Fall Home Organizing: 17 Smart Tips You Can’t Go Wrong With

After the more laid back approach to life most of us take during the summer, readjusting to the hustle and bustle of the autumn and early winter seasons can be tricky.

With September drawing to a close and fall officially underway, hopefully you’ve managed to keep up with the busier pace of everyday life.

Your family will be spending a lot more time indoors now that the cool weather has arrived and the more frigid weather looms just a few weeks away.

fall home organizing coloured leaves on tree

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

17 fall home organizing tips for a tidier house and condo

Considering how much more time we’ll be staying inside, it makes good sense to focus on getting your home clean and organized in the next few weeks.

A major deep cleaning and decluttering of your home doesn’t have to wait until the new year or next spring. By then, there’ll be more work for you to do.

And who wants to spend the first few days of January worrying about a big cleaning project when many of us are feeling drained after the hectic holiday season?

Before the year gets much older, get your house or condo autumn and winter-ready with these 17 fall home organizing tips.

1. Create an organization checklist and use a schedule

Having goals and a well-thought-out game plan for getting your home organized will increase the odds of success with your organization project.

Set up an organization checklist with key tasks you want to complete around the home. Don’t hesitate to throw in a couple of easy and quick organization jobs, either! Seeing things checked off a to-do list provides great motivation to keep moving forward.

To stay better organized, ensure you’re using a schedule to keep track of all events everyone in the house has coming up.

Medical appointments, sports practices and games, school events, and social gatherings should all be shown on a schedule so no one is caught off guard at the last moment.

Use a calendar in the kitchen that allows for lots of writing space for each day of the month. There’s no shortage of mobile calendar and scheduling apps available that will sync between everyone’s phones to keep all of your family’s upcoming events documented and organized.

2. Focus on one task at a time

Don’t take on too much and try to get your whole home in tip-top shape in just one weekend. No one needs that pressure or frustration.

A lot of home cleanup efforts fail because we attempt to do too much, can’t meet our goals, get frustrated, and walk away from the work.

Pace yourself and set realistic goals with a flexible timeline.

If necessary, just concentrate on one or two rooms to work on and get in peak form. After all, even one is better than none!

3. Make closet space for seasonally-appropriate clothes

Any change in seasons (especially in the spring and winter) should involve a thorough swap out of your wardrobe.

Ensuring that only seasonally-appropriate clothing is taking up your main wardrobe storage spaces will make getting dressed easier. You’ll have fewer things to navigate through and choose from, which will save you time.

Your spring and summer attire from your bedroom and front entryway closets could be hung in a spare bedroom closet, kept in labelled storage bins, or in the storage spaces of your built-in bedroom cabinetry.

Don’t forget about the linen closet, either. Switch out those lighter linens with your heavier bedding, linens, and blankets.

woman organizing closet

4. Edit your wardrobe

A seasonal clothing changeover also gives you a good opportunity to edit your wardrobe and get rid of the pieces you never wear.

As Marie Kondo preaches, only keep clothing items that truly spark joy. If you haven’t worn something in a couple of years, it’s probably time to add it to your pile of clothes to donate.

A seasonal wardrobe curation will minimize the chance of wasting money on a duplicate purchase of something you already own and just couldn’t find (which only makes a closet more congested).

If you’re struggling to keep your home’s closet spaces tidy, contact Organized Interiors. Our custom closets are designed to make managing your storage spaces easy and more efficient.

5. Organize your digital world

Because we use our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers so much nowadays, digital clutter is something that needs occasional tending to.

Americans check their smartphones an average of 52 times per day, according to one study. The most recent data we could find on cell phone usage for Canadians was from a 2014 CIBC poll. It reported that we check our phones a lot more – an average of six times per hour.

Most of us have more apps than we use, so get rid of the ones on all of your electronics that do nothing but add to your digital clutter. Group your mobile apps by category into folders so you don’t have four or five pages to swipe through just to find one.

Clean up that neglected email in-box and get those computers tidied up by reducing the number of files and icons on your desktop.

6. Rein in the holiday shopping

All of these fall home organizing tips involve taking action on different things except for this one. No, this tip involves doing, well, nothing.

A good deal of the clutter that sits in homes comes from impulse and sale purchases of things you didn’t need, but believe you might need someday.

