Gift of a Professional Organizer

Why Is Gifting the Service of a Professional Organizer a Fabulous Idea?

I’ve explained before how gifting experiences can be far more rewarding than giving physical gifts. Giving the gift of a professional organizer could make their life much easier. Let’s explore why.

Why should you gift a service?

Many people think of the perfect gift for their loved ones and friends during the holiday season. They’ve either had the gift purchased and wrapped for months or they’ll just know it when they see it. On top of gifts, there are holiday treats, dishes, or entire meals to prepare. Let’s not forget the decorations, gatherings, and snowy-weather drives.

This is a time of year when quite a few people put their self-care on the back burner. Sometimes they don’t prioritize time for themselves. Sometimes financial concerns prevent it. Whatever the reason, what they need comes last.

When you gift a service, like professional organizing services, you’re giving someone a gift that positively impacts their life on a daily basis.

Benefits of Working With a Professional Organizer

Professional organizing services are a lot more than just moving things around to make a room look better.

Hiring a professional organizer helps make an exciting and sometimes overwhelming situation (like downsizing or merging households) easier to tackle through compromise, and realistically looking at the number of things in relation to the physical space.

Expert

When I decided to become an organizer to help others, I wasn’t going to go into it without giving it my all. I wanted to learn everything I could by being trained in the best strategies and under the most experienced mentors. Because there are always new things to learn, I’ve made a commitment to continue taking continuing education classes so I can show up for my clients in the best way possible.

I am backed by an entire community of professionals and experts. If there’s something I don’t know, I have people and places I can utilize to best meet the needs of my clients.

Experience

I’ve been helping people with their organizational needs for almost 20 years. I have served people by decluttering their homes, specific rooms, home offices, medical clinics, doctor offices.

I worked with Lisa to improve her home office. In part she shared:

“I am so thrilled with my new office in terms of Efficiency, Productivity, and Aesthetics.  Dennise was a pleasure to work with always on time, super helpful, and resourceful… I highly recommend Dennise Conforti’s Services.”

After working with N.P. in her medical clinic, she said:

“I absolutely LOVE the way the exam rooms and utility room/lab have been stocked and organized. The last few shifts I’ve worked have been wonderful in terms of all equipment/testing media etc., available and easy to locate. The space is much cleaner with infection control related dirty/clean speculums etc managed beautifully.”

Cristina and Joe are homeowners in Toronto. They told me:

“Your assistance was much appreciated, especially in helping us to make difficult decisions. You went out of your way, and it was out of this world!”

I’ve helped my clients increase their productivity and time management. I’ve worked with families, married couples, single parents, office managers, clinic supervisors, and individuals with a range of unique needs.

All of these different situations have allowed me to grow a toolbox of skills, approaches, and methods to best serve my clients. You are getting the best of my toolbox.

Neutrality

Another professional organizing benefit is having an outsider’s viewpoint which is very helpful. 

Why? It’s easy for me to approach things from a practical, unbiased standpoint. I don’t have an emotional attachment to late Aunt Hilda’s hot pads or your son’s first blanket that’s now in tatters. This is helpful because I can approach things more objectively. Another bonus, I have great ideas about how to be sentimentally attached without staying hopelessly cluttered.

I approach each project without judgment. We’ll objectively look at your needs, where you’d like to be, then create your plan accordingly. My job is to help construct an individualized plan that will work for you going forward. I’ll help you put systems in place to maintain your order.

Accountability

My job as a professional organizer is to help you get organized. It can be easy to stop to reminisce when decluttering instead of keeping focused on the task at hand. I will compassionately hold you accountable for the progress (or lack thereof) being made.

Maintenance Strategy

A professional organizer maintenance strategy is just as important as the act of decluttering and organizing. I will leave you with strategies to maintain the work we’ve done.

But what works for some doesn’t work for everyone. Because I get to know you through our work together, I can tailor a plan uniquely for you and your family to maintain the best results.

What situations do professional organizers help with?

There are a lot of ways a professional organizer can step in to help you and your loved one. Here’s a brief list of how I can help:

  • Declutter
  • Organize
  • Create Systems
  • Downsize
  • Estate clearing
  • Office systems
  • Office paper management
  • Time management (scheduling)
  • Productivity management
  • Pre-moving declutter
  • Divorce
  • Merging Households/Families

Throughout my years of serving my clients, I’ve encountered all of these situations.

Wondering how to give this gift of service?

It’s quite simple, really. Contact me to set up a call or send me an email!

We can discuss the situation (consultations are always free) and decide on the best course of action.

16 Indoor and Outdoor Fall Home Prep Tips for Your Home

For many areas, fall is a time of mixed emotions. Fans of fall embrace the cooler temperatures and beautiful colors, while sunbirds are sad to officially say goodbye to summer. Whatever your emotions may be, there are fall home prep tasks that need to be done to prepare your home for the change of seasons.

