• Spring Cleaning: Top Things to Purge from Your Closet

    Apr 16, 2019

    For some of us, getting rid of the things we've accumulated in our closets over the years is not a problem. But for most of us, it’s no easy task. If you’re looking for ways to clean out your closet, Timbercreek Communities has tips on how to build the courage to give things the boot and how to choose what to purge from your closet that will make your space feel more organized.

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    Purge things you rarely touch

    It’s time to ditch items you no longer wear or haven’t worn in a while. If it’s been sitting undisturbed in your closet for more than a year, it’s time to let it go.

    Choosing what to purge

    Create three piles and separate things by what you absolutely love, items you’re not sure what to do with and items you are 100% ready to get rid of. People tend to hold on to expensive purchases and sentimental items. The truth is, if you wore it only once since you bought it, chances are you’re never going to wear it again. And if something has sentimental value, don’t worry. The memories will always be there. If it helps, take a picture of it.

    Consider ditching your uncomfortable shoes and any costume jewellery you’ve been collecting for years.

    What to save

    When purging your closet, think about if your more questionable items work well in combination with others. The more you can match an item with, the better and the more worth saving it is.

    Don't just throw it all away

    Once you've chosen your items, one of the best ways to dispose of them is to donate them to places like Value Village or the Salvation Army.

    Clean

    Once you've purged, the next step is to clean. Empty your closet completely and do a deep cleaning -- something we all hesitate do. Try using Seventh Generation non-toxic products which are a healthier and more sustainable choice.

    Shop

    This is the fun part – well, sort of. Instead of shopping for unnecessary items, this is your chance to purchase items that will help you organize your space. Velvet or open hangers are great because they are thin, and allow you to neatly hang everything without slipping off. Wicker baskets are a nice way to store many items and they actually look stylish on open shelves. Another useful trick is to use shower hooks to hang your purses and scarves. They are cheap and available everywhere.

    Organize

    Organize your closet in a way that makes sense. Arrange things by colour or in groups (skirts, pants, sweaters), which will make your life easier when you’re in a rush. Keep the items that you use often within reach and reserve the top shelves for seasonal items. And finally, label everything - purses, swimwear, accessories! This will save you time and prevent you from making a mess.

    Light
    By decluttering your closet, you’ll naturally let in more light into the space. But if that’s not enough, it might be worth investing in brighter light fixtures for greater visibility. The other option is to get battery-powered lights and hang them inh dark areas of your closet. A well-lit space will encourage you to keep things tidy and clean.

    Plan to purge

    Don't let your refreshed closet fall into disarray. You can keep tabs on the items you're using and what you're not with a clever hanger system. Add an event on your calendar to clean up the closet again one year from the day you cleaned it. Place all clothing items on hangers facing the back of the closet. When you wear something, turn the hanger around when you return the item to the closet. When the year rolls by, you will be able to tell what you wore and what you didn't wear with ease and be able to ditch things with a clear conscience.

    Organizing your closet will save you time and money. You’ll be less stressed when searching for clothes in the morning and less tempted to shop for new items. Timbercreek Communities hopes these suggestions get you ready and excited for Spring cleaning.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • How Often You Should Wash Everything In Your Home, According To Science

    Mar 20, 2018

    Cleaning your home is no joke -- you should do it right or what's the point? But what's right is not always clear. Timbercreek wants to help you make your home sparkle, so here's the truth about how often you should wash everything in your home, according to science.

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    Starting with Sleep

    Where do we spend 20 some-odd years over a lifetime? In bed. Science says wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week. Most bacteria on sheets comes from interior dust, but add in dirt, oils, and sweat from a human during sleep and you can promote skin irritation, dandruff, acne etc. Wash your sheets in hot water every 1-2 weeks to be safe.

    Doorknobs

    Doorknobs accumulate a lot of bacteria. Think of how often you touch them. Now think of what you do before you touch them. Now think of how often you clean them? Science says? Doorknobs actually don’t need super frequent washing. However, doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen gather more bacteria. Disinfect them once a week. Shoot for once a month for the rest of the house.

    Sinks

    Even if they look clean sinks are gross. Disgustingly (though not surprisingly), bathroom sinks accumulate fecal matter. Also, E.Coli, Salmonella, and other food bacteria can contaminate the kitchen sink. Especially if you’ve been handling raw meat or eggs. Science says? To be safe, aim for a daily sink wipe down.

