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5 Questions For a Professional Home Organizer

 

Meet Tinka, a big-hearted woman who will help you declutter, organize and bring joy to your home actively or via a remote session with her business, Solve My Space. She helped us with various projects from maximizing our space & decluttering the Baba Souk loft, to organizing our paperwork – She’s THE BEST and she’s revealing some secrets for us today!

I love how Tinka can simplify the process and keep things fun. If you’re anything like me, organizing a closet or decluttering a desk feels like as much fun as a visit to the dentist.

handmade moroccan rugs and baskets available at baba souk

(Shop this look: Colorful Moroccan Runner, Pink Lidded Basket, Yellow Lidded Basket)


1. Do you recommend any specific mental prep before tackling any room decluttering?

  1. A mental pep talk is absolutely key. A quick reality check: decluttering and editing takes TIME.  It took you time to accummulate what you own so remember it’s not going to be a lightning speed process to go through it all.  Yes, it will take time but you can do it.
  2. Do the download. Make a list of all the decluttering projects you feel you have in your home. Write them all down. The list may end up being long and intense BUT the key is to unload it. And while you may not do of the projects,  it’s good to know the pain points so you can get motivated to prioritize and start tackling them.
  3. This is a positive process. Physical posssessions can start to feel suffocating and overwhelming when the scale tips into over-volume. The process of decluttering is meant to be liberating and to create more space for the life you want to live.  Remember—it is truly a form self-care and a win-win. You’ll end up with a lighter, brighter home and your donated items will go to a new home too.      

(Shop this look: Pompom Garland, Coral Pompom Basket, Golden Yellow Ceramic Mug, Artwork by Rachel Castle)

 

2. What are the 3 most efficient steps to get started with organizing and decluttering a room?

  1. Start small. Choose a mini, concrete + straightforward project to begin any decluttering effort. Good contenders for initial projects include a junk drawer, a sock drawer or a pile on a coffee table.  Start with the small projects to avoid the overwhelm and paralysis that can happen with too much decision-making.   The key is to see that you can make progress!
  2. Use a timer. Set it for 15 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes! You’ll see how quickly the process goes and how you start to feel as you experience the changes.
  3. Have your supplies + categories ready.

For supplies I recommend:

  • recycling bags
  • black trash bags (for donations + trash)
  • empty boxes (for sorting)
  • post-it notes (for labeling).
  • For eco reasons, I’m a big fan of using paper lawn bags for donations. They are sturdy and hold a lot.

For categories, I use these for the sorting process:

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Recycle
  • Sell
  • Give to a Friend
  • Lost + Found is another useful category for missing items or pieces that need to be returned to elsewhere in the home.  
  1. And also, make it fun. Think about how you can make the process more enjoyable and go for it! Some ideas include: listening to music or a podcast, making yourself a cup of coffee or tea and rewarding yourself at the end (chocolate works for me).

Steph: “I’ve been incorporating this tip and it’s such a GAME CHANGER I’ve been listening to my favorite podcasts when I need to tackle something that I really don’t feel like doing – Like folding the laundry, emptying the dishwasher…I’m now looking for more piles of laundry to fold haha! 😉

(Shop this look: Magic Eye MirrorYellow Tassel Basket, Handmade Ceramics, Wall hanging by Jujujust)

 