Keep reading for fall home preparation tips.

Indoor Home Preparations

There are a few tried and true tasks that should be done at this time of year. They aren’t quite as fun as adding fall colors, leafy wreaths, and warm, cozy blankets, but they are necessary.

1.   Check for Drafts

Lock all windows for the fall and winter seasons. Inspect areas that may be drafty, such as around windows and doors. Try holding a candle near the area. If the flame flickers, you’ll need to insulate that area to prevent further drafts. This can be as simple as investing in under-the-door insulators/sealers.

2.   Change Filters

Although this shouldn’t just be a seasonal thing, you could be spending more money than necessary if your furnace filter is dirty and clogged. Depending on the type of filter, you may be able to vacuum and reuse it at least once. Use this time to check and change the filter.

3.   Furnace Maintenance

It’s a good idea to give your furnace a tune-up before the heating season begins. This will ensure everything is working properly or give a little extra time to order parts or schedule service if necessary. You want to make sure your furnace will keep your family comfortable through the fall and winter months.

4.   Mudroom / Entryways

Fall brings with it rain, mud, wet leaves, and eventually snow, slush, and ice. Get your mudroom and entryways read with plastic mats for wet shoes and boots to protect your floors. It also is time to arrange and make room for the warm weather accessories.

5.   Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This is the time of year (daylight savings time for those who observe) that residents are encouraged to test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Whether they’re beeping or not, consider changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You never know when you might need them.

6.   Home Office Workspace

Consider the heat efficiency of your home office. Is it a drafty space? Are there any other heating loss concerns? Think about what you need to do to keep your space comfortable so you can be your most productive self. This might look like window plastic to keep drafts at bay, a throw blanket for your legs, or a small space heater.

7.   Ceiling Fans

In any type of weather, ceiling fans are useful in preventing stagnant air and keeping you comfortable. In the summer, they should spin counterclockwise to push the cool air down. In the colder months, switch the blades to rotate clockwise to keep the air moving and prevent cold pockets. This is also a great time to dust off the blades.

8.   Throw Rugs

Wood, tile, and laminate flooring can be a sharp reminder that colder days are here. Putting a throw rug in strategic places can help eliminate that jolt without needing to keep it covered year-round.

Outdoor Home Preparations

Taking time for fall home preparations will protect your home and save you money by preventing avoidable damage. Here are 8 things you can start now that will your home fall-ready in no time.

1.   Outdoor Furniture

Now is the time to wash and wipe down any outdoor furniture that needs to be stored for the winter. After it has fully dried, fold up (if necessary), hang up, and store it indoors away from the elements.

2.   Garden Equipment

Drain your hoses before storing them for winter. If they have water in them, it will freeze and expand. This may split open your hose which will cause a leak and cost you money for a replacement.

3.   Auto Essentials

Your car kit needs to be prepped for cold weather. It should include things such as a window scraper, flashlight, multi-tool/pocketknife, water, snacks, energy bars, phone charger, blanket, extra hat, and gloves.

4.   Snowblowers

Check that your snowblower is in good working order before you need it. Having extra gas, oil, charged batteries, or a clear path to an outlet will make easy work of clearing the snow.

5.   Lawn Mowers

Turn over your mower and clean any grass or leaves from the bottom. Whatever method you use to handle the gasoline left in your mower, now is the time to take care of it before winter storage.

6.   Lawn Prep

Fall preparation for your lawn will ensure the healthiest lawn come spring. Fertilizing your lawn is best done before the last cut of the season. Grassroots will store the food over winter and use it next spring. The last mowing of the season should be the shortest cut. Setting it to 1 ½ to 2 inches will allow for sunlight to reach the new growth in spring.

7.   Plants & Flowers

Fall garden prep will make spring beautiful. Now is the time to prune back any plants, shrubs, or bushes you have. Plant any spring bulbs now so you can reap the benefits when the ground starts to thaw.

8.   Gutters

Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves, small branches, and any other debris that has settled. Completing this task while everything is dry makes for easier going. You don’t want to let wet leaves collect, freeze, thaw, freeze again and clog your gutters and downspouts. That can lead to more costly damage.

Garage & Shed Preparations

Fall is the perfect time to organize your garage and shed for the winter season. Ensure your rakes and snow shovels are within arm’s reach as well as your snow blower and salt. Bring out winter fun tools like ice skates, snowshoes, snowboards, skis, shoe ice grips, fort-block-makers, and hockey sticks.

Need help pulling it all together?

Let Dennise help you with creating flow and function in your lives this fall. Click here to set up your free consultation with Organized MD today!

