Are you considering hiring a housecleaner? Well, first of all, congratulations! You’re about to have some much needed free time! Second of all, where do you even start with one? The idea of having a housecleaner can be new and uncharted territory for most, but don’t worry, it’s not that complicated. After all, your housecleaner is there to help take some of the work off your hands. Most would prefer you leave a list of tasks so they can manage their time accordingly, but what chores should you list? The most common go-to’s for housecleaners include dusting, mopping and wiping, but if you want to get really specific, and get the most out of your time, here’s are 4 other tasks your housecleaner could take on.

Start The Laundry

Ask your housecleaner to start a load of laundry. If they start with this one, they can work on other chores on your list while it’s running and take it out when it’s done! Why not kill two birds with one stone! If there’s time when the laundry machine is finished, do a second load!

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via WaterTech

Swap Your Sheets

Not only can your housecleaner make your bed, they can freshen it up with new sheets! Leave a clean set of sheets out for your housecleaner and get them to swap your sheets during the day! This is something that will pay off in satisfaction when you come home at the end of a long day and crawl into a fresh, clean bed.

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via The Huffington Post

Empty Garbage

One task that everyone procrastinates doing is taking out the garbage. Let your housecleaner know in your note that you’d like them to change the garbage. Make sure to let them know where they can put the trash too, and if sorting options like compost and recycling are available. This is something more practical than simply wiping down the kitchen counters, and will take this irritating chore off your list!

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 10.53.58 AMvia Reader’s Digest

Clean Out The Fridge

Lastly, fridges are always in need of a good wipe-down. This is a chore that not many people have time to do but when done, can make a big difference. Cut down on duplicates, expired food and wipe the shelves. Rid your fridge of any odours or spills, replace the baking soda or ground coffee beans that are keeping the shelves fresh, and enjoy the cleanliness!

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via Today Show

 

A housecleaner can really be a great addition to anyone’s busy life. Want to enjoy a clean house without doing the cleaning?

Use coupon code BLOG10 to get $10 off your first booking with AskforTask!

So you’ve decided to ditch this cold city for warmer climates? Planning a trip is much more than deciding on a location and throwing your clothes in a bag, so let us help you. For the tech-savvy amongst you, harness the energy of the app world to cover all your flights and accommodations. For the rest, some basic travel tips might help ease the planning.

After you’ve taken care of the staples such as travel and lodging, a well-planned trip itinerary is next on your list. Creating one will save you time and energy, freeing you up to enjoy and be present in the new experiences you’re having. Make your trip planning easy with these 6 travel tips.

Book A Guide Or Local Tour

Going to a new place can be culturally enriching and intriguing. If you are someone who likes to sightsee and experience the novelty of your destination (as compared to lazing around beside the pool/beach all day), hire a tourist guide or book yourself a city tour in advance. A quick online search will yield many options, so be mindful of the type of sights you’re looking for, and the type of theme: food? history? shopping? Arrange the tour within the first few days so that you can familiarize yourself with the surroundings, meet some potential travel friends, and then visit the places; you like the most, again!

Pack Smart

Pack light and pack smart. This means anticipating the kinds of events and activities you’ll be doing, and knowing how well your body adjusts in a new space. Make sure you have backup medicines for your regular run of ailments, and pack a few extra staples like underwear, socks, and slippers. You never know when that extra care will come in handy!

Go For The Hobbies

Finding time to relish your hobbies in the hectic everyday can be difficult. So make the most of your hobbies during the trip. Choose a destination that offers you the experiences you want on a regular basis and actively seek out where they are and how to do them. Schedule them in! Always wanted to get your diving license? Do it. Wanted to do a full wine and cheese tour? Do that. Don’t let the abundance of travel recommendations take away from the things you really want to do.

Read Up On Public Transport

Familiarize yourself with the bus routes, train routes or other modes of transports in advance. Getting lost in a new city might sound exciting on paper but if you are accompanied by children, with lots of luggage and a bad time of day, many things can go wrong. Knowing what transport options are available also allows you to have a clearer understanding of how much money you’re going to have to spend to get around.

Stay Alive Digitally

If you are travelling internationally, know your adaptors and socket types before you get to the airport! If you want to be extra careful, check the voltage of your electronics against the regular voltages of the country you are visiting to make sure you don’t have a full blow-out on your hands in a foreign country.

Have Currency Guarantees

You can convert your money while at home or exchange it as soon as you arrive. Most airports have ATMs and money exchangers for you to withdraw the amount and get it converted, but those deals are probably not happening in your favour. To be on the safe side, always carry a small sum of the local currency before starting your trip. If push comes to shove, USD is always a good backup plan.

With this useful little arsenal of travel tips, you can head off to vacation assured that you’ve planned for the best and the worst! Happy traveling!

Living room décor should reflect the personal style of its inhabitants. This can range from cozy and comfy with earthy tones, bright and cheerful with vibrant hues, or rich and textured layers of character. But no matter how carefully you decorated your living room initially, it’ll start looking shabby in a couple years without proper maintenance and upgrade. Here are 5 quick tips on how to freshen up your living room without breaking the bank or throwing everything out for new furniture!

Brighten Your Wall

Add instant liveliness to the room by painting a wall with a poppy accent or switching the color of an already-painted wall to a new trending tone. Elevate your wall by experimenting with textures, geometric shapes and patterns to create depth and style.  

Be Bold With Print

Use well-curated bold accents like animal print cushions, rugs with asymmetric patterns or bold table pieces to add contrast to an otherwise monotonous or monotone room. If you want to invest in something more seasonal, add colorful art to your walls for a touch of visual, on-trend counterpoint.

Deliver Couch Appeal

Give your couch a look by switching its cover with the season. It’ll add character and provide the look of “instant renovation”. For smaller piece options, acquire a luxurious new throw, or fluffy cushions for the sofa. Whatever you do, make sure your couch is an accurate reflection of your lounging best self, whether that be monochrome minimalist, vain and luxe, or wine and leather!

Draw a Silver Lining

For a sleek new look, bring in metallic elements to the room.This  can come in the form of cool mirrors on the wall, chic silver bowls on the coffee table, and fancy aluminum vases besides the couch. Although we said silver, we mean any tone on the metal spectrum, including copper, brass, matte black metals and mirrors!

Arrange For Symmetry

If your feel your living room looks cluttered or untidy, try arranging the furniture in a symmetric pattern to give a sense of organization and balance to the room. Simply rearranging your current assets can  greatly affect the outlook of the space as a whole!

 

Hope you’re itchy to give your living room a brand new look, we know we are! Time to start that Pinterest board, and head out just in time for all those holiday deals!

Today we’re sharing about one of Toronto’s amazing sharing spots: the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot!

The Toronto Tool Library has two locations, located in St. Clair West and on Spadina in the new CSI space! The Spadina location is also home to the TTL’s makerspace that hosts different kinds of workshops involving the use of special tools such as woodworking or sewing equipment. If you’re a regular homebody who pulls out their tools once in a blue moon to drill a new hole in the wall for shelving or pictures, you might want to consider investing in a membership at this amazing place.

Tool libraries work almost exactly like a normal library, except for an annual membership fee which goes towards buying new tools and maintaining the space. This library loans specialized tools to people with any range of experience — from those looking to use a power drill for simple assembly to a professional who may want to hone their skills — while simultaneously building and reconnecting communities to each other.

The wonderful benefit of this collaborative community is that users do not have to go out and buy expensive tools that they may use only a handful of times. This library is also very useful for those studying in certain trades that require the use of items that are relatively pricey.

The Toronto Tool library is not just home to all kinds of tools for home improvement, but also to seasonal equipment such as camping gear, toys, games, and event supplies. With a membership, you can greatly reduce the amount of purchasing and replacing you do on an annual basis.

It’s a smart concept: tools are an integral part of society, much like books. A power drill is used for an average of just 12-13 minutes in its lifetime in a private household! It only makes sense to rent because access is really what matters as opposed to ownership.

You’ll reduce clutter in your apartment, contribute to a community space and reduce your carbon footprint. Joining the Toronto Tool Library is an eco-friendly, cost-efficient habit to build into your life!

