Make space for living. It’s our tagline. Who knew it would have special meaning for us in 2019 as we make space for a new company?
We are thrilled to announce that Space Solutions has joined Organized Interiors so we can serve you better!
Barb Larocque opened Space Solutions in 1986, with innovation and dedication for the last 33 years, and will continue to ensure every customer’s organizational and space solutions are completed, “the right way, on time, for every project.”
The Space Solutions location in the Sunnybrook Plaza at 660 Eglinton Avenue East closed on March 29 and moved to Organized Interiors’ facilities. “Our commitment to outstanding service will continue. We are thrilled that we can now offer more selection, options, and features, with furnished room displays in a 10,000 square foot showroom space at the Organized Interiors”, Barb says.
Organized Interiors showroom in Vaughan.
President of Organized Interiors, Mike Albo says, “We are both pioneers in this business and we share the same passion, business integrity, and family values” he added, “Aligning our businesses will only help to better serve our clients with competitive pricing and continued, high-quality customer service”.
The continuing need for space solutions in the downtown condo market will benefit from this new business alliance.
With your spring cleaning efforts currently in full swing, it’s worth taking a little time to consider your home air quality.
Most of us take it for granted that our indoor air quality is fine. Scientific research, however, has found it to be an area we should be paying a lot more attention to.
Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental health organizations show that the quality of most indoor air is actually worse than the air outdoors.
Air pollution levels in indoor spaces are typically 2-5 times higher than pollution levels outside. So how can that be?
What causes poor home air quality?
A big contributor to poor air quality in homes and other indoor spaces is, quite simply, that not enough time is spent cleaning them, especially when it comes to vacuuming and dusting.
The products we buy and the chemicals they contain are another major reason our home air quality suffers. Unless you’re ultra-vigilant about what’s being brought into your home and used there, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality.
Indoor airborne pollutants also come from things like cooking residue, pollen, mould, and pet dander.
The fact that we inhabit tightly sealed environments that don’t get much air flow exchange with the outdoors doesn’t help matters, either.
How to improve your home air quality
Because the average person spends about 80-90% of their time indoors, it’s important to do what you can in your living space to improve its air quality.
The spring time is typically when a home is most in need of a refresh. Those long Canadian winters keep us indoors a lot more and don’t give homeowners many opportunities to open some windows. That keeps stale air, allergens, and other pollutants trapped inside.
Of course, leaving screen doors and windows open can also bring in outdoor pollutants, particularly in high traffic areas, downtown areas, and during hot weather. It’s a tricky balance, to be sure.
Here are some tips to help you improve your home air quality by reducing the number of pollutants in your living space.
1. Clean your home regularly (and properly)
Finding the time to clean your home as much as it really needs it is always a challenge. But as you would expect, regular cleaning is one of the single-most impactful ways to reduce the number of toxins indoors.
It’s generally recommended that regularly used areas of your home should be vacuumed a minimum of once per week. Higher traffic areas should get a little more attention, perhaps two or three weekly vacuumings. Carpeted areas in your home will also need more vacuum maintenance than hard floor surfaces.
Cleaning properly is another key to make your cleaning efforts more effective. Avoid using dusters, for starters. They don’t actually remove dust, they merely disperse dust from one surface to another. Wipe shelves and other surfaces with a damp soft cloth or microfibre cloth.
Thorough cleaning is also important. You can’t realistically get to every single nook and cranny in your home every time you vacuum, dust, and mop. It is important, however, to occasionally attend to those areas of your home that aren’t the main floor surfaces, such as curtains, ceiling fans, baseboards, walls, and behind large appliances.
To eliminate the headache of vacuuming underneath beds and sucking up all those elusive dust bunnies, consider getting a bed surround. They replace all of that wasted empty space underneath beds with useful drawer storage and incorporate additional storage space around the bed.
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
2. Control home clutter
Let’s expand upon that “clean your home regularly” point and specifically address home clutter. You might not see a direct connection between excess clutter and poor home air quality, but it’s there.
To illustrate how clutter affects the air quality in your home, picture several stacks of boxes in the corner of a spare room that haven’t been touched in months.