    Rugs and Floors

    Rugs are natural accumulators of grime. Dirt, dust, food, pet hair, allergens, pollen like to get cozy in rug fibers. Between that and the nooks and crannies of the average floor, you get a massive potential for build up.  Science says? Vacuum weekly, and give hard flooring a good wash once every couple of weeks.

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms: the ultimate bacteria host. E Coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. It’s key to thoroughly clean your toilet and sink at least once a week.  Bathtubs aren’t far off, but can be done every two. Shower curtains should be disinfected weekly to avoid mildew and odors.

    Towels

    Bath and kitchen hand towels get loaded with bacteria. And if your towels don’t fully dry (like, pretty much always), that bacteria can grow. While a lot for the average person, science recommends swapping out bath towels every other day. Kitchen towels can be washed weekly, unless you used it after handling raw meat.

    Kitchen and cleaning sponges

    Kitchen sponges accumulate billions of bacteria on every square inch. And though most of it isn’t harmful, science recommends dropping them into boiling water or the microwave for 2 minutes every couple of days. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you manage your cleaning routine and stay healthy in the process. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: How to Crate Train a Puppy

    Feb 26, 2018

    Crate training is an excellent way to welcome a new puppy and start its education and adjustment right away. A crate is a puppy’s dedicated place. A safe, secure nest that’s all his/her own. It has a number of uses beyond this from potty training, to time outs and resting, as well as discipline. To help you navigate the big job of training a new puppy, Timbercreek brings you this list of ways to crate train your furry friend.

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    Bars Aren’t Bad

    On first look, the bars on a dog crate seem awfully cage-like. But your pup doesn’t see it that way. He/She sees a warm, cozy cave where he/she feels comfortable to sleep in safety. It’s also a puppy’s own private spot. While dogs do well carving out their own nooks and territory, they generally have to share a house or apartment with their owners. A crate comes in handy in this regard to give them a place that no one else can use.

    Prep for Your New Pup

    Before bringing a new puppy home, make some preparations. Start with the right sized crate. Ideally the puppy should have room for a bed and water bowl, and be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down. If possible, also get a blanket that smells of the mother dog, and place it inside the crate. The familiar smell will be a huge source of comfort.

    Where to Put the Crate

    Crate location is important. Your dog wants to feel connected and included, but also have a  place where it’s quiet enough to rest. A great spot is the corner of a living room or den, where he/she can see the family but have space of his/her own. A laundry room or basement isn’t ideal for this reason as he/she may feel isolated and act out.

    Not Too Long

    Keep your pup’s crate time short and sweet. Start with a few minutes, gradually building up the time. Once he’s/she’s happy and settled down, be careful not to leave him/her in it too long. Avoid leaving even older dogs unattended in a crate for more than four hours at a time. It isn’t fair to your best buddy, who may start to resent the crate rather than love it.

    Don’t let it be for discipline only

    Most would-be pet owners assume a crate is used for sleep, and discipline. And while it can be used to good effect to this end, it foremost should be a place your dog enjoys. Using it to positively reinforce behaviour is a better tactic to take.

    Dos and Don’ts

    DO: Encourage the pup to explore the crate. This means hiding tasty treats and special toys inside for him/her to discover.
    DON’T: Force the puppy inside.
    DO: Praise him/her when he/she sits inside without crying.
    DON’T: Let him/her out when he’s/she’s crying, as this rewards the noise and makes him/her more likely to cry in future.
    DO: Very slowly extend the amount of time pup is left inside the crate.
    DON’T: Use the crate as a place of punishment or leave him/her in for hours on end. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you welcome home your new puppy and start off his/her training the right way. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • February Home Checklist

    Feb 12, 2018

    February is a good time to get your home in order and tackle tasks and chores that will help you keep your life and space running smoothly. To help you keep your home fresh and tidy, Timbercreek brings you this February home checklist.

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    Clean Up Your Entryway

    This time of year, the front door is a magnet for mess. Salt, snow, mud, dirt, wet, and grime all converge like the plague. Get a wet weather mat for your dirty boots, and make space in your closet for snowsuits, heavy jackets, and accessories. Then give the floor and walls in the area a decent scrub. These are the first (and last) things you see in the house, so a tidy area makes a huge difference to the feel of your space.