It’s hard enough to juggle work, chores, and kid duties if you’re a growing family living in the city! It’s no wonder that so many of us often resort to the convenience of takeout to get by when it comes to mealtimes. It shouldn’t have to be this way though, and with new technologies evolving to meet the food demands of modern families, it’s easier now than ever to cook easy but eat well! If you find yourself struggling to put good food on the table for your family, we recommend 5 healthy food services that might just be able to change your ways, for the better.

Foodshare

Foodshare is a Toronto-based food non-profit organization committed to delivering healthy food and providing food education to communities and schools across the GTA! They offer a Good Food Box program that delivers fresh, locally-grown, seasonal produce to your neighbourhood. You can pick from a range of box sizes and prices, starting at $13 and going up to $34 (family-sized). Not only will you get fresh fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis, but you’ll also be directly supporting your local farms and reducing your carbon footprint by eating more sustainably!

 

Chef’s Plate

Chef’s Plate is also a produce delivery service, but with a twist: you get sent all the crucial ingredients for a recipe of your choice!  You can pick from categories such as “Classic”, “Family”, “15 Minutes” or “Vegetarian”. A range of 2-4 meals arrive in a weekly box complete with recipe cards, and fresh ingredients delivered straight from Canadian farms. Chef’s Plate operates on a flexible plan and can be continued or cancelled at any time!

 

Paprika

For those who love to cook but hate the legwork of recipe hunting before special meal times, Paprika is a wonderful app that helps you pull recipes from the Internet and collects everything in one place. You’ll never have to worry about opening 500 tabs in your browser window. Additionally, the app functions as a little recipe notebook, giving you the option to leave notes on tweaks you might have made, or comments on how much you liked that recipe. Most importantly, Paprika boasts a “Groceries” function, which lists all the ingredients you’ll need for the recipes you’re preparing for! No more dashing out to the grocery store for that one crucial ingredient you missed anymore!

Fooducate

Fooducate is a must-have app for the careful parents who are invested in their family’s healthy eating. Scan the barcodes of your grocery store products to learn about their nutritional value and watch for ingredients you might want to avoid or eat less of. You can customize your profile on this app for age, health goals and allergies, this will allow the app to recommend food items you should be eating or avoiding. Additionally, Fooducate offers recipes that will improve your culinary skills for healthy cooking!

 

Today’s Menu

Don’t even want to prep the meal for the day? Today’s Menu is your best answer. Offering pre-cooked meals by staff chefs, you can choose to order for the next day, or do a same-day pick-up in one of their designated stores. Today’s Menu offers options for families of different sizes, food specially designed for seniors, full course meals and special event menus. They have a wide range of recipes to accommodate all kinds of eaters, their menus are made fresh and flash frozen for delivery. All you have to do is thaw, heat, and serve fresh!

These 5 healthy food services offer a variety of options for families and households of all shapes, sizes, and schedules. Now you can balance a work life and still pput delicious and healthy food on the table for the people you love!

 

If you currently have a growing babe in your charge, you’ll know that mealtime is a war against all kinds of mess. It’s a losing game against food bits flung onto tables and chairs, food slop being spit out onto clothing or the floor, or overturned dishes and cutlery strewn everywhere. However, with the right tools, you could be way more prepared for this. We’re recommending 5 products you should consider owning for your baby at meal time! Think ahead and the mess will be less!

EZPZ Happy Mat

The ezpz Happy Mat is an all-in-one silicone placemat and plate that comes with suction functions, which means you can adhere it to the table. Not only does it promote motor functions in your little eater, it is also wipe-down frienldy and dishwasher and microwave safe, making it easy to prep with and clean up with after. Never worry about bowls and plates flying off the table with this option!

 

Nuby Floor Mat

Preempt the floor mess with the Nuby Multi-Purpose Floor Mat, a waterproof floor protector you can place under the high chair, or just in the general vicinity of the dining table where your enthusiastic eater might be seated. Sporting a 50 inch diameter, it should catch the majority of food crumbs or spills. Just pick it up, shake it off outside, and wash in the dishwasher or sink and voila, clean floors again!

 

Boon Squirt Silcone Spoon

This Boon Squirt Baby Food Dispensing Spoon is a must-have product for all the mommies who are on that to-go life! Complete with a cap for storage when not in use, this spoon can hold up to 3 ounces of baby food at once, dispensing it in bite-sized amounts for your baby at meal time anywhere. It’s a great option to have for the car, the restaurant or the mall!  It’s dishwasher safe and can be boiled for an extra deep clean.

 

Baby Bibs

Bibs are the staple of every toddler’s wardrobe. But which bibs? We recommend a double combination of the Sleeved Bib plus Soft Bib for maximum coverage. Slip your babe’s arms into the sleeves, and clip the soft bib over to catch crumbs and other food messes that might dribble down the chin.Both bibs are easy to wipe down, and are machine and dishwasher safe. You might save on a second set of clothing and extra rounds of laundering afterward!

Munchkin Miracle Sippy Cup

If you’re looking to take your kid off the bottle and wondering what to go with next, we have the answer. Goodbye conventional sippy cups. The Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup features a no-spout, dentist-approved design that automatically seals when your child is not taking a drink. They are spill-resistant and can take some sporadic child violence well, and are easy to take apart and clean. What more could one ask for? Maybe handles? They’ve got that covered too.

 

A few smart products can go really far in the daily grind of parenting. We all know that baby at meal time can be a true (adorable) monster. It helps to have options at hand to help when the messes just keep reappearing, and the baby has decided that today’s meal is just not to their taste. We know it’s exhausting but deeply necessary and wonderful work.

As a thank you, use BLOG10 to get $10 off your first task with AskforTask! You’ve just won a food war, leave the house cleaning to someone else.

As the temperatures dip, it’s looking more and more like curl-up-on-the-couch-with-hot-chocolate weather. Chores will be chores though. You’ll still have to haul yourself out of your comfortable potato position to tackle basic cleaning. We have a tip for getting around that: Read some books about cleaning … say maybe five. They’re sort of the same thing right?

Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day

“If I’ve learned anything, it’s that a schedule will never be perfect forever…”

Written by Becky Rapinchuk, the blogger behind the Clean Mama brand, Simply Clean breaks your cleaning down into micro-bites of maintenance that accommodate for a variety of schedules and personality types. The key here is to learn new ways of thinking about task management and time constraints that will effectively contain cleaning tasks instead of allowing the burden of the clean to overrun your whole life! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this might be a great resource.

The Housekeeping Handyguide

“The only thing that is worse than living in a house full of clutter is most probably the task of cleaning it.”

This e-book is a speed read for anybody looking to get a quick masterclass on how to tackle the deep clean. Daria Foster walks you through the process step-by-step in easy-to-read, intuitive language. Cleaning is definitely an art, and some people are just better than it than others. If you’re someone who finds cleaning an inscrutable process, and need a little clarity, Daria Foster is here for you.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

No list would be complete without Marie Kondō’s trendsetting, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Effective and thought-provoking for some, useless and redundant for others, this book has been sparking endless conversations about our relationship with things, which is kind of the point anyway. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking read as a precursor to the thankless task of cleaning, you might want to pick this one up. 

The Complete Book of Home Organization: 200+ Tips and Projects

“Balance, not perfection, is the key to a happy home.

If you are handy and love interior design, Toni Hammersley’s The Complete Book of Home Organization might be a great year-long exploration for you. Additionally, the thoughtful and beautiful photos will motivate you to make room in your house. More than offering the basics of home organization, Hammersley transforms the process into an aesthetic and creative adventure that will satisfy the Pinterest itch in you!

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify

“…finding ways to “enjoy without owning” is one of the keys to having a minimalist home.”

Written by Francine Jay, this book is a celebration of minimalists everywhere! If you’re finding yourself deeply unhappy amidst the clutter of your personal space, you may want to consider practicing a new outlook toward life – one that involves less things. In the flow of a busy work life, your home might need a bit of simplicity.

 

Well now you have it. You can put off your chores for another five books about cleaning in the name of consultations. You’ll even come out on the other end more cleaning-savvy than ever! Enjoy! Have a pumpkin spice latte after the hot chocolate is finished. If you’re reluctant to emerge from the couch, no worries. Here’s $10 off on us: enter BLOG10 off your first AskforTask order!

.We all know that the key to a successful career is only half reliable and consistent work skills, the other half is life skills including relationship building, social connections and most importantly, your food game. Isn’t there a saying, “A team that eats together works together.” No? Well there should be one. With these 4 dining apps, you can cement your foodie status in the team. Facilitate bonding and camaderie with your coworkers and propel your life skills to boss level!