Those stacks (and floor clutter in general) make it harder to vacuum the room, which gives you an excuse to not to do it.
Extra clutter also impedes the airflow in a room and gives dust more surface areas to rest on and accumulate.
The most popular laundry and cleaning products boast about how fresh they’ll make your clothes smell and how immaculate and spotless they’ll leave the surfaces in your home.
The irony is that while these products may be effective at cleaning and eliminating germs and bacteria, most of them also add pollutants to your home’s air when used.
Even getting your dry cleaning done can bring pollutants into your home (from the chemicals used in the cleaning process).
Here are just a few more of the common household products that release chemicals into your home’s air:
beauty and grooming products
spray and plug-in air fresheners
certain types of clothing (including water-repellent apparel and some polyester and fleece fabrics)
many plastic products
It can take a big effort to make major changes to what you buy and to check on the environmental impact of every product you purchase. But controlling the source of indoor pollutants will help to improve your home air quality.
4. Get an air purifier
Adding a standalone air purifier (or two) to the areas of your home that are most frequently used is another solution for improving your home air quality.
Bedrooms, the kitchen, and the living room are ideal locations. If you don’t want to deal with moving a standalone air purifier from room to room, whole-house air cleaning systems are available which are integrated into your HVAC system.
Air purifiers remove contaminants from the air and can help improve the comfort level of those with allergy and asthma issues. Air purifiers are also recommended for homes with smokers.
Ionic and HEPA air purifiers are the two most popular types of standalone unit choices. Do your homework before buying, as features (such as whether the unit can remove odours, square footage covered, and operating volume levels) vary widely from model to model.
5. Change HVAC and kitchen air filters regularly
Dirty air filters that trap pollutants and allergens recirculate poor quality air indoors, so they need to be maintained to keep your home’s air quality healthy.
Timely air filter replacement on HVAC systems, range hoods, kitchen and bathroom air vents, and vacuums tends to get overlooked. Staying on top of this task is a cost-effective way to maintain healthy home air quality.
Energy Star recommends changing your HVAC filters monthly during the winter and summer seasons, when your furnace and air conditioner are being used most. Change them every three months at the very minimum, regardless of the time of year.
Unclogged air filters improve the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems and can reduce your utility bill.
Energy Star also recommends a yearly tune-up for your HVAC equipment to keep them operating at peak efficiency and to prolong the life of your heating and cooling units.
You should also have your air ducts inspected and cleaned periodically. Whichever air duct cleaning company you use, ask them about their maintenance process. Some professionals use sealants and chemical products that kill and inhibit bacteria and mould growth, which you may wish to avoid.
6. Get home air quality-friendly plants
Adding several air purifying plants to your living space won’t just improve your home air quality, they also enhance a room with character and colour.
House plants convert carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen and certain plants are very efficient at eliminating or reducing household toxins like benzene and formaldehyde.
Here are some of the most effective plants for reducing toxins in the home:
Be mindful that even plants which are known for their air purifying benefits aren’t practical for every home. If one or more house occupants have sensitive allergies, some of these plants may not agree with them.
7. Prioritize the air quality in your bedrooms
Taking steps to improve the indoor air quality throughout your home is important, but it only makes sense to prioritize the quality of air in the room your family spends most of their time in – the bedroom.
A Statistics Canada study of the sleep habits of 10,000 Canadians between the ages of 18-79 found that they averaged 7.12 hours of sleep every night.
With approximately a third of our lives spent sleeping, your bedrooms should undoubtedly be one of the cleanest, most organized rooms in your house.
In addition to managing your bedroom clutter, using an air purifier, and adding some plants to the bedroom, consider changing your mattress.
Switiching to an eco-friendly mattress that’s chemical-free will be beneficial for your bedroom’s air quality. At the very least, vacuum your existing mattress regularly to get rid of dust mites and get anti-dust mite mattress and pillow covers.
Get organized to help improve your home air quality
Our lifestyles make eliminating 100% of indoor pollutants at home virtually impossible.
However, with simple regular maintenance, making changes to the products you buy, and investing in appliances to monitor and improve your home air quality, you’ll reduce your family’s exposure to indoor air contaminants.
