Organize Your Home by Categories

If previous attempts to declutter your home have left you longing for a more permanent sense of order, it might be time to try a new trick. You’ll find that many of the creative tips in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo go against the standard solutions of the past, which is why they may be worth a shot.

In one section of her #1 New York Times best-selling guide that became an international sensation, Kondo recalls tidying her home when she was in junior high and admits it took her three years to come to the realization that you should sort by category not location. “The root of the problem lies in the fact that people often store the same type of item in more than one place,” she writes. “When we tidy each place separately, we fail to see that we’re repeating the same work in many locations and become locked into a vicious circle of tidying.”


To avoid this type of scenario, Kondo recommends organizing or tidying by category. For example, instead of putting your focus on a particular room or a specific drawer, she suggests setting goals like sorting through your clothes one day and your books the next. Kondo believes that one reason many people never fully succeed at tidying their homes is because there is simply too much stuff. And that’s a tough point to argue.

Though organizing your belongings by category typically contradicts the common steps taken by many professional organizers and home experts who tend to go room by room, there are some advantages. First, it always helps to find a new strategy when your former process falls short of being successful, especially long-term.


Another potential bonus of the author’s revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing is that it allows you to see what you have in each category, which for some could come as quite the surprise. For instance, if you keep your shoes in more than one location, it may be difficult to spot duplicates or dated pairs that can be donated or sold. The same can be said for the clothing you no longer wear that can be consigned for cash.


In her book, Kondo writes about the fact that she likes her clients to put all of their clothes on the floor, which helps them to see the sheer volume that they have compared to what they need and what they use. In addition, folding your clothes as opposed to hanging them can free up a lot of closet space and her way of folding them vertically so that each piece is visible is sheer genius. It can also help to prevent wrinkles while creating more room in your drawers for storage.


According to Kondo, a category that’s tough for people to part with is books. When deciding whether to keep books (and other items) she believes in asking, “Does this spark joy?” If there are simply too many books for you to focus, Kondo suggests dividing them into general (books you read for pleasure), practical (references, cookbooks, etc.), visual (photograph collections, etc.) and magazines. By touching each book, one at a time, you should be able to decide if it’s worth keeping.


Another category that people often struggle with is paper. Kondo believes there is nothing more annoying than papers and she says in her book that her basic principle for sorting them is to throw them all away. “I recommend you dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely,” she writes. This does not include papers with sentimental value, which she suggests sorting separately.

Whatever personal items seem to be bursting at the seams in your rooms, you can address them in a whole new way that may sound counterintuitive to what you’ve heard before, but this method could hold the key to getting and staying organized. In fact, sorting your home by categories might be just what the doctor ordered. Written by Jeanine Matlow. Photography by (clockwise from top left) ©, ©, ©iStockphoto. com/123ducu, ©

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OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

By: Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The number of homes sold nationally rose 11.3 per cent in November compared with a year ago but the picture varies significantly by region, said the Canadian Real Estate Association.

A major rebound in sales in the Greater Vancouver Area and continued growth in the Greater Toronto and Montreal regions propped up sales, while the Prairie cities of Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina saw declines.

Overall, there were 37,213 homes sold through CREA's MLS system, up from 33,437 in November 2018.

The increase in sales came as the national average price for a home sold in November was about $529,000, up 8.4 per cent compared with a year ago. Excluding Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, the average price was around $404,000, up 6.9 per cent compared with last year. The MLS home price index rose 2.6 per cent year over year to $638,300.

Price gains also saw regional variances, with the Greater Vancouver benchmark price down 4.59 per cent from a year ago and Prairie home prices also down, while Greater Toronto saw gains of 6.52 per cent, Greater Montreal had gains of 8.72 per cent, and Ottawa registered gains of 11.45 per cent.

"Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others," said Jason Stephen, president of CREA in the release.

In its updated outlook, the association says it expects home sales this year to total 486,800, while it says the national average price is on track to rise 2.3 per cent.

That compared with an earlier forecast for 482,000 home sales for 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase in the national average price.

Prices rose as the number of newly listed homes slid 2.7 per cent, driven primarily by fewer new listings in the GTA.

Nationally there is 4.2 months of inventory, the lowest recorded since the summer of 2007. The inventory, which represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, is well below the long-term average of 5.3 months.

For 2020, CREA says it expects home sales to rise 8.9 per cent next year to 530,000. The national average price is forecast to rise 6.2 per cent to $531,000.

TD economist Rishi Sondhi said he also expects rising sales in 2020 from job growth, population gains and a mild boost from government programs for first-time home buyers, though he notes there is some room for caution.

"This view rests on financial conditions remaining accommodative. The backup in bond yields since September, if sustained, could offer some downside risk to our forecast."

He said the recovery in home sales, especially helped by the Greater Vancouver Area's 55.9 per cent jump, would yet again support fourth quarter economic growth.


When you think of the best timing of selling your home, winter might not be the first season that comes to mind! Aside from the freezing temperature outside, people are often preoccupied with the holiday season! However, there are many reasons why you should consider selling your home during the winter.

If you want to sell your home during the winter but are hesitant, here are five reasons to do it!

1. The buyers are serious.

Unlike popular belief, demand does not really go that low during winter. And while it is not the peak buying season, the buyers that will encounter are much more serious and motivated. The buyers you will encounter during winter are often in a rush, are ready to make offers, and plan on moving in before or after the new year. This is a great advantage for sellers because you don’t have to waste your time with buyers who are just looking.

2. There Is less competition.

You won’t have that much competition if you sell your home during winter. Many people decide against listing their homes during winter and wait for Spring instead. With less competition, it will be easier for your listing to stand out. You’ll be able to have a higher chance at attracting buyers and selling your home much quicker and at a better deal for you.

3. Loans are processed quicker.

For lenders, winter is a time when the inventory is smaller and they have more time to process loans. Since loans can be processed more quickly than other seasons, your selling process will be much smoother and your road to closing will be faster. If you or your buyer is in a rush to close the home before the new year, your buyers will not have s problem processing their loans.

4. You can get better deals.

Since there is less competition and buyers are much more motivated during this season, you can definitely negotiate better deals with your buyers. According to Redfin, listings during winter actually sell faster and for more money. Make sure to stage your home, create a good and sound contract, and have it inspected so you can put a premium on its price. You can take advantage of serious buyers and try to sell your property at a higher price and better payment terms.

5. It’s a great way to start the year.

If you’ve been wanting to sell your home or if there’s an inevitable reason to do it, doing it before the start of the year is definitely the best time. The end of the year is the perfect time to let go of your property. It is the perfect timing for Spring where you’ll be able to move on and start anew without carrying any pieces of baggage from the year before.

Selling your home during the winter, whether it’s because of financial reasons, relocation, or if it’s an investment property you’ve been holding on to, is a decision that you will be thankful for when Springtime comes.

If you think that it’s best for you to wait for Spring or Fall to sell your home, you better think again. While there are many factors that can contribute to your listing being sold, winter can definitely be a good time to sell it if you give it a chance. Keep these five reasons in mind the next time you hesitate on selling a home during winter!