Unsure about how to get organized? Get advice directly from an organizer!


Organizing is no easy task. Many people struggle to achieve the calm and orderly environment they dream of all on their own. With the help of a professional organizer, dreams can become a reality! However, there are some organization projects that are small, or unique to the items/rooms that a person may have. Even after an organizer comes in, there could be problems that come up in the future when people are trying to maintain the organized environment they have established. Fortunately, Calm Order can now help with the important questions you may have about getting organized!

Calm Order is proud to introduce Ask the Organizer, a virtual space where questions about anything to do with organizing, from recommended methods, to products, to moving suggestions can all be answered. Simply follow this link, submit your question, and check back to see the answer from Calm Order’s Founder, Karen. Even if you don’t have a question, be sure to visit the page to see what questions and answers have been submitted by others.

While the internet can provide a lot of different suggestions and advice for how to get organized, consulting with a professional organizer directly provides benefits that you can’t find when you’re searching on your own. By submitting your own question, you can get advice that is unique to your organizing problem.

Professional organizers have the skills and training to help you tackle any organizing problem, and by getting answers from them directly, you can learn about different methods or products that you may have never considered before. This direct contact also allows you to follow up or ask multiple questions, even after your initial organizing project is completed. Sometimes, smaller issues or questions will come up as you continue to maintain the organized space you have created.

Organizing can also be a stressful and emotional task, and it helps to be able to talk to someone who is experienced and knows exactly what you are going through. For people with more complex organizing projects, an initial question or inquiry through Ask the Organizer can set you on the right track by coordinating professional support, or referring you to other helpful resources. Whatever your question or problem may be, it pays off to ask the organizer directly!

What to do with your clutter


The previous blog post discussed the different places and platforms you can use to sell or donate your clutter - but how do you determine which place to go to or which method to use? There are many different factors to consider when deciding what to do with your clutter. How much time do you have, and how much of it are you willing to commit? 

Selling items on your own takes a lot of time. A garage sale requires a lot of planning and preparation beforehand, including setting up posters and signs around your neighbourhood, pricing out items, adding tags to each item, setting them up in your garage and on your lawn, and then spending a day or two selling the items. In a city like Calgary with ever-changing weather, these plans can fall apart under the threat of rain or snow.

Online platforms also require a lot more time despite the apparent ease. You'll also have to post or list each item and assign them a price, and then arrange for pick-up times with your potential buyers. Sometimes, items may take longer than expected to sell, and in that time, your clutter is still sitting in your home.

For a small number of items that you are confident will move quickly, selling them may be a good option. In some cases, items that are in good shape can also turn a decent profit. However, people who may not have a lot of time on their hands may want to reconsider this option.

Another concern is safety, which can be for the physical handling of objects and selling items through online platforms. Larger items like furniture can be hard to move and sell or drop-off at a donation drop-off location. Whether you are not physically able to move it, or you don’t have the car capacity to move it, other removal options may have to be explored. In these cases, it may be better to pay for a removal service or charity to pick-up the items from your home, even if it isn’t economically beneficial.

Online, there can be a risk to selling items to people you haven’t met before. Some people may not be comfortable with sharing their confidential information, like their address or contact information to arrange for pick-ups and payments, so trying to sell their items this way would not be a good option. There is also a potential for sales to not go through and buyers to drop out at the last minute. If you are planning on selling your items online, read through this post for suggestions on how to sell smart.

Whatever method you chose, the goal is to get rid of the clutter that is taking up space in your home. Choose an option that best works with your schedule and your needs. Sometimes, different methods might work better for different items. Just make sure that when you’re clearing out your clutter, you aren’t wasting too much of your time or your space!

Where can you donate your used items?


Decluttering is an important step in any organization process, but it's not always easy figuring out what to do with your items. For people who are downsizing, this can also be an issue - where do you take the items that you no longer need? A lot of the items we choose to part with are still in good shape, and can be reused or repurposed. Thankfully, there are many organizations in charities in Calgary that can take these items and put them to good use! A full list of organizations can also be found on the website here

  • Habitat for Humanity: The ReStore at Habitat for Humanity recycles doors, appliances, furniture, lumber, electrical and plumbing supplies, and other building supplies. Visit their website for locations and contact information to find a drop-off place near you.
  • Canadian Diabetes: Most neighbourhoods have drop-off bins, and different pick-up times are available throughout the year. This charity accepts gently used clothing for adults and children, as well as small household items. When leaving bags outside your home for pick-up, make sure they are clearly marked with a "D." Find more information here.
  • Women in Need Society: This society operates a thrift store that accepts gently used merchandise including clothing, kitchenware and dishes, household items, furniture, and books. There are a few locations around the city (a full list can be found here) where items can be dropped off. They also have a free pick-up service that operates every day a week - just visit the website to schedule a pick-up! The donation benefits women in need in the city.

Alternatively, you can try selling your gently used items and try and make back some of the money you spent on your items. Calgary is home to many consignment shops that allow people to bring in their items and sell through the store. Depending on the store, each place will take a percentage of the sale, but you get back the rest of the profits. If your item doesn't sell in a certain time period, you'll get your items back.

  • Peacock Boutique: This consignment shop also has their items available for purchase online, and is located in Kensington (1145 Kensington Crescent NW). Clothing and accessories are now being accepted for the fall season, which goes from August until January. 
  • Sproutz Kids: Located at 2835 37 St SW, this consignment shop is the perfect place to sell clothing and accessories from the whole family. The store also accepts toys and other play items (with the exception of stuffed animals, puzzles, and certain brands). There is no specific season for most items, and everything will be accepted year-round, except winter gear, which is only accepted from August - December.
  • Danielle's Consignment:  Danielle's Consignment caters to customers with items that are in very good condition and from higher end fashion brands. Located at 105 - 908 17th Ave SW, people with items to donate are encouraged to book an appointment to bring in their items for consignment.

Garage sales are still a common way for many people to sell their items, but with winter on the way, there aren't many weekends left to host a sale. However, there are a few communities that are still hosting a parade of garage sales, and a list of the communities can be found here. You can also try selling your items on your own online through Facebook, which has many Buy and Sell pages for Calgary and specific communities. Other online selling sites include Kijiji, VarageSaleUsed Calgary, and letgo, which all allow people to sell their own items to other people in their local area.