LABELS & HOME ORGANIZATION: A CONVERSATION WITH MABLES LABELS CO-FOUNDER JULIE COLE
JULY 7, 2020
Whether you are planning on selling your home or not, an organized home has huge benefits for those living in it and is attractive to potential buyers. An organized home presents a clear and functional space, promotes cleanliness, and can actually reduce stress. Potential buyers will surely notice a well organized home – it shows pride of ownership, which scores big points in real estate. As part of an overall staging approach, organizing your home will actually help yield a higher net return on a home sale.
From your pantry to your bathroom, labels are the perfect way to help you organize a home. They can easily help you transform cluttered spaces into ones that are more systematic. That said, labels are not all made alike.
Although it can be tempting to look at price alone; maintenance, durability and design are all important factors when selecting labels.
We spoke with Julie Cole, Co-Founder of Mabel’s Labels, to give us some guidance on the topic.
Q. Why is labeling an important part of home organization? Can using labels make organizing an easier task?
A. Beautiful Household Labels will not only improve your home aesthetic, they can help you focus your organizing tasks. If you have an idea of the ‘categories’ you want to sort into, you can make purging and organizing decisions easier and more efficiently. I also love that everything has a place. When the kids have toys all over the house, for example, clean-up is so much easier if they know exactly where everything’s home is. It helps them to be independent and me to save time.
Q. What are the primary benefits of investing in a quality label?
A. If you’ve ever tried a permanent marker, masking tape or a label that just isn’t durable on your pantry containers or storage bins, you already know the answer to this question. Mabel’s Labels are durable, waterproof and made to stick. They’ll hold up in humid basements, or through the dishwasher when you wash your containers. You can peel them off if you want to, but otherwise you’ll never have to re-label or be stuck wondering if that mystery canister holds flour or baking soda!
By the way, when we’re talking about labeling kids’ stuffwith their name, like their hoodies, chargers and water bottles, the benefits truly *pay* for themselves over and over again. Mabel’s Labels are dishwasher and laundry safe. Your kids’ expensive gear will stay out of the lost and found so you won’t have to keep replacing it.
Q. What are the different types of organizational products you offer?
A. While our focus is on personalized kids’ labels, we have a beautiful line of household products as well! We have…
Curbside Bin Labels to make sure you never lose a recycling or trash bin to the wind (or a neighbour) again!
They all make nice additions to complete your home organization project, and also beautiful housewarming gifts!
Q. If someone was to start incorporating labels into their home, where do you suggest they start first?
A. I always say, start with the project you least want to do! Pick a room or a project, whether it is your junk drawer or bathroom cupboard, and start purging and organizing! The trick is to do the organizing first and the labeling last. Make sure you love your containers, what’s in them and how you want them organized before label. Household Labels are the finishing touch – they are the easy part! Just be warned labeling can be a bit addicting, so it might not take long to branch out
Q. What are the best ways to keep your labels in prime condition?
A. The beauty of our Labels is that you don’t have to do a thing to keep them looking and sticking great! Just apply them on a smooth, hard surface and wait 24 hours before washing. After that you can wash them, expose them to high heat and sunlight and beat them up… they won’t peel or fade!
Q. What options are available for your home and garden labels?
A. Our Household Labels are available in a trendy white or black design. Our Plant and Garden Markers are pre-printed with the most popular vegetables and herbs commonly found in our gardens, complete with adorable graphics to help kids identify them.
Mabel’s Labels is the best-known brand of durable labels for families, and their growing line of products features baby bottle labels, allergy and medical alert products, sports labels, household labels and seasonal items. They’re extremely durable, they’re laundry, dishwasher and microwave safe – and they’re 100% guaranteed.
Up until recently the real estate industry has only known two types of home staging – traditional in person staging and virtual staging. If you aren’t aware, virtual staging is best suited for vacant rooms/homes where a company virtually imports furniture using software. The only advantage of virtual staging is to show what a room could potentially look like if there were actual furniture. The biggest disadvantage with it is that buyers going through the property don’t actually see the room layouts/decor in real time. As a result, virtual staging loses its effectiveness once a buyer visits the property.
Conversely, Nesting Effect is the premier online staging solution for Realtors and homeowners alike. Their service is a completely new approach to home staging. Without stepping a foot into the home, Nesting Effect utilizes pictures of the various spaces that need assistance and provides a detailed, step-by-step, report on how to stage a room. In the majority of cases the homeowner is able to complete the staging themselves, but a Realtor may decide to assist if they so desire.
