December 03, 2018

How to Simplify the Holidays

Do you find that you make great strides toward minimizing, purging, and organizing only to find yourself right back where you started after the hustle and bustle of Christmas comes and goes?

One of the most important steps in home organizing is addressing and adjusting our relationship with the stuff we purchase moving forward. Many of us have great intentions to declutter and streamline, but if we aren't also scaling back on the items we continue to bring in, we will be right back where we started very quickly.


Christmas is one of the most difficult times of year to scale back - Particularly if you have children, or were raised with the tradition of a tree bursting with presents, over doing it in December is a common concern for many of us.

The good news: there are a TON of creative ways to simplify the holidays. Small shifts can offer big impact! And over the years, we have found some great ways maintain our focus on conscious consumption and meaningful presence (vs. presents)... all without turning into the Grinch.


Over the years, we have discovered a lot of great resources for simplifying the holidays, but nothing quite as good as the New Dream's guide to simplifying the holidays. This guide is FULL of practical tips for reducing stress and increasing joy during the holiday season. It provides awesome ideas on how to connect with children and family, streamline gift giving, create new traditions, minimizing waste, and ultimately, create a holiday season that everyone in your family will enjoy and remember or years to come (without filling your life and home with chaos and clutter.)

A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITE ALTERNATIVE GIFT GIVING IDEAS:
  • give away the last great book you bought and enjoyed to someone with similar taste.
  • if you like to cook or bake, try your hand at making fresh salsa, pasta sauce, jam, bread, or baked goods. Or prepare homemade soups or dinners that can be frozen for future use and include the recipe.
  • make and package up homemade green cleaning products.
  • plant a tree or perform a “random act of kindness” in your recipient’s honor.
  • put together a booklet of favorite family recipes.
  • display a special heirloom - frame a recipe of your grandmothers in her handwriting, find a unique display box for a handmade piece of lace or knitting, or turn a pair of baby booties or a treasured baby rattle into a tree ornament.
  • re-gift a cookbook you no longer use often. Highlight or flag a few of your favourite recipes.
  • have a “re-gift” swap. we all have gift-quality things in our closets that we don’t actually use - get together with a few like-minded friends and trade them for items that fit your gift list. 
  • celebrate your loved ones—write your friend or family member a letter listing all the qualities you admire most about them 
  • have family home videos converted to DVD, or make a slideshow of old family photographs.
  • commit to a monthly lunch date with an elderly relative or friend.
  • offer to teach a skill you possess- canning, photography, gardening, swing dancing, knitting, furniture making, or doing the butterfly stroke to name a few. 
  • give tickets to a community theater or a membership to a museum.
  • buy renewable energy certificates to offset the carbon emissions of a friend. 
  • purchase gift cards/ credit towards car or bike share programs or ride share apps like Uber. 
  • set aside a few hours to volunteer in your community in honor of your friend or loved one.
  • vow to send a letter or postcard each month for the entire year to friend or family member in a different city (this is especially great for kids and grandparents!)
  • make a donation to charity or buy a gift card to an organization like canada helps or kiva and let the recipient decide where to best allocate the funds.
This is, of course, just the smallest sampling of ideas shared in the New Dream guide- you can download the full guide here for more ideas and inspiration.

May the holiday season be filled with beautiful memories, family and dear friends, delicious food, and moments of pure delight.

November 05, 2018

We Love Edmonton!

We have some exciting news to share... Room to Breathe is now operating in Edmonton, Alberta!

Shanna Miller is our amazing team lead in the capital city- bringing with her a talent for DIY, abundant energy, a great sense of humor, and a genuine love of organizing! She is the bright light leading our Edmonton team, and eager to meet and help our new clients create lasting change!

Check out our Edmonton website for more details or follow our new Edmonton Facebook Page! And if you have friends or family in Edmonton, please spread that word! 


Evolve your space to new levels of efficiency with Alberta's leading professional home organizers - Room to Breathe.

We align everything we do with your specific challenges to meet your unique lifestyle. From whole home overhauls to smaller troubled areas, we develop a sustainable system so you can maintain order effortlessly.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE one-hour in-home consultation, and begin your journey toward positive and lasting change in your home.

Call or email Indianna at 587-228-6359 | hello@roomtobreatheedmonton.com





October 05, 2018

Thinking of Renting your Home on Airbnb? We Can Help!

