Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


Leave a comment

10 Garage Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle This Spring

lego-568039_960_720We feel like we are pretty safe in saying that spring has finally arrived in Greater Vancouver, even though it has been pretty wet so far. At least the snow is finished, and with cherry blossoms exploding everywhere and warmer weather even on cloudy days, it’s hard to be too bothered by the rain.

Of course, spring also means “spring cleaning.” It’s a tradition the origin of which is difficult to pinpoint. Nevertheless, it’s a smart thing to do when you own a home (no matter how big or small). Since we are experts in all things garage, and since this part of the house probably gets the least amount of attention, we thought it would be timely to draw attention to some spring cleaning maintenance tasks for the garage. By spending a little extra time at this time of year, you can save yourself hassle, grief and even more time the rest of the year.

1) Tidy up. Why do people spring clean the living areas of their home but neglect the garage? Spring is a great time to tackle the garage, too. Purge the space of items you don’t use or need anymore and take the time to organize everything else. Check out these spring garage cleaning tips from one of our previous posts: https://tailoredlivingvancouver.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/spring-cleaning-and-organizing-in-the-garage-is-easier-this-year/

2) Sweep and clean your entire garage floor. This is super important, because you probably dragged in all kinds of dirt, gravel and muck over the winter which isn’t good for your floors or for your vehicle’s tires.

3) Inspect your garage door. Are all of its parts in good working order or does anything need to be replaced? Give its moving parts (tracks, springs, hinges, rollers, etc.) a garagecleaning if needed by gently brushing away dirt and grease clumps with a soft-bristled brush and then lubricate them with a garage door lubricant.

4) Remove winter window coverings, if you have any.

5) Remove and replace worn weather stripping.

Optional and Periodic Garage Maintenance Tasks:

1) Patch holes and cracks in your garage floor.

2) Re-coat/re-seal your garage floor. The frequency with which you’ll need to do this depends on what your floor is made of and what kind of sealant (if any) is already on it. If it’s time for a new sealant, check out our exclusive PremierOne® Garage Floor Coatings. Depending on what type you choose, our coatings are guaranteed to last for a specific length of time, meaning you don’t have to reseal year after year.

painting-black-paint-roller3) Repair dents and nicks in drywall and repaint.

4) Have your garage door professionally inspected and make any repairs or parts replacements that are needed.

5) Conduct a full-out purging and re-organize your garage. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve tackled the clutter in your garage. Or, maybe you’ve been doing regular tidying up, but the accumulation of stuff has outpaced your ability to keep on top of being organized. Whatever your reasons, sometimes a garage interior reorganization is necessary in order to maintain your own sanity and keep clutter and accumulation under control.

If clutter is an ongoing problem in your garage, maybe it’s time for a complete garage storage overhaul. Tailored Living has hundreds of solutions and a plan that’s made just for you and the space that you have to work with. It doesn’t matter if your garage is small… Tailored Living can design solutions that perfectly fit the space you do have.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Five Most Common Objections to Getting a Free In-Home Consultation (And Why You Shouldn’t Listen to That Nagging Voice In Your Head)

tailored-living-design-processMaybe you’ve been thinking about getting your closet, garage, home office or laundry room made-over. Perhaps you are one who has been sitting on the fence for awhile, trying to decide whether to move forward on such a project. Or maybe you only just recently stumbled on Tailored Living at a local Home Show or on the Internet, or encountered an acquaintance who raved to you about her ultra-organized, super-efficient new closet and thought maybe you’d benefit from one too.

If you relate to any of these scenarios, you are the type of homeowner that Tailored Living had in mind when it designed its Free In-Home Consultation.

1) I don’t have time to sit down and listen to a long presentation. Don’t you hate it when you’re contacted by a salesman who talks you into a “short” in-home presentation, only to show up at the appointed time with a display board, an iPad with a 100-question survey, a product catalog and a giant box filled with samples (and “you simply MUST see them all,” he insists)? And suddenly you realize that by “short” he meant at least an hour, probably more, and you’re desperately grasping for excuses to get him to leave.

Tailored Living’s expert representatives know that your time is valuable, and they are committed to respecting that. After all, it’s a privilege to be invited into someone’s home as a guest, and our reps make gracious guests. We don’t come with a three-dimensional display board, a questionnaire or dozens of samples. It’s really just a congenial visit. No props, just ideas and suggestions. It only takes 15 minutes or less of your time (unless you get so excited about the possibilities that you invite us in for coffee). Not only that, but your representative is also your contractor, so he or she really knows what they are talking about when it comes to potential products, design and installation questions. There is no second-guessing, no empty promises, and no communication gap between rep and contractor.

2) There’s no such thing as “free.” There MUST be strings attached, or fine print or a hidden clause or something….. Tricking potential customers is NEVER good for business, no matter what that business is. There’s no fine print anywhere on our website, catalog or other marketing materials. “Free” really means free. No strings. You don’t have to do anything or buy anything if you don’t want to. We authentically appreciate the opportunity to see and talk about your home with you and we want to earn your trust.

