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10 Aug 2017
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ARTIST IN FOCUS: The Moose is Loose! Charles Pachter talks shop

Visual artist Charles Pachter shares the secret of his success (which is no real secret), Queen on Moose, and the art of shameless promotion.

By Guinevere Pura – Blogger, Communications Professional and Photographer

Well known Canadian artist, Charles Pachter, sometimes described as Canada’s Andy Warhol, calls himself shameless.  Why?  Because he says that signing a commercial deal with Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)  is way more important to him than having his paintings shown at the National Gallery of Canada.

At 74, Charles Pachter, hasn’t lost any steam.  His controversial 1973 portrait of Queen Elizabeth on moose-back – satirizing Elizabeth as the queen of Canada –  gave him instant fame and shame and his sense of fun, and his vigour hasn’t slowed him down.

One of Pachter’s work on HBC’s products

 

Me and Charles, August 2017

I interviewed the artist last spring and had the opportunity to visit his downtown Toronto Studio and home, the Pachter Hall & Moose Factory this August.  Pachter produces at least 50 paintings a year, which are sold to many collectors across the country.  He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999 and promoted to officer in 2011 for his outstanding achievement in the arts, and his dedication to serving his community and the country.  Despite many years of high recognition and enormous sales and praise, no Pachter painting has yet been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, and says he doesn’t care.  The curators in large galleries are of a different breed.  Perhaps the kind that may not appreciate Pachter’s sense of humour, fun or controversy expressed in some of his paintings.  Non-the-less, he is admired by art collectors and enthusiasts across the nation.

Being an artist for collectors than a national gallery helped build Pachter’s reputation among buyers and made him financially stable.  “What’s more important is that the painting matches the curtains or your couch,” he says.  His philosophy of making art for the client has steered him clear of the traditional “starving” role. And treating your art like a product rather a piece of your soul can likely feed your soul much better.  Selling a painting to a large retailer such as the Hudson’s Bay Company for example, can grant an artist a pretty penny and plenty of exposure.  It worked for Pachter.

Applying for grants and waiting for a response will not often bring financial gain, nor will it make you famous.  Promoting art like a commercial product can do both.  “Canada is not so sophisticated at making stars,” he says, commenting on the Canadian art market, “I don’t want to be the Lady Gaga of the United States and besides, it’s more fun to be a big fish in a little pond.”

 

This dedicated artist gave me three points of advice to share with emerging artists:
  1. Find a good support system. “I have my followers and people who like what I do here in Canada.”  In addition to his loyal fans, his supporting family knew he was ‘special’ and put him in art classes at age 10.  His mother often joked about the time he painted the walls with own waste as a two-year-old.  Hi Nanny was furious, he recalls. “I had nothing else to paint with.  Since then we all knew that I was going to be an artist.”
  2. “Shamelessly promote yourself by following the 10/90 rule – 10% work and 90% promotion.” Pachter is a relentless promoter and also has private agents who promote him.  Early in his career, he posted ads in the Globe and Mail and met potential clients face to face.
  3. Don’t give up. “It can take three to four decades of consistent hard work to reach even a small level of success.”

 

If artists could add a touch of Pachter’s vigour, and vitality to their portfolio, it might give them a better chance of financial gain in the tough Canadian art world.


More of Pachter’s work can be purchased by appointment at Pachter Hall & Moose Factory,

22 Grange Ave., Toronto M5T 1C7

647-239-1700


23 Jul 2015
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New Finds New Friends at the Leslieville Flea

You may find what you’re looking for at the Leslie Flea

By Guinevere Pura

 

I enjoy walking in outdoor festivals or going to local boutiques shops to support local business and artists. Though it was a sweltering 30+ºC this past July 19th at the Ashbridges Estate in which the Flea was located, it was worth going. I had my hefty Canon with me and decided to shoot the vendors’ products that caught my eye. There are such great finds that can add that fine detail to your living space , office, or retail space.  Conversational pieces found at the Flea can bring some nostalgia to any room.  I got some lovely items and  was pleased with the shots I took.  I also met some friendly people during my visit to the Flea
Below are just some of the few vendors that caught my eye:

ATTIC & RHOAD
atticandrhoad.com
Miriam Karanja’s goods are not just good – they’re awesome. Intrigued by heirloom pieces, Karanja transforms these fine pieces into functional modern pieces of art for your living space. I confess I purchased two of her items. And I love them.