Businesses like Airbnb, VRBO, and other short-term rental providers are some of the most popular websites to shakeup the hospitality industry in years. And for good reason!

Unlike cookie-cutter chain hotels, users are able to find unique travel accommodations offering a more authentic overall experience. And for homeowners, it's a bit of a no-brainer - if you have the space to rent, it's a great mortgage helper, in addition to being a unique way to meet new people from all over the world.

home organizing, calgary home organizing, closet organizing, calgary professioinal organizer, edmonton home organizing, organized, calgary airbnb,

There are a few things to consider before renting your space though, and getting organized is at the top of the list.

Ensure your home is streamlined and tidy
Particularly if the space you are renting has been previously lived in, it is important to remove any personal effects, valuables, and clear the clutter. Guests are drawn to spaces that are tidy and minimal, meaning hiring a professional organizer to help create that space can quickly yield more interest. Pairing down not only makes your space look bigger and more appealing, it also makes clean up between guests a breeze. With less in your physical space, there will always be less that needs to be put away after guests leave.

Create a welcoming space for guests
Ensure you have all the essentials available when guests arrive (dishes, linens, soap, basic toiletries, mattress pads and pillow covers, coffee...) These thoughtful details are what takes your short term rental from good to great. The chances of disappointed guests or low-star reviews is significantly lessened with a little time and energy input in the beginning. Setting up a welcome binder of important information- things like the wifi password, how recycling and compost collection work, what remote control actually turns on the tv, as well as any house rules and emergency contact information is an important offering. All little things that make a big impact, and projects the Room to Breathe team can dive in and help setup.

Equalize between rentals
The Room to Breathe organizing philosophy follows Julie Morgensten's SPACE method - Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerize, and Equalize. This is the order by which we organize everything every time, with equalize being crucial for maintaining organizational systems. Dedicate some time after each rental to equalize: returning every item to its proper home, reassessing and clearing out anything that is no longer needed, and ensuring the space is returned to organized perfection.

Whether you are just beginning your journey into short term rentals or you hope to elevate your existing space to a new level, Room to Breathe can help you pair down, scale back, and clear the clutter, leaving your space fresh, easy to maintain, and ready to be enjoyed.

Contact our team today to schedule your FREE one hours in-home consultation to assess your specific needs and organizational desires. 

 Room to Breathe Calgary | 403-862-0515 | amanda@roomtobreathecalgary.com

This blog post was written by Jessica Thorburn - Our Vancouver-based Marketing and Administration Superstar.

September 20, 2018

Creative Ideas for Storing Children's Artwork

If you have kids, chances are you know how REAL the struggle is when it comes to their artwork. Year after yeat, the volume of art they create only multiplies. For obvious reasons, we become sentimentally attached to much of it- that is up until we finally reach our breaking point and can't deal with the sheer volume of every single 'masterpiece' taking over our homes.

Image Source | Storied Style
We get A TON of questions about how to best manage children's art work, and the answer is not 'one size fits all' - some people want to hold on to every scrap or scribble, while others are fine to observe each piece while on route to the recycling bin.

Wherever you find yourself on the kid art spectrum, we have a few creative ideas to store, document, or preserve this season of your child's wildly creative life.

THE ROTATING GALLERY
Perhaps the most common strategy is a rotating gallery wall. The idea being you display some of the best pieces for a duration of time, and then rotate new pieces in as they are created.

This method can be simple (tape a few drawings to the wall or designate your fridge as your art gallery zone) or more complex (a set of photo frames used to showcase each piece) - Whatever look you like best is what you should go for.

We are fans of this IKEA curtain wire hack - inexpensive, simple, streamlined, and easy to swap art out when the time comes. It also allows for three-dimensional projects to be displayed.

Image Source | Project Nursery
THE YEAR LONG PORTFOLIO 
A really simple way to tackle art is to have a designated spot to keep it all - either a box or portfolio case work well. As the year goes on, toss any and all art into the box and at the end of each school year, go through everything and keep only a few pieces that you really love. A good rule of thumb here is select a designated number of pieces you will allow yourself to keep BEFORE you start digging through, ensuring you are able to walk away with a manageable pile. Once your 'keep' items are selected, add them to your child's keepsake box and begin again.

