Tuesday, 30 April 2019

22 Tips to Get Organized


While I try to keep things pretty organized all year long, there’s just something about spring that pushes me into high gear and motivates me to organize and purge everything!
If you’re feeling the same way, here are 22 simple ideas to get you started!

1. Initiate monthly purges.

This list is not in any specific order; however, I did put Monthly Purges first for a reason. I’m a HUGE fan of regular maintenance, and monthly purging is a great way to stay on-top of your clutter. 

2. When in doubt, throw it out.

…my favorite phrase whenever I’m questioning something. If I don’t love it, need it, use it, or want it — I throw it out!

3. Focus on one room / area at a time.

Work on one specific area and don’t stop until that area is finished. You will most likely find several items that don’t belong in that area, but simply put them in a box or bin and deal with them later. If you leave the space to put those items away, you’ll probably get distracted and overwhelmed with too many projects.

4. Find a system that work for you — there is more than one right way.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what system will work for you…but just keep trying. Staying organized will be SO much easier when you find the right system for you and your family — I promise!

5. File your papers.

Ok, so I’m obsessed with organizing and filing our paperwork, but only because I know how much easier it is to find everything I need, when I need it. Plus, it took me about 15 minutes to round up everything we needed to do our taxes!

6. Make a place for clothes that needs to be fixed.

Just this past week I had 4 buttons come off different coats and shirts. I didn’t have time to sew them on right away, but I also didn’t want to lose the buttons or simply put the items back in my closet. So I put them in a basket near my sewing stuff so I can fix them when I have time.
If you bring your items away to be fixed, then put that basket or bag in your car and bring it away the next time you’re out.

7. Go through one box, shelve, drawer, bin, cabinet at a time.

When we moved, I really wanted to unpack as quickly as possible so I started going through all the boxes at the same time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything, and our house was pure chaos! I quickly realized that it would be much easier to focus on one box at a time. Before I knew it, all the boxes were empty!

8. Don’t let your emotions win.

As you set out to purge and get more organized, try to leave your emotions out. If you have trouble with this, ask a non-emotional friend to help you out!

9. Make your bed — every day!

Want 10 reasons why?
1. A nicely made bed usually prevents you from going back to bed and wasting valuable time!
2. It gives you a sense of accomplishment first thing each morning.
3. It’s a great way to show off your bedding, which you probably paid good money for.
4. It makes your room look so much more inviting than if you leave it unmade.
5. It INSTANTLY de-clutters your room — even if there’s a bunch of clutter in the closet or under the bed.
6. A “made bed” provides a great surface for folding laundry or other tasks.
7. You can make your bed even if you’re half asleep — and you just might be!
8. It’s a great habit to model for your children {who should also make their beds}
9. It prevents dust and dirt from getting under the covers.
10. It’s a quick and easy way to simplify and organize the year ahead! 

10. Do a few minutes every night before bed or every morning before work.

Seriously, 15 minutes a day will add up to over 90 hours in the course of a year. Do you need more convincing?

11. Tackle your junk drawer.

If you’re like me, you open your junk drawer several times each day {yes, I have a junk drawer…but it IS organized} And since I open that drawer often, it feels great to open an organized drawer every time!

12. Make to-do lists every day.

I almost always “map out” my day the night before. 

13. Get your family involved.

Even small children can help — and most times, they will be more likely to KEEP things organized if they are involved in the process. Make it a game and offer rewards. 

14. Keep a basket in your car for car clutter.

I keep a small basket in the front seat of my car and carry it in the house every time I get home. I empty out the trash and clutter and then fill it with anything that needs to go back into the car the next day.

15. Barter with a friend.

Make organizing fun by working with a friend. She helps you, you help her, and then you both go out for coffee afterward!

16. Use organizing containers you already have.

Organizing does NOT have to be expensive. Get creative and think outside the box… literally! You probably have a bunch of unused organizing tools lying around your house. They just need to be re-purposed.

17. Create a place for all your tax papers.

This does not have to be anything fancy. Simply designate a box, bin, drawer, or file for ALL this year’s tax papers. Then, when tax season comes around next year, you’ll be prepared!