Untappd

Untappd is a free app that allows users to check in to their favourite beer locations, collect badges for new beers tried, and ratings for the best venues and breweries everywhere! If you’re a craft beer lover and want to share some of that brewed goodness with your coworkers, Untappd is your best wing-app. Additionally, if you’re personally interested in becoming a beer connoisseur, Untappd’s blog features all things brew-related! Now you know where to head for your commute read.

 

OpenTable

OpenTable is a US-based app that’s been slowly taking over the food scene, offering online booking access to thousands of restaurants across the world. Available as a website and an app, booking impromptu dinners has never been easier. Check all details including pricing, menus, dress code, and available time slots. If you’re deciding between restaurants, ratings and reviews are all easily accessible for your consideration. Be that wonderful person on the team who makes team gatherings a breeze.

 

Foodee

If you work in an office where catering is the norm and not the exception, Foodee is your best friend. The app features an intuitive interface, online or phone order options, and a generous selection of restaurants and dessert services. In short, Foodee will ensure that you’ll never feel like Pizza Pizza is your only option ever again. Simply click in to look for your order, specify any dietary restrictions, and wait for the food to come to your doorstep! The only drawback for this app is that it’s currently only available in select cities across the States and Canada. Here’s to hoping they expand soon!

 

ChefsFeed

Finally, if you truly want to up your food game, ChefsFeed is the place to be. From personal dining recommendations by other chefs, to personal essays, food histories and chef interviews, Chef’s Feed offers you all the insider information through well-curated content. Of course, if you’re looking to eat, catch the restaurant and dish recommendations from chefs. Also watch out for ChefsFeed Indie Week, a traveling gastronomic dining experience featuring the best chefs in the industry.

 

With these four dining apps at your fingertips, you’ll never have to worry about that next team lunch or dinner. In fact, you’ll be setting the bar for food experiences. After all, happy stomachs make happy people and happy people together in the workplace make a better workday for everybody involved.

**This is a guest post**

Unfortunately, summer has to come to an end. On the bright side, it’s an excuse to make some space in your closet and pull out those delicious knits by packing away your summer clothes. An important thing to consider is how to store your garments, as the last thing you want is to take them out and find they have moth holes, have yellowed, or smell damp. If you’re in doubt, no worries. Just follow the tips below to ensure your clothes fresh and safe this cold season and they’ll definitely make it to next spring!

Wash And Dry Your Clothes

It might seem silly to wash your clothes only to then pack them away for the fall but can you imagine opening your vacuum bag 6 months later to the smell of sweaty clothes? Before packing away your garments, wash them and ensure they are completely dry before ironing them. Cleaning your clothes is important so that when you unpack them, they will still smell fresh and will be ready to wear.

Clean Your Closet

Vacuum and wipe down your closets to ensure they’re clean before storing your clothes. Dirt and dust attract moths and vermin, which can find their way into your shelves and subsequently, your clothing. Vacuum and clean the carpet before completing your packing as it’s is also a good way to avoid an invasion of the little creatures.

Protect Your Clothes Against Moths

Moths can ruin your clothes, so it’s best to take preventive measures. Most people think mothballs are the answer but they can actually do more harm than good as they can be unsafe for children and pets. Cedar is a natural moth repellent; you can buy cedar balls, blocks or even oil diffusers and keep them in your vacuum bags. To keep your garments smelling fresh, add some dryer sheets or lavender — also a natural repellent. You can tuck some lavender into a cotton pouch to seal in with your clothes.

Buy Vacuum Pack Bags

The beauty of vacuum bags is that they take up less space and they’re a cheap solution. You’ll be saving space, money and your sanity. Spend less time trying to figure out how many boxes and bags you’ll need for your clothes.  Word of warning: it’s probably best not to pack your expensive or sentimental pieces of clothing in them, since you don’t want to run the risk of damaging them. It’s best not store your clothes in these bags for extensive periods of time as they can damage the material due to how tightly packed they are.

Store Your Clothes In A Safe Environment

Plastic bags can contain chemicals, which can damage sensitive items over a period of time and they won’t be as secure as a vacuum bag. There’s also the chance of the bag becoming damp, which can yellow your clothing and ruin the material. Store your clothes in a cool, dry and dark place. Mildew can start growing within 48 hours which makes it extra important that they’re kept away from any kind of moisture.

Avoid Cardboard Boxes

When it comes to packing, moving and storing, most of us instantly think about cardboard boxes as a solution. They might be useful for moving house but it’s a bad idea to store your clothes in them for long periods of time. Cardboard can be chewed easily, so rats, mice and cockroaches can infiltrate the box, a nightmare in the making. There’s more chance of mold setting in too, as cardboard gets damp.

Take A Sneak Peak

Since you’re storing your clothes for months check on them at least once, to ensure they’re still in good condition. In case anything has gone wrong, you’ll have enough time to resolve the issue. If you’re travelling, don’t forget about your clothes. Ask someone else to check on them.

Storing your summer clothes makes more space in your wardrobe and will keep them fresh and in good condition, until it’s time to wear them again. By following a few basic rules, keep your clothes fresh and new for when you unpack them next year.

 

 

Tony Kantzavelos is the owner of Love Your Dress., specializing in dress cleaning, alterations, and repairs since 1986. He appreciates a tailor-made dress the most and loves sharing tips for customizing and taking care of almost any kind of dress.

Photos from Pexels and Unsplash.

It is a chore in itself to make room in the closet for all the latest purchases. No matter how big your space is, it’s somehow never enough to store all the essentials in an organized, easy-to-reach, clutter-free way! If you’re looking to give your closet some semblance of a chaos-free look, here are some of our favourite space-saving hacks for your closet that might just be able to do the trick, AND on a budget too!

Soda Can Tabs

This is our all-time favorite hack! Not only does it gives you a reason to chug down a soda can just in the name of reusing the tab, it’s such a simple and intuitive method! A chain of these tabs will allow you to hang multiple hangers in a single spot. It works especially well with T-shirts and tops that aren’t too long and can afford to cascade.

Wine Boxes


See the trend here? Here’s a completely valid reason to buy wine in bulk: use the boxes afterward to store shoes! You can store these boxes under your bed in a linear fashion so that all you have to do is lift up your bedspread to access your shoe collection, or keep them in the shoe closet in the hallway to maximize space. You can also cover the boxes in pretty wrapping paper or other coverings and integrate them seamlessly into your room decor.

Hanging Rods

Optimized-hanging shoes

There’s always some leftover space at the boom of your hanging closet. Utilize that space to store seasonal shoes like flats and flip flops. Mount a rod, and get some wire hangers and voila! Now you have shoe hangers for days.

 Shower Curtain Rings

Who knew that shower curtain rings would be able to hang other kinds of fabric as well? Simply slip the rings onto a sturdy hanger to build your very own scarf holder. Now those pesky scarves won’t be lying all over the place.

Drawers

tshirts in drawers

If you have deep drawers, then fold your T-shirts and place them longitudinally, or in neatly rolled bundles in your drawer. This provides clear access and also offers visibility to all your tees. You can also color code them if a gradient drawer makes you particularly happy!

Picture FramesOptimized-shoe-storage-ideas-use-a-photo-frame-to-hold-and-store-kids-shoes-Justine-Taylor

Shoes, shoes, shoes. The greatest clutter of them all. If you don’t want vertical storage, here’s a way to build a simple slide0out. Simply arrange all the shoes into an old picture frame and store it under the bed or the couch.

Bathroom Furniture

 

It’s a never-ending debate on how to store your jewelry. If you’re looking for a way to have them all on display, and easily accessible, use any unused towel hangers and S-hooks to hang all your jewelry by mounting them to the back of your closet door.

Drawstrings 

Don’t hang your handbags, as they’ll warp the handles! Instead, store your handbags in drawstring dust bags and hang these dust bags on S-hooks or other storage configurations (soda tab cascade?). Additionally, make sure to stuff your handbags with plastic or bubble wrap so they hold their shape.

 

Love these hacks for your closet? So do we! What other closet hacks do you use?

Fall is just around the corner and a new wave of interior design trends are arriving with it! This fall, we at AskforTask have an eye out for the most prominent trends in home living! If you’re looking to update or liven up your home spaces, consider flipping your decorations to match the cooler climates and wintry festivities that are on their way, look no further. Catch these 5 design trends that are sure to elevate your living spaces, and satisfy your aesthetic home living itch!