Consider having your home air quality tested. An expert can help you gauge what areas of your home might benefit from some measures to reduce indoor toxins.
Organized Interiors can also help you to get your home organized so it’s easier to clean on a regular basis.
According to a recent survey done by AOL and The Today Show, women spend an average of 55 minutes each day on their hair and makeup.
That’s approximately 335 hours or two full weeks every year.
A look at various studies on the makeup habits of consumers indicates that anywhere from a third to half of the women surveyed never leave home without wearing some type of makeup.
With makeup application being such a staple of so many women’s daily routine, it makes a lot of sense to have a dedicated space like a makeup table in order to streamline your daily beauty routine.
Time-saving, comfort-enhancing makeup table ideas
Whether you call it a vanity, dressing table, makeup vanity, vanity table, cosmetics vanity, or cosmetics table, makeup tables have a lot of benefits.
Having a posh makeup area where your beauty routine occurs almost every day is certainly practical, as it helps you to stay organized.
It also allows you to have a personalized, comfortable space to complete your beauty ritual.
Let’s look at some makeup table ideas that get a little more in-depth about how useful they can be, as well as some considerations to make before buying one.
Keep your beauty products well-organized
A 2015 Poshly and Stowaway Cosmetics survey of 4,000 U.S. women found that the average woman owned just under 40 makeup products, but only regularly used five of them. 75% of those surveyed said they routinely never finish their makeup products.
With a plethora of cosmetic types and brands to choose from, keeping all of your beauty essentials and self-care products organized can be a challenge.
Having a dedicated space that’s set up to handle all of your makeup storage needs with an ample countertop, drawers with dividers, and cabinet storage will make a big difference in keeping your daily prep area well-organized.
With an organized makeup space, you will:
find things much easier
misplace fewer items
be less likely to make duplicate purchases
be able to keep better tabs on how fresh your makeup products are
Create a highly functional workspace
Having a dedicated and well-designed makeup application and removal space where everything is in one place and within easy reach will facilitate a consistent, efficient daily beauty routine.
That saves you time and minimizes the aggravation that comes with searching for items you can’t find.
Some elaborate makeup applications require a very precise touch and take more time, so the last thing you want to feel is rushed, scattered, and uncomfortable when applying your cosmetics.
And while some women are perfectly fine standing when applying their makeup or styling their hair, a lot of women find it easier and more efficient to sit down for these tasks.
You can have your makeup station designed just the way you prefer for maximum comfort. That includes choosing a comfy seat, having your countertop set at your preferred height, and picking the perfect task lighting and mirror for your makeup area.
Why a bespoke makeup table design is better
You could save a few bucks and buy a build-it-yourself makeup vanity online or from a big box store.
But if you want to add a makeup space with an elegant, high-end look that’s durable, well-built, and with more design options, a bespoke makeup table is the best choice.
You’ll have much more freedom to fully personalize your makeup table when working with a custom cabinet designer and manufacturer like Organized Interiors.
By having direct input into the furniture’s design and the ability to have a dialogue with the cabinet maker after everything is installed, you’re assured of complete satisfaction with your product.
Location flexibility with a small room footprint
Makeup tables are well-suited to several home spaces, which gives you some flexibility when it comes to choosing a location.
You don’t need a lot of space for a makeup table either, which gives you additional freedom when choosing a spot. If your available space allows for it, “going big” with your makeup table design is certainly an option, too.
Any of the following rooms are ideal for a makeup table:
Longer days and warmer weather mean spring is here. Finally!
It’s time to get out of your winter funk, get motivated, and tackle some of those clutter areas in your home.
Here are seven spaces that can benefit from home organization projects this spring.
By this time of year, your closets are overworked and overflowing with stuff you seldom wear. Bulkier winter clothing also tends to eat up more of your precious closet real estate.
If your closet space is bursting at the seams and failing to meet your storage needs, make use of that underutilized spare room in your home to significantly expand your wardrobe storage options.