18. Don’t let junk mail come into your home home.

Put a recycle bin in your kitchen…or better yet, in your garage and purge all junk mail BEFORE you set it down.

19. Deep clean one room each week.

Part of my spring “organizing” routine involves spring “cleaning”. I find that the easiest way for me is to go through one room or area each week. I dust, vacuum, move furniture, purge, and refresh the entire room and then I’m done for the week.Unless you live in a massive house, this should only take a few weeks!

20. Clean out your wallet and purse.

I actually just did this last night — and I almost always try to keep my purse very organized. It’s so nice to be able to find everything I need without digging and searching for several minutes.

21. Utilize your freezer.

During this busy time of year, it’s even harder to find the time to cook a meal every night. So I tend to rely on my freezer even more.
There are so many different foods you can prepare ahead and freeze, which will save you a bunch of time {and money} and still allow you to eat a healthy meal as a family.

22. Vow not to procrastinate!

Ok, it’s your turn. What are you going to do first??


Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area! 604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca 

                                                                This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Monday, 29 April 2019

3104 939 Homer Street, Vancouver BC

New Listing
3104 939 Homer Street, Vancouver BC
2bed+Solarium | 2bath | 907sqft | $898,000
Contact Carmen for further details 604-218-4846

Sunday, 21 April 2019

19 Fun Facts About Easter You Probably Didn't Realize


Did you know these 19 facts about the Christian holiday turned commercial powerhouse?
1. The tallest Easter egg chocolate was made in Italy in 2011. It stood at 10.39 meters and weighed an astounding 7,200 kg.
2. In the US, only 12 of the 50 states recognize Good Friday as a holiday.
3. The art of painting eggs is called pysanka, which originated in Ukraine. It involves using wax and dyes to color the egg.
4. The term Easter gets its name from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess who symbolizes the hare and the egg.
5. The exchange or giving of Easter eggs actually dates back to before Easter and the giving of eggs is actually considered a symbol of rebirth in many cultures.
6. There used to be a tradition churches observed that resembled the game of "hot potato." Here, the priest would toss a hard boiled egg to one of the choir boys.
The boys would toss the egg amongst themselves and when the clock struck 12, whomever had the egg was the winner and got to keep the egg.
7. Peep peep… did you know Americans buy more than 700 million marshmallow Peeps during Easter? This makes Peeps the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
8. Americans consume more than 16 million jelly beans during this holiday. That is enough jelly beans to circle the globe not once, not twice, but three times.
9. Are you an ears, arms or tail person? Seventy-six percent of people eat the ears on the chocolate bunny first, 5 percent go for the feet and 4 percent for the tail.
10. During the holiday, more than 90 million chocolate bunnies, 91.4 billion eggs and 700 million Peeps are produced each year in the United States alone.
11. Next to Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy-consuming holiday of the year. Good thing they are almost six months apart, perfect for your yearly dentist check-ups!
12. An estimated $14.7 billion is spent in total for Easter in the US.
13. The Easter egg is said to symbolize and represent joy, celebration and new life.
14. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ; it is the oldest Christian holiday and one of the most important days of the year.
15. Half the states in the United States banned the dyeing of chicks on Easter; however, Florida recently overturned this law and now prevents the dyeing of all animals.
16. Not only did Florida overturn the dyeing of animals, but the state also held the largest Easter egg hunt, where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs.
17. The White House of tradition of the Easter Egg Roll started back in 1878, with President Rutherford B. Hayes!
18. Workers in Birmingham, who make the famous Cadbury Creme Egg, produce more than 1.5 million egg delights a year.
19. The idea of the Easter bunny giving candies and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the middle ages.
No matter how old you are or where you are in the world, Easter is a fun family tradition that never gets old.
From the Easter egg hunts to the taking your first bite into that chocolate bunny, it is not only a special religious holiday that marks an end to Lent, but one that represents the resurrection of Christ, too.
For those who aren't so religious, Easter marks a long weekend, filled with fun.


Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area! 604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca 

                                                                This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Monday, 15 April 2019

15 two-tone kitchen cabinet combos you’ll want to try

Kitchens have become more than just functional spaces to make a meal: they have evolved into rooms that not only encourage creativity in cooking, but in design. Take a look on our kitchen cabinet combos to get inspiration for your next kitchen upgrade. 

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NOTE: white and wood pair well with every color.

1. Yellow and white

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2. Blue-gray and white

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3. Walnut and white
4. Soft gray and black

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5. Navy blue and white
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6. Persimmon and white

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7. Bubblegum pink and white

8. Olive green and wood

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9. Robin’s egg blue and white

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10. Hunter green and white

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11. Classic black and white

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12. Pewter and charcoal gray

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13. Natural wood and black

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14. Sage green and white

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15. Dark teal and white

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area! 604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca 

                                                                This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

20 Things Everyone Should Do Before Leaving for Vacation

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It’s getting to be that time of the year once again. The weather is starting to improve, school breaks are starting to take place, and seemingly everyone is beginning to dream about taking the long-awaited (and well-deserved) vacation.

If you’re about to head out for your vacation, then it’s important that you prepare yourself. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re bringing everything that you need while you’re away from home… But, before you even set foot outside of your front door, there are some things you should tend to on the home front.

In the list below about 20 things that absolutely everyone should do before they leave on their vacation. Hopefully you already know to do many of these things, but even so it never hurts to have a friendly reminder. And, for all of you out there that always worry that you left the stove on or something of that manner, then these are definitely things you’ll want to take care of…

1. Clear Out Your Wallet 

It’s time to clean out that George Costanza wallet that you’ve been carrying around for all of these years!

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2. Need them All?

Do you need to bring every credit card you have on vacation? If not, it may be best to leave a few of them at home.

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 3. Hold the Mail            

When robbers see mail stockpiling in a box, they know that’s a green light. Get the post office to hold your mail before you leave.

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4. Photographs of Travel Documents

Protect yourself by keeping a few pictures of your travel documents on your smartphone.

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5. Email Them Too

In fact, in case you lose your smartphone, you may wish to email photographs of your travel documents to yourself too!

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6. Call the Bank

Especially if you’re traveling far away, make sure your bank knows. Otherwise, you might have access to your account suspended, which is never fun.

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7. Reading Materials

Don’t overpay for reading material at the airport! Head out to a magazine rack before you leave.

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8. Load Up Your Tablet

In fact, if you have a tablet, then there’s no reason to pay for physical books and magazines. Load that tablet of yours right up!

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9. Wash the Sheets

Give yourself a great home to return to by taking the time to wash your sheets and make the bed before departing.

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10. Settle the Bills

Nothing’s worse than coming home to find one of your utilities has been turned off… So, pay those bills before you leave!

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11. Automatic Payments

In fact, if you really want to make your life easier, then finally get around to arranging those automatic payments.

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12. Clean the Refrigerator

Coming home to a stinky refrigerator is the worst. Clean out everything that will expire while you’re away on vacation.
13. Empty the Trash

Speaking of not wanting to come home to nasty smells, make sure the garbage bins are all empty before you leave!

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14. Unplug Appliances

Appliances still draw power when they’re off and plugged in. So, unplug those appliances while you’re gone.

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15. Switch It Off

Make sure that anything that can’t be unplugged is switched off before you leave.

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16. The Work Calendar

Get a jump on what you’ll be returning to when you’re done with your vacation by updating your work calendar before you leave.

17. Automated Email Response

After you’re through sorting your work calendar out, it’s time to type up that automated email response that means vacation is here!

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18. Checklist Time

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything? Make a checklist of what you need to bring before you start packing…

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19. Check Your Checklist

And remember that checklist is only good if you use it… So, double-check yourself as you’re packing!

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20. Check the Stove

Come on, you did't really think I'd let you go without this time - old advice. Double-check that the stove is turned off!

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Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area!   604.218.4846 & www.carmenleal.ca

Vancouver Realtor-Carmen Leal

                                                                 This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.