THE PHOTO BOOK
An awesome way to document or preserve your child's art is by taking photographs of each piece. You can use these photos to make an annual art photo book, create a yearly slideshow, or make a photo collage of some of your favourite pieces to be added into the family photo album. This system does take a little bit more time and energy to initiate, but the end result is perfect for those that are a bit more sentimental or have a harder time deciding which projects to keep.

Image Source | Snapfish
THE RUTHLESS ART CRITIC 
The fact is, some kids simply create much more art than others. If you find yourself being inundated with multiple projects on the daily, this might be the tactic for you. Utilize the 'Year Long Portfolio' system noted above, but ONLY allow the single best piece from each day to be added to the box. The rest of the artwork can be tucked away somewhere out of sight, and discretely recycled when the child is not around. I will speak from experience - make sure you bury the art deep in your recycling bin - there is nothing worse than trying to explain to your child how their 400 drawings of Lightning McQueen ended up in the garbage.

Of course, a combination of any of these systems works well too - The end goal is simply to streamline the process and end up with a well curated and edited collection of your child's most beautiful creative pieces.

And if all these ideas still feel like too much effort, and you secretly aspire to be the person enjoying artwork while walking to the recycling bin, have a peek at this article about why throwing out all our children's art is totally ok!

Enjoy!

  This blog post was written by Jessica Thorburn - Our Vancouver-based Marketing and Administration Superstar.

September 10, 2018

Essential Fall Reading | Blog Post Roundup

If you are anything like us, September always seems to catch us off guard. Perhaps it's our adamant refusal to accept that summer is nearing an end, but it definitely feels like overnight the air has turned crisper, the days are noticeably shorter, and we have forcefully been shoved back into routines, schedules, and a million things on the go.

It's definitely a month of adjustment and transition, but with a little planning and a good dose of gentle patience, we will find our autumn groove once again.

Below are three blog posts from passed fall seasons to help get the cogs in motion. We suggest picking one single project to focus on this week to help gently ease back into things. Perhaps it's meal planning for the coming week, maybe it's tackling your front hall closet to rotate out summer things making space for backpacks, lunch kits, and jackets, or perhaps it's overhauling your kitchen pantry- stocking up with after school snacks and cold weather essentials.

Or maybe it's simply making yourself a cup of tea and reading through the posts to plant a few seeds for another time. Wherever you are at in this busy season of life, know that it is enough.



The Essential Back to School Organizing List
Tips to help get your home and life organized, ensuring your back to school/ fall transition runs smoothly.

Three Easy-Win Projects to Tackle This Weekend!
3 bite-sized, easy-win projects that will replace feelings of stress and overwhelm with ones of pride, accomplishment, and overall lightness.

Make the Perfect Homework Station 
Learn to create the perfect homework station so after school is stress-free, streamlined, and easy to keep tidy.



Need a helping hand bringing your organizational vision to reality? Contact Room to Breathe today to schedule a FREE in home consultation - We LOVE to help!

Room to Breathe Calgary | 587-228-6359 | indianna@roomtobreathecalgary.com

This blog post was written by Jessica Thorburn - Our Vancouver-based Marketing and Administration Superstar.

July 23, 2018

We're Hiring! (Edmonton)



Room to Breathe
has grown a lot over the last couple years, and we aren't done yet! We are looking to add a talented, high-energy, organizing genius to our new team in Edmonton!

This opportunity is a little unconventional, but we promise it's 100% amazing.