9 Fun Things You Can Do to Prep for Spring & Summer Activities

It’s only March… our coldest month is behind us!

February is typically the coldest month here in Ontario and the thought of going outside sounds something like – nope, no thanks, I don’t think so

March has arrived so it’s the best time to start planning for spring and summer. Yep, that’s what I said – planning for spring and summer! With a bit more sunshine and temperatures creeping up (it doesn’t matter how slowly), Mother Nature is letting us know that it’s safe to start making warm-weather plans.

So, let’s start planning!

1. Outdoor Eating

I don’t know about you, but eating my meals al fresco is one of my favorite things to do when the weather warms up. There are just a few things to prepare for this.

Grill

Depending on your grilling habits, it may have been a few months since you last grilled out. Wipe it down, clean the grate, stock up on charcoal or propane, wheel it to its favorite spot, and get started.

Serving Trays

A serving tray or two will be your best friend. They’ll save you several trips back and forth into the house and back out to the grill or outdoor seating area. You can use them for food prep, condiments, side dishes, and drinks. You can also use them for plates, silverware, and cooking utensils.

Outdoor Furniture

Pull it out, dust it off, and set it up.

Easy-peasy – the basics are set up and ready to go. Now get outside, relax, grill something delicious, and enjoy. You can add ambiance with string lights, setting up portable firepits, and staking tiki torches as the season progresses.

2. Pantry Make-Over

Let’s face it, our eating habits change along with the seasons. In the warmer months, we’re often on-the-go, so it’s helpful to have a few more healthy options around that are quick and ready to grab-and-go.

Have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to grab. If they’re getting old, freeze them for smoothies later. Make sure your pantry is stocked with family staples – that way it’s easy to make something more healthy than fast-food before or after that baseball game or tennis match.

3. Car Essentials

With major season changes come major car essential changes as well. Most vehicle-related companies suggest the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Multi-tool/pocket knife
  • Water
  • Snacks (non-perishable, no melting chocolate)
  • Phone charger

If you’re a mom, dog-mom, or adventurer, these are a few more things you should have on-hand to be summer-ready:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellant
  • First aid kit
  • Everything disinfectant-related
  • Baby wipes
  • Portable bowl
  • Extra dog treats/food
  • Poop bags

Some of these things need to be switched out so they don’t get stale or end up useless. Each season, swap the sunscreen and bug repellent.

4. Clothing & Accessories

It’s time to switch sweaters for tanks, pants for capris, and turtlenecks for sundresses.

It’s that time of year to ask the dreaded question – does it still fit? If not, donating it for someone else to enjoy is a charitable gesture.

Rearrange the items in your closet and place your most used items at eye level. As with your warm clothes, store your summer clothes with like items together in drawers. Keeping shorts, skirts, short sleeve shirts, tank tops, and work-out gear together makes it easier for you to see what options you have.

When storing your clothes, it helps the longevity of fabrics to store them clean and in plastic bins.

5. Mud Room / Entryways

This is one of the busiest places in a home where people are coming and going all the time. It is also the easiest place for things to get lost, covered up, or accidentally grabbed by someone else. Here are some trading tips for your busy entryway area:

  • Flip flops
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers, sports shoes
  • Sports equipment and shoes
  • Hats

All of these items can easily be stored in baskets and bins. They can be designated by each person or by item (hats, flip flops, sneakers, etc.).

6. Pool / Beach Bag

Depending on the ages and number of people you’re packing for, this list may vary. But regardless of that, this is a fun task to do. Here are some of the basics:

  • sunscreen (body, face, sweat-proof, baby)
  • towel/blanket
  • water or other hydrating beverages
  • umbrella if desired

If there are youngsters in your group, sand toys, floaties, snacks, baby wipes, and life vests, are helpful. A blue tooth speaker is nice to bring some life to the party. Teens and tweens may prefer earbuds so they can get lost in their own little world.

However you “do” the beach, be prepared ahead of time so you can soak up the rays in peace.

7. Garage / Shed

Similar to our clothes closets, our garages and sheds need a seasonal swap as well.

Swap snow shovels for rakes.

Swap snow blowers for lawnmowers.

Swap salt for fertilizer.

Swap winter activity items like fort-block-makers, skis, snow grips, and hockey sticks for warmer weather gear like bikes, chalk, bubbles, balls, jump ropes, and running gear.

Storing these items properly will ensure many more seasons of hockey, soccer, and other loved outdoor activities. Ensure you set aside time to do this.

8. Yard Sale

Many folks love yard/rummage/garage sales and they are prevalent during this time of the year. Families with young children who grow faster than they can wear out their clothes appreciate the deals they can get or the added income to keep growing wardrobes.