There will be no shortage of tempting sales over the next few months with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day vying for our attention and spending money.

Resist the lure of those rock bottom sale prices to prevent the accumulation of more home clutter unless they’re things you really need and will use.

7. Declutter your food storage spaces

The kitchen is one of your home’s hardest working rooms, meaning your food storage spaces should be getting decluttered regularly.

It tends to get used even more during the last few months of the year for baking and cooking dishes to bring to social functions or for home entertaining.

Empty the contents of your pantry, freezer, and fridge to see what’s fresh and what isn’t. Give these storage areas a good cleaning before refilling them.

Set aside food purchases that are still good to eat, but will likely never get used. Food banks will appreciate your donation during this time of the year.

8. Help your kids get more organized

You can help your kids get more organized to make both their life (and yours) a little easier.

Work with them in their closets and drawers to reduce the number of outgrown or damaged clothing items that could be removed. This can create more storage space for those recent back-to-school wardrobe purchases.

Because kids grow so quickly, their closets should actually be getting the curation treatment even more regularly than your bedroom closet does.

To help with their academic tasks, consider setting up a home study space that’s tidy, designed to cater to their studying needs, and distraction-free.

A study space can be incorporated into a home office design to create a multi-functional room for the whole family.

9. Deal with those junk drawers

One of our previous fall home organizing tips involved adding smaller decluttering jobs to your cleanup to-do list. Tidying up your home’s junk drawers falls into that category.

Dump your junk drawers separately out onto a large surface like the dining room table and start going through everything.

Have a garbage bin and paper recycling bin beside you and you’ll probably find there’s not much left to go back in the drawers once the job is done.

If the drawers don’t have dividers, add some to keep things more organized.

loose change in junk drawer

Photo by Pina Messina on Unsplash

10. Make your bed every morning

Many of us were taught to make our beds every morning. We lead busy lives, however, and making the bed is rarely the first thing on our minds when we wake up.

Sometimes finding even that one or two minutes for this task during a hectic morning isn’t easy, but here’s why you should try it.

Gretchen Rubin is an author and former Navy SEAL commander. She writes in a LinkedIn article that the simple act of making your bed every morning is a positive way to start the day.

It ties into that strategy of sprinkling in a bunch of fast, easy-to-accomplish chores on your organization to-do list to fuel your motivation.

With your bed in mind, remember to flip and rotate your mattress anywhere from once every three months to once a year, depending on what the mattress maker recommends. That will ensure one side doesn’t wear out too fast.

11. Delegate home chores

A lot of these fall home organizing tips and tasks will require a bit of time, which is even more reason to delegate duties among family members.

Everybody contributes to creating household clutter, so everyone who’s old enough to help clean and declutter should be pitching in, too.

Splitting up your household chores will ensure mom or dad don’t get burnt out or frustrated taking on too much work.

Another good reason to delegate when it comes to cleaning work is that it tends to make kids feel more accountable and responsible for how they function within the home.

They’ll be less likely to leave a mess if it’s them that has to eventually tidy it up!

12. Be prepared for the unexpected

There’s nothing worse than being unprepared when an emergency occurs or anything else unexpected happens.

Maybe it’s a December ice storm that knocks out your home’s power for hours or perhaps it’s having to deal with a cooking fire.

As part of your fall home organizing checklist, spend the time to take proactive measures to guarantee you’re as ready as possible for any unexpected and challenging household occurrences.

October is fire safety awareness month, which means it’s time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and test the units.

Every home should have a fire extinguisher located in or near the kitchen. Check that its expiry date is still good. If the extinguisher has a pressure gauge, make sure it’s maintaining pressure.

Test your flashlights to see if they need fresh batteries and know where to find your candles and matches.

13. Make sure your guest room is ready to go

Having a guest room always at the ready for overnight visitors is a wonderful thing, whether it’s during the holiday season or any other time of the year.

It’s great having a dedicated hosting space that doesn’t require you to scramble around searching for bedding and sleeping accommodations for guests.

A Murphy wall bed is perfect for guest rooms. Here’s why:

  • they’re super-comfortable to sleep on
  • less floor space is taken up with their pulldown design
  • extra storage space can be incorporated into the bed’s design
  • they can be customized to complement your décor

fall home organizing bed and desk in guest room

14. Create storage homes for as many things as possible

Creating homes for 100% of everything in your home is a lot to ask, but with a little time and focus, it’s possible to establish homes for most of the things you own.