At its inception, Nesting Effect did not enter the market to eliminate other staging approaches. It’s meant to fill a need where there is a lack of available funds to hire an in-person stager. However, with the onset of Covid-19, Nesting Effect’s service has also proved to be the go-to option for sellers wanting to eliminate the need for unnecessary 3rd party traffic and décor entering their home.
Aside from the methodology, what else separates Nesting Effect from a traditional staging approach? The short answer is cost. Nesting Effect is substantially more cost effective than traditional staging services and virtual staging. For example, to hire a traditional in-person stager for a typical single family detached home will cost the homeowner/Realtor approximately $2000-$5000 depending on the scope of work required. This general cost also makes some assumptions regarding sale timing. The longer the home is maintained with staging items the higher the cost – staging is billed on a consultation basis, initial work completed, and monthly furniture/décor rental fees.
In terms of virtual staging, the typical cost is approximately $40-50 per room virtually staged. Using a typical single-family home that has 6-8 primary rooms, the cost to virtually stage would be approximately $240-$400.
Conversely, Nesting Effect’s pricing starts at $60 for up to 8 rooms staged and it charges no extra fees for hallways, closets and garages. For a large 25 room house, Nesting Effect only charges $125.
However, it’s not all about cost. Quality of work is paramount for home staging. But, there’s a misconception that in order to stage effectively a property must present like a show home. That’s simply not true. A property does not need to look like it belongs in a magazine in order to maximize sale profits. In fact, a properly staged home is more about organization, decluttering, select décor enhancements, home maintenance, and room layout optimization. All of this can be achieved by the homeowner and/or Realtor on their own with proper guidance. This is why Nesting Effect’s reporting is so powerful – it’s a fool proof method for home staging. The report is extremely detailed and provides a customized room-by-room, step-by-step, approach to guide the staging efforts.
As an additional benefit, Nesting Effect as an online company is able to service clients anywhere in North America. Whether you live in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Miami, Chicago, L.A and so on, Nesting Effect can service it. In addition, there’s no need to worry about setting up meeting times with a stager – simply submit a request online, send in your cell phone pictures of the various rooms, and the report will be in your email within 3-5 business days.
Whether or not you were planning on selling your home this year – home maintenance & keeping your space organized is always an important to-do.
So, here it is. Our 30 day NESTING EFFECT CHALLENGE.
We will have listed a daily to-do that is not only a task we may ask our customers who are preparing for a sale to complete, but something all homeowners should do!
Day 1 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your bathroom fan covers!
They are one of the most neglected items in a home. By cleaning your fan covers around every few months, you will be able to remove built up dirt before it becomes a problem.
1. Turn off the power. 2. Remove the fan cover. 3. Wash and dry. 4. Put your cover back on.
Day 2 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your kitchen backsplash!
A kitchen backsplash is a huge feature in a kitchen. Even if it is on your to-do list to replace, you can still make it sparkle.
With a good scrub you will really be able to see the difference. And, since we are all spending a little more time at home – it’s a great task to get done!
General Tile Cleaner
1. Take 1/4 cup of baking soda and add it to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. 2. Add a few squirts of dish soap and mix it together. 3. Spray the cleaner generously on your tile backsplash. 4. Moisten a microfiber cloth with your solution and wipe all of the tiles down.
BONUS STEP: Check the bottom of your cabinets for any missed grease etc.
Day 3 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your baseboards!
You can clean your painted baseboards with a bucket of warm soapy water or vinegar and water. Be sure to wring the sponge out so you don’t leave your baseboards too wet.
If you have wooden baseboards that aren’t painted substitute with a wood cleaner.
BONUS STEP: If you have extra paint on hand, touch up those scuffs that you came across after you finished cleaning.
Day 4 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your oven.
Since we are spending a little more time in-doors these days here are a couple of non-toxic ways to clean your oven.
Method 1 •Generously sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the oven. •Using a spray bottle, wet the baking soda with vinegar (don’t want a puddle of vinegar). The reaction of the vinegar and baking soda will cause bubbling. •Let it sit for about 4 hours or overnight. •Wipe away vinegar and baking soda with a textured sponge. •If any residue is left, simply use clean water to wipe clean.
Method 2 •In a bowl combine about 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. •Generously coat inside of oven with paste. •Let sit overnight. •Remove with a damp sponge and repeat wiping until clean.
Day 5 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your front door!
You can clean your painted front door with some water and gentle dish soap. Wash the door then dry with a hand towel. If your front door is wood and is stained, try a cleaner that is safe for wood.
Tip: Use a non-abrasive sponge and a toothbrush to get into those small spaces.
Day 6 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your fridge!
Not only will your fridge be cleaner and more organized, but you can take inventory of what you have and use up the food you have bought, reducing waste!
