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Executive Cleaning and Home Organizing (ECHO), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Barbara Ann is the proud owner of Executive Cleaning Home Organizing (ECHO). In business since 2011, Barbara Ann has been helping clients de-clutter, downsize, organize and prepare their home before and after any life transition, including preparing for the change in season. More information about ECHO and the services the team offers can be found at  Or on Facebook @echo2011. Follow on Instagram at #execuclean.


Barbara Ann has put together a helpful list of things to do, or not to do when preparing a home for these tasks. Enjoy!


1. When you purge your closets and cabinets - be ruthless! Ask yourself "Will I ever wear these jeans again?" If you haven't worn something in the past year ... get rid of it. Donate it, sell it, or throw it away. Clothes that you haven't worn in a year won't magically become in style again, or make you feel amazing. Tip: sometimes it is VERY helpful to purge with a friend who can give you an honest opinion.

Purge your closets and cabinets

2. When you finish purging, pack your 'out of season' clothes,  shoes/accessories into separate boxes.


3. Use leaf bags. Sometimes they are called yard waste bags. They are reinforced brown paper and stand up properly when opened. Use these to pack away clothing, or shoes. Use dryer sheets to keep shoes and boots smelling fresh, and place them at the bottom of the leaf bag.  Clothing and heavy jackets can easily be folded and fit on top.


Then, fold down the sides of the bags to keep clothes free from dust and stack them in a corner. The bags are reliable and absorb some moisture and are great for packing up clothes when garment bags or garment boxes (sometimes $50 a box!!!) are not within your budget.  Leaf bags are easier to carry and move around the house. They can easily stack in a closet if there is enough height.

Pack your belongings into separate boxes.

4. Measure your floor space (or if you can, get a copy of the floor plan or blueprints). Then, measure your current furniture and try to imagine a new layout or re-use of space. Now that we have winter boots to wear, heavier jackets and just more clothing in general, maybe a room re-configuration will provide more space. Also, now that some of us (myself included!!) will curl up on the couch during a winter storm, or on a cold day, maybe moving furniture around will create a more cozy feel. Go ahead ... be daring ... move your sofa or favourite chair closer to the fireplace or t.v. ... and in the kitchen, well we won't tell on you ... It's all about your space and how you live in it. More time is spent inside during the winter months.


5. Finally, when organizing your home, your tasks are always made more manageable when you are aware of your garbage collection day. Try to straighten out your home the day before your garbage and recycling day so that as you purge and tidy, refuse can be put straight to the curb and forgotten about. Plus, you won't be tempted to open up that garbage bag you just threw your favourite (yet old and worn!) slippers in!  If things are immediately at the curb, you will see instant results. Having bags of purged items sit around for a few days is difficult. Moreover, wayyyyy too tempting if you are a pack rat. You see your results instantly if garbage isn't hanging around.


Good luck out there!  

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