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.
RISE [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tidying expert Marie Kondo is seemingly everywhere these days.
KonMari mania has been fuelled by the recent premiere of her eight-episode Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
In addition to being a TV star, the multi-hyphenate Kondo is also a:
social media influencer (with over 2 million Instagram followers)
While you may be aware of Kondo and some of her organizing methods, how much do you really know about the woman who was named one of Time’s “100 most influential people” in 2015 and where she came from?
Keep reading to learn some interesting Marie Kondo facts.
9 Marie Kondo facts you might not know
Netflix is notoriously hush-hush when it comes to revealing viewership numbers for its original programming.
But based on the Kondo hype at the moment, it’s safe to assume that Tidying Uphas garnered millions of new converts (or “Konverts”, as they’re known) to her organization methods.
The streaming platform shrewdly timed the launch of TidyingUp (which one TV reviewer called “the happy version of Hoarders”) for New Year’s Day.
And what better time of year is there to capitalize on the “must get organized!” mindset many of us are in with our New Year’s resolutions?
Get to know the woman sparking joy worldwide with these nine facts about Marie Kondo.
1. Kondo’s six tidying rules
The “spark joy” element of Kondo’s organizing method (known as the KonMari Method) is well-known, but did you now that Kondo has six basic rules of tidying?
As she writes on her website, they are:
Commit yourself to tidying up.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Finish discarding first.
Tidy by category, not by location.
Follow the right order.
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
2. She’s been famous for longer than you might think
We here in North America may have only heard about Kondo in the last few years, but her public profile has actually been on the rise for almost a decade now.
15 years ago, Kondo started a part-time tidying business at the age of 19 while she worked full-time at a staffing agency.
The tidying business took off and she soon had a six-month-long waiting list for her services.
In 2010, she won first prize in a Japanese book publisher’s contest with the idea for what would become her debut book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, which was released at the end of that year.
Its popularity spawned a Japanese TV movie titled The Life-Changing, Pulsing Magic of Cleaning Up and a follow-up book titled Spark Joy.
Having achieved major success and fame in Japan, Australia, and Europe, Kondo turned her attention to America.
3. Kondo’s success in America wasn’t immediate
When The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was released in the U.S. in 2014, it wasn’t an immediate hit.
Because Kondo didn’t have much of a profile yet on this continent and her English was limited, promotional opportunities were somewhat difficult to come by.
All of that changed when a New York Times reporter wrote about the book and Kondo’s organizing methods.
Kondo made regular appearances on TV, the view counts on her instructional YouTube videos skyrocketed, and she became a pop culture darling (including shout-outs on TV shows The Mindy Project and the Gilmore Girls revival).
4. Shintoism influenced her tidying methods
Having enjoyed her numerous visits to Shinto shrines as a youngster, Kondo eventually worked at a shrine for a period as an attendant maiden.
She connected with the Japanese religion’s teachings of treating objects with respect and how tidiness and order can create a sacred, calming space filled with pure energy.
Although she doesn’t identify as particularly religious, Kondo does say that Shintoism has given her a lot of inspiration and had a big influence on her organizing methods.
For example, she likes to take into consideration how a piece of clothing might like to be folded.
And when discarding a piece of clothing such as a dress whose colour doesn’t spark joy for you, she thinks you should thank it for its service. Why? Because it was a helpful example of what wardrobe colour to avoid in the future.
5. She’s had a lifelong obsession with tidying
Okay, this Marie Kondo fact admittedly won’t be a complete shock to you – she’s been extremely organized her entire life.
Even as a little girl, Kondo was obsessed with staying tidy and eager for any organization-related information she could get her hands on. One of her earliest organization resources were her mother’s homemaking magazines.
The national library of Japan, which requires you to be at least 18 to enter, contained a wealth of organization and decluttering books and resources. You can guess where Kondo spent her 18th birthday.
While studying sociology at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University the following year, Kondo wrote her thesis, “How to Declutter Your Apartment — From a Sociological Perspective”.
During her schooling, friends started offering to pay her to tidy their rooms and homes, which was what lead to Kondo creating that first tidying business.
6. The KonMari Method isn’t strictly about minimalism
Kondo’s tidying philosophy tends to get labelled as “minimalism”, which isn’t necessarily accurate. It’s more like “minimalism-adjacent”.
While downsizing and less consumption are core foundations of the KonMari Method, Kondo isn’t opposed to keeping things around if they do meaningfully benefit you (aka “spark joy”).
Sentimentality (and the strong emotional attachments people can make with their possessions, thereby making things harder to part with) tends to be one of the banes of professional organizers.
For Kondo, however, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker when you’re deciding what to keep and what to discard.
