Get organized in 2013

Did you make Getting Organized one of your New Year’s resolutions this year? How high is it on your list? Setting this as a priority may not be as high on some lists as losing weight or quitting a nasty habit, but decluttering is just as important and rewarding an achievement. Space Solutions can of course help you with the big tools you’ll need to keep things in order, whether it is in your closet, your home office or garage, with one of our custom solutions, tailored to your needs and you space. But it’s not just the big things: there’s no point in creating a system for something that you don’t need. A trained, certified Professional Organizer can help you get on the path to organization, before we come in, and in concert with what we do. We work with many Professional Organizers on a regular basis, and they specialize and focus on projects and chaos of varying levels. They’ll help you forge a system and stick to it, and help you get even more value out of your space and your solution.

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Recently, our friend Tina Blazer of Spot On Organizing contributed a feature, Make space for the new year! 8 ways to declutter, which appeared in the Toronto Sun. She offers some quick tips for what to do and how to get started – you may not need the services of a professional to start making a difference, but if you do, someone like Tina is a great help.

If the link above doesn’t work for you, you may view the article here:

8 ways to declutter Toronto Sun Spot On Organizing

Guest Blog: The Downsizing Diva

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Here’s the first of what we hope will become a regular feature, a guest blog post from one of our Professional Organizer friends, the fine people at Downsizing Diva. Today Karen Shinn tells us a bit about what they do, and why a Professional Organizer such as herself is a great partner for what we do at Space Solutions. Take it away, Karen!

Clothes, clothes and more clothes!

We don’t call ourselves “Downsizing Diva” for nothing! After years of experience in the Senior Move Management business, we know the most challenging part of move preparation is the downsizing part!

We work with our clients to:

i.    Help figure out what to take to their new home,
ii.    Pack and unpack all the boxes
iii.    Put everything away
iv.    Leave their new home feeling familiar, comfortable and safe.

When all is said and done, the biggest challenge is making sure there is enough storage space at the new home for…clothes and shoes!

We love working with Space Solutions because they help us help our clients fit more clothes and shoes into their new, and usually smaller, closet spaces!

Here are Downsizing Diva’s Favourite Storage Tips:

•    You likely wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time!
•    When you only take the clothes you feel great wearing, it will be much easier to organize your closet and your life!

•    Custom-built systems utilize the closet space more efficiently, so you can store all the clothes that YOU want to store.
•    Double-hanging closet rods, shoe racks, shelves and storage containers can add lots more storage space.

•    The top shelves are the most difficult to access so they should be used to store items that are not frequently used.

•    Square or rectangular boxes, not round ones, will maximize drawer/shelf space.
•    Clearly label boxes so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

•    Use decorative boxes to hold smaller items and store them in plain sight.
•    Innovative organizing accessories will make the most of your available space.

Gail Shields and Karen Shinn are Move Organizers Extraordinaire and owners of Downsizing Diva! — the company that helps Seniors and their families downsize and move. Check out their website – or call them at (416) 757-0319.

Autumn is Garage Season too!

We often think of Spring as the time of year to focus on the Garage, as it’s when you start spending more time outside, and many of the things associated with the outdoors – gardening tools, sporting goods and bicycles – get stored in the Garage. Well, it follows then that as the weather cools, things start going away to nest for the winter (not to mention that soon it will be time to deal with snow shovels – yes, I know).  We’re working at the moment on a couple of garage projects that we hope to share with you all soon.

There was a great article that made the newspapers this week with some fantastic tips to help you get your garage ready for the seasonal change. Even before considering what sort of system may be best for you, it’s a great idea to sort and purge what’s in there – no sense in organizing something you don’t need to keep – and sorting and grouping your things will make it that much easier to plan your next step.

The full article is here. Here’s the recap of what to work on:

  • Prepare. Have a plan of attack. This may include working with a Professional Organizer.
  • Empty and Sort. Getting everything outside where you have more room to work will make it that much easier to determine what you have and what to do with it.
  • Purge. Do you really need that old tent with the holes in it?
  • Spruce it up. With your space mostly clear for the time being, now is the time to paint, fix the floor, lights, etc.
  • Build upward. Getting as much as possible off the floor and onto shelves, wall systems, in cabinets, etc, will give you that much more free space. Wouldn’t you like to be able to park your car in your garage?
  • Label Everything. If you’re putting everything in boxes, or behind doors, wouldn’t it be great to know where you put that hammer when you need it?
  • Maintain. Having the tools of organization is only useful to you if you actually use them. Designate homes for things, and be sure to house things where they go. It can be a challenge training you family to do so, but you’ll be glad you did!

Garage Complete Toronto cabinets slat wallSpace Solutions, of course, offers a wide range of solutions for Garages.  Visit the Garage Page to see some of the many systems we work with, and please revisit this post to see a completed Space Solutions Garage Solution, including a video.

What is a Professional Organizer?

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Something we get asked about a lot at Space Solutions  is about Professional Organizers, and how are they distinct from what we do. Think of it like this: a professional organizer guides you through the process of organizing your life – and to what degree will vary based on your needs and the services offered. Their goal is to bring order to chaos, and they help their clients reorganize and structure their homes, and in many cases sort and purge.  (Why go through the effort of organizing something you don’t need?) It’s about helping you become more efficient, and find what you need when you need it. It’s a great service. Many times, a professional organizer will bring us in at some point in the process so that we can provide storage and closet solutions. We work closely with many organizers, helping them bring their vision to life, and order to their clients.

Professional organizers have different specialties – some focus on downsizing, some on moves, others on specific areas in the home like a closet or home office, and others still with the entire home. There are many we work with on a regular basis, and will happily recommend them if one of our customers has the need. You can search for a Professional Organizer near you on the Professional Organizers of Canada website, and find someone who specializes in the area(s) you need most help with.

We’ll soon be featuring guest blog posts by some of the professional organizers we know, and they’ll be taking the time to tell you about their services, where their specialties lie, and how they can help you. Stay tuned!