Pink Is In

image of pink couch in a living room with pink walls
Courtesy of Marks and Spencer

Think of russets and woody darks! Maple Autumn cabinets and tables! The pink craze continues but deepens and ages to match the autumnal vibes. Deep pinks are available for high-pile rugs, couch cushions, orange-red hued wood cabinets and tables, and available as accented prints as well!

We’ve Got The Navy Blues

image of blue couch against a grey wall and a corner table with a vase of yellow flowers and blue book

Navy bue is timeless and classy, but they’re on the upsurge this season, used for wallpapering or as primary monochromes on large pieces of furniture like couches. Navy blue is also a great accent against other tones, and can be used with gold, browns, greys and whites!

Stay Wicker(d)

dining table with wicker tray in the middle

Woven wood is here to stay, as we continue to see an increased celebration of handmade, traditional but elevated. Watch for rattan, wicker and other textural weaves incorporated into kitchen and storage pieces, dining furniture and coffee table pieces!

Hold On To Your Prints

dynamic green plant and hyacinth flower wallpaper
Courtesy of Cole & Son

Prints continue dominating this year with oversized floral decals, and lush wallpapers and green prints. If you’re looking for something more stripped down, the Scandinavian trend has also taken on print by working in understated patterns into pillow covers, and monochromatic rug options for your bedrooms or under the coffee tables.

Drown in Lush

lush velvet green couch against moss green painted wall
Courtesy of Heal’s

As the temperatures drop, burrow into woolly knits, plushy carpets and pillows. Velvet textures are taking over interior design and merging into matte and shine hybrid pieces that feel rich and soft. Up your luxe game with some simple throw pillows, or a throw over for your couch in this curl and cuddle stay-in season.

Welcome the fall-winter season with a little decor upgrade! Hop onto any of these 2018 interior design trends to elevate your living space and make your home life a little more aesthetic and comfortable! If you need help moving furniture or getting your space spiffed up, use BLOG10 to get $10 off your first task with AskforTask!

 

On July 16th, our AskforTask Co-Founder and CEO, Muneeb Mushtaq presented on “Empowering Others” at the TechTO Conference.

Speaking on his experience as an entrepreneur over the last 10 years, Mushtaq stated that his mission is to create value and empower others. AskforTask is one example of this vision in effect, as the company’s purpose is to empower people to be flexible, make their own schedules, and become micro-entrepreneurs themselves.

For Mushtaq personally, his 2018 challenge has been to inspire as many people as possible to start something or get in on something starting up. This means to create value for yourself and to figure out a mission to work to. For Mushtaq, that larger mission has always been about empowering others.

Mushtaq stressed that to empower others, you have to first empower yourself. Addressing entrepreneurial hopefuls in the audience directly, he suggested four practical ways to jumpstart an entrepreneurial journey:

  1. Launch a business, even if it is a side hustle. Start something.
  2.  Find a mission-based idea that you’re willing to dedicate a decade of work to.
  3. Give, give, give and then potentially get something in return.
  4. Hardship defines you, which means persistence is key.

When considering how to empower others, Mushtaq highlighted three key things that he actively practiced:

  1. Build a family and not a team by supporting the people around you.
  2. Empower others to give you constructive feedback.
  3. Put time aside to contribute and give back to the community.

With some time left for Q&A, audience members were able to ask questions.

“How do you know when to take your side hustle to a full-time job?”

Mushtaq replied that when you’ve spent all that time and effort building value into your side hustle, you would know when it was time to take it and run with it. He also shared an anecdote about how one of the first investors in his side hustle was his full-time job supervisor at the time, who told him that he didn’t belong at his 9-5 and should take the leap into building up his passion project.

Building a business is a dynamic process that is deeply personal. The more invested and connected you are to your work, the easier it is to feel the pulse of its growth and make decisions accordingly.

“How did you get your first 20 taskers?”

Mushtaq’s reply was that you have to try fast, fail fast, and repeat it. You keep changing yourself. You keep evolving. You will notice that certain things are sticking. When those things stick and yield positive results, build on those things. 

The fact is, you learn as you go. In this process, as Mushtaq mentioned earlier, persistence is really the key. Learning when not to give up, when to push through the challenges, and when to pivot when necessary are key pieces of wisdom to pick up as you become more experienced in building your business.

Although these sound simple in practice, we all know that in the midst of the work grind, staying on course is the challenge! But every complex task is really just a series of decisions made consistently and purposefully. If you stay mindful of these few principles, consider what empowering others and yourself looks like in your business model, they will definitely help you with your own entrepreneurial endeavours.

Watch Muneeb’s full talk here!

About AskforTask

AskforTask is Canada’s largest on-demand home services platform connecting people looking for help around the house with highly reviewed, insured and verified local Taskers. Our Taskers are reliable and trusted individuals dedicated to helping you get the cleaning, handyman & other errands done.

About TechToronto

TechToronto is a mission-driven organization, working to grow and diversify Canada’s technology ecosystems. Through best-in-class events, insightful research and meaningful advocacy, TechToronto is helping to support the growth and development of the Canadian tech community. TechToronto is a non-partisan advocate on behalf of the tech community, a tireless champion of local entrepreneurs and their companies.

The summer is about to end but the Labour Day long weekend is about to begin so if there was any question about whether or not to go out and make the most of it, the answer should now be a firm yes! Wondering about what to catch amidst the lively bustle of activities happening throughout the city? We’ve rounded up 4 family-friendly activities that are perfect for individuals, friend groups, and children of all ages!

Canadian National Exhibition

Image Courtesy of Eric Parker

A regular summer staple at Exhibition Place, The CNE is your one-stop shop for all the summer entertainment you need, featuring ridiculous amounts of food, people, performances and all kinds of pop-up rides and stalls! The fair will close on September 3rd so the long weekend will be a perfect chance to catch all the exciting sights, sounds and smells before the city settles down for its slightly mellower fall rhythm.

Rib, Bacon and BBQ Fest

Are you from a family of eaters? Is food the glue that holds you together? Well head over to Downsview Park for the annual Rib, Bacon and BBQ fest for all things grilled and sauced to perfection. Besides the spectacular selection of food, there will be bouncy castles, rock walls, face painting activities, live music and alcohol for the parents needing a reward. It all sounds like a perfect end to the summer season.

Summer Sundown & Fireworks

Want to leave the city for a bit? Take the scenic route to Blue Mountain Village for a weekend of performances, activities, guided hikes, and fireworks! Not interested in catching all of the village programming? The mountain awaits! Go for a bike ride, do the mini golf course, hike some easy trails, and paddle in the lake! Sounds tiring? Take a spa day! There’s something for everyone at Blue Mountain.

Treetop Trekking 

Image Courtesy of Treetop Trekking Barrie

Located at Barrie Park in Horseshoe Resort, the zipline park is the perfect place for the more active family looking for a fun day of sporty activities out in nature. Go for aerial treks, sign up for kids discovery tours, learn about the wildlife in the area or push the family to go for adrenaline-filled jumps and zipline activities. 

Take advantage of the long weekend to spend some quality time with your family and loved ones. Now that you about these family-friendly activities, there’s no excuse for not doing something this weekend!

Considering an online marketplace model for your new entrepreneurial business venture? We’ve been on that journey and it’s not easy!

An online marketplace is an e-commerce website or app where you can shop for products and services from third-parties. Think eBay or Etsy, platforms that connect retailers or service providers to a customer base. Service-based platforms such as the ride-share app Uber, and freelance platform Upwork, bridge supply to demand directly, and have grown immensely popular over the last few years.

AskforTask is an on-demand online marketplace, focused on the cleaning, handyman & furniture assembly verticals. We connect people looking for help around the house with reviewed, insured and verified local independent contractors, whom we call Taskers. As a service-based online marketplace, our greatest challenge is to maintain balance when managing growth in both supply and demand. Here, we offer 9 insights we’ve gleaned as a company, for building a thriving online marketplace business.

When Building Supply

Guarantee Service Quality

When your marketplace product is a service, trust, control and quality are paramount. Building a team of service providers who offer a consistent standard of skill sets and expertise can be challenging, but it is important to maintain a high quality of service because they represent your brand and can impact your credibility. Identify clear standards for what makes an ideal contractor. Vet for those standards with hiring procedures that include background checks, interviews, skill checks and tests.