If something with a sentimental pull truly makes you happy, Kondo sees no reason to get rid of it (she encourages it, in fact). This is all in moderation, of course.
She even admits to having a soft spot for a couple of items she holds onto: a free t-shirt she got years ago at an expo and a stuffed seal Kondo’s dad gave to her.
7. Her methods have ruffled a few feathers
Needless to say, Kondo’s meteoric rise has lead to some naysayers and critics of her non-traditional organizing methods.
They argue that her Eastern philosophies and hardline approach to decluttering (which one writer called “as ruthless as it is unrealistic”) aren’t suited to the Western world.
On a shallower level, Kondo’s delivery style also rubs some people the wrong way for being overly cute, such as her signature raised index finger “spark joy pose”.
Kondo takes the criticism in stride. As she told The New York Times Magazine after The Rachael Ray Show’s in-house organizer criticized some of her tidying methods on-air:
“I think his method is pretty great, too. I think it’s good to have different types of organizing methods because my method might not spark joy with some people, but his method might.”
crystals kept on her nightstand “for their purification properties as well as their exquisite beauty”
separate notebooks to jot down her ideas, dreams, and problem solving ideas
rose water (for its anti-inflammatory properties and scent)
an antique box she’s had for years where she keeps her makeup
Tidy up and live with less clutter
Kondo and her tidying methods may not be for everyone. We do think it’s exciting, however, to see so much attention and awareness focussed right now on the value and importance of living with less clutter.
If Marie Kondo mania has gotten you inspired to tidy up and you’re looking for more traditional organization solutions for your home, Organized Interiors can help.
Organized Interiors is pleased to once again be participating in The Children’s Breakfast Club’s Winter Coat Drive.
The goal of the 2018 Winter Coat Drive is to collect 55,000 clean, gently-used coats and warm clothing items. All donations will ensure that no child in Ontario is cold this winter.
About The Children’s Breakfast Club
The Children’s Breakfast Club is a non-profit charitable organization that began in 1984. They believe every child is entitled to a nutritious breakfast and currently have more than 20 clubs in the Greater Toronto Area. An estimated 4,000 meals are served by the organization every week.
The Children’s Breakfast Club’s other objectives are to:
encourage children to develop healthy nutritional, behavioural, and personal hygiene habits
provide children with emotional support and social and intellectual stimulation
encourage and develop the skills of staff, volunteers, and other community members
What is the Winter Coat Drive?
The Winter Coat Drive collects and distributes new and gently-used winter clothing to children and their families in need of proper winter attire. The Children’s Breakfast Club began the Winter Coat Drive in 2014.
2015’s Winter Coat Drive collected more than 30,000 items of winter clothing. That number grew to more than 40,000 pieces collected the following year. 2017’s Winter Coat Drive was another huge success.
All donations end up at The Children’s Breakfast Club’s Coat Warehouse, which operates throughout the winter season.
Toronto Police will hand out vouchers to families they encounter who are most in need of this winter clothing. The vouchers can then be redeemed by the family members for a winter coat or item of clothing they’re most in need of.
Organized Interiors’ involvement in the Winter Coat Drive
The 2018 Winter Coat Drive kicked off on October 19th and this will be Organized Interiors’ third year of involvement in this worthy cause.
Our participation in the 2016 Winter Coat Drive was inspired by Toronto’s very own NBA All-Star, Toronto Raptor Alumni, and Assistant Coach and Community Ambassador Jamaal Magloire.
Jamaal challenged all of Toronto to “Donate a Coat” and “Warm a Heart”.
More than four truckloads of coats and winter clothing were collected that year at Vaughan’s first drop-off centre in the Organized Interiors showroom.
With our customers’ incredible generosity, five truckloads of winter clothing were promptly delivered to the Coat Warehouse last year.
The drop-off centre at Organized Interiors is the first in Vaughan. Help us fill our bin with warm winter coats.
How you can help
You can get involved by making donations for the 2018 Winter Coat Drive at the Coat Drive drop-off centre in the Organized Interiors showroom at 201 Chrislea Road in Vaughan.
Along with new and gently-used winter coats, we’ll also be gratefully accepting donations of any of the following (in all sizes) until December 31st:
mitts and gloves
Clothing donations can also be made directly to The Children’s Breakfast Club’s main Winter Coat Drive drop-off centre through February 28th, 2019.
It’s located in the Muslim Welfare Centre of Toronto at 100 McLevin Avenue (unit 4) in Scarborough. Call (437) 836-6222 to make coat drop-off arrangements.
Monetary donations can also be made at breakfastclubs.ca (a tax receipt will be issued for donations of $20 or more).