    Recycle E-waste

    Collect all your old devices and accessories -- phones, ipads/tablets, TVs, DVD players, cables, batteries, headphones, and adapters -- and take them to your locale e-recycling depot. While not yet a mainstream part of regular city recycling pick up, it will be soon.

    Declutter your e-self

    While not specifically a home cleaning event, everyone has a pile of digital waste. Files, emails, notes, reminders, calendars, images, documents, old receipts -- it’s endless. With no real pressure to backup aside from losing all your data, it’s a clutter-creating epidemic. Take a couple hours to delete and back stuff up.

    Clean Out Your Freezer

    Cleaning out your freezer can seem like a thankless task. While annoying to do, cleaning out and even defrosting your freezer has multiple benefits. Unused frozen food takes up tons of space. Freezer burn is real and tastes bad. Freezer frost builds up over time and can cause odors and fridge leaking, not to mention reducing freezer space. The best way to clean out this often neglected part of the fridge is to take everything out, discarding anything you won’t use, unplug, toss in a pot of boiled water, steam, defrost, wipe or scrub, and voila.

    Paint an Accent Wall

    Winter blues got you down? Inject some colour into your space and your life with an accent wall. It’s an easy way to make a big impact. It might not seem like it, but winter is the perfect time to paint. Best part is, painting such a small area allows for experimenting with wild colors. And if you don’t like what you did, it’s just as easy to repaint.

    Book Summer Activities

    From campsites to resorts, flights to hotels -- stuff books up fast. Get ahead of the curve by diving into your summer vacation plans early. You’ll save on cash too. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you reinvigorate your indoor space this winter. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Winterize Your Pet

    Dec 19, 2017

    They might have a furry coat, but your pet can still get very cold in the winter. It never hurts to keep them safe and warm any way you can. Timbercreek Communities is here to help you with tips for how to winterize your pet.

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    Pet Jackets

    When it’s really cold outside, you wouldn’t dream of venturing out without a coat on. Why should your dog have to? Smaller dogs, with a higher ratio of body weight to body surface, lose heat easily. Doggie jackets and vests are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles to suit your shepherd or schnauzer.

    Pet Shoes

    Along with all the winter snow, comes all that winter ice, sand and salt. Salt does a great job of melting the ice, but it can do a number on a dog’s tender paws. If your pet ingests any of the salt by licking it’s sore paws, it can also get a tummy ache. Protect your pooch’s paws with a pair of boots or waterproof rubber socks. If your dog refuses to wear boots, make sure to rinse their feet thoroughly after contact with sand or salt.

    Invisible Boots

    Getting a dog to wear booties when they don’t want to wear is as easy as a magic trick. Fortunately, there is nothing magic about invisible boots. It’s actually a nontoxic wax that's rubbed on and in-between a dog's paws. Musher’s Secret was originally developed to soothe and protect the paws of hardworking Canadian sled dogs. The wax-based cream is easy to apply, moisturizes and helps to heal wounds. It’s useful year round as it also protects paws from hot pavement in the summertime.

    Identification Collars

    An ID collar is a must-have for any dog or cat, but never more so than in the winter. When temperatures drop, your pet is at an increased risk of harm. It’s important to locate them as soon as possible if they run away. No one ever plans on their pet getting lost, but with a little precaution and planning, you can make the unthinkable much easier to deal with. Reflective collars are easier to see in the snow and easier for drivers to see.

    Timbercreek wishes you and your pet a happy and healthy winter! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Indoor Plants That Will Make it Through Winter

    Nov 28, 2017

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    Indoor plants can be life-enhancing. They clean the air, provide a beautiful splash of colour, and it’s always super satisfying to nurture something and watch it grow. During the winter, keeping indoor plants healthy and happy can become difficult. The short days mean many plants receive too little light to survive and the heated, dry, indoor air doesn’t help either. It is possible to enjoy some thriving greenery all year long. It’s all about choices. To help you keep your green thumb year-round, Timbercreek Communities has put together this shortlist of indoor plants that will make it through the winter.

    Aloe Vera

    In addition to its many medicinal benefits, the Aloe Vera plant is a hardy and attractive succulent that is easy to care for. It doesn’t require a lot of light. It thrives in indirect light or even artificial light. Make sure you plant them in well-draining potting mix designed for succulents as a lack of drainage can cause root rot. Water them deeply but allow a couple of inches of soil to dry between waterings, and water even less during winter.