THIS POSITION MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU IF:
  • You have a natural knack for organization, enjoy structure and order, and are intuitively tidy in your day to day life. If you are the type of person to randomly start rearranging the pantry at a dinner party, or find joy refolding linens or color coordinating your bookshelf, we want to hear from you! 
  • You don't mind getting your hands dirty and have the stamina to do physically demanding work for 6-8 hours a day. Professional organizing is A LOT of hands-on, manual labour - lifting, rearranging, sifting through LOTS of boxes, furniture building, and cleaning up as you go are all part of the job.
  • Radical empathy, non-judgement, patience, genuine kindness, and meeting people where they are at are all virtues that you possess. These ones are non-negotiable - If you easily get annoyed by indecision or are agitated by inefficiency, this is NOT the job for you. 
  • You have a drivers license and access to a reliable vehicle. Part of the job includes trips to drop of donations and recyclables and shopping for supplies.
  • You work well independently, but also enjoy the benefits of collaboration and being part of an established team. Being the first employee in Edmonton, a lot of work in the beginning will be solo. We will of course support you with face to face, ongoing training and LOTS of Skype dates and phone calls, but we are ideally looking for someone who isn't afraid to learn to ropes and run with it. 
  • You like to hustle! You are motivated, dependable, and a self-starter. Someone who is naturally creative and can identify opportunity's to grow Room to Breathe in your community. 
  • Exceptional communication skills - both written and verbal. As the first point of contact for our Edmonton clients, it's imperative that you are able to write emails and answer phone calls professionally and in a timely manor.
  • Our team is made up of independent contractors, meaning you have other clients or sources of income and are not solely dependent on your work with us to pay your way. Ideally someone who has a general understanding of how contract work works and has a set availability or schedule that does not fluctuate from week to week would be the best fit.
PERKS OF WORKING WITH ROOM TO BREATHE:
  • We have a glowing reputation as Calgary's leading professional organizers- all because of our incredible and hardworking team. We love what we do, and have developed the systems to support lasting change for our valued clients. Learn and grow your organizing skills with some of the best organizers in the business! 
  • Flexibility and freedom - schedule your hours around existing commitments, and build capacity as you go.  
  • We pay a generous and above average hourly rate.
Please email a resume and cover letter to indianna@roomtobreathecalgary.com telling us why you think you would be a great fit for our team and anything else that you think might be important for us to know.  Please include social media links like Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

July 03, 2018

5 Ways to Keep Toys From Taking Over!

For most of us, it's a daily battle, and each year get a little bit trickier. Yes - we are talking about keeping organized while living with kids.

Every table top, empty floor space, and cupboard eventually becomes prime real-estate for imaginative play, LEGO building, and storage for the backlog of clothes and gifts flowing in at every turn.

It's a lot. And even the most organized homes can quickly feel abundantly full.

The good news is, with a little bit of time and continued dedication, there are ways to curb the gradual toy take-over, even reclaiming a few kid-free spaces in the process. Below we share 5 tangible steps to get you started.



PURGE
Perhaps an obvious first step, but purging is key. Going through every basket, bin, and toy drawer three or four times a year is vital step to maintaining order and our sanity. Start with a garbage bag to collect all the broken pieces, partial happy meals toys, and slime that has inevitably oozed out all over the inside of a drawer. From there, do a second pass through collecting items in good repair and ideal for selling or donating.

Parting with toys can be an emotionally hard concept for kids to grasp, so this is usually a task best tackled when they aren't home. I typically couple this big purge with reorganizing furniture, changing out linens, or a really deep whole-home tidy, as it creates one more visual distraction so my son doesn't notice things have been removed.

Also, if you aren't quite sure if something is ready to be donated and are worried your child might ask for it the moment they notice it is missing, a good tip is to tuck it away in your storage space and wait to see if it is asked about. I have done this successfully with many toys in our home, and only once have questions been raised about where the item went.


TOY ROTATION
This system takes a bit of work to setup, but starting a toy rotation is a great way to get a handle on the toys currently in your home and help your kids get the most out of their toys in the process.

Start by dividing your toys into categories - keeping like with like, separate everything out into groups - games and puzzles, building toys, moving toys, books... etc. The goal is to eventually compile 5 or 6 toy bundles, incorporating a few items from each of the category's you have created.

From there, allow your child access to only one bundle at a time (keep the others hidden in storage for future rotation.) Doing this prevents your kids from suffering that overwhelming feeling that comes with too many choices and allows more toys to be played with and appreciated. Find a rotation schedule that works best for you, but generally, rotating the bundles every 4-6 weeks works great for most families.



NO TOY ZONES
We have a rule in our house that toys are only kept in our sons bedroom. Our home is small, so often play happens everywhere, but creating this clear boundary and expectation allows him to know he can play wherever he wants, but when he is done, everything must be packed up and put back. Having all the toys kept in one contained room means I never stress about cleaning the WHOLE house before guests come over. Our living spaces remain clear, relatively tidy, and toy-free, and I can simply close the door if the mess in the designated toy room ever feels like too much.


CLEAR BINS
Clear bins are key for toy storage. You can quickly and easily see what's kept inside (awesome for kids in the pre-reading phase) and tracking down that missing action hero suddenly no longer requires rummaging through every single drawer and basket.

If you are implementing the toy rotation method outlined above, labeling the bins with a small card listing each toy inside is handy. Alternatively, written labels for kids who can read, or simple illustrations of what goes in each bin for younger kids is a great way to empower children to help with tidying up and keeping things well organized.