Attic & Rhoad Runners

Attic & Rhoad
Runners

Attic & Rhoad Baskets

Attic & Rhoad
Baskets

ALL THAT PATINA
www.facebook.com/allthatpatina
www.pintrest.com/allthatpatina
www.instagram.com/allthatpatina

Todd Ostaszewicz, master restorer and carpenter can transform and restore anything old to bang spanking new. His prices are quite reasonable, so much so, I purchased an item from him. And despite the fact it was a heater I happen to buy in mid July, the sweltering heat didn’t stop me. Can’t wait for the cooler weather.

All that Petina Top view of Heater circa 1920'ish

All that Petina
Top view of Heater circa 1920’ish

All that Petina School Desk Chair

All that Petina
School Desk Chair

All that Petina Detail of Desk Chair

All that Petina
Detail of Desk Chair

ODD LOT
Find him on social media as Tony Kotowick
Gorgeous refurbished pieces, from brass feathers to Leslieville signs, Tony Kotowick stuff is something you must look out for. This vintage to modern twist on his work can make any modern home homier.

Odd Lot Leslieville Signs

Odd Lot
Leslieville Signs

Odd Lot Pans

Odd Lot
Pans

Odd Lot Feathers

Odd Lot
Feathers

RETRODROMME
www.etsy.com/ca/shop/RetroDromme
Stephano’s cool funk sound in his booth, amidst the retro ‘60s items in his collection, I couldn’t help myself but to stop by. The teak furniture is in great condition and I loved much of his glassware.

RetroDromme Cups

RetroDromme
Cups

RetroDomme Teak Magazine Holder

RetroDomme
Teak Magazine Holder

SMALL BROWN DOG
smallbrowndogcompany@gmail.com

I just adore the over sized rulers! They remind me of the rulers I had when I was in elementary school. That’s is on my next shopping list for my growing little girl. I can’t wait to to measure her. Mima Micic’s work is simple modern and whimsy enough for any little girl or boy’s room. She gets what kids want, especially with a little one herself.

IMG_0042

Small Brown Dog Measuring Sticks Mima and her little one

Small Brown Dog
Measuring Sticks
Mima and her little one

EQUSS MARKS THE SPOT
As a former Visual Merchandiser, I zoomed in right to her dress forms. In mint condition and at a good price, it’s worth it. Looking forward to seeing them again for more great finds.

Equus Marks the Spot Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot
Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot Dress Form

Equus Marks the Spot
Dress Form

Ah…a pleasant day at the Leslieville Flea. There are a ton of amazing pieces that can personalize your home. The pieces you buy reflect you and your personality. Make your home all the more yours by collecting nostalgic finds that makes you, next time at the Leslieville Flea.


23 Jul 2015
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Artist Focus: Sculptographer, Anna Church

'Gentlewoman' Anna Church

‘Gentlewoman’
Anna Church

Sculptographer? What is that you ask? It made perfect sense when I first saw Anna Church’s work at the 20th Annual Riverdale Artwalk this past June. It made even more sense when I finally sat down with her in her Toronto home in July. Though the word hasn’t yet been put in the Oxford dictionary, it will in due course. A Sculptographer coined by one of Church’s colleagues, is a person who composes objects whether it be found or made, into a harmonious presentation, then captured by a camera – and as a trained and very skilled prop stylist, picking up a camera to shoot her work made her exactly such.

Now, why should you ask, would I be blogging about an artist on a property photography site? Anna Church’s work is a hybrid of craft and fine art. It’s conceptual as much as it is aesthetically appealing that connects with art collectors and other fine artists. And then there’s this craftsmanship that connects well with interior decorators, designers and crafts people. She walks on this fine line with such grace, it complements the two worlds of art and craft in which not many people can achieve.

And not to mention Church’s art can make a room all that more stunning. Not only for its aesthetics, but also for the emotional, intellectual and personal connection one can experience with her art. And by placing her art in a room, it can make a room all the more comfortable for the viewer.