3) I don’t want to be hassled by a high-pressure salesperson. Tailored Living’ reps are not salesmen (see point #1). They are owners and contractors whose genuine interest is to help you make living easier by getting better organized with custom solutions and systems for every individual or family. You will probably receive a follow-up phone call after your in-home consultation, especially if you’ve indicated an interest in a renovation. However, we won’t call if you ask us not to, and we won’t spam your email inbox. Remember, we want to build trust, so we’ll respect any contact requests that you make.

4) I can’t afford a renovation right now. We know that doing any kind of a home reno, even small ones, can be costly. However, many homeowners don’t realize that they can achieve a desired set of results at a lower cost simply by choosing more economical (but equally-functional) materials or accessories, or slightly altering a particular design feature. The only way to find out this information is through an in-home consultation. Additionally, Tailored Living doesn’t outsource the actual renovation work to a third-party, which also helps to keep costs lower than other companies in the market.befunky-collage-2

5) My closet/garage/house is so small there is nothing anyone can do to improve its storage capacity. There is no space too small that Tailored Living cannot transform into a fully-functional and highly efficient storage space. In fact, Tailored Living was founded on the philosophy of improving small spaces because they are usually the ones that need the most organizational help. (If you had ample space you probably wouldn’t have thought of us in the first place.) Because everything is custom-cut, shaped and designed to fit your space, size doesn’t matter at all.


Leave a comment

Five Home Organizing Mistakes NOT to Make in 2017

sign-1732791_960_720We’ve blogged about home organization and eliminating clutter before, but January is always a good time to revisit the topic. Did you know that every year, “get organized” falls somewhere on the top ten New Year’s resolutions list? We’re not just making this up, either. According to Nielsen, one of North America’s most well-known and reliable consumer statistics and information gatherers, “get organized” was #6 on the top ten list for 2015 (the most recent year for which such stats are available).

This tells us two things. One: there are a LOT of disorganized people out there, and TWO: most of them wish that they could be more organized, and some of them want it so badly they are willing to go to great lengths to make a real change.

So that’s why we decided to explore this topic again, because there is a good chance that YOU are one of those people! By the way, we get it. The struggle is real. Even the most organized people wish they could be more organized. In fact, many professional home organizers admit that they are not very organized in their own homes. So don’t sweat it, just check out this list of home organizing mistakes that we hope you’ll avoid in 2017, compiled from a variety of sources and home organization professionals:

1) Biting off more than you can chew. In other words, don’t set organization goals that are too big. In other words, instead of saying “this year I’m going to clean up the garage,” start with something more manageable, like “this year I’m going to get rid of all of the old paint cans in the garage and organize my tool box.” Not only is this more manageable, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment afterward that will make you actually want to move on to set a new goal.

clutter-360058_960_720

Break big jobs down into smaller parts.

2) Setting goals that are too broad. “Get more organized” is too broad a goal. Instead, think about what “get more organized” means to you. Would you like to spend less time hunting for lost papers on your desk? Maybe you wish your children’s closets didn’t have clothing in them from every size they’ve worn over the last five years. Maybe you just want to get into the habit of making your bed every morning. Setting several specific goals (keeping the previous tip in mind) instead of one broad one will help ensure success.

3) Buying more storage bins. The solution to clutter is not acquiring more things inside which to store that clutter. It might create the illusion of organization, but it’s really only compounding the problem, at best. At worst, it’s a sign of your denial that you may simply have too much stuff. (Hint: if you’re paying rent on a storage unit to house your extra stuff, you have too much.)

The first and most important step toward getting (and staying) organized is eliminating stuff that you really shouldn’t be keeping. Examples of such things include: books you’ll never read again, DVDs you’ll never watch again (it’s probably available for streaming or digital download anyway), clothes you and your family members haven’t worn in more than one year, toys your children no longer play with, old Christmas cards, items that you spent a lot of money on but have only used once or not at all (doesn’t matter what it is or how much it cost to purchase), things that you keep because someone you love gave it to you but you really don’t like it and/or never use it….. we could go on and on about this. But you get the picture. (If you have trouble parting with stuff, consider hiring a professional organizer for moral support.) Whatever you do, though, for the love of all things sane, DON’T BUY MORE STORAGE!

4) Going it alone. Maybe you are zealous about making a real change in 2017 when it comes to getting organized, but if your family/spouse isn’t on board, your plans are destined for failure. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to help you spend a whole Saturday going through boxes in the basement (although it would be extra nice if they did). What it does mean is that everyone who lives within the same walls as you needs to buy into the vision. If they don’t, they won’t follow your system because they just don’t care about it the way you do. Laying down the law might get you quick results in the short run, but your efforts will be lost after the passage of a few weeks.