CREATIVE CURBING
Tapering the influx stuff coming into your home is really the best way to curb kids clutter. A few creative ideas for this include:
  • Toonie Birthday Party - in lieu of traditional gifts, ask each guest brings two toonies- one to be put towards a collective gift for the birthday child, and the other to be donated to a charity of their choosing.
  • Donations to a charity - discuss with your child the option of collecting donation to a worthwhile charity instead of receiving birthday gifts. This works especially well with very young children, or school-aged kids that are a little bit older.
  • Saving for something big -  have family and friends contribute to something big your child is saving for. Whether that savings is their Post Secondary Education Fund (RESP) or a trip to Diseneyland, most people can get on board with giving money in lieu of toys.
  • One thing in/ One thing out rule - get your child on board with the one thing in/ one thing out rule. If they get a new toy or book, a no longer used toy or book needs to be passed along.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by disorganization, give us a call to set up your FREE in-home, no obligation consultation. Our team of professionals are expertly trained, non-judgemental, and able to create customized, long-lasting organizing solutions for any room in your home - giving you and your family room to breathe.  


Room to Breathe
Calgary's Professional Home Organizers
403-862-0515 | amanda@roomtobreathecalgary.com

June 05, 2018

Ask an Organizer || Where do I start?

What is one area of your home that you simply can't keep organized? What clutter, no matter how hard you try, can you never seem to curb? What is that one burning question you would ask a professional organizer if you had the chance?

Well, now is the time to ask away!! Today we are launching a a new feature on our blog, dedicated entirely to answering your most troublesome organizing questions! Ask an Organizer! 

--

QUESTION:
I would love to get organized, but I don’t have the slightest idea where to begin. I’m paralyzed and completely overwhelmed when I look around my house, so I don't even start. Where would you say is the easiest or most motivating place to begin?

ANSWER:
First off- please know you are not alone! We hear this question ALL THE TIME! For some of us, when we look around a disorganized space, our brains aren't immediately able to break the mess down into individual pieces. We don’t see the parts that make up the whole, we just see EVERYTHING at ONCE. So of course that feels incapacitating.

The second part to this is that the things in our homes hold memories- good or bad, it's the sentimental attachment to stuff that makes letting go so challenging. Because of this, it's important to put extra thought into where we begin. Being strategic and picking a few easy win projects to tackle in the beginning allows you to practice and perfect your organizing skills, sharpens your decision making abilities as you go on, and floods your brain with feel-good endorphins to keep you motivated. In short - doing the easy lifting in the beginning readies you to tackle the heavy, more sentimental stuff later on.


Clothes and shoes are generally a pretty safe jumping off point.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with clothes is the three month rule - If you haven't worn it in the last three months, it's ready to be donated. We suggest taking your time - pulling EVERYTHING out of your close and drawers, trying on every single item, and ruthlessly asking yourself:
  • Is the garment still your taste and style? Our preferences change and evolve over time. There is no sense holding on to items that no longer go with the esthetic we currently enjoy.
  • Does it fit? We are giving you permission to release any piece of clothing that no longer fits. We are all guilty of this, but holding onto clothes for a body we no longer have only leaves us feeling disappointed.
  • Is it in good repair? Check for holes, snags, piling, or stains, and discard accordingly.
  • Is it something you want to continue wearing? Similar to point number one- there is no sense in keeping things you don't genuinely love or don't feel good wearing.
If the answer to any of the questions above is 'no', then let it go.

Another good place to hone your organizing skills is your bookshelf. Most of us have a lot of books- often they are scattered all over the house, so it's not until we consciously begin to gather them all that we see the sheer volume of what we have.

In Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, there is a great section on organizing books. Kondo explains that we read for the experience of reading. The books we have read have already been experienced and their content is inside us whether we remember it or not. So when deciding which books to keep, forget about whether you think you will read it again or whether you’ve mastered what’s inside. Instead, keep only what truly, deeply moves you.

Similar to clothing, it is important to physically take ALL your books off the shelf before organizing them- spending a moment holding each one with the aim of creating a small, well curated collection of only your most treasured tales.


Finally, if you still feel like you don't know where to begin, you might benefit from the services of a professional organizer. We thrive working in difficult or complex organizing situations, so please don’t be afraid to reach out for help. We offer FREE in-home consultations to give you a clearer idea of how things work. Feel free to get in touch and book your time with us today!