    Areca Palm

    The Areca Palm is big, bold and impressive plant. It features large fronds, each with up to 100 leaflets. They are easy to care for. The soil should be a little dry between waterings in fall and winter, making them perfect for the dry, indoor air. 

    Jade

    Another hearty succulent, Jade plants are easy to care for and will live a long time with little attention. Again, let the soil dry during the winter and avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. If you notice brown spots on the leaves, or the leaves start to shed, more water is required.

    Peace Lily

    The Peace Lily is well known for its hardy and forgiving nature. They will let you know when they need water by their telltale droop. This tropical plant thrives in shade and low light, and is one of the best air-cleaning plants available. It’s an ideal indoor winter plant.

    Snake Plant 

    Another easy-to-care-for plant that is also a top-notch air purifier is the Snake Plant. It’s named for its long, straight, slender and colourful leaves. These plants can be left alone, in low light for weeks at a time and still thrive! Let the soil dry out between waterings and let them do their thing!

    Timbercreek hopes that you invest in these great indoor plants that will make it through the winter. Care for them and they will help you thrive this winter! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

  • 5 Apartment Decorating Ideas for Summer

    Jul 06, 2017

    Summer is finally here and it’s time to get your apartment into shape for the season. Timbercreek Communities has some simple and beautiful apartment decorating ideas for summer. Let’s let the sun shine in!

    Lighten Up

    Think of your apartment as a summer rental and see it in a whole new light. Pull back the curtains and let the light in. Replace heavy curtains with something light, sheer and breezy.  In fact, stow away anything that makes your space feel heavy or dark. This includes thick throw rugs that may be cozy in winter but feel hot and oppressive during the summer months. It’s summer - let your floors go naked!

    Bring the Beach Home

    You may not be able to spend every summer day at the beach, but you can give your Timbercreek home a beachy feel by displaying sea shells in a small pail or by planting small succulents in a larger shell.

    DSC_6083_4_5_6_7Set a Summer Table

    Add a splash of summer colour to your table by setting out some colourful flatware. Mix and match bright tropical, floral or nautical-themed dishes and towels with your everyday plates and bowls for a fun and seasonal setting. For a simple summer centrepiece, fill a bowl with fresh, bright fruits - like oranges and lemons.

    Flower Power

    One of the easiest and most effective ways to add some colour and elevate the mood of any room in your home is with flowers. Fresh cut or potted flowers add a simple summertime feeling and have been proven to enhance positive emotions!

    Seasonal Slipcovers

    It may not be practical to have a separate set of furniture for summer and winter, but you can make if feel like you do. You can instantly change the look and feel of your living room by slipping on some striped or colourful summertime slipcovers.

    Summer can feel short lived. Timbercreek hopes these simple apartment decorating ideas help you make the most of the season and keep the summer feeling going for as long it can. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities please visit our website.

  • How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Clean

    Apr 18, 2017

    Stainless steel is beautiful, but it smudges easily. It can even, strangely, become stained. Don’t despair! It’s easy and inexpensive to keep your steel stainless and smudge-free. Timbercreek Communities has some great tips for how to keep your stainless steel clean.

    iStock-543215990Vinegar and Oil

    Vinegar and oil is not only great for salad dressing, it also leaves your stainless steel gleaming! Don’t mix them together though, you need to apply the two ingredients separately. You can use mineral oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil. The first step is to determine to determine the direction of the grain, it will either be vertical or horizontal. Go with the grain.  Pour a small amount of oil on a microfiber cloth and polish in the direction of the grain. Next, pour a small amount of white vinegar on the other side of the cloth (or use a new cloth) and wipe off any remaining smudges, again, in the direction of the grain. You’ll be left with shiny steel!

    Dish Soap and Baby Oil

    For this 2 step process you’ll need a couple of soft, non-abrasive cloths, and a little dish soap and baby oil. Dampen your first cloth and apply a little dish soap. Clean the steel along the direction of the grains. Going against the grain will not damage the steel, but you won’t get the clean, gleaming shine that you’re looking for. When you’re done cleaning the steel, wipe up any water streaks before polishing (with the grain) with a couple of drops of baby or mineral oil on a cloth.

    Club Soda

    Is there anything club soda can’t clean? Put a little club soda in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the steel, then wipe it away with a cloth in the direction of the grain. This will remove fingerprints and residue, and give your stainless steel a nice shine.