Donate a coat and warm a heart
Warm winter clothing is something most of us take for granted. But consider the ways in which inadequate winter clothing can impact a child’s daily life.
Inadequate winter clothing can cause kids to get sick more often, which may affect their school attendance. Unsuitable winter clothing also limits the ability of children to participate in outdoor winter activities.
Your generous donation can help make this winter a little more comfortable for someone in need. We look forward to seeing you at the Winter Coat Drive drop-off centre in our showroom!
Please help to spread the word about the Winter Coat Drive by sharing this post with your family, friends, and co-workers.
Coming up with a unique gift idea for Father’s Day requires a little imagination. And leaving dad’s gift shopping until the last minute rarely results in a gift that’s memorable.
Allow yourself enough time to really consider dad’s interests and passions when making a decision. Your gift will be much more likely to leave a lasting impression.
Another way to go is to consider gift ideas for dads that can help simplify their life.
Is dad always disorganized? Maybe the best gift you could give him is a way to stay organized better. It could be just the helping hand a messy dad needs.
7 unique gift ideas for dads
For budgets both big and small, here’s a list of seven special gift ideas for dads that are sure to be a hit at any time of the year.
1. A day driving an exotic or classic car
Has dad always dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 Turbo, or Lamborghini Countach? Perhaps his dream car tastes lean more towards the classics, such as a vintage Mustang or a 1963 Corvette Stingray.
If these exotic and classic cars are a little out of dad’s price range or he just hasn’t wanted to commit to the ongoing care these amazing vehicles require, get him the next best thing.
Treat dad to a day (or two) behind the wheel of one of these majestic rides. Many companies rent out exotic and classic cars at reasonable rates.
Another option is to give dad the gift of a day at a racing school. With the assistance of an instructor, dad can scratch that itch for high speed driving without needing to worry about getting a speeding ticket.
2. A closet makeover
Does dad waste time every day trying to find things in his messy closet? Has it been a long time since his closet has had any attention paid to its interior layout?
It sounds like dad could benefit from a closet makeover.
A closet that’s always disorganized either has too many clothes in it, storage space not being maximized, or a combination of both.
The design consultants at Organized Interiors can come up with a creative closet design tailored exactly to how dad needs to use it. Every inch of a closet can be put to better use by utilizing its vertical space better.
Incorporating some of the following closet accessories will also enhance its usability for dad:
pullout shoe racks
pullout tie racks
retractable valet rods
pullout pant racks
pullout belt racks
A custom closet makeover will completely reinvent his closet space to help him get a lot more functionality out of it.
A closet makeover for dad makes it much easier for him to stay organized.
3. A different premium wine every month
When it comes to gift ideas for dads who love their wine, get the gift that keeps on giving every month. Sign up dad for a membership to one of the many wine of the month clubs you can find online.
But we’re not talking cheap wines in the $10 per bottle range. Look for a club that offers premium reds and whites that will really be a treat for dad. The wines chosen for these clubs are carefully selected and typically award-winning.
A gift of premium wines delivered right to your door 12 times a year always gives dad a little something extra to look forward to. He’ll also get introduced to many fine wines he otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try.
4. New headphones
Does your father or husband love music? If so, a high quality pair of headphones is a must.
Nowadays, a lot of us listen to our music on speakers that don’t provide as immersive a listening experience as a good pair of headphones will. And heaven forbid that dad is regularly listening to his tunes through his smartphone’s tinny-sounding speaker.
The headphone market offers more choices and as good a quality of products as there’s ever been. Bose, Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Beats, and many other high quality brands provide some great options.
Wireless headphones are all the rage and will cost a little more. If dad isn’t planning on using his headphones while exercising or working in the yard, go with wired headphones (dad will also have one less thing to charge).
For just $100 or less, you can pick up a pair of wired AKG K240 professional studio quality headphones that dad will love. These headphones have been around for decades for a reason. If they’re good enough for Bruce Springsteen (who’s used them when recording albums), they’re good enough for dear ol’ dad!
5. A virtual personal assistant
Technology plays more of a role in our lives than ever before. One of the primary functions of technology is to make our lives easier and a virtual personal assistant does just that.
These handy devices are known by other names, such as smart speakers and voice assistants. The most popular choices available are the Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home, and the Sonos One.
Dad can use these devices to get the weather or traffic report, sports scores, important reminders, listen to podcasts, help him with a recipe, order a pizza, or about a million other things.
The gift of a virtual personal assistant makes this one of the more convenience-minded gift ideas for dads you can choose.
6. A stylish watch
A fine timepiece never goes out of style. A stylish watch makes a great gift idea for dad, especially if he really appreciates the craftsmanship that goes into a higher quality timepiece.