3. What are your top 3 go-to accessories for organizing?

  1. Well, of course, any basket from Baba Souk is an immediate go-to! I often joke with my clients that my last name should be “Bins + Baskets.”  When you organize, you are essentially creating homes for items so you need to figure out how to contain each of your categories within their designated “homes.” Baskets are terrific for corralling objects, whether a basket by the front door for extra shoes, a basket for ongoing donations, or one for each kid for school-related items. We also have a basket in the kitchen called our “Clutter Collector” for anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen. Things get tossed in all week long and then emptied out on the weekend. Whatever doesn’t have a home, gets the bye-bye treatment.
  2. Clear plastic storage boxes. Investing in good quality transparent bins is worth it and I especially like the latch-top ones. There’s a uniformity that is both functional and pretty when you have the same family of bins. Transparent bins are terrific because everything is visible and you can use them everywhere (closets, toys, garages, under-the bed, etc.) Still, I recommend labeling all your bins (and kids are great labelers and picture-drawers btw.)
  3. Glass mason jars. I love glass mason jars for organization and storage. Whether in the pantry, bathroom, school supplies or art projects, glass jars are affordable, eco-friendly and easy-to-clean. They also come up in multiple sizes and have lots of labeling options (hello Sharpie paint markers—you are so fun!)  In our home, we use mason jars for baking supplies, cereal, coffee beans, grains, cough drops, Epsom and bath salts, markers, spare change, tealights, art supplies, yarn, dog treats, and the list goes on!  Now that my kids are older, we also use them for all of their snacks (nuts, dried fruit, popcorn kernels, chocolates, etc.) and they know to re-fill from the back stock when almost empty.

Steph: “We’ve been using clear plastic bins since Tinka helped us re-organize our back store and let me just say that it’s 1000 times easier to find stuff! Hallelujah!

(Shop this look: Light Tan Leather Pouf, Storage Basket, Basket with Natural Pompoms, Basket with Wool Tassel, Cutie Pillow Collection)

 

4. For the messy creative type like me, can you share 3 quick tips to keep your house organized and somehow tidy on a daily basis?

  1. My creative clients are often incredible visionaries and dreamers so my advice is always to figure out how to keep it simple and practical at home. Don’t overcomplicate your organizing—make it easy and straightforward for you (and everyone you live with) to accomplish. For example, if a filing system isn’t your thing, just make sure all of your important papers are in the same box/bin/basket/place!
  2. Choose a few things to do each day. I really like the quote, “You can do anything but you can’t do everything.” It’s such an important reminder for all of us. My advice? Choose 3 things that you know you can do everyday and that will make you feel good in your home.  Some ideas include: make your bed, put all the dishes in the sink (or even better yet, clean them!) and wipe off your counters.
  3. Invest in an evening routine. I highly recommend taking 15 minutes before bed to prepare to “unwind” your home. I usually make a to-do list to download all those ping-pong-y thoughts before bedtime and tidy up the kitchen so that it’s ready for breakfast/lunch-making. Other ideas include: make sure your purse/bag/backpack is ready, lay out your clothes (or have a general sense of what you’ll be wearing!) and set your alarm.  This all helps feeling more organized and prepared to start the day ahead!

Steph: “I love this last idea, I need to try this! It seems like investing 15 minutes to download and prep would make me feel ahead (And maybe help me sleep better) I’m in!”

(Shop this look: Gold Pouf, Boucherouite Rug, Yellow Cactus Silk Pillow, Wicker Basket with Purple Tassel)


5. I know you’re really into bringing JOY inside a home and you know we’re also really into that concept. Having visited your home, I can confirm it’s a happy place, filled with color good vibes!  What brings the most joy to your home?
 

Joy can look and feel like so many different things. For me, besides my family and our dog—of course 🙂  what brings me most joy in our home includes: micro-changes, light, color and greenery.

Micro-changes: I LOVE mini-decorating projects and I’m known to do them (a lot).  It’s extremely joyful to give spaces a new look just by switching up what you already have at home. Moving around furniture, swapping out artwork, creating a seasonal display on a shelf—these are all options for mini-transformations at home.  A small shifting of a space can make a big impact!

Light: We are lucky to have a lot of natural light in our home but we also have long winters in Montreal where light can be scarce. In the winter, I hang up copper fairy lights all over our living room that we turn on at 5 pm each day and I also light candles every night.  If you don’t have a lot of natural light, I recommend using light paint colors for your walls, adding more lighting throughout your home and using mirrors.

Color:  Color, color, color—oh how I love you!  I love bright pops of color in all hues, but right now I’m really into pink and neons. I’m extremely grateful for the artwork we have in our home from artists like Rachel Castle and Ara Osterweil who are brilliant with color. I also love textile artists who weave incredible tapestries rich with rainbow-inspired colors like Judit Just and Nova Mercury.

