Winter Organization Ideas for your Home

Take the Minimalist Approach

If you are feeling overcrowded in your home, disorganized or just want to reduce the amount of clutter, why not take a minimalist approach?  Over the course of a year (or many years) we tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary items that can begin to take up the limited space in your home.  Set a pre-holidays goal to either reorganize or remove all your excess items.  To start, make three piles that include:

  • A donation pile for the items that you are no longer using, have outgrown or just want to move on.
  • A throw away pile for the items that have either worn out, are broken or are no longer of any value or worth.
  • A recycle pile for the excess paper and electronic items or used batteries that cannot be put into a landfill.

Take the time to go through each room in your home thoroughly and be honest with yourself.

Here’s the Deal:

If you haven’t used an item in a year and it is not seasonal, it probably needs to be put in one of the three piles.

Go Green

A greener approach to your overall lifestyle is a great goal to set, no matter what the time of year.  A greener home will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but it may also save you some money in the long run.  Here are some very easy ways to become more energy efficient and save some money this winter.

  • Turn down the thermostat. Try turning down the heat when you go to bed or when you leave the house.  Even turning the temperature of your home down a few degrees will save you money on your next heating bill.
  • Turn off the lights in the rooms that you are not using. This simple tip will save you money and energy.
  • Turn down your hot water tank by a few degrees. You won’t even notice the difference and again, this simple trick will save you money on your next heating bill.

Set a Schedule

Time management is always a popular goal.  While you are setting schedules for yourself, why not set a schedule for your home as well?  A weekly cleaning schedule is a great way to designate family chores and keep your home in tip-top shape.  Try to break your home cleaning schedule into two parts:

  • Daily chores – tasks such as dishes, dirty clothes and hanging up or putting away clothes can all go under this list or schedule.
  • Weekly chores – vacuuming, cleaning the toilet and bathtub or shower, organizing or picking up a room and taking out recycling etc. can all go under this category.

By setting a schedule and creating lists, you should be able to enjoy a clean and well-organized home.  Make it fun and make it an entire family activity.

This December make sure to set a few goals for your home – you will not be disappointed.

Pre-Holiday Cleaning Tips

After you have de-cluttered and organized your home right before the holidays, it is a good idea to get it in tip top shape before the crowds come and your house becomes a clutter.  Even though this year, possibly less crowds may come, it is still a wonderful idea to do a pre-holiday clean so you can pour that cup of eggnog and just enjoy your tree.

Clean Those Carpets

Pre-holiday cleaning is more than just a tidy onceover; it should be treated as the opportunity to really get your home as clean as possible, and a great place to start is with your carpets.  Give them more than just a quick vacuuming (remember: no simple onceovers for pre-holiday cleaning.)

Hire a company or rent a steam cleaner, and really give your carpets a deep clean.  You really should try to steam clean your carpets twice a year, perhaps in the spring and right before the holidays will keep them looking like new.  If you have rented your steam cleaner, take full advantage of it and clean your upholstery as well.

Mop Those Floors

Once you have cleaned your carpets, take the pre-holiday cleaning into your kitchen and anywhere else where you may have linoleum or hardwood.  A proper mopping will not only prevent dirt from being tracked onto your newly cleaned carpets, but it will also provide a nice base to guard against all the holiday traffic.  Make sure to use some type of a scuff guard or buffing agent when you mop your floors to provide that extra layer of protection!

Scrub Those Windows

How often do you clean your windows?  If you cannot answer that question, then now is definitely as good a time as any to clean them.  They’ll be their cleanest when you use a non-streaking agent to make sure they are as spotless as possible.

Take Your Cleaning Outside!

Once you are satisfied with how the inside of your home looks, take your pre-holiday cleaning outside.  You’ll want to get your doormat as clean as possible, and remember, this mat is the first line of defense against the outdoors, so the cleaner it is means the less that dirt and other debris will be tracked into your home.

This is by no means is an exhaustive pre-holiday cleaning list, but it does highlight some of the important areas that may have been neglected over the summer months.  Use these tips as a guideline to help get your home spic-and-span for the holidays.  Happy cleaning!

Decorating Your Niagara on the Lake Home this Holiday Season

If you have your home on the market, are thinking about it or are just wanting to get into the holiday spirit, here are some decorating ideas from NOTL real estate.

The holiday season provides homeowners a welcomed pass when it comes to staging. After all, it is the holidays, when even those who are far from interior designers make an effort to decorate their home. You will probably find that staging during this time of the year is very easy—decorate your home as you normally would, for the most part. Here are some tips for staging your house for the real estate market this holiday season.

Stay Neutral

Though using a nice, winter themed color pallet is encouraged, the best designs are those that are appealing to a large variety of potential buyers. You should not use any colors that are not traditional for the season, such as pink, orange or black. One can never go wrong by sticking with the traditional colors of red and green, adding a bit of shimmering gold, or bringing the winter inside with pastel blues and silver. Also, avoid using any unusual decor items this year that some buyers might find off-putting—such as your extensive collection of Frosty the Snowman figurines.

Create Comfort

There are few things better than snuggling up on your couch with a lovely throw and a warm cup of tea on a cold winter day. Spark a craving for this action by creating a welcoming feel to your home. Strategically place throw-blankets, light the fireplace when it is available and use light to your advantage by setting the mood to relaxing warmth. Do not forget to bake a batch of your favourite holiday cookies before a big showing. Those scrumptious treats, couples with fresh hot tea, will be greatly appreciated by your shoppers and add to your home’s overall appeal.