Dedicated homes reduces the amount of time wasted looking for misplaced items (as long as you take that all-important step to actually put it back in its home, mind you).

15. Fall home organizing tips for outside

We aren’t just focussing on the inside with these fall home organizing tips – your home’s exterior needs a little attention in the autumn as well.

In addition to the standard outdoor home maintenance tasks you’ll be doing this fall like cleaning the eavestroughs and raking leaves, spend some time organizing now so you’ll make life easier for yourself come springtime.

Pick up any toys, sports gear, yard tools, and gardening tools sitting outside.

Drain your garden hoses, faucets, and sprinkler system to prevent damage from ice and hang the hoses neatly in the garage or a shed. Consider adding insulating covers to your outside faucets.

Wash off your patio furniture before putting it away until the spring. Store it in a shed or an out-of-the-way spot in the garage. If it’s staying outside, cover everything with properly fitting covers to prevent rust.

16. Get your garage organized and winter-ready

Because the garage gets so much use during the spring and summer, it tends to be one of the more demanding fall home organizing projects to deal with.

Just as you edited your closet’s belongings, do the same with the contents of your garage. Throw out old or broken tools that aren’t useful.

Look for floor clutter that can be discarded to make more space for garage parking when the weather gets worse.

If floor clutter is a problem, the solution is to make better use of your wall and overhead space.

Slatwall storage panels and overhead racking will create an ample amount of storage room for things like:

  • yard tools
  • sports equipment (including bikes)
  • ladders
  • holiday decorations
  • bulky seasonal items such as patio furniture

Contact Garage Living to get more information about how they can make your garage more visually appealing and organized.

17. Upgrade or add a mudroom

Having a transitional home space between the indoors and outside like a mudroom is particularly helpful at this time of year.

A mudroom can help to contain the messes that occur with tracked-in mud or snow from boots, as well as jackets and apparel that are soaked from the rain or snow.

In addition to your family’s fall and winter outdoor gear, all of those other items that regularly go in and out of the house like dog leashes, car keys, and backpacks can be kept organized in a mudroom and won’t get lost or misplaced as often.

Start your fall home organizing now

If you’ve been thinking about devoting time to some of these fall home organizing projects, let us know how we can help.

Organized Interiors has storage and organization solutions that every room in your home can benefit from.

Get a free quote by requesting a free in-home design consultation with us today.

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7 Sensible Home Cooling Tips That Don’t Require A/C

As we head into the final stretch of summer, the temperatures will gradually start dropping and those sweltering hot days from the past couple of months will fade further from your memory.

But all it takes is one of those late-summer heatwaves to snap you back to reality, reminding you that it’s not time to stop cooling down your home for the year.

For many homeowners, that means simply closing the windows and turning on the central air conditioning.

You might be surprised, however, to learn that air conditioning in Canadian homes isn’t as common as you might think.

Statistics Canada’s most recent data from 2017 shows that only 42% of households in this country have central air conditioning. Overall, just 60% of Canadian homes use any type of A/C.

home cooling tips woman standing by bed

Smart home cooling tips everyone should know

If you don’t have portable, window-mounted, or central conditioning, you’ve undoubtedly made use of various home cooling tips and tricks to beat the heat and humidity.

Some of those tips may be included below and perhaps a few of them will be new to you. These home cooling tips aren’t just for the air condition-less, though.

They can also be used in conjunction with your air conditioning. Obviously, relying less on the A/C reduces your utility bill. There are other notable benefits to using these home cooling tips even if you do have A/C, such as if you:

  • are eco-conscious and want to lower your carbon footprint
  • have an older home with less effective cooling airflow distribution
  • only have a portable or window A/C unit
  • own a cottage with a limited amount of A/C or no A/C system

Try these seven home cooling ideas to increase your comfort level when it heats up.

1. Cover the windows

Allowing natural light in during the day is nice. Unfortunately, on a hot and sunny day a room in direct sunlight heats up quickly.

Research from the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows becomes heat when it enters a home.

West-facing and south-facing windows bear the brunt of the sun’s heat from late in the morning until the early evening. That heat also gets retained by most items in a room that are exposed to sunlight, including carpets, rugs, furniture, and clutter.