IMG_4258

As a trained visual merchandiser and prop stylist myself, I was in awe by what I saw in her home. And as visual merchandisers, we are trained to create a strong visual impression once a shopper enters just three feet into a store. She nailed it for me at less than a foot: weathered metal lockers situated in her foyer, hanging buntings and a what seemed to be a nautical-type flag, a braided graphic carpet in the sitting room, and exquisite deer antlers to be used for her upcoming project.

Anna certainly lives and breathes her art and as a viewer you wouldn’t be surprise if you did the same. She doesn’t just make art for art’s sake “I like to have a concept and have meaning behind everything that I do,” Says Church, “It’s not just creation for the sake of being a creation.” Her art captures you and invites you on a nostalgic journey of memories long forgotten. This feeling of nostalgia often brings one to a safe haven or the familiarity of home. And whether the notion of home is a permanent space or not, this familiarity of ones past is brought into the present. Anna’s personality helped me become all the more comfortable in her space. Her charming personality and her passion for her craft is so apparent in the way she talks, walks and designed her home nestled in Leslieville.

She welcomed me with open arms and took me to her studio where we talked in more detail about her work. Her very first series was something she did “on the sideline” as she described it, while working as a prop stylist in New Zealand. It then morphed into a series of editions, which was an instant success.

“Finding objects is quite inspiring,” says Church, I work on my ides for quite a while,” as she mentioned that her concepts often incubates in her mind, and it gives birth nearly a year later. And the wait is all that much more worth it: bison heads, zebra and shoes, cutlery and metals – everything that one can connect to once you spend a little time ‘reading’ her art.

IMG_4239

“It’s awesome watching people view [my sculptographs] for the first time,” Says Church, “Especially while I’m at a booth and people walking pass and say, well it’s a bunch of metals, well [I say,] come, come over and take a closer look. And that was the surprise and wonder and experience with what I see when they go and say “ah, I get it”.” Her work is about having a narrative. Each object represents something in the picture. And as you look at each object you read a multiple of chapters that becomes not just a visual but also a literary experience.

Her art is about seeing the big picture as much as it is exploring up close to the finer details to discover another layer to her work. And by doing so, viewers, as Anna put it, “Get behind the concept and live the art.” And to have her work in a living space helps you do just that.

'Party Animal' Anna Church

‘Party Animal’
Anna Church


16 Jun 2015
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Shooting Reflective surfaces: Make your work stand out, not shine

Faucet

As a stain glass artist, or granite floor specialist, your work is a reflection of your art.  Speaking of reflection, working with shiny materials (glass, granite, marble, treated concrete etc.), is not easy to photograph.  Especially with your regular point and shoot. With 15 million people on Houzz a month – 84% plan to decorate or redecorate their home, and 48% plan to remodel – A good portfolio will make you stand out from the rest.

I’ve interviewed some crafts people and my clients why they think their previous shots were shot so poorly (stain glass artists, counter and floor specialists). Photographers (pro or not) must understand the material that is being shot. They also need to know how to light the material properly: Does it need to be lit from behind (like stain glass)? Or does the reflection off the surface need to be reduced (marble, treated concrete)? Will wetting your material show off fine details (veins on granite)? Consider how you would like your work to be viewed by others. Do you want your face reflected on the surface, or would you want to show off the veins on that good cut of granite?

 

Below are 3 key things to consider when shooting reflective surfaces – if you so dare.

 

SHOOT WITH WHITE WALLS AROUND THE MATERIAL

In most situations, this may not be easy to do. White walls, however, are best so that colour and other obtrusive objects won’t appear in the material you’re shooting. Different reflections in the material can make your next client look at the pretty colours of your last client’s kitchen instead of your product. To resolve this issue, take the material out of the colourful room and place it in a room with white walls.  If the product is fixture, consider placing black or white boards around the reflective surface. This will help eliminate any colour to reflect of your product.  The fewer interruptions of colour and objects reflected on the surface of the material, the better.

