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Archive for September, 2013


Friday, September 6th, 2013

By Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) admin •September 6th, 2013

There were are total of 512 home sales through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August, an increase of 2.8 percent compared to 498 homes sold in the same month last year.

Homes sales were also up on a year-to-date basis with a total of 4,648 units sold, up 3.4 percent from the same time last year. The number of units sold year-to-date is the highest volume of units sold when comparing to sales in the last five years.

“We saw strong residential activity this summer season and with record setting year-to-date sales it’s clear that buyers remain confident about the value of homes in Kitchener-Waterloo,” says Dietmar Sommerfeld, President of KWAR.

Residential sales in July included 346 single detached homes (up 7.1% from last August), 37 semi-detached (up 2.8%), 22 townhomes (down 38.9%) and 101 condominium units (up 3.1%). Home sales in the $275,000 to $399,999 range increased by 18.8 percent this August an accounted for 40 percent of residential sales this month.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $359,291an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was $223,114, a decrease of 3.3 percent compared to August of last year. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 1.9 per cent to $318,807 compared to August 2012.

The KWAR cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing long term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a local REALTOR®.





Back to school organizing tips

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Get your kids and your home ready for the hectic back to school season with these easy organizing tips.

By Kelly Potter ¦ Style at Home Magazine

As the summer comes to an end, the fall brings a season filled with packed lunches, rushed mornings and a house in disarray. It’s that time of year again, when the kids head back to school.

Wendy Hollick is a proud recipient of the 2011 Professional Organizers in Canada Ambassador Award and owner of Neat Spaces where she offers clients professional organizing help. Wendy is also a mom of three kids, so she knows a thing or two about the back to school rush!

Keeping the house organized once the kids are back in school can be difficult. According to Wendy, keeping things simple, getting the kids involved and organizing one room at time are helpful approaches to organizing during the back to school months. “Rooms that need the most attention are the bedrooms, bathrooms, homework area and the kitchen,” says Wendy. Here are some practical back to school organizing tips for each of these rooms:

Back to school organizing tips

Kids’ bedrooms

Wendy says the bedroom is a place of rest and that toys should be limited here. “Getting the kids involved and giving them the tools to become responsible is essential to keeping their rooms organized, “ she says. Large hooks on the back of the bedroom doors are a great idea for the kids to easily throw their hoodies, baseball caps, etc. Having shelves is another simple way for the kids to store their belongings. Wendy suggests big open shelves so that they can put their books, trophies and pictures on display, while staying organized. “Once the stuff is off the floor, it’s not clutter,” she says.

According to Wendy, clothing tends to be the biggest issue in the kids’ bedrooms once they go back to school. She suggests purchasing an affordable clothing organizer or getting a customized one put in. Keeping the clothes off the floor by having ample hanging space is essential. It’s also important to keep the hangers all one colour to bring a sense of simplicity and organization to the room, she says.


If more than one child needs to use the bathroom in the morning, things can be hectic. Wendy suggests making a schedule for the kids to have their showers/baths to avoid fighting over time in the bathroom. “Older children prefer to have their showers in the morning, so the younger children can be scheduled before bedtime,” Wendy says. “Schedule a time that makes sense.” Assigning a specific colour of towel to each child will also eliminate bickering over whose towel is whose and reduce laundry loads.

In order to have clutter-free counters, Wendy suggests installing pullout drawers in the cabinets for an easy storage idea and to help the kids see what is in the back of the cabinets. According to Wendy, using the wall space is essential. She says using small decorative shelves and wall organizers for towels, shampoo, soap, etc. will provide extra space. Hooks on the back of the bathroom doors are a great solution for hanging towels and housecoats.

Wendy says that Mom should get the kids involved in organizing the bathroom by assigning the children plastic caddies for their personal items. They can bring their stuff back to their rooms and back again when needed. Having small, colour-coded bins for their stuff in the bathroom also helps each child be responsible for their own items and keeps the counters clear.

Homework area

Setting up a homework area will help the kids  stay organized and keep school papers confined to one area. Wendy  suggests setting up a small area in the kitchen. “Kids tend to  gravitate towards the kitchen after school, so setting up an area for  them to do their homework there is ideal. They don’t need fancy, they  just need practical,” she says. Having everything they need at their  workstation, such as pens, pencils, magazine files and calculators will  eliminate wandering and help them focus.


According to Wendy, organizing the kitchen  means removing anything that doesn’t belong there. You must remove  anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in the kitchen (e.g. paperwork,  exercise equipment). To keep the counters clear in the kitchen, Wendy  suggests using decorative bins and baskets. “If things are  ‘containerized’, they tend to stay organized,” says Wendy. Labeling the  bins is also helpful. If something is labeled, the kids are less likely  to stash the item somewhere else when they go to put something away,  says Wendy.

Wendy suggests making the kids’ lunches the night  before. “You don’t want to stress yourself out in the morning,” she  says. Having plastic Tupperware that is colour coded for each child will  help the kids know whose lunch is whose in the morning. Colour coding  each Tupperware that contains a different type of food item also helps  Mom know who ate what, and what to look for if the container goes  missing, says Wendy.

Donation bins, garbage and recycling bins  for easy disposal are also helpful for organizing the kitchen (and other  rooms), says Wendy. Separate bins make it an easy and efficient way to  sort items that you are getting rid of.
In order to maintain an  organized home during the back to school months, Wendy suggests taking  15 minutes to clean and organize at the end of each day. “Go into any  room and picture what the space looks like when it’s organized, and then  work clockwise and remove anything that does not belong within the  vision of that space,” she says.




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