Avoid Over-Decorating

Keeping your staging simple is always the best route. Avoid over-decorating by leaving some details for next year when your home is not up for sale. Too much decor can make your home appear cluttered and might take away from its overall appeal. If you are having trouble with seeing unnecessary touches, bring in a friend or family member who will give you an honest opinion about your holiday staging. Also, be sure that you do not create any potential hazards in your home. Your train set is nice, but your guests could easily trip over unseen sections.

Skip the Tree When Staging Your Niagara on the Lake Real Estate

If you have made the decision to place your home up for sale this holiday season, congratulations, as winter is a great time to sell Niagara on the Lake real estate. So many eager buyers are enjoying the crisp, cool air and eagerly anticipating spending the holidays in their new home.

Getting your property ready for the market can be quite stressful. There are repairs to be made, packing to do and house hunting for yourself. Not to mention, you must also maintain your career and home life. Bringing in a Christmas tree will only add unnecessary stress to your already long list of stressors. Here are some easy alternatives to that messy tree that might have you changing your traditional holiday decor.

If you are not looking to see and just looking for some fresh, new decorating ideas, here are some of our best.  Maybe your small home is too small for a tree, maybe you want to change it up this year and just get into the festive decorating, but not take up half your home with a cumbersome tree. Here are some alternative ideas.

Calendar Tree

An advent calendar is both useful and beautiful. The days through the holidays often fly by, especially when selling your home has your attention. Rather than cluttering your beautifully staged home with a Christmas tree, create your own advent calendar on a wall in your home. Constructing this calendar into the shape of a tree will be a touch that your potential buyers appreciate. Skip those annoying tree bristles, but not the holiday cheer.

Rustic Step Ladder

This idea is perfect for those who love to bring the outdoors inside through the holiday season. If your home is more compact, or if you would just like an additional seasonal touch for your interior, you will enjoy this version of the traditional Christmas tree. Start with a step ladder. You may place this ladder on a sled, if one is available. Fill the rungs of your ladder with fake Christmas tree branches in the color of your choice. You may add other decorations as well, such as a lovely ribbon or holly.

Painted Tree

Butcher paper and white paint is all that you need to make a cute rendition of a Christmas tree that your potential buyers will find ingenious. You do not need to be an artist. In fact, the more abstract, the better. Simply paint your version of a tree onto your butcher paper, however large you choose. A frame will complete this design, then you hang your work of art on the wall of your choice.

Tomato Cage Tree

Your springtime garden accessories can also be useful in the winter. Turn a tomato cage upside down, pulling in the prongs until you have a nice cone shape. Wrap this construction with your choice of Christmas lights. Decorate with additional details if you feel that your creation is in need.

Sell Your NOTL Real Estate this Season

Winter makes staging your NOTL home easy, all thanks to the holidays. Rather than stressing over the latest trends, simply fill your home with holiday cheer that potential buyers will enjoy. Skipping the tree and using an alternative will make your staging even easier.

Now that your home is cleaned, organized, and decorated it’s time to hit the events and sights (in a socially distant and safe way, of course) and enjoy the time of the season.

Celebrating the Holidays in Niagara on the Lake

The weather has changed and cool fall days are now just a distant memory. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, one can’t help but feel that Christmas and all of its grandeur is just around the corner. In Ontario, there may be no better place to ring in the holiday cheer and festivities than in Niagara on the Lake. As the premier real estate agents in Niagara on the Lake, we would like to fill you in on some of the great holiday events that will be taking place this holiday season.

Sights and Lights

Niagara on the Lake is famous for its amazing Christmas light displays and its ability to bring the Christmas magic to life. Make sure to take your time and enjoy a stroll around to enjoy some of the most breathtaking light displays a town can offer. While you are strolling around the town centre or through some of its more picturesque neighbourhoods, be sure to stop in and visit some of the vendors who are responsible for turning Niagara on the Lake into this winter wonderland.

One such vendor is the oldest Canadian year-round Christmas vendor. The “Just Christmas” emporium has been in operation for over 30 years and offers over 5,000 different and unique Christmas items. Their most popular item is their personalized glass Christmas balls. Each one is hand painted and is as unique as you are. So make sure to stop by and marvel at everything Christmas in this unique store.

Another must see in the region is the CAA Festival of Lights. This festival runs along the Niagara Parkway and into Niagara Falls. With over 3 million lights and over 5 kilometers of holiday displays, this is a must-see holiday tradition. Fireworks accompany this dazzling light festival to help take the Festival of Lights to a whole other level. The festival of lights runs until January 31st, so make sure to fit it somewhere into your busy holiday schedule.


Some of the wineries in the region also play host to some great holiday festivities. Stocking Days is a great event that includes all the wineries in the region. Stocking Days allows a unique opportunity to sample and purchase some of the best wine the region has to offer.

These bottles of wine make great Christmas gifts or can become a new Christmas tradition in your household.  Whatever you choose, you cannot go wrong with local Niagara on the Lake wine. Please visit their website for more information and which dates your favourite winery is hosting their holiday events.

These are just a few of the many festivals and events that are taking place at Niagara on the Lake. Be sure to include Bosley Real Estate on your holiday itinerary. Who knows you may just have started a fun and exciting new holiday tradition!