 

DIFFUSE LIGHT

A built-in flash on your camera or iPhone just won’t cut it. Sorry. That light will bounce directly off your reflective surface and your client will see nothing but an orb. To rid the orb, rid the flash on your camera (if possible) and place it off to the side of the material. Most importantly, diffuse the light with a diffuser or cover it with something transparent like wax paper or parchment paper. By doing this, you break the light up from a harsh beam and light will disperse itself across the surface of the material. This will ‘soften’ the light, making shadows and reflective lines less jarring.

 

USE NATURAL LIGHT

Open the curtains pull up the blinds and the let the sunshine in. Images would look best if the sunlight doesn’t beam through the room. In fact, a cloudy day or shooting early morning would work best. Direct sunlight can make orbs (did I say that again?). What you’re looking for is diffused lighting. Again this light will spread across the material like butter. Something you want to capture in your shot.

To shoot shiny surfaces requires a bit of skill and ingenuity – and maybe a few years of practice. Your time is valuable, so why not use it wisely? Before you stoop and shoot – your shiny floor – consider calling a professional and get it right the first time around.


01 Jun 2015
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Curb Appeal. A Profitable Home Improvement

Landscapehouse

While many homeowners clean and upgrade the house from the interior when selling, many seem to forget the exterior of the home. This is the ‘face’ of the home and gives buyers their first impression. This critical area is often overlooked, but by paying attention to some details beyond your front porch can increase the value of the house anywhere from $1,000 to over $10,000.

Here are a few things you can do to give your exterior of your home the attention it deserves:

HUG A TREE

For the tree huggers out there, your tree will be utmost thankful for the affection especially when it’s on your front lawn. According to an article written by Lindsay Purcell, Urban Forest Specialist at Perdue University, based on the assessment of the tree and in relation to the property site and location, a tree’s appraised value can start from $1000. And according to Landscape Ontario, trees also appreciate with time, and enhance property value from 5-20%. So think before you cut. Trees add value and are attractive accessories to any home. I hug my magnolia and birch tree whenever I can.

PLANT SOME SHRUBS AND FLOWERS

Like a pearl necklace around a woman’s neck, shrubs and flowers add beauty to any home. It also increases its value, especially in the front yard. And according to HomeGain’s 2012 National Home Improvement Survey, there is a 215% return on investment by landscaping alone. First impressions happen before entering the house – a welcoming home begins in the front yard.

DECK A YARD WITH A DECK

Any new couple’s dream home would have deck or patio to host friends and family. And as one of the most profitable home improvements, why not give that new couple a deck of their dreams? The average deck price is under $15,000 and increases your home’s resale value by $10,000.

REMEMBER THE K.I.S.S FACTOR: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID

Not everyone would appreciate a replica of Michaelangelo’s David on the front lawn, or a fountain of Britannica. And in some cases, a pool in the backyard could turn off some potential buyers especially ones with small children where safety is a concern. Some don’t care for the maintenance that is involved. An attractive landscape is also one that is easy to maintain.

A GOOD LANDSCAPE RESPECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

Many investors and homebuyers are not only interested by the home’s lovely lawn, but rather what’s accompanies it: a zoned irrigation system on automatic timers that water different areas according to each area’s need. Rather than jacking up your water bill by leaving out a sprinkler until midnight, an irrigation system cuts down your water usage, and water bill.

Quality landscaping can also reduce noise pollution into the home and lowers heating and cooling costs, says Landscape Ontario. Trees help us breath! One mature tree can provide enough oxygen for two people and absorb up to 42lbs of carbon dioxide a year. And before you consider cutting your 12 inch sugar maple, it removes 60 mg of cadmium, 140 mg of chromium, 820 mg of nickel and 5,200 mg of lead from the environment each growing season – not to mention can give you delicious maple syrup in March.

With summer nearly here, what better time to think about doing an upgrade to the great outdoors – of your home, that is. Working in your yard will certainly give you a good return on your investment and increase the value of your home by refining what sits on the outskirts of your house. And as real estate market sales peak from March to September, your house isn’t hiding behind 10 feet of that Toronto snow. So tidy up beyond your front porch and open the door to more buyers.


