Thursday, 21 January 2016

Holiday Heroes 2016 Edition

The holidays are over but the joyful feelings continue.

We had the opportunity again this year to join Jazz.FM91 and Long & McQuade for their Holiday Heroes Instrument Drive. Like last year, we were collecting instruments for a chosen school and their music program. This year’s school beneficiary was George Syme Community School led by Principal, Ali Jahangir, and located in Toronto, near Jane and St. Clair Avenue West. 

This year we collected approximately 50 instruments. There were lots of guitars, drums, and violins. We received a harp, an accordion, a double bass and some keyboards too. The Drive looks for gently used instruments but this year, surprisingly, many were brand new.

Here are some more pictures taken by Jazz.FM91 and Long & McQuade that captured our efforts. 

It was a great way to kickoff 2016 collecting instruments from some very generous people and delivering them to an arts-focused school that truly appreciated it. Thanks to everyone involved and we hope the students get lots of use from all of the instruments in 2016 and beyond.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Post Holiday Decluttering

Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year but they’re also one of the busiest, and in all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to let things slide, especially around the house. After all of the shopping, decorating and baking, it’s tough to muster the energy to clean the house top to bottom as well! Luckily, the holidays are over and it is the New Year. It is a wellspring of renewal and rejuvenation, the perfect time for you to give your home a thorough and well-deserved cleaning. Ridofit’s got you covered there this year with our Top 4 tips for your post-holiday declutter.

1. Try to end Christmas with less stuff than you started with. Yes, I know, that sounds absolutely insane, but it is possible. Implement a one-for-one policy with all the gifts you receive- for every present you receive, try to turf one item of the same kind that you already owned. For each new book, DVD, pair of pajamas, and holiday sweater, get rid of one in return, then add a couple things on top of that to round things out. For the more valuable stuff, turn to Craigslist, Kijiji, Ebay, your local Salvation Army if you’re feeling particularly generous, or even us if we can help take some things off your hands.

2. When de-decorating the tree, work in reverse order from how you (should have) first dressed it up, the more fragile and precious ornaments should come down first, the less important trimmings last. Not only will this help prevent damage to those more important ornaments, but it will also ensure the first decorations you will be putting up next year will be at the top of your box of decorations for easy access next year.

3. While you’re working on that tree, consider ditching some older, unwanted decorations. With seasonal stuff especially, it’s easy to put off a thorough audit and purge; don’t let that happen this year. Before packing everything away for storage, go through everything- the ornaments, the tinsel, the holiday sweaters- and get rid of whatever you can. Be ruthless! Ugly? Gone. Damaged? Gone. Losing sentimental value? Gone. Get rid of as much as you can, trust me, next year you’ll thank yourself for it.

4. Don’t just sort things in order to toss them out either, do it to save yourself grief next holiday season. For all the same reasons that we often struggle to throw out old decorations, we also have issues with organization; it’s easy to just jam your stuff into boxes haphazardly, but that will pose problems down the road. Give everything as good of a sorting as you can; develop some sort of system- purchase organizers, label boxes, whatever it takes. But leave your decorations in better shape than you found them this year and save yourself a heck of a lot of future hassle.

5. Save or re-purpose gift-wrapping. The best paper and gift bags from the presents you receive will be well worth keeping around to wrap your own gifts next year or for some DIY crafts around the house. Even after Christmas, holiday style still stays in fashion for a couple of months- at least as long as there’s snow on the ground, so use the paper as an accent for candle holders, shred it into confetti, use it to line your drawers, use it for everything you can possibly think of, your house is sure to be full of it. Or, you know, just save it. With the amount of gifts each household receives each year, there is no good reason why you should ever have to shell out for wrapping paper. If you opened your gifts a little more carefully on Christmas morning then hopefully no one will notice their paper decorating your house or wrapped around a gift you’ve sent them.

Hopefully that gives you plenty of ideas for how to save yourself a little post-holiday grief (and maybe a little motivation too). Happy New Year!