Getting that family “buy-in” might mean sitting down together and you sharing your vision with them. Talk with them about some of the many benefits of getting organized (having things to give away to a charitable cause, having more space to play, being able to buy new things without worrying about where to put them, etc.). Ask them for their own thoughts on the subject as well as their organization ideas. Implementing some of their suggestions will also increase the chances that they will get on board with your vision.

5) Confusing “rearranging” with “reorganizing.” Sometimes, in an effort to get organized, home owners start moving things around. They rearrange the furniture, move a filing cabinet to another room, move the dishes from one cupboard to another, stack up all of the boxes in the garage, but at the end of the day, the house isn’t really any more organized. It’s just different.

PantryStorage-1Getting organized takes a lot of thought and pre-planning. Resist the urge to start shuffling furniture and boxes from one location to another. Instead, think about what your goal is, what means you have at your disposal to achieve that goal, and what kind of space you have to work with in order to be successful. Then act accordingly.

 

If you do have spaces in your home that just aren’t working for your lifestyle, consider getting some help from Tailored Living. This is a great time of year to think about getting a closet makeover. It will help you meet your organization goals, AND you’ll get a beautiful new closet. We can transform any size or style of closet into a pillar of organization and storage for your home.

Pull-down clothes rod.

January is a great time of year for a new custom closet.


Leave a comment

Resolving to Get Organized: The Clutter Audit

Anyone who has owned a home for more than a few years knows how quickly clutter can accumulate.  Often, it sneaks up on you until suddenly, one day, you’re hit with the reality that you’ve run out of room for all the STUFF.  You may wonder how you let things get the way they have and may even feel a little bit guilty for what appears to be an undisciplined loss of control.

First and foremost, it’s critical to understand that you are not alone.  Every home owner is confronted with this problem, on one scale or another, at some point in life.  The more family members and others you have living in your space, the more likely and quickly this problem is to develop.  So let yourself off the hook and resolve this new year that you’re going to take back control over your space and your stuff, starting with a clutter audit.

The clutter audit is comparable to a tax audit, but instead of looking for omissions and missing receipts, you’re going to be looking at places where clutter tends to accumulate in your home and why.

How to Conduct a Clutter Audit in Your Home

1) Identify clutter “hot spots.”  A hot spot is a place where clutter consistently piles up around your house.  They’re easy to identify because no matter how many times you’ve cleared clutter from these places in the past, with time the clutter reappears, again and again.  In many homes hot spots consist of desk tops, shelves, the corners of a room, the top of the piano or even the inside of a drawer (just because it’s hidden away doesn’t mean it’s put away).  Take some time (15 minutes is usually sufficient) to identify these spots, and we suggest that you even write them down on a list (or make a list in your smart phone).  Writing them down makes them tangible and real and, therefore, more likely to be dealt with.

2) Figure out why clutter accumulates in hot spots.  Now, evaluate those hot spots.  Why is it that the right hand side of your desk seems to become piled with papers, bills, kid’s homework, etc.?  Why are your family members throwing all their mittens and scarves on the floor of the closet?  Why do all your kids’ toys end up under the bed?

The most likely culprit in 95% of clutter hot spots has to do with a lack of a proper “home” for the items that comprise the clutter.  When you designate a dedicated “home” for each and every type of item in your home, you decrease the amount of accumulated clutter.

It’s also important to remember that clutter piles up in spots that are related to the type of clutter that’s accumulated.  There’s a reason why you don’t stack bills and homework on the bathroom shelf…. it’s simply more convenient to pile it on the desk where you pay your bills and your kids do their homework.  Designating a spot (one that’s close by) for these items is the first step toward reducing clutter.  Educating your family members is the second step.  This will likely mean that gentle reminders will be in order for several weeks or even months for everyone to put things where they belong.  You might fear you’re starting to sound like a broken record, but eventually your household members will get it, and soon your need to remind them to put things away will become less frequent.

3) Scale back.  Part of the reason that clutter accumulates is because you just plain have too much stuff.  Most home owners could live comfortably with only half of their current possessions.  So take some time to decide whether you really need all of the things you have.  If you don’t, get rid of them.

4) Prevent unneeded items from coming into your home.  Just because it’s on sale for 75% off doesn’t mean you really need it.  And just because someone offers you a free promotional mug doesn’t mean you have to take it.  Stop letting unneeded items into the house to begin with and you’ll prevent future clutter from ever occurring.

5) Conduct periodic follow-up audits.  Go over your home every three months or so and determine how effective your efforts at preventing clutter have been.  Is your strategy working?  Are there more improvements to be made?  Are family members buying into the effort and doing their part?  This process will help to ensure ongoing success and compliance.

Perhaps you need to create some better “homes” for your stuff in your home.  Adding shelving, cubbies, cupboards, baskets, containers, etc. can be very helpful in your quest to be clutter-free.  Consider a professional closet makeover or home office renovation, like the ones Tailored Living can provide.  In-home estimates are always free.  You might be surprised how organized we can help you become.