25 May 2015
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5 Reasons Toronto’s Urban Condo Boom Helps the Environment

torontoskyline

“More than half of the planet’s people now live in urban areas,” says David Suzuki and Faisal Moola in the Opinion section of the Toronto Star, May 22, “…[in some cities], growth in the city was confined to existing built-up areas, thereby preventing development from spilling out to farmer’s field.” This trend is very obvious in Toronto’s downtown core.

Condos in the core, is in fact, saving some of Ontario’s farmland and natural habitat. This concern of urban sprawl has been an on-going issue for decades (its term first used in the 1950s) and building up is the way to prevent it. Most importantly it prevents development in green spaces and to farmer’s fields (areas that feed cities).

What has made us more conscientious of the environment? Below are some factors:

  1. PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION I:

    In 2005, the Province of Ontario established the Places to Grow Act to decrease urban sprawl, utilizing existing infrastructure and preserving natural resources and agricultural resources.

  2. PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION II:

    In 2006, the province passed another law called the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe to encourage towns and cities to grow upwards rather than outwards. Ontario has 728,000 hectares of protected farmland and green space.

  3. GAS PRICES:

    Rising gas prices have significantly affected consumer’s use of the automobile. Moving to Toronto’s downtown core make walking, transit, and bicycling more practical than suburban life which requires hundreds of dollars of car fuel.

  4. COMMUTE TIMES/EMISSIONS:

    Number of buyers now prefers to stay closer to their work in the urban core. This is a direct result of their experience with travel from the suburbs to downtown Toronto. Others don’t own a car simply because it harms the environment: diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles produced 1,511 million metric tons of CO2 in 2012.

  5. LIFESTYLE:

    As more buildings are becoming LEED certified, more stores carry organic food than those in the suburbs, farmers markets are popping up everywhere in the core, and green roofs are encouraged, there’s no better reason than to enjoy urban life and be green!

These contributing factors protect farmland, and give new life to southern Ontario’s agricultural industry.  Protecting our agriculture and natural environment is just one way to make our society economically efficient and environmentally sustainable.

 


07 May 2015
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So Happy Together: Kids and Condos can work!

Condos and Kids

According to the Toronto Star, seven industry experts discussed, due to growing families in Downtown Toronto, condominium suites are finally getting larger instead of smaller. Larger condominiums will encourage more families to remain downtown and raise their children in condos.

 

“Outside of daycare, children are not getting a lot of physical activity.” says Gunn-Moghimi

But as these larger new condos are few and far between, the immediate infrastructure in the downtown core must improve to support families. “There aren’t many parks around here,” Gaea Gunn-Moghimi, registered early childhood educator and senior director of the family development centre at the Central YMCA says, “Outside of daycare, children are not getting a lot of physical activity, at least in the downtown area.” I met her late April to help me understand what can be done for families with young active children living in downtown Toronto.

As we get further into our discussion, it is a concern that gross motor development isn’t encouraged in families living in condos. It is also a concern amongst other ECE workers I spoke with in the Yonge and College area. For most families, according to Gunn-Moghimi, the daycare is where children get most of their exercise. Developing gross motor skills are essential to the body’s movement throughout its life.

Gross motor skills are required to control larger muscles of the body and are important for major body movement such as walking, maintaining balance, coordination, jumping, and reaching. Gunn-Moghimi mentions that it is obvious that the children who live in houses can climb stairs better than children who live in condo as their leg and the core are muscles are more developed than those who live in condos. To address this issue, the Central Y built in stairs in all classrooms to help strengthen these muscles for condo kids living around the Y.

Gross motor skills in infants are as simple as rolling over, sit and stand to exercise large muscles – larger muscles are used to achieve these skills before crawling and eventually, walking. As toddlers, children must continue to exercise to enable kids to run, jump, throw and climb, in order to continue to use their muscles into adulthood.

 

If there are limited parks downtown for kids, what’s a parent to do?

As more families flock to the downtown core, and builders are brainstorming on ideas to make child-friendly amenities, what can condo-families do in the meantime to help their kids get the physical activity they need?