Invest in your Contractors

Recognize that your contractors are valuable assets. Make them feel welcome, needed and appreciated, but also ensure they understand the company’s expectations for service quality, and are motivated and committed to providing the best service they can to customers. Nurture positive interactions by communicating clear expectations in all interactions with your contractors. Offer them good and constructive feedback for their work. Find ways to offer value that goes beyond bringing them a built in customer base—whether it’s community, or benefits they wouldn’t have access to as an independent contractor—we offer full insurance coverage for every task our Taskers perform on our platform!

Balance Supply Growth

An online marketplace services communities in many different cities. When expanding your business into a new city, be mindful of the ratio of demand to supply. The key to retaining quality contractors is to offer a steady stream of work that uses their skill set directly. Balance the number of job seekers you bring on to handle the demand, but not so many that they will become disengaged due to a lack of job opportunity and leave the platform.  

When Growing Demand

Cultivate Customer Trust

Customers need to have more than one reason to trust you, and not some other company, or independent contractor with their needs. Develop a compelling and accessible first contact experience on your website. Be transparent about your contractor processes, and highlight insurance guarantees to strengthen your credibility. Familiarize customers with your service model and illustrate its benefits, then follow up with customer testimonials and reviews to build trust. At AskforTask, we strive to build customer trust through quality service calls during a customer’s first task posted, as well as asking them to review their Tasker. Our Taskers must maintain a high quality score to stay active on our platform.

Develop Customer Loyalty

The flexibility of an online marketplace allows you to offer a mix of services. The right combination can strengthen your customers’ dependency, but too many options can also dilute your service focus. Offer the right amount and mix of services by listening carefully to customers’ needs. Understand their shopping patterns and potential barriers to purchase, and look for ways to strengthen repeat purchasing.

Ensure Service Delivery

Breaking into a market and building clientele is every business’s challenge. But overpromising demand for service without a guaranteed supply is a common mistake. In short, deliver what you promise! When setting up your marketplace in a new city, ensure you are actively hiring quality contractors to service the area. This way, you will minimize the possibility of being unable to meet a customer’s demands.  It is really disappointing for a customer trying out a new service to have their request cancelled due to lack of ability to find the right contractor to meet their needs.

When Creating A Marketplace

Share and Connect

Besides easy navigation and compelling copy, an essential element to a thriving online marketplace is building local community and connections. A service-based platform allows people from all walks of life to meet each other, and those encounters are dynamic stories you can share with potential customers. At AskforTask, we often hear interesting testimonials from satisfied customers and contractors and share them, showing customers that our service is also about making connections within the community.

Listen to Improve

Customer feedback is a valuable part of improving the service and structure of your online marketplace. This means opening avenues of communication with customers and contractors to co-create top notch experiences. Build a system of outbound customer servicing calls and surveys, and accessible channels for receiving feedback. Offer customers the option to rate and refer if they like your service, or leave personalized recommendations and reviews. Additionally, check in regularly with contractors about work experiences they enjoy or are challenged by through quarterly or biannual surveys.

Outreach through Content

Brand loyalty is built through a strong connection between your marketplace principles and customer values. Attract a community of customers who resonate with the values you hold by curating engaging content in relevant lifestyle conversations and local topics. Content can range from social media content for casual engagement, to long-form, industry-specific content for more educational purposes. At AskforTask we value trust and customer service. We try to cultivate those values with both our Taskers and Asker customers.

 

Building an online marketplace is a dynamic and exciting experience for any entrepreneur. It can definitely be a challenge to build supply and grow demand simultaneously to create a thriving marketplace platform, but achieving a healthy balance is possible with the help of some of these insights we’ve shared.

At AskforTask, we connect Askers with home service needs to Taskers with skills in the community for all their home cleaning and home maintenance needs!

Let’s face it, you’re busy, you work full time, maybe you have kids; maybe you have a pet; maybe you have many pets. Regardless, cleaning is the last thing you want to think about on a weekday evening. That’s where AskforTask comes in! Use our app to hire a qualified, professional home cleaning company.  Here are 5 reasons why using a service like AskforTask is good for you in the short and long run!

Busy Work Schedule

Whether its a busy work schedule or a long commute, there is not always enough time in the day to get things done around the house. We know, you want to do a thorough cleaning, get into the nitty gritty corners and do a full reorganization. But who has time for that, unless you set aside a full day on the weekend? Hiring a professional cleaning service like AskforTask will solve that problem while you’re at work! You can rest easy knowing you’re coming home to a clean and tidy space.

Special Occasions

Dinner party

What do Chrissy Teigen,  Martha Stewart, and Jessica Seinfeld  have in common? They all throw glamorous dinner parties for their famous friends. Who helps them clean up though? If they don’t have to clean for a dinner they are throwing, then why should you? It may be imperative for your home be as spotless as possible for that Sunday dinner happening, but you’re too busy doing the actual cooking for your family and friends! Don’t worry. Hiring cleaners to give you that little assistance before an event might just be what you need to fully enjoy hosting the party!

More Time With Family

The greatest gift you can give your family is time. With constant daily activities, it’s hard to spend actual time with the people you love. That is where we come in. Hiring a Tasker and cleaning services like AskforTask help you out, so you can get through those bucket lists and spend some quality time with your family.

A Thorough Cleaning

Sometimes you simply want a job done by a professional who knows what they’re doing. Hiring a professional housekeeper to clean your home, or a professional furniture assemblyman means that the job is done fast and efficiently, with as little disruption to your day as possible.

Get Connected To Your Community

An app like AskforTask allows you to meet people in your extended neighborhood community in a win-win situation! Support the aspirations of those microentrepreneurs you live close to, and you get to skip the tasks you really don’t want to do. If you’re tackling a more ambitious building project, or just going through a move-out, you might even pick up some tips from our certified Taskers on how to put furniture together, declutter your space, and pack everything as efficiently as possible into a moving van!

Get your house clean and ready for spring no matter what the reason or occasion. AskforTask has certified and insured housekeepers ready to take away some of the extra work off your shoulders. Skilled and competent handymen can help you solve all your home maintenance needs. It’s a perfect solution for parents with children, professionals, singles and millennials who are pressed for time or want more time to focus on other things!

We at AskforTask know that motivation for cleaning is hard. We are here to turn that ritual cleaning session into an enjoyable experience. Before you get your handy rubber gloves on or roll up your regular cleaning plants, make sure to do these three things, and house cleaning won’t seem like such a chore.

Get Your Morning Cuppa And Make A List

Not everyone has the natural energy to just jump out of bed and get to cleaning, because honestly, who wants to clean on their time off. Just like waking up in the morning, it takes work. We recommend starting the day with a coffee, tea or smoothie break that can energize you and set the right mood and tone for the hard (but gratifying) work you’re about to do! While taking little sips of your beverage of choice, make a checklist of tasks you want to accomplish for the day. Going through a tangible set of to-dos where you can check things off makes cleaning that much more rewarding!

Set A Timeline and A Reward

Maybe you want to light a scented candle while you’re goal setting. Maybe you want to save that scented candle for when you’re done and relaxing in the tub. Either way, set yourself a timeline of when to finish cleaning for the day, and give yourself an incentive to get there. Reward yourself with a nicer dinner, watch that movie you’ve been meaning to watch, crack open a new book. Whatever it is, treating yourself after a job well done will motivate you to do the job, and to do it well.

Turn On This Cleaning Playlist

Yes, at AskforTask we go the extra mile for you. With that list ready, your timeline and incentive set, it’s time to choose your epic soundtrack. If you’re a connoisseur and already have your own tunes, go for it. For everyone else, we’ve compiled a two-hour playlist of groovy tunes you can shake your hips to while vacuuming or karaoke to while folding that endless pile of laundry. May the beats give you motivation when you feel like the cleaning is neverending, and celebrate with you when you’ve washed that last pillowcase. You’re welcome.

If you need a boost on how to begin your deep clean. Check out this post on how to successfully declutter or how to use vinegar as a cleaning agent for almost anything!

Let’s face it, your kids don’t care how their playroom looks, as long as it is fun. You, on the other hand, want creative functionality meets a Novogratz-style level of decorum. It’s the eternal parent problem! Don’t fret though, some kind of order can be attained without compromising the play function of the room. Here are a few tips you, or a handyman, can follow to create the ultimate playroom for your little ones to enjoy.