*** Have a question about home organizing? Send us an email and will try our best to answer it in our “Ask an Organizer” feature here on our blog. ***

April 25, 2018

Spring into Simplicity

Despite its reluctant start, spring is indeed beginning to peek in on us here in Calgary. With it, shaking up our winter hibernation routine - begging us to clear space, recalibrate, and refresh – both mentally and physically.


Spring is hands-down the busiest time of year for Room to Breathe. As soon as the snow begins to melt, our schedule is filled to the brim with eager clients looking for guidance to indulge their spring cleaning fever.

LET ROOM TO BREATHE HELP YOU...
  • Clean out your garage - rotating out snow shovels, hockey equipment, and SO MUCH gravel, bringing back bicycles, skateboards, and camping gear.
  • Purge your closets - and in the process, create a sustainable capsule system for rotating bulky knits and winter layers for lighter, warm weather staples.
  • Tackle your kitchen - clearing your pantry and cupboards of clutter, making space for all that is needed for upcoming picnics, BBQ’s, and sun-soaked days spent living outdoors.
  • Ready your yard and patio - get your shed prepped, gardening tools and supplies sorted, and patio tidied for the influx of summer days and nights enjoyed with family and friends.
Whatever your project, we are here itching to get our hands dirty!

If you have been thinking about hiring a professional organizer, consider this a sign! Get in touch today to schedule a FREE in-home consultation to go over ideas and begin your spring journey toward simplicity. We book up fast, so call today to secure your spot!

And if you are looking for a little more spring cleaning inspiration, check out some of our previous blog posts filled with helpful spring organizing tips.

March 27, 2018

A Peek at our Organizing Portfolio

What are some of the trickiest places in your home to keep organized? Closets? The kitchen pantry? The garage? The play room? We have literally seen it all! But the good news is, we are really good at our jobs and love creating organizational systems to help tame even the most hectic of spaces.  

We were recently updating our Houzz profile (feel free to have a peek at that here) and compiled a small collection of photos from some of our favourite past projects. We figured why not share some of these photos here in the hope that they might spark an idea or two and get the cogs turning on organizing solutions for your own home.

And if you are still feeling overwhelmed by it all- give us a call - we love to help.

February 26, 2018

We Can Help Make Your Next Move a Breeze!

Most people will agree - moving is the WORST! Even if the move is an exciting or welcome one, the disruption to our regular routine is something felt by every member of our household. The stress of moving has even landed it on the list of top 5 most stressful life events - right up there with losing a job or divorce. Yikes!


But there is some good news if moving is on your horizon - Room to Breathe LOVES to help people move! One of our favourite projects is helping clients unpack after moving into a new home. We can set up functioning organizational systems right from the start, and you can breathe easier knowing that by the time we are done, everything in your home will have a place and the stress and time it takes to unpack will be dramatically reduced with our helping, expert hands.

If you would like to explore more about what this service could look like for your next move, please get in touch! We offer a FREE in home consultation to go over your needs and give you a better idea of how we can help. If you are looking for even more reasons to hire a professional organizer for your next move, check out this blog post detailing the benefits of what the Room to Breathe team can do to help you prepare.


And if you aren't moving any time soon, but still want to give your home a little love to make it feel like new again, we can help you with that too! Have a peek at our 'Tips for Downsizing' post or give us a shout - we would love to connect and see how we can simplify your everyday life.
 
Call Indianna at 587-228-6359
Email: indianna@roomtobreathecalgary.com

January 29, 2018

Welcome Amanda!

The Room to Breathe team is growing yet again! We are so thrilled to welcome Amanda Omelusik to our little family! Amanda is a bright light with a contagious smile and we are so excited to have her join us.


For Amanda, the most rewarding part of working with Room to Breathe is witnessing the incredible transformations that take place while organizing – not just within our physical spaces, but our emotional ones as well. Watching a home go from disorganized disarray to effortlessly functional, and the feelings of calmness and relief that accompany those transformations is what makes this work all the more meaningful. Amanda loves sharing her abilities and watching stress melt away as she helps you transition to a lighter, more intentional space.

When Amanda is not organizing, she can be found hiking in the Rocky Mountains, spending time at her family cabin, and hanging out with her furball, Tucker and husband Bruce. She also volunteers her time as a Troop Leader for a Rangers unit with the Girl Guides of Canada. Amanda holds a Masters degree in Criminology and Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice.

