Maintaining your organized home


Getting your home organized in only half of the battle – maintaining your organized space is another challenge altogether. Following organizing methods like the KonMari method require a change of your daily habits in order for them to work long-term. However, life can get busy, plans change, new opportunities arise, and you and your family can return to your previous routine. To maintain your organized space, it’s important to take the process seriously and find key methods that work best with your lifestyle.

Following an organization method closely will not work for everyone long term. Many of the suggestions work great to help people eliminate a large amount of clutter, but some steps, like treasuring every item, might not be realistic for each member of your family. Instead, identify the important lessons and find a way to make them work with your life. For example, the method for folding clothes might work best to keep your clothing organized in your wardrobe and suitcases, but your children have difficulty keeping their clothes folded that way. While the folding method may not work for them, the idea of only keeping items that are important to them and being able to let old clothing and toys go might work better.

In order to maintain organization, you and your family need to be able to make organizing a part of your routine. Depending on your schedule, it may make more sense to do quick decluttering sessions on a regular basis by sorting through items by type instead of by room. However, you may instead prefer to do larger organizing projects on a less frequent basis. By encouraging your whole family to get involved with the process and adopt these life changes, you will have an easier time maintaining organization throughout your home.  

To make organization a regular part of your routine, you need to follow methods that you and your family can easily pick up. For example, getting in the habit of putting things away once you’re finished with them, instead of leaving them to put away later, is a simple action that can have a significant impact on the organization of your home.

Staying organized and changing your usual habits takes time and commitment, but it can be accomplished. Make sure you implement organizational methods that are practical and work with your family’s lifestyle. If you’ve gotten your house organized following a specific organizing method, it may be unrealistic to maintain all of the strategies you used going forward. However, you shouldn’t feel the need to follow the guidelines closely. Instead, find out what works best for you and your family, and use those key strategies to maintain your organized state in the future.

Organizing clothing with the KonMari method


The KonMari organizing method has been around for a couple of years, but some of its ideas and methods can still be confusing for some people looking to live a more organized life. Here is how the KonMari method can help you get organized, starting with your clothing:

What is it?

According to the KonMari method, organizing should not happen room by room, but item by item. In this way, people are able to properly organize and find a home for one specific item, which may be scattered throughout a home. Clothes are recommended as the first item to start organizing. Organizing begins by collecting all of the like items together and laying them on the ground so you can get a good look at what you have. Then, you go through each item to determine whether or not it makes you happy or “sparks joy.”

Karen, at Calm Order recommends to start with areas with the least amount of attachment. Clothing may not necessarily be easy for some. Sometimes it is going through the pantry or kitchen which may just be an easier place to start.

Often, we hold on to items for sentimental or practical purposes. Maybe the item of clothing was on sale, or a gift. Regardless of how or why you got it, if it doesn’t make you happy or you never wear it, you should simply donate it. The KonMari is based on only owning items in your home that have meaning and bring you joy.

Items should be organized and put in a place that is easy to find and access. Fancy storage solutions aren’t always the answer, and extra drawers and cupboards may encourage more clutter instead of stopping it. The KonMari method encourages people to focus on the folding and storage of items to prevent clutter. If items are special to you, you should treat them well. For example, your cloths should be folded and stored in a way that prevents them from getting wrecked or wrinkled and is easy for you to find and wear.

How is it done?

The unique KonMari method has attracted a lot of popularity for its complex steps and ability to significantly increase storage. Whether it is a t-shirt, pair of pants, or socks, any article of clothing you own can be folded using the KonMari method. This guide provides step by step illustrations of how you can fold your clothes using the KonMari way.

Once your clothes are folded properly, they need to be properly placed in your closet or wardrobe. Instead of organizing by colour, the KonMari method organizes clothing by light and dark clothing. For example, keep heavier winter sweaters separated from light summer blouses. This will also help you find clothes and pick out your outfit easier because similar items will all be placed together.

Clothes in drawers are not stacked on top of each other but stored vertically. This way, it is easier to see what clothes you have and prevents shirts or pants from getting lost at the bottom of your drawer. By folding items in the precise KonMari way, you’ll also cut down on wrinkles, so everything is ready to wear when you need it.

Where else can you use this method?

The KonMari folding method can be used to help you organize your clothing for a vacation or a home move. Use the folding method to save space in your suitcase when you travel and prevent your clothes from getting too wrinkled before you reach your destination. You can even store your folded items in storage cubes.

Clothes can also be folded using this method when you’re packing up your belongings before moving. You will be able to fit a lot more items of clothing in a box or plastic bin by stacking your shirts, pants, and other articles of clothing vertically instead of horizontally. You will also be able to easily see what items you have stored in what box, and quickly transfer the clothing after your move back to your wardrobe or closet.

The KonMari method can help with organizing more than just your clothes – its basic principles can be applied to any item in your home. However, in order to make sure your newly-organized items stay organized, you need to ensure that you continue to keep clutter down. Remember to only keep items that bring you joy and make sure that every item has a proper and easy to access home. The KonMari method is not meant to help with one-time organization, but help you stay organized for the long term.

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.