    Glass Cleaner

    A big complaint with stainless steel is all the fingerprints. You can quickly remove them by using glass cleaner, such as Windex. It’s not recommended that you spray it directly onto the appliance, as you may end up with drip marks and residue. Spray a small amount onto a cloth and apply it in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with water and another cloth and dry with a clean towel.

    Your stainless steel just wants to shine! Timbercreek Communities hopes these tips help you keep your stainless steel clean and bright.

    To learn more about Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 5 Ways to Get the Minimalist Living Room

    Mar 27, 2017

    Simply put, minimalism is about doing more with less. Minimalist design and decor in your home can open up a room and make if feel more spacious by using clean lines, and carefully selected colours and pieces. Timbercreek Communities has 5 ways to get the minimalist living room you want.

    Limit Your Choices

    Minimalism doesn’t mean stark white and sterile. Choose a base colour and a few accent colours. Stick to this palette when choosing paint, furniture and decor for your space. If you choose neutral colours for walls and furniture, choose some warmer colours for pillows, rugs and decorations to soften the feeling of the room.

    Create Focal Points

    A well designed minimalist living room will offer an open, relaxing and calm atmosphere. You don’t want things to feel scattered or cluttered. Choose focal points to make the room feel centered and balanced. Place items such as rugs, pillows and carefully selected decorations together around big furniture. Also, limit the pieces of furniture to only what you need to feel comfortable. Place all your picture frames on a single table or shelf, rather than on any and all surfaces. If the room is feeling sparse, use single pieces of art or fabric on the walls to create and airy balance.

    iStock-504527246Balance

    Minimalist design needs balance. This can mean arranging selected items symmetrically,   or asymmetrically. For example, you can flank a sofa with lamps and end tables on both sides, or guide the eye by placing items to one side, to lead the eye along and connect the room. It’s all about filling the space with care. 

    Behind Closed Doors

    Your living room will feel calmer when there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Everything that you don’t love looking at should be hidden cleanly away inside cabinets or behind closet doors, in drawers or inside other storage space.

    Clear Out the Clutter

    When embarking on a minimalist lifestyle, it's a good idea to go through your possessions and decide what you really want to own. Clutter is the enemy of clean, minimalist design. Items that are out in the open should be arranged intentionally. For example, try to place books in order of size or colour -- this will create a harmonious feel throughout your space.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities throughout Canada, please see our website.

  • How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

    Mar 20, 2017

    An effective way to simplify your life is to start with your closet by building a capsule wardrobe. It’s not a physical structure -- you won’t need any tools, other than some organizational skills and the ability to let go. Building a capsule wardrobe is a way of living and dressing with less. Getting rid of everything that you don’t need can help you see what you actually do need. Timbercreek Communities is here to guide you as you build a capsule wardrobe.

    iStock-531071598Take Inventory

    Before you can simplify and reorganize your wardrobe into a streamlined capsule, you’ll have to take stock of what you have. This means everything -- clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories.  It may get a little messy, or a lot messy, but don’t worry, this is only step one. Place all of it on your bed, pile it up, if it’s all on your bed you will be motivated to get through it and when it’s all over, it's over. Really look at all of it, all that you have spent and acquired.

    Sorting

    The next step is to sort everything you have into categories. It may feel overwhelming but you’ll feel better once it’s done. Go through everything, piece by piece, and place it into one of four categories: love; maybe; donate and trash. The love pile is for items that fit you well and you wear frequently, because you love them! Maybe is for items you want to hold onto, even if you don’t know why. Donate is for items that you don’t wear -- they don’t fit you or your life. Trash is for items that are in poor condition and have simply run their course.

    Second glance

    After you have bagged up the ‘donate’ and ‘trash’ piles, it’s time to take a second pass. Go through the ‘love’ and ‘maybe’ piles again, and try on some of the remaining items. Have you worn any of these items in the last six months? Can you see yourself wearing any of them in the next 6 months? Would you buy this item today? If the answer is “no”, add these items to your ‘donate’ bag.

    Choose your capsule

    It’s time to choose the 30 items or so that will make it into your capsule (33 if you want to follow the Project 333 protocol). You can make a capsule for each season, and some of your favourite items may overlap across several of your seasonal capsules. Use this collection of your favourite go-to items to mix and match all season long and seriously declutter your closet. Box up the remaining items that you have decided to keep until it’s time to create the capsule for next season.

    For information on Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

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