Sometimes hobbies change. Sometimes new hobbies develop. Unfortunately, our space doesn’t always grow to keep up with the changing of items related to this. Yard sales are a great way to share your past with new budding hobbyists while making space and a little extra cash to support your new activity. Win-win.

If the thought of having a sale is overwhelming, ask around to family, friends, and people in your neighborhood to see if they are having one. Join in with someone else – it will make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Make sure to check local rules regarding sales.

9. Gardening Supplies

If gardening is your hobby, eating your homegrown food makes you feel complete, or pulling up stubborn weeds is your stress-relief, then this season means everything to you. Make sure you have everything you need and that it is in tip-top shape to perform as needed.

Enjoy the Swap

Even though it isn’t explicitly spelled out, during all of these swaps, changes, and transitions, it’s the ideal time to clean out these spaces. Some areas are as simple as a sweeping or wipe-out. Others may take a bit more time and effort. Regardless of the effort, cleaning should become part of this routine if it isn’t already. This will give you more time during those warmer temperatures to enjoy doing what you love outdoors!

Not Sure Where to Start?

Organized MD is here to help! Any area that you dread looking at is an area that Dennise will be happy to help you declutter and organize. Are multiple summer schedules already making your head spin? Dennise is incredible at helping find a system that you can follow – no more missed activities, parties, or get-togethers. Your summer is in good hands with Organized MD!

Contact us today to explore your unique organizational needs.

Certified Virtual Professional Organizers Provide Powerful Services Every Day

Should I try virtual Organizing? There are many benefits contact Dennise today at 416-575-9085 to learn more.

Certified Virtual Professional Organizers Provide Powerful Services Every Day

Virtual meetings. Virtual classrooms. Virtual conferences. Virtual events. Virtual happy hours. Virtual book clubs. Virtual game nights. Virtual dinners. Virtual is a word we have used more in the past year than any other.

Whether it’s because of homeschooling and working from home or being in lockdown, we have become much more aware of our living space and its belongings. Many people have used this time to sort through closets, boxes, basements, and garages.

Some have wanted to or even tried to but came to the realization that this is a task that’s more than they can take on by themselves.

Enter Virtual Organizing.

What is Virtual Organizing?

Before we talk about virtual organizing, let’s define organizing. Simply put, organizing is arranging items in an order. Some synonyms are; structure, assemble, sort, group, order, classify, categorize, and systematize.

Virtual organizing is doing organizational things via technology or computer software. There are many different platforms with video chat capabilities, the most popular being Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts. This is the closest way people can be “together” without being in the same physical space.

This is just one of the benefits of virtual organizing as opposed to in-person organization. You can still get organized regardless of pandemic restrictions and protocols.

Another benefit of virtual organizing is that it promotes brain activity and development. Working in collaboration with an organizer is stimulating due to the thought process required for planning.

Virtually serving your needs is more flexible than in-person organizing. There is less travel required on the organizer’s part, creating more availability in their schedule.

How Does Virtual Organizing Work?

The first step to virtual organizing is to have a consultation with the organizer. Here you will discuss your needs, take a virtual tour of your space, and decide if you two are a good fit to work together.

From there, any other information will be gathered and the organizer will put together a plan for your space. If there are organization materials needed, those will be purchased and collected at this time. A date and time are scheduled to begin.

A schedule will be put in place depending on what you and your organizer have agreed will work best.

Many organizers include a follow-up meeting a month or so after the project has finished to help make tweaks or changes to best meet your needs.

Do You Know There Are Certified Virtual Professional Organizers?

There is a certification program for Professional Organizers who are committed to becoming educated in the different ways necessary to virtually support their clients.

“Certification as a Virtual Professional Organizer (CVPO™) indicates that you are committed to your work through continued learning and your support in sustaining the industry’s integrity through best practices.”

-The Certified Virtual Organizer

Not only is previous organizing experience required, but organizers must also pass an exam to prove their proficiency with higher-level training and skills to uphold the ethics of the profession of Virtual Organizing (VO).

CVPO’s have the most current research and theories to bring to your organizing project. Not to mention the continued support and community of other certified professionals.

When Do You Want to Get Started?

I proudly hold the title of Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and Certified Virtual Professional Organizer (CVPO). I am certified to help you get decluttered, organized, create systems, increase your productivity, and improve your time management – all virtually! This can be quite an empowering experience for you to take ownership of your space.

Want a cost-effective way of working together with shorter organizing sessions? Are you still in lockdown? Do you want to take full advantage of your time while you are at home? Not quite comfortable having someone into your home?

Call Organized MD.  I will help you get any (some, or all) of your spaces organized, find a time management system that works for you, and help increase your productivity – and I’m certified to do so virtually.

Organized MD – treating the ill elements of your time and spaces!