Keeping windows that directly face the sun covered during a portion of the day is the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep your home’s inside cooler.

Using external shutters or another type of exterior window covering will be most effective at keeping the sunlight out. For interior decorative room cooling options, use insulating curtains, thick drapes, thermal shades, infrared heat reduction window film, or solar screens.

You could also bolster your efforts to limit the amount of direct sunlight entering your home by creating more exterior shade with an awning or exterior foliage.

2. Make home energy efficiency upgrades

One of the best home cooling tips you can follow is to make as many upgrades as possible to boost your home’s energy efficiency and lower your utility costs.

We already mentioned using thermal window film to reduce the sun’s heat inside your home. An even better solution is to upgrade to more energy efficient double or triple-glazed windows, skylights, and doors that are Energy Star-certified.

If it’s been many years since your home’s insulation was installed, it’s worth exploring whether or not it’s time for an insulation upgrade. Don’t forget about the garage, which is a commonly overlooked room when it comes to insulation installation in houses.

Minimizing the number of air leaks around your home will go a long way towards making it more energy efficient. Properly applied weatherstripping and caulking and foam sealants around your doors and windows are effective (and cost-effective) at reducing drafts.

All of these upgrades, in addition to ensuring you have adequate attic venting and insulation, will lower your energy usage year-round by minimizing your home’s transfer of hot and cold air.

While these home energy efficiency upgrades may require a not-insignificant financial commitment now, they’ll pay long-term dividends for as long as you remain in your house…and even beyond that if you sell, because they add to your home’s value.

3. Use your fans more efficiently

Yes, there actually is a right way and a wrong way (or at least a less effective way) to use a fan.

Because fans move a room’s air around more than actually cooling it, using them properly will increase their efficiency.

Let’s start with your ceiling fans. In the summer, a ceiling fan’s blades should be rotating counterclockwise at a high speed, which creates an updraft cooling effect. During the winter, reverse the direction the blades rotate and use the fan’s lowest speed setting.

Strategically setting up two fans in a room can create a pleasant cross breeze. A box fan placed in an open window that’s blowing outwards will suck out a room’s hot air. If the air outside is cooler than the inside air, some of that cooler air should be drawn in, too.

Here’s another fan cooling trick that works – place a bowl in front of fan that’s filled with ice (or some ice packs) to create a chilling breeze.

If you’re not using the A/C at all, even running your kitchen and bathroom fans for a little while will help to expel some of the hot air in your home.

home cooling tips ceiling fan

Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise at a high speed during the summer.

4. Declutter

Just as the sun’s heat is absorbed by furnishings near windows, excess clutter in rooms does the same thing.

Darker coloured clutter (including clothing piles and dark storage containers) left in direct sunlight will absorb and transfer more heat.

Uncluttered rooms allow air to circulate more freely through a home. That makes fans and your home’s central heating and cooling systems work more efficiently.

Having less clutter in a room makes it feel less stuffy and boosts your comfort level and ability to be more productive in the space.

Also consider that cooling down an unused spare room in a home that’s running air conditioning wastes money. Think about making that room more functional by decluttering and turning it into a:

  • home entertainment room
  • exercise room
  • wine room
  • home office
  • craft room

5. Use a dehumidifier

“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” You’ve heard that line before and it’s true.

High humidity makes you feel more uncomfortable than you feel in high, drier heats because the air around you has more moisture. That makes the air less effective at absorbing the sweat you release (not unlike how a saturated sponge is less absorbent).

Running a dehumidifier won’t cool a room better than air conditioning, but it can be used in tandem with it or by itself to get a room feeling more comfortable when it’s muggy. An ideal relative humidity level is between 40-50%.

Note that dedicated humidifiers tend to be more efficient at reducing a room’s humidity compared to using the dehumidifying function on most portable A/C units.

Another benefit of using a dehumidifier is that it minimizes the likelihood of allergens, mould, and mildew from forming in your home.

6. Minimize usage of home heat sources

One of the most common sense home cooling tips we can offer is to simply cut off the heat that’s being generated in your home at the source.

Instead of using your oven to make dinner, fire up the barbecue. Use a slow cooker or the microwave as alternatives to oven cooking that will generate less heat in the kitchen.

Running the dishwasher and using the appliances in your laundry room later in the day when it’s cooler is smart, for both heat-reducing reasons and because electricity rates are cheaper.