With the limited square footage inside most condos there are a number of things parents can do with their growing child. As a busy parent myself, I do understand the difficulty to get out during the week to get my child to burn off some steam. The cold winter months and rainy days are most difficult. Gunn-Moghimi advises, “Have gym activities in the house, or [parents can] set up small mats.” Below are a few of a toddler’s and preschooler’s favourite things that can get him or her moving:

STRENGTH

A toy-shopping cart can help strengthen their lower muscles in the legs for new walkers and putting items into the cart can strengthen their upper body. A wagon used on uneven ground especially, can strengthen core muscles.

BALANCE

A balancing beam such as a folding training low beam by Z-Athletic is perfect for any toddler who wants to perform a balancing act, or Gonge Riverstones or Hilltops by Gonge can help develop balance and coordination. These items are stackable or can be folded and tuck away when not in use.

GROSS AND FINE MOTOR SKILLS COMBINED

Crawling is important to a child’s development. In fact, crawling help strengthen the muscles in the palm which are essential to hold small objects such as a crayon or a pencil. IKEA’s Busa tunnel will encourage crawling for the young toddler and imaginative play for the preschooler. And again, this product can be folded and stored easily in any condo.

HAND AND EYE COORDINATION

To some that would require an IPad, but not so! The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Verdie Chameleon Beanbag Toss is a perfect activity to encourage hand and eye coordination as well as number and counting recognition.

Though these products are geared to your child’s physical development, ensure that they are used in a safe manner and are age appropriate for your child. It’s obvious that your crawling kid, though eager he or she may be, can’t use the balancing beam until a few months down the road (yes time does fly!).

 

“..take [your kids] to the gym..Get memberships at the YMCA.” Says Gunn-Moghimi

And if these stackable and foldable products still can’t fit in your small condo, “Go up and down the stairs, take them to the gym in the condo, if allowed, in the building.” Says Gunn-Moghimi, and most importantly, “Get memberships at the YMCA.” The two Y’s Gunn-Moghimi mentioned are the Central Y at Wellesley and Yonge, and the West End YMCA at College and Dovercourt. There are a number of outstanding programs for toddlers, preschoolers, and youths at the Y. How do I know? My daughter is in one of them.


13 Apr 2015
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Put a spring in your step with these 5 de-cluttering tips:

Home Organzing, Decluttering, Sprint Cleaning Home Staging Toronto

Put a spring in your step with these 5 de-cluttering tips:

Whether you’re preparing your house for sale, or just catching up on some spring -cleaning it can be a daunting task to most homeowners. But once you part with a few things here and there, you’d be surprise how much of a lift you’ll feel once the cleaning is done.

De-cluttering your environment can lead to serious health benefits. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and motivates you to tackle other projects.

Financially, it can increase the value of your home and the ROI is 403%. And selling your unwanted things can give you a few dollars in your pocket. It’s on the top of the list of must do’s before putting your house on the market – real estate agents recommend it by 99%.

Here are some ways to welcome spring with open arms and leave the clutter of winter behind.

 

Stack, Pack and Sack in one room

And don’t look into the closets, drawers, or cabinets – yet. Just look at what’s lying around. I often stack all my things into different ‘categories’ if you will. All books and magazines in one pile, pens and pencils in another, papers and mail in another. Once you’ve placed everything into categories, go through each pile and sort them into “save” or “keep”. One that is done, explore what lurks in the drawers and closets.

Be honest too and prioritize. Don’t keep last year’s telephone bill or used pretty Christmas wrapping paper. They belong in the recycling. Books take precedence over magazines or newspapers, so keep some of the books and recycle the mags and papers.

You can further reduce the clutter by reducing what is in the room by 25-50%. That could be a bigger challenge to some and can be tackled once you’ve warmed up to de-cluttering.

 

Skeletons in your closet

Start with sweaters and other winter wear. Things that are bulky or take up too much space is worth donating. Anything that you haven’t worn in a year is also worth donating. We wear on average, only 20% of the clothing in our closet. So ridding say 10% of the clothes you don’t wear anymore isn’t so daunting.

 

Slim down a size in your kitchen – and maybe your stomach

Pull out any perishable items that’s been sitting in the fridge for sometime. Christmas jellies, and confections can probably make an exit. And that fruitcake? Yes that too.