You can’t go wrong with luxury brands like Rolex, Victorinox, Hamilton, Oris, or Eterna. For smaller scale budgets, MVMT watches are very trendy right now and deliver great quality at an affordable price.
If you have a bigger budget to work with and know dad is more partial to classic watches, explore the wide variety of vintage watches available. Going this route can get expensive in a hurry, though. This 1984 vintage Rolex, for example, will run you a whopping $9,200 (U.S.).
If dad’s luxury watch collection is already big enough and he needs to keep it organized and maintained, watch winders are a practical gift. Ask us about our selection of Orbita watch winders.
7. The garage of dad’s dreams
The last of our gift ideas for dads involves a space that may very well be his favourite room in the house – the garage.
If dad loves spending time in the garage tinkering away, there’s plenty of incentive to make the space more comfortable and inviting.
A poorly lit, cluttered, drab garage space can be completely transformed into an area of your home that is truly an extension of your living space.
Adding upgrades like a fresh polyaspartic floor coating, garage cabinets, and slatwall storage will make any garage more aesthetically pleasing and a lot more functional (for dad and the entire family).
Talk to Garage Living, who specialize in designing dream garages and have completed thousands of successful makeovers throughout North America.
A garage makeover for dad creates a clean and organized home space for the entire family..
Gift ideas for dads that will put a smile on his face
You can’t go wrong with any of these seven gift ideas for dads, regardless of the time of year you’re buying for him.
For the gifts that need a little more planning (like getting a custom closet), remember to leave yourself enough time to get dad’s gift ready.
If getting dad’s closet organized sounds like a great gift idea, schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to plan his closet makeover. And if you’d prefer to keep dad’s gift a surprise, we can do the consultation in our showroom.
A home improvement project should upgrade your house with features that add convenience and extra functionality to your living space.
Too many homeowners, however, make the mistake of not adding home features buyers want the most when it comes time to sell their house.
It’s natural for anyone to look more to a home improvement project’s impact on their family’s life over the next 5, 10, or 15 years.
While you’ll get plenty of use out of the home upgrades over that period, casting an eye towards the future should also be a factor in your renovation decisions as well.
Choose home features buyers want and need
Certain renovation projects have a poor return on investment that can significantly affect the back-end value of your expenditure. Experts agree that for potential buyers, these renovations don’t add value to a home:
converting the garage into a living space
adding a sunroom
turning a spare room into a home theatre
adding a pool
These remodelling projects are considered too niche or just not practical for the average homebuyer.
And the first two examples completely go against the second-most important factor that goes into a homebuyer’s decision – available storage space. Not surprisingly, a home’s location was the most important factor.
Do your research to find out which home improvement projects provide a good balance of fulfilling an everyday need and will also be desirable in the eyes of anyone home shopping years from now.
7 of the home features buyers want the most
Certain home features buyers want the most virtually never change.
At the top of that list is storage space. Garage parking space and updates to kitchens and bathrooms also consistently rank highly with buyers.
We’ve looked at numerous studies, surveys, polls, and expert opinions to come up with a list of seven of the home features buyers want the most when they’re searching for a house.
1. Walk-in closet
A recent extensive Canadian Home Builders Association study found that a walk-in closet was the most valued asset of the 3,000 homebuyers surveyed.
A Braun Research survey of 500 realtors found that 97% of them said their clients valued closet storage space more than attic and basement storage space. And a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey shows that a walk-in closet in the master bedroom was the second-most important feature to homebuyers.
For many buyers, a large walk-in closet (also known as a dressing room) is an absolute essential. The absence of one may very well prove to be a dealbreaker for them.
A spacious walk-in closet doesn’t just provide a lot more space to store your clothes (although that’s one of its best benefits). They also:
provide a private, relaxing space for getting prepared or unwinding after a long day
make it easier to manage your wardrobe and keep it organized (saving you time)
provide a stylish and elegant space to showcase your wardrobe and accessories
A walk-in closet (also known as a dressing room) is considered one of the most essential features for homebuyers.
2. Energy efficiency
The 2017 Canadian Homebuyer Preference National Study shows that better energy efficiency is another of the top home features buyers want and will pay more for.
That Canadian Home Builders Association study also cited energy efficiency as one of the most desired home features for buyers.
This can include everything from a home having energy efficient appliances, energy efficient lighting, and modern windows and doors that will keep hydro bills lower. More energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems are also valued by homebuyers.
Buyers also place a higher priority nowadays on how well-insulated a home is. Are the attic, garage, and the rest of the home outfitted with high-efficiency insulation that’s actually been properly installed to deliver the best energy efficiency?
