift store and buying stupid organizing devices designed not to organize, but to take away precious space.

No, no. Ignore all of that. You don’t need more places for your stuff. 🙂 You need to get rid of stuff. I promise, you don’t need it all.

The best way to get organized is to have less. Then, put your stuff away and keep it in the same spot. (I know, earth shattering stuff here!) And then, stop bringing so much in.

 


FAQ’S from my booth at the Women’s Show!

What a busy and fantastic weekend at the Victoria Women’s Fall Expo.This was my first time showcasing my business and it was such a great experience. I learned a lot from the women (and some men) I met throughout the weekend and made some great friends. I received a lot of great questions and feedback regarding the organizing business so I thought i would address some of the repeated questions here on my blog…

1. Do you sell any storage products? Do you provide any organizational products?

I personally do not sell any products. I can however, recommend a wide variety of of organizational products to add to my service. For a small fee, most clients have me purchase the products for them that fits within their budget and within the space we create for them. Other people enjoy shopping for the products themselves from a descriptive list I create for them. The choice is up to you!

2. Do you clean?

A benefit to having an organized home is that when it does come time to clean, there is less stuff lying around to pick up and move to clean under. When I do move items from one place to the next or create a new space in your home, I always make sure to dust/wipe down any surfaces so that we aren’t placing any of your items on a dirty surface. Some of my clients hire a cleaning service ( I can recommend a few) after I have completed the organizing process to really feel like they have made a fresh start and clean slate!

3. Do you organize small spaces?

Absolutely! I have been hired to organize bachelor apartments to a 4000 square foot home.  There is really no project to big or to small that I won’t consider.

4. Is this service confidential?

When you decide to hire Space In Your Place, you can rest assured everything about your experience with me is completely confidential.

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Command Centers

Is your kitchen counter piled up with papers? is your coffee table your catchall full of unwanted random items? Here is a simple step by step guide to help you create a space in your home where it is easy and convenient to throw your days things but still manage to keep them organized…

Pick The Perfect Spot

Your landing area won’t be effective if its not in the right spot. The key is to identify an area of your home thats in the arrival traffic pattern. This could be a cupboard in the kitchen or a designated basket on the laundry room shelf. The important thing here is that it is easily accessible to get to and manage. My landing area happens to be on my office desk where i have a 3 tiered paper tray. I like some of these ideas below.

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Set It Up

When setting up your landing area, consider the items you bring into the house on a daily basis. For most people that involves paperwork. The examples listed above area all great ideas for paperwork, whether that be bills, invoices, schoolwork, kids projects or assignments, paperwork adds up. Try labeling these products into categories, such as “to do” or “to be sorted”. This would include the paperwork that needs to be addressed still. Another category could be “completed” this is where the paperwork has been addressed but needs to be filed or discarded. Finally another category could be considered your “outbox” this is where items like school assignments that have been signed or completed need to go back to school.

Decorate to Motivate

Do what works for you! flowers, thoughtful quotes, pictures of family. If it looks cute you will be more inclined to keep it that way!

Set up a desk date

The truth is that it takes time to deal with all the paperwork in our lives. Want an inbox that is delightfully uncluttered? Set aside a few minutes every evening or 15-20 minutes a week to go through your paperwork and it won’t end up being a huge monster of a mess!

Encourage Use

This landing area is great and all… if it gets used! So make sure to let everyone in the house know that when things come into the house, it needs to be placed in a specific area and not just left on a random kitchen counter or on the floor where it will get lost. This is to ensure that the house runs smoothly and efficiently.


My Favourite Products!

Can we call this Rachel’s favourite things? (Like Oprah’s favourite things?) although mine are probably not as exciting and I won’t be giving away a car.. nonetheless, below are just a few of my favourite items when organizing. Most of these items below I use in my home and find them both aesthetically pleasing and also very functional. Any items you swear by when organizing a space?

 

Storage Basket (Ikea’s Byholma chest) $69.99

I never thought I would love this wicker chest until I had a baby! This Ikea product is one of my favourites because it holds so much stuff! I can fit most of my sons toys in here and whats nice is that it sits in my family room and doesn’t look tacky or out of place. Not your typical “toy box,” it looks cute and is easy accessible for my son to open up and empty the contents.. all. over. the. floor. But as quickly as he dumps it all out, i can easily put it all back in and the family room is once again clean. For a few minutes anyway.

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Sterilite Storage Totes

These storage totes are great for just about anything you want to put away and store. I like this brand particularly because they are clear so you can see what is in them, plus the latch on lid is ideal for keeping things safe inside. They are always readily available at Walmart and i find them comparable to other brands as well. Sterilite makes these totes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

 

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Ikea’s Kallax Unit- $149.99

This unit comes in so many sizes and 4 different colors. What I like about this product is that you can use so many different baskets, boxes, bins in it to suit your needs. This can be used in an office to hold files, important documents, or a kids play room to hold toys, games, stuffed animals. You can store books, DVD’s, shoes, clothes, towels.. the list is endless…

 

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Ikea’s Kvarnvik Box with Lid- $19.99

Like mentioned with the unit above, these storage boxes are great for holding just about anything. They are clean & simple looking and fit perfectly in the Kallax unit.

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Sterilite Stacking baskets

These baskets are great for just about anywhere, but i find them most useful under your bathroom sink to hold your toiletries, extra bathroom items, etc. They are great to stack as well, maximizing more space.

 

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Acrylic Storage Containers- $4.99-$16.99

These clear acrylic containers are ideal for bathroom or kitchen drawers. You can customize this modular system to fit your desired space.

 

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