Posts Tagged ‘tips’
Organizing colleague Carolyn Caldwell of Altered Organization shares her knowledge.
THE PATH TO AN ORGANIZED GARDEN SHED
If you have a piece of property, chances are you also have a garden of some size and complexity and likely a shed to house the tools. So, along with turning the soil, top-soiling the grass and trimming the roses, why not set up for an organized garden shed as well?
No more looking around for tools you thought you had, can’t remember if you lent out and need for trimming that Euonymus. Here’s a step by step process to get you off on the right path.
Step 1 – Empty the Shed
Start by completely emptying the entire shed if feasible. Once it is empty, you will be able to start with a clean slate. You will also be able to see what you have and inventory your tools and their condition.
Sweep out the cobwebs, mouse droppings and other debris.
Step 2 – Inventory and Assess Your Tools
Review all your tools, shovels, rakes and hoes. Are there any that are broken, rusted or beyond repair? Throw out the irreparable and fix what’s needed. Are there any that are redundant, never used and could use a better home with someone else? Keep only those tools that you know you will use.
Step 3 – Look for Creative Storage and Give Everything a Home
Think vertical and you will find lots more fresh storage space that you may not have realized existed. The rakes, hoes, shovels can be stored on hooks or nails on the walls. This will get them out of the way and make them readily available when you are ready to rake. If you have the funds, many garden or home supply stores sell mountable devices specifically designed for hanging gardening tools such as rakes. If you are looking to organize using limited or no funds, use straight nails for hanging rakes, hoes, shovels and almost everything in the shed. Have some fun seeing how many tools you can actually hang for storage.
Hang one bag on another hook or nail to hold your digging and planting tools and a separate one for your garden gloves. Cloth grocery bags, made from recycled plastic bags and readily available in stores, are a great storage tool. Label with a permanent marker or bright fabric paint. An alternative to hanging gloves and hand tools is to repurpose a wooden winerack as a tool rack.
Items that are used on a daily basis or frequently during the week can be stored near the door on easy hooks or readily accessible shelves. Think secateurs for deadheading roses, trowel for pulling or upending weeds. Keep your garden gloves on the same shelf or hook beside – your tools are easy to grab for a quick 10 minutes of deadheading flowers each day.
Step 4 – Hide the Seeds from Wannabe Snackers!
Rodents and small animals would be delighted if you would just leave all those seeds out where they can help themselves. Let the squirrels find their own nuts and pack up the seeds to limit their scent and make it hard for animals to get access. Seeds that are stored in a plaster or metal box will be out of temptation’s way if rodents are a regular visitor to your shed. This is especially true of grass seed.
Step 5 – Keep Solutions Legal and Out of Reach
Review your solution bottles and know your pesticide by-laws. Many, if not all, jurisdictions have outlawed the use of pesticides. Check with your municipality to see where you can take the pesticides for disposal. Then check out your local garden centre to find an environmentally friendly alternative.
Even environmentally friendly products must be kept out of reach of children. Make sure your organized garden shed includes shelves high enough that curious children can’t get into solutions, anti-fungal products and plant food. Garden shed shelves, like tool hanging devices, can be expensive and fancy or inexpensive and simple. Most home supply stores carry industrial shelving of various sizes and strengths. Make sure to check the weight capacity, usually listed on packaging by individual shelf. If your shed is metal or plastic, you may be limited to commercial standalone shelves. With a wood shed, simple shelves can be constructed between the joists.
Step 6 – Use your Organized Garden Shed
An organized garden shed is easy to use and supports your interests in the garden. Try taking your shed for a test run. Can you easily find the tools you need? Can you just as easily put them away? Are your daily use tools where you can get at them? Are the seeds safely sealed away from intruders? Have you kept only what you use and what you need?
Last step – as always, enjoy the fruits of your labours and the bounty of your garden.
Carolyn Caldwell is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Altered Organization in Toronto, as well as being a mentor for professional organizers. You can contact her at 647-505-2256 or by email.
Now that the calendar has been flipped over to August, the first day of school is on the horizon.
One chore that goes hand-in-hand with back to school is LAUNDRY. Like it or dislike it, it’s a necessity of life in households.
THAT DREADED WORD–L A U N D R Y!
In my experience as a professional organizer, I have found that many clients just can’t seem to keep up with the never-ending pile of laundry. For some people, laundry has become a mountain.
If you struggle to keep up with laundry, try some of the following suggestions.
- Have a laundry hamper(s) in a central location or each bedroom. Multi-section hampers are available to pre-sort dirty clothes into dark and light colours.
- Gather all your dirty laundry together before starting.
- Put each child’s clothing into a mesh bag for washing.
- Socks won’t disappear if contained in a mesh bag.
- Use a different colour basket for each family member.
- Keep your laundry area well stocked with supplies–detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, hangers, etc.
- Limit the amount of clothing you own.
- Children grow out of clothes so quickly. Pack up any clothes they have outgrown for your younger children. Or pass them along to a friend or relative or donate them to a thrift store.
- Store winter/summer clothes in a separate area–if possible.
- SCHEDULE TIME to do laundry on a daily or weekly basis, so it doesn’t get out of control.
- Wash one or two loads per day. The number of people in your household will determine how much laundry needs to be done.