3. Master bathroom
Whether or not a home has a master bathroom is another important factor for many buyers. A master bathroom is defined as a bathroom with a sink, bathtub, and shower that is accessible from the largest bedroom (also known as a “master bedroom”).
The terminology for this room can vary. Some people may refer to it as an “ensuite master bathroom” or simply “ensuite”. It can also be written as “en-suite” (just to make things even more confusing).
When referring to bathrooms and bedrooms, you can expect to hear less usage of the word “master” in the coming years, however. Homebuilders and realtors are phasing it out due to the word’s negative gender and racial connotations.
Bathroom features buyers are looking for most are a custom bathroom vanity/makeup area, two sinks, and a separate shower enclosure. Forward-thinking buyers in their forties and fifties want the latter, in part because they’re considering its ease of use a couple of decades down the line.
Surprisingly, linen closets topped the list of the most desirable bathroom features for new home buyers surveyed in 2013 by the National Association of Home Builders.
4. Two-car garage
For both older homes and newly constructed homes, two-car garages are another feature buyers consider essential. 80% of buyers factor in the garage when making their decision, according to an Impulse Research survey.
And while that Braun Research survey found that 97% of buyers valued closet space more than attic and basement storage space, the garage ranked a close second. Realtors surveyed said that 96% of buyers valued the garage over the attic and basement as a home storage space.
Garages provide valuable storage space not just for tools and items there’s no room for elsewhere in your home, they also allow you to park vehicles indoors. That protects your sizeable investment in your vehicles.
There’s also the convenience of parking indoors. That’s why 55% homeowners use the garage as their house’s main entryway, according to a Chamberlain Group study.
Garage makeovers are also a hot home improvement trend. As Garage Living’s Linda Fiore Ceolin explains it, “There is so much potential in every garage space, large or small. More homeowners have realized the importance of upgrading their garage to make it a beautiful, functional extension of their living space.”
96% of homebuyers view the garage as a more valuable storage space in a house than the attic and basement.
5. Hardwood floors
The National Association of Realtors survey shows that just over half of homebuyers are willing to pay more for wood floors. The main reasons are its contemporary look, durability, and how much easier wood floors are to clean than carpeting.
Hardwood is most preferred, especially original hardwood flooring found in older houses, which can be a real home seller. Authentic hardwood flooring is easier to refinish compared to engineered wood flooring. It should also theoretically last a lifetime.
Engineered wood flooring is less expensive and not as durable as original wood flooring. However, it does nicely replicate the look of hardwood with a hardwood veneer over layered fibreboard and structural plywood.
A higher percentage of homebuyers under the age of 54 look for a house with wood floors than older buyers. This is attributed to the fact that older generations tend to find carpeting a little cozier and warmer than wood floors.
6. Laundry room
Look at a variety of studies and surveys on the home features buyers want most and a dedicated laundry room will assuredly rank highly on most of them.
In fact, last year’s report from the National Association of Home Builders on the home features buyers desire most had “a separate laundry room” at number one.
92% of buyers surveyed considered a laundry room essential. An increasing number of homebuilders agree and are incorporating laundry rooms into their building designs.
Those in the aged 35 to 54 demographic placed a high priority on having a laundry room. Millennials especially favour owning a laundry room, preferably upstairs close to a bedroom or on the main floor, off the kitchen. Space-saving stacked washers and dryers are also popular with younger generations.
Laundry rooms are considered a must-have feature for many buyers because of the convenience and high functionality they add to homes. A dedicated space to take care of all of the ironing, sorting, folding and other tasks that go along with laundry duty helps to simplify and speed up the process.
7. Modern/open concept kitchen
Concluding our list of the home features buyers want most is the open concept kitchen. Once again, younger buyers favour open concept kitchen designs more than baby boomers.
The Canadian Home Builders Association reports that 85-90% of consumers in Ontario and the Toronto area prefer this more modern type of kitchen design.
An open concept kitchen that includes a kitchen island and inclusive eating area is also considered an attractive selling feature, particularly to buyers with kids.
Realtors and designers widely agree that modern kitchen updates yield better returns come resale time than a bathroom remodel.
Additional modern kitchen upgrades that appeal to homebuyers include:
double kitchen sinks
high quality stainless steel appliances
granite, marble, or quartz countertops
stylish cabinetry with modern hardware
Do you have the home features buyers want most?
Is your home keeping up with the modern design trends that can make your life more comfortable and pay off when you sell your home?
Organized Interiors specializes in bespoke home organization and storage solutions for the entire home. We can improve your living space with many of the home features buyers want and need the most.