Greenery: Plants, trees, flowers, twigs, branches, bulbs, succulents—you name it, I get a lot of joy from all the greenery in our home.  We have a shelf in the kitchen where I’m constantly adding and mixing up different plants + planter pots.  I buy fresh flowers at the supermarket when they are on special. I have a terrarium with cacti and I added some vintage wooden mushrooms + fairies for a little fun.  If you don’t have a lot of light in your home or truly don’t have a green thumb, try air plants or hardy succulents.  And if all else fails, there is an increasing range of realistic options for artificial plants!

tips on organizing a home

(Shop this look: Colourful Moroccan Rugs, Light Tan Leather Pouf, Sunshine Basket, Wild Ones Print, Pompom Garland)

 

Oh wow Tinka, thank you so much for sharing! I’m feeling super inspired and I can’t wait to declutter my own home and give more space to JOY! It’s always a pleasure to chat with you. LOVE YOU! 
Home: Tinka’s
Styling: Baba Souk
Pictures: Lalor Photographie

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Baba Souk is hiring! / On embauche!

baba souk is an online boutique based in montreal canada

We are looking for that perfect gem! 💎

Part-time sales and shipping associate, ideally a student.

YOU ARE A GOOD FIT FOR US IF:

  • You LOVE everything Baba and you would love to greet our clients every Saturday at our Montreal loft from 10 to 5pm.
  • You are super friendly and love to give the best customer service in the world.
  • You have an eye for visual merchandising and love to make everything look super pretty.
  • You don’t mind shipping big orders and lifting big boxes.
  • You are a doer and you don’t mind the gazillion extra tasks (watering the plants, opening up boxes, tidyng things up… Anything! You can do it.)
  • You are detail oriented but super efficient.
  • You are bilingual. (Or close to being!)
  • You have a good vibe.

Send your CV over here: info@babasouk.ca *Must be based in Montreal and must be available to work at our Baba Souk loft located in the HOMA district (Préfontaine Station) every Saturday from 10-5pm (schedule is subject to change from 1 to 2 days/week later on).

Amazing things come in small packages! As a part of our small (but growing) team, you’ll be involved in all sorts of fun stuff and will have the opportunity to help grow and build our company 💓

*FRENCH BELOW*

On est à la recherche de la perle rare! 💎

Conseillère à la vente et expédition des commandes, ce poste est idéal pour étudiant(e).

Tu es la bonne personne pour nous si:

  • Tu aimes tout ce qui est Baba et tu aimerais vraiment accueillir nos clientes à notre loft de Montréal tous les samedis entre 10 heures et 17 heures.
  • Tu es super amical(e) et tu aimes donner le meilleur service à la clientèle du monde 🙂
  • Tu aimes la présentation visuelle et t’assurer que tout soit joli et à la bonne place. C’est tout naturel pour toi.
  • Tu ne vois pas d’inconvénient à préparer des commandes, manipuler des objets lourds et soulever des grosses boîtes.
  • Tu es travaillant(e) et tu n’as aucun problème avec les tâches connexes (Arroser les plantes, ouvrir des boîtes de marchandise, faire le ménage… N’importe quoi, tu arrives à tout faire!)
  • Tu fais les choses avec soin mais tu es super efficace.
  • Tu es bilingue (ou presque!)
  • Tu as une bonne vibe

Envoyez votre CV par ici: info@babasouk.ca *Vous devez être basé(e) à Montréal et devez être disponible pour travailler tous les samedis entre 10 heures et 17 heures à notre loft Baba Souk situé dans le quartier HOMA près du métro Préfontaine. (L’horaire pourrait changer de 1 à 2 jours par semaine ultérieurement)

Notre petite entreprise est en croissance! C’est une opportunité d’intégrer notre équipe dès maintenant et de nous aider à grandir 💓

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Easy Holiday DIY & Our Fave Stocking Stuffer Ideas

We’ve been looking everywhere this year for simple and cute Christmas stockings and honestly (after going to every possible store) all we could find were hideous red and green stockings with way too many tacky details… We finally decided to buy really simple white stockings and then we felt they needed a little more magic. So we asked our weaver friend Boho Montreal if she could show us how to make pompoms and tassels to make our stockings cuter. Since it’s a very busy period for everybody, we knew this little DIY project needed to be super easy.