- Put a load in the washer in the morning and transfer it to the dryer once you’re home from work. Or put a load in the washer at night and transfer it to the dryer in the morning.
- NOTE: For those of us who live in Ontario and are subject to time-of-use hydro (electric or power for our friends in the States) rates, this makes scheduling laundry a bit more of a challenge.
- Hang up items as soon as they come out of the dryer to avoid wrinkling.
- Fold and put away laundry after each load is dry.
- Make it a required chore for each family member to put away their clean clothes. Create good habits in the early years!
When was the last time you cleaned your dryer vent?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “Dryer lint caused 16,800 fires last year. These preventable fires caused 15 deaths, 300 injuries and about $88 million US in property damage. There are no comparable statistics available for Canada.” Schedule time to clean your dryer vent regularly. For more information, click here.
Don’t let your laundry get the better of you!
Get started and turn over another leaf!
Until next month,
“Cathy has helped me immensely with a family member’s move.
Not only is Cathy [pleasant] to work with, very knowledgeable and proficient at her work, she went above and beyond her duties. Cathy was able to reuse or donate items to assist other families which meant a great deal to me.
I highly recommend Cathy as her expertise would benefit those who must tackle any type of project.”
N Schreiner, Burlington, ON
Thanks for reading…
P.S. To read more testimonials, please Click Here
When home buyers and sellers work with an agent, the entire process runs smoother and is a lot less stressful than if buyers or sellers did everything on their own. A real estate agent will help you navigate the legal requirements of buying or selling a home and take care of all the paperwork. Showings of your home are scheduled easily.
Did you know?
- 87% of buyers bought their home using a real estate agent
- 88% of buyers would use them again or at least recommend them to someone else
- 89% of sellers used an agent to sell their home
- 48% of people selling homes without an agent end up with a lower selling price
- help sell your current home while also finding a future home for you
- possess a wide selection of available homes not visible to the public
- are knowledgeable about various neighbourhoods
Let your agent be your liaison, and take advantage of their knowledge and skills. They are the experts, so trust their judgment.
Not only will an agent guide you step by step through the entire process of selling or buying so that nothing is missed or forgotten, but they will also help you understand the requirements and contract terms. Finalizing contract negotiations is another area where an agent’s expertise is beneficial to you as they make sure all the paperwork is completed in a timely manner and all contract points are addressed.
Buying and selling a house is no easy task. Find an agent that you can trust and partner up with them for maximum advantage.
Charlotte Ferguson is a sales representative with Re/Max Solid Gold Realty (II) Ltd. Brokerage in Waterloo. You can contact her at 519-888-7110 or by email. For more information, check out Charlotte’s website.
Do you own a storage locker–2 perhaps or even 3?
Contact A New Leaf between May 15 and June 15 to help you clear out your storage locker. Pay for 3 hours and receive a 4th hour at no charge!
Whether you’re putting your home up for sale or are clearing out some clutter, check out our Yard Sale Checklist.
As a professional home stager, Lynda Schmidt notes that many homeowners trying to sell their homes often make the same mistakes:
- too much stuff
- dated flooring
- dark rooms, or
- startling wall colours
Lynda works with homeowners and real estate agents who see untapped potential in homes about to go on the market. “The biggest thing is clutter, too much stuff,” she says, referring to the clutter as “visual noise.”
With rooms filled with collections, family photos, religious icons, furniture and toys, prospective buyers tend to focus on the stuff rather than the room itself. If that first showing proves negative, chances are the buyer will simply move on.
“Every potential buyer only knows what they see, not the potential (of the house).”
Buyers will also zero in on specific items like that defeated old couch in the rec room. “Even though the furniture shouldn’t matter, it does.” Use slip covers or remove the couch all together. Also, think of furniture placement: in a small dining room for example, placing the chairs at two sides of the table rather than on all four sides will provide more space.
It is most important for sellers to “de-personalize” their space by removing all personal items, anything that smacks of the homeowner’s tastes or interests.
“Painting has the biggest impact and is the cheapest,” she says. “And remove old, dated wallpaper.” Removing extra furniture can also make a difference: a small living room with a couch, loveseat and three or four chairs makes the room seem cramped and small.
Lynda suggests having the bedrooms and bathroom appear unused. Remove cleaning products as well as personal items such as shampoos and cosmetics. Kitchens are also an issue, as homeowners tend to keep everything–from coffee makers to spice racks–on the counters. Clear it off. “You’re selling counter space, not the stuff on the counter. “Empty and organize your closets too.”
Repairs should be done before the first showing. Every flaw–from having to remove wallpaper border to updating the kitchen flooring–will give the buyer an excuse to “chip away” at the price. This can mean the seller loses more in the sale than it would cost to do the upgrades.
When she is hired to stage a home, Lynda rents larger items such as furniture. She has her own warehouse filled with everything from candlesticks to art work to give homes some oomph — which could mean the difference between a quick sale and languishing on the market.
“A high percentage will pay more for a property they can move into without doing a thing.”
Lynda Schmidt is the owner of L.B. Schmidt Creative Services and was one of the first Home Staging professionals in Waterloo Region. She has been in the buiness of creative visual presentation for over 25 years. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-589-7456.
Even though Dunja Lazic’s article is entitled “10 Time Management Hacks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know,” these hacks apply to everyone. Try out a couple!
Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”