The health benefits to cleaning out your kitchen can also help you be aware of what you eat. Once you see what you’ve consumed in the last months to a year, you could make a more conscious decision on what to buy on your next trip to the grocery store.

Remove empty cleaning products under the sink. All cleaning rags must be laundered and put away in a designated drawer.

 

The Bathroom

Okay, so this may be hard. Choose one to two of your favourite hair and beauty care lines and stick to that. So the products that empty the quickest are likely the ones you use the most. Purchasing gels, lotions and potions outside of those two lines throughout the year will only lead to more clutter. Products that are still full and haven’t been used for at least a month must be emptied and containers recycled.

 

Clean and Calm in the Bedroom

Grab you’re partner (if you have one) and de-clutter together. If you’re single – even better, there won’t be any negotiating. Just like picking a room in your house, simply Stack, Pack and Sack.

Make the bed and shut the closet door. Do this everyday, and you will always enter a room of calm and serenity.

 

These small tips can really make a huge impact to your home and your everyday living. Spring-cleaning isn’t for everyone. Do it in small steps or have a friend or family member to help you. If it’s too daunting, hire a professional. Professional organizers can make your life so much easier.

 


13 Apr 2015
Comments: 0

From Sale to Sold! 5 tips to make it in real estate

Real estate Agent Toronto GTA Real Estate

Stand up and stand out

It’s a tough market out there. And with nearly 60, 000 real estate agents in Ontario alone, and 67% of them serve the GTA, how do you stand out?

Consider defining a niche market. Know one area, the neighbourhood, and the profile of the people in one community. Specializing in a key area will make you different from the rest, buyers will trust you, and give you more selling power in the neighbourhood you know best.

 

Techno What?

Yes, technology. You know, computers, cell phones. Moreover, texting, email, virtual tours, professional photos. Most of your clients will be Generation Y (“Millennials” born between 1981-2001). And to keep up to their speed, you better know what will grab them.

Most of Gen Y buyers are first time buyers – and have high expectations. First time home owners want the luxury of purchasing homes that are move in ready – strongly influenced by many home improvement television programs such as Property Brothers and Love it or List it. These kids text before they talk, spend more time in front of a screen unlike any other generation before them. They shop online and like moving images – better known as virtual tours – and like crisp clean professionally photographed images. Because, you know, everyone has a smart phone.

So get with the program. Get a good real estate photographer and videographer and make your homes look good online as they do in person.

 

Have a presence online

Hire a professional to build your website. There’s nothing more disappointing than looking at beautiful houses on an ugly or not user friendly website. Keep it simple, clean and straightforward. Buyers are there to look at homes. They don’t need the distraction of decorated backgrounds or unwanted ads.

Blogging is a must! Sharing your thoughts on the market or your expertise in your neighbourhood will garner interest and build a relationship with potential clients. Show off what you know. Educating others won’t make them buy houses without an agent; it will only want them to trust one.

Social media is a must! Go on Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram. Yes Instagram. With the majority of users are of Gen Y, and 68% are heavily skewed towards women (single women are the largest segment of home buyers next to couples), it’s worth posting on Instagram.

 

Be consistent

There are two main ways to be consistent: time management and persona.

Be honest and true to yourself. There’s nothing more distrustful than being a phony online or in person. Most people can sense dishonesty from a mile away. The best way to be consistent of who you are, is by being who you are.

Blog on a regular basis. Whether it’s one a week, once, a month, or once a day (which may be a little much), be sure to maintain that routine. People like routine and look forward to your next post. If it’s every Thursday you post, keep it that way. If it’s the first of every month, keep it up.

 

Build your Professional Team

Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor did one person build it. Your main goal is to sell homes, not build websites, shoot houses or stage them. Leave that to your team of professionals. They are there to help you. Perhaps it may be a big investment from the start, but it will pay off.

In the long run, they will be your ‘go to’ people you trust. And when you trust them, you build your trusted brand. By using your team of service providers will ensure that your client is taken care of. What is the end result, you ask? Referrals and repeat customers. That’s the kind of brand you want.