If anyone in your house is taking a hot shower, be sure the bathroom’s fan is running to expel the heat and moisture in the room.

And if you’re still clinging to those incandescent bulbs, switching to energy efficient CFL or LED bulbs will generate less heat, too.

home cooling tips laundry hampers and counter

Leave chores that generate heat like doing the laundry or running the dishwasher until later in the day.

7. Home cooling tips to get a better night’s sleep

When it’s hot and humid, getting a good night’s sleep if you don’t have A/C can be a challenge.

Using more lightweight sheets should help, especially if they’re more breathable linens like cotton or linens that cool such as percale, microfibre, and bamboo bed sheets.

Cooling mattress pads and toppers, in addition to pillows that use cooling gel or are made with bamboo and buckwheat, will further ensure that you get a more restful sleep.

Check the forecast to find out if the temperature overnight is dropping to a comfortable level. If so, open your bedroom windows before going to bed to let out the room’s hot air and to bring some fresh air inside.

Leave your bedroom door open in order to improve the room’s airflow.

If you are running the A/C, try these tips

If you are making use of some of these home cooling ideas while still running your air conditioning, here are four tips to make it run more efficiently:

  1. Get your air conditioner and furnace serviced regularly (Energy Star recommends yearly tune-ups).
  2. Change your HVAC air filters a minimum of every three months.
  3. Have your ducts cleaned every three to five years to maximize the airflow of your HVAC systems.
  4. Don’t close vents or doors to unused rooms while the central A/C or heat are running. It’s a very common misconception that this is helpful, but it throws off the air balancing in your home for your HVAC systems, which can actually make them work harder.

One more thing you should do is to leave enough space around supply and return vents to improve airflow by repositioning furniture and moving nearby clutter.

Organized Interiors takes this into account when designing our custom cabinetry. To ensure proper ventilation, we add integrated vents to the bottom of any furniture piece that’s positioned over any of your floor or wall vents.

Despite using the above tips, you may still frustratingly find that certain parts of your home (like the top floor) are experiencing temperature disparities when your heating or cooling systems are running.

If having your HVAC systems serviced and your ducts cleaned don’t fix the problem, it may just be that the layout of your home or a less than optimal duct installation years ago are inhibiting the airflow of your HVAC systems.

Get organized and keep your home a little cooler

Remove the clutter from your home that makes it harder to keep your living space cool.

Entrust your organization and storage needs to Organized Interiors, who have been leaders in helping to keep homes in the GTA tidy and clean for over 40 years.

Schedule your complimentary in-home design consultation with us today.

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7 Home Air Quality Tips to Freshen up Your Living Space

home air quality bed

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.

home air quality woman mopping in kitchen

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.

Take advantage of the wealth of effective storage and organization products available to keep your home tidy with less effort.

3. Look closer at the products you buy

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
  • building materials
  • home furnishings

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:

  • Philodendron
  • Spider plant
  • Rubber plant
  • Dracaena
  • Snake plant
  • Ficus
  • Bamboo palm

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.

home air quality potted aloe plant

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.

Schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation with us today.

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7 Home Organization Projects for Spring

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.

home organization projects, walk-in closet

Walk-in closet

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.

home organization projects, bed surround

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.

home organization projects, laundry room

Laundry room

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.

home organization projects, mudroom

Mudroom

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.

home organization projects, reach-in closet

Reach-in closet

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.

home organization projects, home office

Home office

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.

home organization projects, wall bed

Wall bed

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.

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3 Simple Tips to Ensure Success With Your Closet Purge

How many times have you been befuddled by how difficult it is to find something to wear when your closet space is so full?

It’s a very common problem and something that’s bound to happen if it’s been awhile since you last set aside some time for a closet purge.

But enough is enough. You’re tired of dealing with your untidy closets every day, so it’s time to simplify things by streamlining your wardrobe and making a few tough choices about what’s worthy of your closet space.

closet purge, person looking through closet

Why an occasional closet purge is a good thing

Think of a closet purge as hitting the reset button on your closet space. Closets are a busy, ever-changing space that need some occasional maintenance in order for you to get the most out of them.

A “less is more” approach to how much you’re keeping in the closet tends to be more effective when it comes to making efficient use of the time you spend choosing what to wear every day.