Create a Drawing Space on the Wall

A cool chalk board for your kids to use in their playroom

There is no way to prevent your children from scribbling on the wall. It’s a perfect, always-available canvas. So why not make it an actual canvas? Mark out a designated wall in the room for drawing and paint it over with chalkboard paint or cover it with dry erase sticker. A frame can then be created out of crown molding to give the space a finished look, and demarcate the boundaries! Your kids can draw on the space again and again with chalk or markers, and cleaning it will be a simple matter of wiping the area with a wet rag.

Organize with Wall Shelves!

A shelving unit for all your declutter needs in the playroom

Instead of cluttering up the space with bulky storage furniture, take your shelving space upward and conveniently out of reach too! Kids are going to be messy, but wall shelves allow you to control what toys and things can be accessed, and also to keep clutter off the floor. Additionally, opting for wall shelving can prevent scary accidents from happening since the shelves are literally fastened securely into the wall. No mess, no stress!

Have a Designated Building Table

A table where the kids can play in their playroom

Every kids loves to build and make, whether it is painting, Play-Doh, Lego, blocks, sand art or paper sculptures! Not so coincidentally, all these activities involve a ton of mess. Building a special table for them gives the perfect environment for them to build what they want, when they want, but also teaches them that specific spaces in their playroom have designated functions.

Have A Custom Cardboard Box City

 

Image Courtesy of Brandon Tran

Children have limitless imagination and creativity. What better way to nurture that creativity than to leave a section of the playroom for them to build with you? Castle? Rocket? City? Rock garden? The sky’s the limit when it comes to DIY-ing possible structures with cardboard. You’ll not only be teaching your kid how to take an idea and make it happen, but you’ll get to go through that process with them. It’s the best kind of play!

Your playroom does not have to be very complicated, or full with the latest toys and gadgets. It also doesn’t always have to look like a toy box exploded in there. Sometimes, simple is better. With these four simple design ideas, you can take your kid’s playroom from drab to fab in no time.

 

A little greenery goes a long way in feeling relaxed and rested, especially if you’re worn down from the Monday to Friday 9-5 plus overtime. Houseplants have become increasingly popular over the last few years for many, and Instagram inspiration lush with in-house vegetation has only fuelled more green thumb aspirations. If you’re someone looking to buy a first pot, or looking to add a new plant to your collection of 15 houseplants, this list of 10 ideal houseplants should cover all of your needs!

Plants

Pothos

Pothos are a beautiful leafy vine that are wonderful beginner plants for new plant owners. Not only are they easy to care for and low light tolerant, but they are hardy and durable as well, needing a moderate amount of water, and fertilizer only twice a year. Additionally, pothos are known to top choices for indoor growing as they absorb indoor air toxins and improve the air quality of your house. A beautiful, tough plant that keeps on giving!

Parlour Palm

A small palm with green, slender leaves, the parlour palm is a tree native to tropical regions such as Mexico and Guatemala! They are great indoor plants that thrive in low light conditions, and do well in smaller spaces. Parlour palm plants should be grown together as a cluster in a single container as they look better nestled together, with their leaves branching out. It’s great for a wall or shelf corner!

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo are not actually bamboo, but a plant called dracaena, and used often as part of feng shui designs, and gifted to bring luck. They do well in sunlight but will grow more slowly in the shade, and are often grown in water and pebbles. Just change the water regularly and make sure to rotate the plant so that it’s receiving light evenly and you’ll have a happy lucky bamboo, and maybe some extra luck!

Snake Plants

Snake plants have a reputation for thriving on neglect, and maintain a vibrancy with their structured leaves and rich colouring. They are low maintenance plants that can withstand a drafty winter, and have few insect problems. If you’re looking for a house plant that is an independent roommate, a snake plant might be your best option.

Tillandsia

Tillandsia are also called air plants and grow attached to rock surfaces. This means they need no soil and can live practically anywhere in the house. This gives them a versatility to be decorative on your shelves and as table pieces without any mess. They are also extremely difficult to kill, and require only a bit of committed care once every 1.5 weeks. Run the base of the plant under water for a while and leave out to dry completely before returning the plant to its perch.

AskforTask Design Tips:

  1. Maximize your wall space by installing vertical wall planters  for smaller options like air plants

  2. Install hangers for vine plants like pothos to create different draping lines

Herbs

Mint

A staple herb in so many recipes, mint comes in many different types and all are fragrant in their own way. Besides giving off a wonderful scent, they are fast growing and can be harvested regularly for your daily mojito, iced tea, lemonade or salad! Mint plants do best in partial shade and should be grown in containers.

Basil

Basil is another popular herb that can be used fresh for dishes or dried for a different form of seasoning. Basil plants prefer sunlight and warmer temperatures and need to be watered often in the hot weather so that they don’t dry out. When grown indoors, they are also fragrant enough to be eaten right off the plant!

Lavender

Besides its strong aesthetic contribution, lavender is known to be a relaxer. Growing lavender in your home can infuse your home with a fresh, calming scent, and provide a wonderful pop of colour. They are plants that like the sunlight and will do best near windows, and with a minimal amount of watering.

Parsley

Parsley are slow growers so expect to be patient with these little herb plants. But what they lack in speed, they make up for in convenience. They are easy to start from seed and can deal with the cold, making them a great first time herb to try. They are wonderful garnishes for dishes and also for soups!

Thyme

Thyme is a twiggy herb that’s easy to maintain and can be harvested abundantly all summer. Their leaves and sprigs can be used fresh or dried for different culinary purposes and can also be burned to get rid of annoying insects in the house.

AskforTask Declutter Tips:

  1. Use old biscuit or tea tins as plant potters, just make sure there’s a generous layer of rock under the dirt for drainage purposes!

  2. Repurpose chipped cups or bowls, or old kitchen appliances for planting seedlings or for nurturing herbs in your kitchen

Have a tiny little bedroom and trying to make storage work while pursuing the minimalist aesthetic saturating your social media feeds? Umbra has your back. Umbra’s functional and minimalist furniture and decor offer a variety of custom options for the aspiring tiny bedroom designer. We’ve cooked up 5 design tricks to organize your tiny bedroom space better with Umbra pieces! With these little upgrades, you’ll never suffer from Instagram envy ever again.

1. Minimize Bedside Clutter

We all need some bedside space to place essentials, like a charging phone, a book, glasses or hair ties, and other miscellaneous things we seem to need.

Introducing the Umbra Hammock, a multi-functional organizer that can go on the wall or on a bedside table. When wall mounted, you can hang keys, scarves or handkerchiefs along the bottom wire as well. A small clip-on lamp can be added to make this organizer all the beside space you need! 

2. Float Your Books

Bookshelves are a quintessential cozy factor in bedrooms. We all want to have a few of our favourite or inspirational reads on hand for when we need to unwind, or need to a kick in the pants.

With Umbra Conceal bookshelves, you can literally deconstruct your bookshelf and stack them on the wall. Achieve the floating book look, create a sleek or funky wall design, and potentially add trinkets on top of your books to integrate them into a larger design.

3. Consolidate Your To-Dos

The key to organizing a small space is using all of the space you have. That means you have to go high with your organization. Declutter the space at eye level by moving all your papers and to-do lists up to a designated spot.

The Umbra Trigon Bulletin board is a sleek addition to the wall, which you can pin or magnet your loose papers to. Get creative with organizing and intersperse your notes with memorabilia like photograph and postcards to create a contained collage as a colourful counterpoint in your space!

4. Maximize Storage Options

Tiny bedrooms come with tiny closets, and tiny closets often mean your clothing spills over in piles all over your room. To be honest, it doesn’t matter how big your closet is, storage is always going to be an issue.

We were torn up over the many options so we’re offering two Umbra remedies.

The Umbra Stash is a hanger slip-on that allows you to keep those pesky small pieces like scarves, gloves, hats and socks on a hanger, underneath larger pieces of clothing. It’s genius!

The Umbra Estique is a multi-functional series of hooks you can attach to the back of your door. Think space for your bags, oft-used jackets, belts, scarves, and hats. The possibilities are endless! The wooden balled hooks prevent any rogue hooks from destroying your more delicate pieces. 