We are firm believers that our greatest strength lies in the consistency and cohesion of our team- that we can go much further together than we ever could on our own. And because of that guiding value, we have attracted some of the best organizers and wonderful human beings around. Welcome, Amanda! We can't wait to see where this next adventure takes us!

Contact Room to Breathe today to have Amanda, Indi or Kristen help you clear the clutter once and for all!


January 03, 2018

New Year | New You!

For many, January can feel like a bit of slump. Gone is the anticipation of holiday cheer, gifts, and the social gatherings that fill December, all quickly replaced by a seemingly endless number of days until summer. So much cold and dark can be tough, and the massive sugar hangover sure doesn't help.

But January also offers something pretty special- a clean slate. A fresh, unscribbled in calendar waiting for the addition of your exciting plans, rooms and surfaces decluttered of holiday knickknacks, garlands, and fallen pine needles, new resolutions, goals, and positive intention setting for the year ahead, and time- lots and lots of quiet, unscheduled time. 

Could 2018 be the year you resolve to get your home and life the most organized it's ever been? We would love to help you succeed! So with that goal in mind, here area few ideas to get started!


Adopt a New Rule
December inevitably leaves behind an influx of shiny new things that don't always have a proper home. Never has there been a better time to get our belongings in order - creating space for the new and parting ways with that which no longer serves us. 

One rule we love to challenge ourselves with: one item in = three items out.

The idea is simple- for every new item you receive, three items must be donated and passed along. What gifts did you received that can replace items you already own? What existing items do you own that you no longer utilize? What hasn't been touched over the last 3 months and could be of use to someone else? All great questions to get you started.

Continue the positive momentum of downsizing by attempting to abide by this rule throughout the entire year. Any new item that comes in, means three old items must go out. You can do it!

Establish a Tidying Schedule
Upwards of 70% of cleaning is actually just picking up stuff and returning it to where it belongs- Often, clutter is what really makes cleaning up a challenge. Having a simple tidying schedule can make the task seem much less daunting and can help to avoid things piling up.

Need some inspiration? We adore Homesong Blog's rhythm for cleaning - a thoughtful and carefully composed list of daily, weekly, and seasonal chores to tackle in bite-sized pieces - There is even has a downloadable weekly cleaning schedule you can print off and customize to keep everything flowing smoothly.

Image Source: Homesong Blog
Clear Your Files
Tax season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to see what you have, what pieces are missing, and make a space for the files that will be coming in in 2018. The same can be applied to any digital and computer files. Move anything that is no longer needed on to an external hard drive and create new virtual folder system for organized and efficient filing for all things 2018.

Dedicating the time and effort now will set you up for sweet success into the New Year.

Shake up your Cooking Routine
Meal planning can be a big undertaking, but January is a great time to make a plan. Take inventory of you cupboards, fridge, and freezer and see what you have on hand that can be used up or tested out.

Too many beans in the back of your cupboard? Google some new recipes. Want to learn how to cook a really delicious curry? Check out the cookbook selection at your local library, or ask a friend if they want to do a cookbook swap. Hoping to finally figure out how to utilize your slow cooker (or other new kitchen gadgets?) Ask friends one Facebook for tried, tested, and true recipes, or peek Pinterest for fresh inspiration. The ideas are endless, so take advantage of the slower pace and make extra batches to freeze for a later date.


What's Your Personal Limitation?
What is a task you truly dislike? you know- the thing that year after year ends up on your to-do list, and year after year is simply not getting done. Maybe its organizing the garage or keeping on top of household chores. Perhaps your home office is a dumping ground for everything that doesn't have an assigned home or you simply cant get on top of making meals as often as you would like. 

Identify what your personal limitation is and see if there is a solution to help take it off you plate. If your issue is making meals, perhaps a meal prep delivery service is something that will save you heaps in mental anguish and wasted food. If its a deep clean of the bathrooms, look at hiring a cleaning services to address that problem area, or if you find yourself unable to tackle the garage or other cluttered spaces, please give Room to Breathe a call! We offer a free, no obligation in home consultation, and would love nothing more than to help make your New Years dreams come true by finally getting things crossed off your list. 


Written by Jessica Thorburn - Our Vancouver-based Marketing and Administration Superstar.