Having too many things to choose from taxes your brain and, naturally, slows down your decision-making process. This is known as “choice paralysis”, “decision paralysis”, or “analysis paralysis”.

It’s not unique to closets, either. Just think of how many times you’ve struggled to make a decision when choosing from a lengthy restaurant menu, when shopping online or in a grocery store, or even when trying to find something to watch from the thousands of choices on Netflix.

With a little time and care, you can get your wardrobe down to a more manageable size and remove one element of stress from your day, so getting dressed can be a pleasure and not a chore.

Here are three tips that can help when you take on your closet purge.

1. Take an approach that works for you

A closet purge can be time-consuming and daunting. The simple act of fully committing to your closet purge project is a great first step on your path to success with this endeavour.

Make sure to schedule a sufficient amount of time to devote to your closet purge, preferably with as few interruptions or distractions as possible.

Work, parental, or household responsibilities (or all three) may severely limit your free time, necessitating a slower “chipping away” at your closet decluttering process.

Devoting a full day to the project in order to get the task over with quickly may be an approach that works better for you.

This method tends to be more effective because you can sharpen your focus on the task at hand and be little more thorough with your closet purge. For example, you can empty out everything from your closet, give the closet a good cleaning, and let it air out.

It’s always a good idea to enlist a little help in order to lighten the workload and speed up the purging process.

Be prepared with boxes or bins for the purged clothing that you wish to donate.

Remember to pace yourself and take some breaks. Let’s face it, a closet purge can be a rather mundane and laborious task, but it is a necessary one.

2. Make some tough choices

You’ll undoubtedly be faced with numerous tough choices when carrying out your closet purge. What stays and what goes? A common worry is that you’ll get rid of too many things, but that’s better than getting rid of too little.

Those choices can get even more difficult when strong emotions like sentimentality and pride are factored in.

Inevitably, a closet will find itself occupied by:

  • clothing that no longer fits
  • items that are barely worn (or have never been worn)
  • clothing that no longer aligns with your style
  • things that don’t “spark joy” like they once did
  • duplicate items
  • damaged clothing that’s not worth repairing

It’s particularly difficult to get rid of those never-worn clothing items that were too-good-a-deal to pass up. Doing so feels wasteful, but try to look at it from a different perspective.

Is something you have no personal connection to, that couldn’t even make its way into your wardrobe rotation, really worth feeling that guilty over?

Chalk up the purchase as a mistake and sunk cost and add it to your “donate” pile. A charity will benefit from your donation and a stranger can hopefully get more out of it than you did. And your closet space will have one less piece of clutter in it.

Your closet purge can also involve simply making smarter use of the storage space. Are items taking up hanging space that could be stored in drawers, such as t-shirts or jeans?

Unless you have a comfortable amount of storage space for them, out-of-season clothing should also be stored somewhere besides your bedroom closet in order to allow for more room for your seasonally appropriate wardrobe items.

closet purge, woman taking clothes out of drawer

3. Reorganize and live with your curated closet for awhile

Once your closet purge is completed, hopefully you’ll have a lot more closet space and have whittled down your wardrobe to a size that’s more practical and balanced for your needs.

With the luxury of more room, you can reorganize your closet with whatever method you prefer, whether it’s colour coordinating or grouping like items together. A closet organizer system that maximizes your wardrobe storage space is well worth the investment.

It may be tempting to take advantage of the opened-up space by adding a few new pieces, but try to live with your curated closet for a little while before going on a clothes shopping spree.

Identify and make note of some possible future clothing needs and you may even find that you can shed a few more items from your collection over the weeks following your closet purge.

It’s okay (and quite likely) to have some items that you’re “on the fence” about getting rid of. For those items, put them through the “turned clothes hanger” test.

This simple, yet clever idea involves hanging any clothing you’re unsure about parting with the opposite way you’d normally hang them. If you wear any of these items, hang them up the proper way.

Revisit your wardrobe after a set amount of time (about 4-6 months) and look at which of the clothing items never got worn. If there was no need or urgency to wear something after all that time, you shouldn’t be as conflicted getting rid of it.

Consider closet upgrades after your closet purge

A closet purge once a year helps to maintain the functionality and efficiency of this vital home storage space.

To make your now-decluttered closet even more functional and easy to maintain, schedule a free in-home design consultation with Organized Interiors today.

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