Tip: Leave an open box of baking soda in your fridge – it can help reduce odours. Date the box so you remember when you put it in.
Day 7 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to check your smoke detectors!
Whether or not you are selling or buying a home, it’s important to check the smoke detectors.
How do you check to see if they need to be replaced?
1. Remove the smoke detector from the ceiling.
2. Look on the back of the device for the date of manufacture.
3. Remember that smoke detectors should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.
Another tip? Watch for yellowing of your detectors. Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are common in plastics and are used to reduce the flammability of the consumer products they permeate. As a side effect, this additive turns the polymer yellow over time as it is exposed to heat, oxygen, and UV light. So, if your detectors are yellow, it’s a good sign you need to replace them.
Day 8 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your windows!
If you prefer a natural cleaner try mixing one part distilled vinegar to 10 parts warm water in a spray bottle.
Wipe down the window with a soft, clean, lint-free microfiber cloth or paper towel to remove dust before you spray your solution, then spray the entire surface and wipe clean!
Day 9 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your light fixtures!
Note: If your fixtures need more than a dusting – pay attention to their material as different fixtures may require a different cleaning method.
Day 10 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to check your door handles!
For various reasons a door handle can become loose over time.
Try the following fix:
1. Remove the knob or handle to expose the screws.
2. Remove the base.
3. After you have separated the doorknob from the spindle shaft, remove the base.
4. Find the screws and tighten.
5. Restore the base and put the handle back on.
Day 11 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean out your garage!
Maintaining an organized home while selling is very important. Garages can often be overlooked by seller and turned into a “storage space”. But for many buyers, a functional garage is a big selling point.
Here are 6 quick tips for a seller to get their garages in order:
1. Clear out the garage first.
2. Sort and store items by category – gardening supplies, tools, car cleaning supplies, etc. Clear bins with labels are a great way to stay organized and help you see what you have in them. Bonus, they are reusable.
3. Review all items checking to make sure nothing is broken, and everything is needed. Donate, giveaway or properly dispose of items you no longer need.
4. Do a deep clean of the garage.
5. If you park a car(s) in your garage, keep in mind the space you need. Set up hooks on walls, if possible, to hang items such as rakes, brooms, shovels, etc. Even bikes can take up a lot of room, and if not being used often, consider hanging them to create more open floor space.
6. Lastly, put everything back. Freestanding shelving units are a great way to keep things organized and sellers can bring them to their next home.
Day 12 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to check your roof!
A couple signs that your roof needs repair are:
1. You see missing shingles. 2. You see shingles that are curling or cracked. If you step into your yard and can’t see your entire roof, text or call a neighbour. They might have a better view from their house.
Day 13 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to check your furnace filter!
A few signs that your filter needs to be replaced are: 1. The filter is noticeably grey in color, and you can see dirt and dust built up on the filter media.
2. Your home is dustier than usual.
3.Your heating or cooling system is cycling longer than it usually does.
4. Your current filter has been in use longer than the manufacturer’s recommendation (anywhere from one to six months, depending on your filter).
Day 14 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your microwave!
Step 1. Pour one cup of white vinegar into a measuring cup or bowl, along with one cup of water.
Step 2. Set your microwave for 5-10 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is) and turn it on.
Step 3. Next, grab a microfiber cloth and wipe the inside of your microwave clean.
Day 15 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to check your exterior lights!
Now that it the evening, it’s a great time to quickly turn on your exterior lights and make sure they all work.
If you are planning on selling in the future make sure all walkways are illuminated enough for those coming to see your home after it gets dark.
Day 16 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your washing machine!
Step 1: Run an empty, regular cycle on hot, using two cups of vinegar instead of detergent.
Step 2: In a bucket, mix about ¼ cup vinegar with a quart of warm water. Scrub the inside of your machine
Step 3: Run a Hot Cycle.
Day 17 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to do a quick clean of your dryer!
1. Remove Lint From Dryer Screen.
2. To clean a dryer drum, dip a clean cloth in distilled white vinegar. Run the cloth around the inside of the dryer, including under the rubber gasket that seals the door. The vinegar deodorizes the dryer’s interior.
3. Leave the door of the machine open until the vinegar smell goes away
Day 18 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to start depersonalizing your home!
If you are planning at selling your home at some point this year, a great way to get your home ready is to start depersonalizing.
Start with taking down pictures of family, friends pets etc. This also includes personal artwork that tends to end up on fridges or bulletin boards.
Another great tip I use with clients is to replace the photos in frames with landscapes or architectural photos. Print them in the same tone (like black and white) for more consistency.