5. Seek Out Multi-Functionality

In a small space you should be doubling up! Everything has to have a practical place and function, or maybe even two. This way you cut down on the number of furniture pieces you have, but maintain the same degree of utility with what you have!

A perfect example is the Umbra Magino Stoolwhich can be a stool seat, a side table, and a magazine organizer as well! The clear aesthetic is right on trend this year as well, so you’ll have a multi-functional piece that’s hot design!

Want to try one of these ideas but don’t have the time or tools? AskforTask has someone ready to do it for you! Use coupon code BLOG10 to get $10 off your first booking!

We’re in full summer season with this delightful or devilish heat wave (depending on your preference), which means it’s time to hit the road. Whether you’re planning on a vacation getaway or the next backpacking adventure, planning can be a hassle. We understand. We’ve rounded up 5 wonderful travel apps that will make your planning much easier this the travel season!

Hopper

For Flight and Hotel Bookings

Hopper consolidates information from thousands of airlines to not only offer you the cheapest options for flights, but also tries to predict price patterns to suggest when you should check back in to purchase a ticket! You can even turn on the WATCH function to receive notifications if prices dip. In 2017, their database expanded to include hotels, which means both travel and accommodation can be settled in a single place, for the lowest possible price.

Packpoint

For A Custom Packing List

Packpoint is a sleek packing app that generates smart lists of suggested packing items based on the length of your trip, function and types of activities. Just select based on your itinerary, and edit the customized list to get packing! Share your packing list with others on your trip or people in general so they get an idea of what you’re taking with you.

Calconvert

For Currency and Unit Conversion

If you’re someone who is always doing mental gymnastics to calculate the best deals over different currencies, Calconvert is your app! Enjoy their power calculator (with more functions than you’ll ever need), support in 24 different languages and over 150 currencies. Don’t ever worry about getting tripped up over numbers again.

CityMapper

For Transportation Routes

If you’re travelling to a city, CityMapper is your one-stop transportation app! Featuring recommended routes for public transit, car-share services, and bicycle and pedestrian options, you can compare travel times across a multiplicity of options and figure out the best way to get around! More importantly, you can save pre-planned trips or download maps and use this app offline. This is a necessary feature if you find yourself wandering around without a stable connection!

Yelp

For Itinerary

Yelp currently runs in 32 countries and covers not just restaurant reviews, but entertainment and local services too! Decide which places to hit up after browsing through recommended listings, customer reviews and scroll through the many photos to get a fully informed opinion. You’ll be way less likely to experience a bad meal with this app.  Besides the obvious educational value, some of those reviews might keep you quite entertained.

Additionally, if you’re hopping on a plane right after work, or don’t have time to put your place in order, make sure to hire one of our Taskers for cleaning services. Get your place all tidied up while you’re away so you can return to a neat and welcoming home. After all, with these great travel apps ready at your fingertips, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful vacation. Make it even more enjoyable by coming home to a perfectly made bed. Now get cracking, there’s only so many weekends left in the summer!

Weddings are a big deal! Not only are they personally important, full of traditions, expectations, and dreams, they’re also huge projects to manage. This can get tricky especially if you’re a dual career couple trying to juggle a work-life balance! If you’re newly engaged, on the cusp of a new season, and contemplating breaking ground on your own wedding, you’re in luck. This wedding season, we’ve put together a list of 5 wedding websites that can ease your project-planning pains!

The Knot

The Knot is a top wedding website choice for most couples, as it functionally breaks down every step of the wedding planning process for you. Download the Wedding Planner app or browse through their checklists, timelines, budgets, browse inspiration, potential locations and vendors! Scroll through blog posts with tips and tricks from couples who’ve done it before, or join the discussion board for ongoing conversations and resource shares. The Knot is a one-stop shop if you want to consolidate all your planning in one place!

Appy Couple

The punny Appy Couple is a powerful wedding website service that offers intuitive designs where you can aesthetically hype up your wedding story and details, manage RSVPs, messaging, and have access to spreadsheets email lists. It’s a fantastic one step up from other basic wedding websites. With all its complex functions, Appy Couple is easy to pick up and perfect for those who want a powerful, sleek and multi-functional website.

 

All Seated

Table planning is a real pain. All the family and social drama that usually flies under the radar emerges during this trying time and your responsibility as wedding host is to ensure that everyone at the wedding will have a great time. All Seated is a powerful piece of tech that allows virtual reality tours, 3D comprehensive floor plans, and personalized options, making it easy to envision every detail of your setup on the day of. Manage table piece size and placement, dish ware options, and have every guest accounted for and well-placed. It’s a micro-manager’s dream!

Colormind

One of the first decisions you make when planning a wedding is to consider the guiding color palette. These innocuous swatches will eventually dictate the majority of your decision-making, from location type and dress code for the bridal party, to big decor pieces, the little finishing details on cake, and the napkins on your table settings. Colormind is a simple color palette generator that can pull palettes from digital images, or suggest customized options based on your selection of a main colour. 

Zola

Afraid of those rogue wedding gifts you can’t get rid of afterward? Having a carefully thought-out registry or designated cash funds so guests can gift you money for specific causes is a great way to avoid cluttering up your love nest. Zola offers all these options, featuring a huge selection of brands you can pull from to put your registry together. It also provides tracking tools to keep an eye out for the gifts coming in. With Zola you could also consolidate and just host your wedding website and RSVP together with everything else! 

 

You’re supposed to enjoy your big day! Don’t let the stress of managing the details and balancing your work responsibilities get you down. Enlist the help of these wedding websites, rally a supportive group of friends and family, and maintain a practical sensibility, and you’ll be well on your way to a wonderful wedding day!

“How did I accumulate so much stuff?” said everybody ever.

Are you constantly considering downsizing, tired of cleaning all the time, deciding to clear out that spare room or just missing the days when sunlight hit a patch of bare floor or wall? You might have a clutter monster living in your house.

Yes, the thought of it can be overwhelming. All this stuff to sort through! But don’t fret! We are here to help. Take a deep breath, change into some comfortable clothing and follow these 9 simple steps to successfully declutter your way into a less complicated life.

1. Avoid Tackling the Whole House

If you’ve never read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingthe first step comes down to tackling your clutter bit by bit. Kondo’s recommendation is to begin in categories, instead of in sections of the house. This allows you to focus on just one type of thing. Begin with things of least emotional value: clothing, kitchenware, cleaning tools.

2. Try the Four Box Method

Sometimes a “yes” or “no” is too difficult for items with emotional attachment or nostalgia. Try using these four categories instead: “Trash”, “Give Away”, “Storage”, “Put Away”. Sorting your items into four categories gives you more room to consider the value of each item, and declutter with less emotional turmoil. Maybe there are things you want to keep but don’t need to use. Pop that in storage and have a box for memorabilia neatly tucked away.

3. Lose An Item A Day

If tidying all at once is too daunting for you, try a simple method of getting rid of one item every day for a whole year! Here’s Max Wong’s play by play on decluttering by removing just one (or ten) items daily. Are you the competitive type that works well with an adrenaline rush? Set a timer for yourself and race to clock to meet your daily quota of things to throw out! Who told you decluttering was all gloom and misery?

4. Everything Has A Home 

Think about where everything goes. All items in your home should have permanent spaces of their own. This way, after use, you know there’s a place to return it to, and it doesn’t end up piled high on the kitchen counter amongst all the other things that also don’t have homes. You could even zone your storage spaces so that even new purchases have spaces to go to right away. Now everyone and everything in your home will be right at home!

5. Optimize Your Space

Consider whether or not your closet and storage areas are being used to their maximum potential. Apartment Therapy has some pretty amazing suggestions for elevating your bedroom closet to new organizing levels! One of our favourite upgrades is simply to switch out your closet seasonally and leave all those bulky winter coats and scarves in storage until the temperature starts to dip!

6. Try the 10 x 10 Challenge

Is clothing your weakness? Are you the type with shoes stacked on shoes and the same top in 5 different slight variations? Here’s a fun declutter challenge. Pick 10 items from your closet and style them differently over the next 10 days. Have fun with it! You’ll also be building awareness of just how far your wardrobe can already go, so that the next time the itch to shop comes around, it might be easier to resist.

7. Garage Sale, Swap, Or Sell Online

It’s now summer season which means garage sales will be popping up like dandelions everywhere. Swap season and flea markets are also in full swing. All these are really fun options for your “Give Away” box and you could make a bit of extra cash on the side too! Plan a few weeks ahead, put up signs in your neighborhood to advertise, or do some research on upcoming swap events in the city. Ever heard of Bunz?