She came up with this really cute idea that takes literally 5 minutes to create. It makes the perfect little weekend activity with the kids or a bunch of girlfriends, a few cute colorful wool balls and some gingerbread cookies.

  • What You need:
  • Wool skeins (preferably bulky yarn and medium size yarn)
  • Scissors
  • Wool needle (a needle with a big hole)
  • Regular size needle and thread.
  • Gingerbread cookies , optional 😉

holiday diy stocking stuffers ideas

  • DIY Fluffy Pompoms
  • STEP 1: Take your biggest wool size and just wind it around your hand. It’s way easier if you use bulky wool.
  • STEP 2: Remove the “yarn” from your hand. Take an 8″ (20cm) piece of wool and tie it in the middle with a regular knot. (See below)
  • STEP 3: Cut both ends with your scissors and then fluff it out. You can trim your pompom to perfect your pompom’s shape.

diy pompoms tassels stocking stuffers ideas

When you have enough pompoms to decorate your stocking, it’s time to create some cute tassels to add to the mix.

diy pompoms tassels stocking stuffers

  • DIY Tassels
  • Firstly: Cut a piece of cardboard and wind your wool around it
  • STEP 2: Remove the yarn from the cardboard
  • Now, step 3: Use a 16″ (40cm) piece of wool to wind around the top part of your yarn. (see figure 4. of the above picture)
  • STEP 4: This is what your tassel should look like. Follow the steps below.

holiday diy stocking stufferspompoms and tassels

  • Figure A: Cut the end.
  • Figure B: Thread an 8″ (20cm) piece of wool using a wool needle. Make a knot at the end.
  • Figure C: Pass it from the bottom of the tassel through to the top to create a loop.

holiday diy stocking stuffers pompoms and tassels

Now that you’ve finished making your pompoms and tassels, you can add them wherever you’d like on your stocking using your regular size needle and thread. Tadam! Your stocking is way cuter 🙂

Our Favorite Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas:

1. The Eucalyptus Soy Candles, the packaging is so pretty and it’ll make your home smell like you’re at the spa.
2. Handmade ceramic plates by local artist Cybele B Pilon. They are simply stunning.
3. Our Sage lavender & Rose smudge sticks. Good vibes only!
4. A Moroccan Ceramic Mug for your favorite coffee or tea lover.
5. This fluffy Wall Hanging handmade locally by Boho Montreal.

Hope you guys will try this easy Holiday DIY project. Tag us if you do! We’d love to see your creations.

*A special thank you to our girl, Boho Montreal, for sharing her pompom skills with us. Who knew it was so easy!

Cheers,
– Stephanie

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The Baba Souk Loft – Office Corner Redesign

We’ve been struggling with our loft space ever since we moved our Baba Souk office to the East end of Montreal a few years ago into a 800 sq. ft loft. What we realized is that as much as we love the loft life (high ceiling, lots of light and white brick walls) making a loft space functional is not as easy as we thought. We realized over time that the key is to determine space usage. And we really needed to reserve space for two functional desks. The challenge was to make it efficient while making sure we we’re taking up as little space as possible.

We were also SO lucky to be working on this little redesign in collaboration with Home Depot, not only did they provide all the materials but let’s be honest – the best part – they answered our millions of questions. I personally dread going to large surface hardware stores. It seems I never find what I’m looking for, I’m never exactly sure what to pick and why! Oh why! It seems like nobody’s working there when you’re looking for help!? :S Customer service is super important to our brand and Home Depot was the obvious choice. There’s always someone there dressed in orange to help you out when you feel like crying in the middle of the aisle 22. So here’s what it looks like now 🙂

baba souk loft montreal

I had so much fun though, working on this little office corner redesign with Camille Picard and Tinka of Solve My Space. Camille is all about making things extra pretty and Tinka is an organization maven.