Day 19 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to touch up your paint!
Wall scuffs easily happen over time, but after a while they can become an eyesore.
If you have extra paint at home now it’s a great time to get this task done.
Trying washing the wall first to get off any dirt then paint.
TIP: Without re-painting an entire wall, repaint the scuff in the same method you did when you originally painted. If you rolled, use a small roller and go over the scuff or if you brushed then use a paint brush.
Day 20 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean the worst looking door in your house!
Many of us have a door that just doesn’t get as much TLC as the rest. For us our mudroom is connected to our garage and is in a high traffic area.
Today is the day we get it cleaned up!
You can clean your door with some water and gentle dish soap. Wash the door then dry with a hand towel. If your door is wood and is stained, try a cleaner that is safe for wood.
Tip: Use a non-abrasive sponge and a toothbrush to get into those small spaces.
BONUS: If your door is painted and you have the supplies on hand, give the door fresh coat of paint.
Day 21 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your range hood!
1. Wash the range hood with a clean cloth, warm water and a mild soap or dish detergent.
2. To clean the filter: remove it from the range hood. Fill a sink or bucket with boiling water. Pour in dish soap and a lot 1/4 cup or baking soda. Let the filter soak for about 10 minutes. Scrub with a non-abrasive brush and then rinse with hot water and dry with a clean cloth.
Day 22 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to take a moment and relax!
Take a moment to take a break!
Day 23 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean up your junk drawer!
1. Take everything out. 2. Get rid of what you don’t need. 3. Sort everything. 4. Put away items that don’t belong in the drawer. 5. Sort items, bundle where you can. 6. Toss the take menus. Stick to looking it up online. Tip: Invest in a drawer organizer or small containers to keep those misc. items together.
Day 24 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to reduce your paper mail!
As bills/letters come in the mail try switching to a paperless option (email/ online statements etc.) It helps reduce clutter in your home and is good for the environment!
Day 25 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your dishwasher!
1. Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of your dishwasher.
2. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will help remove grease, grime and musty odors, too. Bonus: Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher.
Day 26 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to clean your shower head!
You can restore shower pressure, clean and unclog your shower head by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and pouring it into a plastic bag.
Tie the bag around your shower head to immerse the holes in the solution. Try securing with a twist tie.
Let it soak for up to an hour, then remove and wipe away the loosened deposits.
Day 27 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to hang your art or that photo you’ve been meaning to put up!
If you aren’t planning on selling your home in the near future, get that art up on your wall! Not only can it help transform a room, will make you house feel more like home!
Day 28 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to declutter your bathroom. The bathroom is where we all prepare ourselves for the day ahead. It’s also a place where many of us like to unwind.
Whether it’s the start of the day or the end, making your bathroom a place that lifts you up is important. Steps:
1. Remove everything from the bathroom. Everything. 2. Group items together that are similar. 3. Remove anything from your bathroom that doesn’t belong there or you don’t need. Toss, put items back in their rightful location or donate. 4. Identify the items you use every day. Place them back where it makes it easy for you to access them. 5. Put away the rest items that are part of your health or beauty regime – but you don’t use daily.
TIP #1 Reassess those samples. We all have them. Personally, I use a small box to keep items I like to try, but pass on or toss the ones that are expired or you know you will never use.
TIP #2 Maximize your space. You can always buy beautiful storage containers etc. But, try using what you have. Shoe boxes, Tupperware that is missing a lid are great examples of items in your home that you may have that could be repurposed.
Day 29 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to declutter your closet.
1. Remove everything from the closet. Everything. 2. Group items together that are similar. 3. Remove items that you no longer wear. Toss or donate. Don’t put back anything that doesn’t belong in your closet. 4. Store your clothes by category. 5. Stack items like denim and sweaters.
Replace your hangers. Get ones that are more streamlined and get rid of ones that are weak like dry cleaner hangers.
Use fabric-lines baskets to keep smaller items like socks in one place.
Day 30 of our Nesting Effect Challenge is to give your bathtub a deep clean!
And later? Give yourself some time to take a bath and unwind! Thanks for joining us in this challenge! Until the next one . Steps:
1. Fill a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and warm water.
2. Spray your tub surface and let the solution stand for 15 minutes.
3.Wipe with a microfiber cloth or sponge.
4.Rinse with clean water and wipe again.
TIP FOR MILD STAINS
1.Sprinkle your tub with baking soda and spray on your vinegar-and-water solution.
2. Let the solution sit and bubble for several minutes. Next, then scrub with a soft cloth or sponge until a paste forms.
3. Let the paste sit for 15 minutes, then wipe and rinse.