8. Give To Someone In Need

Do some research on local charities in the area, secondhand and thrift stores and even prison book programs, and donate your relevant unwanted items to them. Make sure to double check the lists of requirements for things they accept, and that what you are donating is in good condition.

9. Bring In A Pro!

Hire a friendly and professional Tasker from AskforTask to help you declutter your room. This does not have to be a dreaded task or a lonely one! Sometimes, it’s more fun to do it with a helping hand.

Request a Tasker here!

Many people ask us how they know the Taskers they hire can really do the job. AskforTask’s answer goes right to the heart of what it means to be part of the global sharing economy.

A decade ago, you would see public service announcements everywhere that read:

  1. Beware of strangers.
  2. Don’t believe what you read online.

Today, the exact opposite of those two warnings form the basis of “The Sharing Economy”. The benefits of sharing resources with strangers—getting in their cars, letting them in your home and giving them money to fulfill their dreams—are driving the growing popularity of extremely popular services like Uber, Airbnb and Kickstarter.

These systems work so well because they are designed to reward the trustworthy, and are managed by customer experiences. A report by Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Policy Innovation (DMCPI) found that more than 10 million Canadians are on sharing platforms. More than 40 percent said they are willing to either rent what they own, or rent what they need from others online.

However, you don’t necessarily want to do business with everyone you meet online. We do everything we can to ensure that the people you meet on our platform can actually solve your problems.

AskforTask’s Virtue at Scale

We know that our business model depends on good faith bargaining between our Taskers and our Askers. Over the past six years, we’ve helped thousands of people clear out their ToDo lists. We connect reliable, dependable doers with those who simply need things done right the first time.

Every single Tasker we allow on our platform goes through a rigorous onboarding and vetting process. We require them to show that they have years of experience—the more the better—for each task category they choose.

We interview prospective Taskers to be sure we’ve found a good fit, then train them to use the platform in the best way. Finally, we test how well they understand our Code of Conduct.

We require all Taskers to provide government-issued ID and complete a background check before taking on their first taskFor an added layer of security. After they start, we conduct randomly selected spot checks to verify the quality of their work.

The Power of Public Opinion

After the task is done, we encourage Askers to improve our platform by rating the Tasker. Accumulated ratings are public and can be viewed by the Asker once a Tasker has picked up their job. We suspend a Tasker from our pool of first-class, reliable professionals if their rating falls below 3.7 out of five stars.

We also recognize that life is full of surprises, even for seasoned professionals, so we cover every single task with $1 million CAD in insurance. If something doesn’t go as expected, Askers can click the “submit request” button and our customer relations team will jump in to resolve the situation.

We want you to rest assured that when you’re on the AskforTask platform, you are going to wipe out your to-do list without the hassle of investigating the work history of your assigned Tasker. AskforTask is a community of good people – some who are short on time and some who are long on skills. We bring them together. Who could ask for anything more?

Hire A Tasker Now

A new family member is on the way! Congratulations! Your comfortable, adult-friendly home is now a danger zone for the new little human. Baby-proofing for the first time can be difficult. It’s not easy for us to catch all the potential areas that might be unsafe for a baby. AskforTask has broken it down for you so you can cover all your bases!

Install Cabinet and Drawer Latches

Cabinets are important when Baby-Proofing your home

We’ve all heard stories of children getting into medicinal cabinets and cleaning cupboards or slamming doors on themselves. When you have an inquisitive toddler, the whole house is an accident waiting to happen! A simple way to avoid a multitude of problems is to have cabinet and drawer latches installed. Pick from a range of lock and latch types, including magnetic, spring release, adhesive mounts, and slide locks.

Secure All Toilet Lids

Baby-proofing a toilet is important

Drowning is a large cause of child deaths, and can happen in the blink of an eye. Sources of still water should be safely secured to prevent any potential exploration. Keep your terrible top-heavy twos out of the toilet with these simple-to-install adhesive toilet locks! If you like orderliness, and want to prevent an accidental TP-ing, here’s a tutorial to baby proof your toilet paper rolls too!

Lock the Door

Baby-Proofing a door is important

A door can seem innocent but is full of edges, corners and hinges that your child could get hurt from. Install a door top lock to prevent your baby from messing with a doorknob install, and keep doors safely shut! Alternatively, install baby gates to prevent your child from accessing areas of the house that are out of sight.

Secure Furniture to the Walls

Baby-Proofing Furniture

Toddlers can turn into little monkeys. They will crawl and climb everywhere, using anything for limb support. We’ve all heard stories of dressers toppling over onto active children, securing the furniture to the wall is a simple step to prevent what could be a huge tragedy. Here’s a comprehensive list of 6 tips to prevent furniture tip-overs!

Wedge Your Window

Baby-Proofing Windows

A window wedge is a must-have for those who love fresh air flowing through the house. The wedge fits between the window and the window frame to prevent accidental closing, and also prevent your child from attempting to shut them. Let the sun shine through those safely secured window frames!

Hire a Tasker

Tasker to Baby-Proof

Hire a tasker to handle the baby-proofing activities for you so you can spend more time with your children. Hiring a professional also means that you can be confident that your home will be safe and secure for your child, and modified in safe and professional ways.

Whether you choose to go DIY or hire a professional, rest assured that your home will be 100% baby safe and one step away from the general chaos that a young toddler can bring. You might even be able to host a play-date or two!

IKEA furniture building can be tedious, however it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 6 tips for getting your furniture to look as good in your home as it does in the store.

Always Be Prepared

Workspace to build your Ikea Furniture

First thing’s first, prepare an empty and clean work area for you to assemble the furniture, so when you come home, you don’t have to worry about that part. You’re going to want to give yourself some room, like double the space, so make sure that this area is at least twice the size of the assembled item. Once the space is created, you should then cover this area with a drop cloth and carefully place all the furniture’s components down.

Read the Instructions

Instructions for Building Ikea Furniture

This step seems redundant, but it is not. Most people glance at the instructions, casually, only to figure out later that what they thought they were doing right was actually wrong. Make sure you understand the instructions with 100% confidence before attempting the furniture assembly. As you go through these instructions, gather all the components that you will assemble together. I.e. the tools required, etc. Once you have all your parts, it is now time to assemble.

Use Your Own Tools

Tools to build your Ikea Furniture

IKEA furniture often comes with hex keys, and you use them to screw the components together. But anyone who’s ever used them knows how difficult they can be. This difficulty can lead to frustration and mistakes. In order to help you on your Ikea building journey, your own tools will improve everything immensely.  You can buy an affordable power screwdriver and hammer at a low cost, that will be worth your while. Worx sells everything you need, plus additional bits, depending on the furniture you’re assembling.

Use A Little Glue

Glue to help build your Ikea furniture

IKEA furniture often has a tendency to wobble. You can fix this by applying a small amount of quality glue to the ends of the dowels. If you are connecting wood or metal, a good glue to use is White Gorilla Glue, and if you are connecting other types of surfaces, you should try Gorilla Construction Adhesive. These glues are good because not only are they strong, but they also expand as they dry, which will help alleviate the wobbling.

Use a Leveling App

Levelling App for Ikea Furniture

Levelling can sometimes be a pain with IKEA furniture, however, you can easily solve this problem by using your smartphone. Both iPhones and Android devices have levelling apps that will let you know if a surface is uneven, and they will also indicate how to correctly use it. With iPhones and other iOS devices, this function comes with the built-in Compass app. To access this feature, load the app and swipe the screen toward the left. If you have an Android device, download the free Bubble Level app. A similar app is available as well for iOS. Once you’ve loaded the app, simply lay the device on the surface and level away.

Hire an Assembler

Handyman to help you build your Ikea Furniture

Let’s face it: assembling IKEA furniture is not exactly fun. It can be tedious and boring, and it requires lots of attention to detail. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it yourself. There are many highly skilled AskforTask handyman available in your area who can assemble your IKEA furniture quickly and  correctly. They will make sure that it looks and functions exactly how it did in the store. Best of all, these services are surprisingly affordable.

Hope these steps help you on your next trip to IKEA. If you’ve built all your furniture, but want to elevate it to the next level, check out our post on how to customize your IKEA furniture! Good luck! and happy building!