Transform the spare room into a large walk-in closet (also known as a dressing room). Create a home for all of your clothing and accessories with wall-to-wall cabinetry. You can also add a makeup table and lounging area that’s personalized for your needs.
Bed surround storage
If you’re constantly cleaning up clutter on your bedside table and around your bedroom, bed surround storage is a solution you may not have considered.
Get your bedroom organized with a bed surround that maximizes storage space. Underbed, overhead, nightstand, and wardrobe storage space can all be incorporated into the bed surround’s custom design.
A bed surround also nicely enhances your bedroom’s décor with its stylish, bespoke design.
Laundry rooms can be dark, dreary rooms that lack nobody wants to spend time in. Why not improve the space with a laundry room makeover this spring?
Our designers can transform your laundry room into a modern-looking space that’s more comfortable and enjoyable to spend time in.
And as one of your home’s hardest working rooms, we can also increase the functionality and usability of your laundry room with improved storage that includes new cabinetry, pullouts, and accessories.
Warmer weather means you and your kids will be spending more time doing outdoor activities. One effective way to stay organized with an increased level of traffic coming and going from your home during the spring and summer is to add a mudroom.
A mudroom is practical for any home and can be combined with a laundry room, be a small room near an entrance, or simply a dedicated space in the hall of a front entryway.
Add extra storage space for all of your family’s outdoor apparel and accessories to minimize clutter and keep muddy footwear in a contained, transitional area.
Is getting dressed every day an exhausting, frustrating process due to the sad state of your closet? If budget or space limitations make a walk-in closet impractical, improving your reach-in closet with a closet organizer might be the solution for you.
Depending on your needs, the design of a reach-in closet can be really simple or quite extravagant. Either way, you will maximize the storage space in your closet and greatly reduce the clutter in your room.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a workspace to your house, why not make it the home organization project you tackle this spring?
A home office creates a functional, private space that mom or dad can use for working and the kids can also use as a study space.
Organized Interiors’ bespoke home office designs can utilize a guest room or even use a corner carved out under a staircase.
Another great spare room idea is to create a guest room that includes a space-saving wall bed (also known as a Murphy bed).
A pullout wall bed is much more comfortable for your guests than a futon, sofa bed, or inflatable mattress. The wall bed unit’s integrated storage systems and stylish design also create a more hospitable, welcoming space for overnight guests.
Make space for living this spring
These are just a few of the practical home organization projects worth taking on this spring.
Regardless of what area of your home needs help, Organized Interiors has a storage and organization solution that can be customized just for you.
Schedule a free design consultation to have an Organized Interiors designer come to your home and provide you with a detailed quote.
A much-needed winter vacation is bliss while you’re relaxing in a lounge chair, enjoying some beautiful weather, and sipping a cool beverage.
Unfortunately, all vacations must eventually end and then it’s back to reality.
That anti-climatic return to normalcy hits some of us harder than others, especially if you’ve been away on a longer vacation or an especially enjoyable one. The feeling of sameness of the home life you temporarily left can return all too quickly.
Your inner battery should be nicely recharged after some time away relaxing, but you find that you just can’t shake that feeling of post-vacation fatigue after coming home.
What’s up with that?
Why you’re feeling post-vacation fatigue
Post-vacation fatigue is a common thing, actually. The stress and anxiety associated with it can start before you’re even home, simply by thinking about the prospect of coming home. That was the case for 45% of travellers surveyed for a Wyndham Vacation Rentals study.
Post-vacation fatigue may also be characterized as post-vacation blues or, to a more serious degree, post-vacation depression.
Here are several other reasons you may be feeling drained and struggling to reconnect with life at home after returning from a trip:
the prospect of dealing with tasks that weren’t done before travelling feels overwhelming
you’re readjusting to a time zone difference
your sleep schedule has been altered while away
How to get back into the swing of things
When you’re trying to get back into the swing of things after coming home from a vacation, there are a few steps you can take before and after travelling to make things easier.
With these five tips, you can avoid experiencing post-vacation fatigue and learn to cope with your post-travel weariness a little better.
1. Tidy up and be proactive before travelling
To facilitate a smooth transition back to normalcy after being away on a trip, try to be as proactive at home before embarking on your travels.