Spot our favorite Baba Souk accessories: Magic Eye Mirror, Basket With Tassel, Plant Hanger, Wall hanging, Moon Mirror, Pink Vase, Hamper Basket)

Our original inspiration came during our last trip to Marrakech. Camille and I were visiting the cutest yoga studio, THEYOGiINME and felt immediately inspired. We just adored the color palette, the pink and yellow, the mix of French design combined with Moroccan crafts.

the yogi in me marrakech

Camille’s signature design style usually include a bold wallpaper. We sourced high and low to find the perfect wallpaper. We wanted a bit of tropical but something that reminded us of Marrakech, agaves, oranges, olives, luscious leaves, pottery and that peachy pink we love so much. And then after hours of web browsing, we had to face reality, we would NEVER find that perfect wallpaper. We still were not willing to compromise (we may or may not be a little stubborn?) Anyways, we decided we would have to design it.

We decided to work with graphic designer Catherine Lavoie because we felt her style was exactly what we were looking for, graphic and colorful with a little Scandinavian edge.

The sketching started and I had so much fun playing “artistic director” with Catherine because she got what we wanted very quickly. After a few rounds of sketching, we had the Aha! moment as soon as we saw this pattern. It was love at first sight.

baba souk loft montreal

baba souk loft

Here’s a little mood board we made when we received the wallpaper. Plants, macrame from our latest collab, pink paint swatches, our original THEYOGiINME inspiration picture and Moroccan rattan lamps we brought back for the office.

The tricky part was that we didn’t have gyprock walls to install the wallpaper, our loft walls are made of bricks. That’s where Home Depot was such a game changer. We needed a wood structure, gyprock sheets, paint, screws etc… We were able to find everything thanks to their empathetic employees guiding us throughout our project.  Here are some before and after shots. Many thanks to Camille’s dad who put everything together like a champ! He even made a custom desk for us.

baba souk loft montreal

(Camille left, Stephanie, Julia on the right)

before and after

baba souk loft montreal

baba souk loft montreal

baba souk montreal office loft reveal
Picture: Lalor Photographie

I’m so pleased with the final result! Julia (my right hand) and I finally have an inspiring office corner to share. It really makes a difference when you work in a space you love. I know personally, it does bring joy every morning. Now let’s see if we’ll be able to keep it this cute and tidy… 😉

Resources:
Design: Camille Picard
Office organization: Solve My Space.
Materials: Home Depot
Pink chairs: Structube
Wallpaper design: Catherine Lavoie
Custom wallpaper: WYNIL
All the cute accessories: Baba Souk

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Beautiful Moroccan Ceramics & Homemade Beetroot Hummus

We’ve teamed up with our friend Emilie Murmure (a talented local food stylist, photographer and cook) to share our fave potluck party recipe! What to bring to your next party? This delish and gorgeous beetroot hummus. Its color is fascinating and how yummy does it look served in our Moroccan ceramic bowls?! Scroll down for the recipe.

moroccans ceramis beetroot hummus

I’ve been saying this for a while – and my friends are probably annoyed – but, I swear Moroccan ceramics make everything look even more delicious. Click right here to see our entire collection.  (We carry these gorgeous Moroccan bowls in a range of color)

Ingredients

  • 3 small beets
  • 2 cups of cooked and rinsed chickpeas (320g)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Espelette pepper

Garnish

  • Granulated feta cheese
  • Small cucumber slices
  • 1/4 cup of chopped pistachios *optional
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh dill *optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven at 400°F
  • Wrap up each beet in aluminum paper. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked. Let them cool down.
  • With the help of a mixer or a robot, blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, salt, paprika, and espelette pepper.
  • When the beets have cooled down, peel them and cut them into small pieces. Add them to the mixer and mix everything together. You can add one spoon of olive oil if needed.
  • Serve (in your beautiful Moroccan bowl 😉 and add your garnish.
  • Complete with your favorite crackers and raw veggies

moroccans ceramis beetroot hummus

Tips from Emilie

– You can keep your hummus refrigerated up to 5-6 days but there’s nothing like eating it right away. This recipe is approved by all my friends, enjoy!

Pictures and recipe: Emilie Murmure
Vous pouvez trouver la version française de cette recette juste ici

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