19Sep

The basement may be the area in your home that you avoid the most. Even the most organized among us can be guilty of thinking, "I'll just put that there for now," when unsure of what to do with a new or unfamiliar item; only to forget about it later. Before you know it, your basement has become a place of mystery. Fortunately, it's never too late to start organizing that neglected space! Keep reading to find out what items are safe to toss: five things you can pitch, no questions asked.

The basement may be the area in your home that you avoid the most. Even the most organized among us can be guilty of thinking, "I'll just put that there for now," when unsure of what to do with a new or unfamiliar item; only to forget about it later. Before you know it, your basement has become a place of mystery. Fortunately, it's never too late to start organizing that neglected space! Keep reading to find out what items are safe to toss: five things you can pitch, no questions asked. 


1. OLD ELECTRONICS

You know those old iPods or the original iPhone charger cables from 2007? Unfortunately, they're doing nothing but collecting dust on your shelf. Don't even try to sell them; it's been too long. Instead, you can recycle them with Toronto Waste, simply put them beside your garbage container for pick up on your next garbage day. You can also recycle them at  Computation Ltd., a Toronto store that provides environmentally sensitive computer and e-waste recycling along with secure electronic data destruction. Getting rid of old electronics is an easy first step to basement organization. 


2. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS 

Basements tend to be a repository for hazardous materials like empty or half-filled cans of house paint, insecticides, weed killer or dead batteries. Like old electronics, these are items that you do not need to store. But expired or not, they should be disposed of properly. You can't just toss them in the trash. Most cities offer a hazardous waste disposal option. In Toronto, you can call 311 and arrange for the Toxic Taxi to pick up old paint cans, with some restrictions on the amounts to be discarded.


3. ANYTHING THAT IS DAMAGED OR BROKEN

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you've noticed holes or tears in a piece of clothing, or another item in your basement, toss it. This includes tents, folding chairs, and patio cushions. (It's no fun camping in a tent with a broken zipper - trust me, I know!) Broken furniture and lamps are often not worth the time and cost to fix and take up precious space in your basement. If it's broken and damaged, toss it!


4. RARELY USED KITCHEN APPLIANCES
These appliances can really accumulate over time. Maybe it's a waffle iron or a bread machine you received as a wedding gift and never unboxed. Countertop appliances that never see the light of day also need to go. Trust me, you'll never miss them. Most local donation stores will accept working appliances, or you can offer them on the Facebook Group “Buy Nothing Canada” to be given away for free!


5. SPORTS AND EXERCISE EQUIPMENT

If you're using your treadmill as a drying rack, it's time to toss it along with any other exercise equipment you're not using. Outdated skis, old running shoes, broken tennis racquets, or hockey sticks need to go!! You can sell valuable equipment at Play It Again Sports (www.playitagainsports.com), Facebook Market Place, or Kijiji if you think the skates are worth something. The good news is that dragging things up out of the basement counts as exercise!  

Removing these five types of things will get you started and free up plenty of space in your basement. I've helped turn basements into dream spaces for craft rooms, playrooms, offices, and so much more!! So, the bottom line is: if you haven't used it in years and don't need it anymore, it's time to toss or donate. Then you can sit back and imagine what to do with all that new space! 
17Mar

Tips and Organizing Ideas
Helping Parents Downsize 5 Things to Consider 

Downsizing is a significant project that will take many hours and involve many decisions.  Here are five ideas to help you get started.


   1. 🔜 Prepare in Advance It’s never too early to start planning!  If time permits, start with a few hours a week and do one bookcase or some small corner of a room at a time. Taking on a large garage or the entire basement can be overwhelming.  Begin with a small area to see what can be eliminated and start removing these items.  If you or your parents or organized, this can happen months or even years before a moving.  


2. 🎁Gifting Possessions If your parents start gifting you their possessions, accept their gifts graciously. They may give you things they think you might like or that you can use. You may not want these gifts but consider how you might pass them on to people who do.  There are many options including passing on unwanted items to a friend, a shelter or even Freecycle Facebook group.  Your parents will be happy knowing they are contributing to someone else’s enjoyment.   


3. 💵Selling Valuables 💰 Selling valuable items is very time-consuming. If something is worth the time and effort to sell, I strongly recommend you or another family member take on this job. Telling your parents, “Just post it on Kijiji or Marketplace,” can be daunting for them: downloading the app, taking the photos, recording the measurements, uploading the information, and managing all the questions and emails back and forth can be overwhelming. I have a hard time with it, and I know what I’m doing! Please take a few items at a time and post them for your parents. They will be happy with the extra money, and you will have gotten things out of their house.  


4. 🏡New Home Measurements🏘 Be realistic about what possessions will fit into their new home. Are they moving from a big four-bedroom house into a one-bedroom condo? Try and get measurements or floor plans for their new space to see what furniture will fit. Perhaps the queen bed is too big, or the china cabinet won’t fit along the dining room wall. It’s always better to find out before they move into their new home! Scaling down the size of the furniture is often part of the downsizing process.  


5. Storage & Closet Space 📦 Consider the amount of closet and storage space in their new home. Will they really need all their coats and boots? Storing out-of-season clothes is difficult when you only have one closet for two people. Will they have enough storage for all the Christmas decorations or surface area to display their tiny village? It may be time to pare down what will fit into their available storage space.  


Start small, take the time to look at photos and mementos that bring back fun memories. If you need help with any stage of the process, please reach out and give me a call. I can make this process much easier for everyone!