The transition of going from a temporary, carefree vacation lifestyle with far fewer responsibilities (like cooking meals) than you normally have to coming back to a dirty, cluttered home can be jarring and mentally draining.
Simplify things by making sure your home is tidied up and any lingering tasks and chores are completed before going away. Accomplishing this will ensure a relatively “clean slate” when you return home and eliminate one of the main causes of post-vacation fatigue.
This is easier said than done, mind you, considering how vacation getaway day is usually a whirlwind of activity. But do your best to clean, declutter, and generally make your home as welcoming a space as possible for your family to return to.
Make the essential home spaces you’ll use on your first day back (like your kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, living room, and front hallway) a priority. And don’t leave any dirty clothes in your laundry room, as you’ll be guaranteed to have laundry tasks for your family’s dirty vacation clothes.
Take care of other tasks that aren’t housework-related, such as paying bills and answering all work and personal emails so you don’t need to spend any vacation time (or post-vacation time) on them. Don’t forget to activate the out-of-office auto-response function on your work email to inform colleagues and clients that you’re away.
Before going on vacation, try to leave your home clean and tidy to ensure there’s less work to do upon returning.
2. Allow yourself to recover upon returning
One reason people feel post-vacation fatigue is that they push themselves too hard when they’re back home. If someone’s effort to take care of as many home tasks as possible before leaving fell a little short, there can be an overwhelming feeling of “I need to catch up to get back on track”.
And once again, be mindful that you’re going from a relaxed vacation headspace to a more responsibility-driven mindset. Pace yourself and ease your way back into your daily routine.
Try to avoid overloading your family’s schedule with a bunch of post-vacation activities and social engagements.
Some people prefer to have one or more “buffer days” when returning from a trip and going back to work. Stress about catching up on things at work is another contributor to post-vacation fatigue.
Get enough sleep and try to distance yourself from that more leisurely vacation pace you’ve enjoyed the past little while, especially in your first days home.
3. Don’t put off those must-do tasks
While we are recommending easing your way back into your regular routine after travelling, don’t take that too literally.
It’s easy to procrastinate on those must-do tasks that arise after a trip, such as:
buying fresh groceries
checking your snail mail
catching up on email replies and returning missed calls and texts
laundering vacation clothes
catching up on your snow shovelling or yard work
But after a day or two, you should be re-acclimatized to being home and be tackling any new chores.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of things at home before departing on a vacation – you’ll lighten your workload that much more.
Try to unpack within a day of returning from a vacation.
4. Get active
Only the most health-conscious of us are able to maintain healthy eating habits while we’re away on holiday.
All of those rich foods, exotic cuisines, and perhaps an adult beverage or two that you enjoyed while away can add a few pounds and affect your body’s metabolism.
That may be another reason you’re feeling some post-vacation fatigue.
If you can muster up the energy to get your blood pumping with some physical activity, you’ll be well on your way to feeling more alive and less lethargic. Any type of workout (even a light 20-30 minute session on the treadmill) will help.
Even keeping active by decluttering a particularly disorganized area of your home is healthy, not to mention practical. Excess clutter is a well-known cause of stress and you’ll feel better after restoring order to a messy space.
5. Start thinking about your next trip
Take a page out of the book of travellers who don’t experience post-vacation fatigue and – quite the opposite – are energized by a recent trip.
There’s no better way to broaden your worldview than experiencing firsthand what a faraway destination has to offer, so start thinking ahead to a future trip. Get some inspiration by organizing your recent vacation photos and reliving some memorable moments.
You don’t have to start booking flight plans just yet, although that’s not uncommon either. According to a survey by Booking.com, on the final day of their current trip, 20% of travellers actually schedule their next vacation.
Having something fun like a vacation to look forward to is a healthy, motivating thing. And the anticipation of a rewarding future trip abroad can also make getting through a difficult time just a little easier to handle.
Make your home easier to keep organized
Is some of your post-vacation fatigue exacerbated by clutter issues resulting from a lack of efficient home organization and storage systems?
Organized Interiors can help you get your home in order and make more space for living – post-vacation and 365 days a year.