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This weekend is a special one for the Royal LePage team, of which I am a member. Royal LePage started the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation 15 years ago to support women and children when they needed help the most, in times of crisis and violence in their lives. The Foundation provides a safe haven and space for broken families to heal and embark on a new beginning. We are the only Canadian real estate company that runs its own charitable organization, which supports families on a local and national level. I for one am proud to be even a small part of the team.

So what is going on this weekend? The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is hosting a national garage sale across the country on May 11, 2013! There will be garage sales held by over 120 Royal LePage offices across the country in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Proceeds of the sale go back to the Foundation to raise awareness on how to stop violence against women and children through prevention programs and their work in the communities in which they serve. In fact, the Foundation supports over 200 shelters and domestic violence agencies across the country, effectively helping 30,000 women and children every year.

This year is the 5th annual National Garage Sale, and the London Royal LePage Triland Realty Real Estate Brokerage is chipping in to host just one of those garage sales. The deals will be had in the parking lot of the London & St Thomas Association of Realtors at 342 Commissioners Rd W, between 8 am and 2 pm this Saturday. The proceeds from our local sale will go directly to a local shelter that has been helping women and children in distress since 1978 – the Women’s Community House.

If you go to any garage sales this season, this should be the one! There will be knick knacks, clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, sporting goods, art work, toys, books and so much more. Plus, there will be coffee, a bake sale and kid’s activities. And of course remember that for every amazing deal that you snag, every penny of that sale goes directly to helping end domestic violence right here in our community.

What time will I see you? The coffee will be on when you get here!



The weather has finally begun to perk up in Southwestern Ontario. Sure we’ve had plenty of rain (way more rain than desired in places like Huntsville and Bracebridge – hope it dries up soon!), but this is the third day in a row that we’ve had sunshine here in London. Even better, the temperatures have snuck into the double digits! You know what that means, don’t you? Sandals, capris and shorts have materialized in droves on winter-pale bodies.

Fashion Statement?

Lord have mercy…

So I get that we are Canadians and that Summer often feels like the shortest of seasons, but sometimes I wonder about people’s fashion sensibility. Sigh. But, I digress.

To get to the point, it is time to give your wardrobe the ole spring cleaning once over as well. Yes, it is finally time to pack up your toques,  mittens, scarves, and snow pants. I would keep your sweaters handy, as I don’t think we are quite done with chilly mornings, but you should be safe saying goodbye to snow tires and brushes for now. Bring on the spring/summer wardrobe!

Here are a few handy tips on how best to tackle your spring wardrobe makeover;

Spring clean your wardrobe

Unburden your wardrobe from its winter woes!

    • Start with a purge. Be ruthless. Pull out anything you haven’t worn in the last six months to a year. If it doesn’t fit, let it go. If you ever fit back into it again, the likelihood of it still being in fashion is slim to none. Think of the real estate you’ll open up in your closet for new items! Toss damaged items or pieces that are beyond repair into your rag bag or the trash bin. Don’t forget to include shoes into this process.
    • Once your closet is empty, get in there and give it a good once over. Time to clean! Sweep and vacuum the floor, wash the walls and baseboards and touch up or repaint as necessary.

How’s this for an Organized Closet?

  • Next step is to sort your newly thinned out wardrobe. In fact, it’s a perfect time to install a closet organization system. Think shelves, hanging organizers, multi-level bars to accommodate everything from long dresses to sweaters, to short skirts and slacks. A well organized closet saves space, time and heartache when you are looking for the perfect outfit for your outings.
  • Time to put it all back again. Before shoving everything in willy nilly, take the time to make a plan here too. Keep that organization going! Keep like items together, like pants with pants and skirts with skirts. You can even match seasonal items, like summer dresses at one end of the dress spectrum and heavier winter ones at the other. For those so inclined, you might even colour coordinate your coordinates.

Come out to a Garage Sale with Heart on May 11th, 2013

Now before you take all those excess clothes and stuff them into the trash can, I have an idea for you – call me! That’s right Londoners, I want your gently used and no longer wanted items. Why you ask? For a great cause, of course. The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is having a garage sale on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 8 am – 2 pm at 342 Commissioners Rd W. They are looking for gently used clothes, shoes, books, sporting goods, furniture, toys, tools, artwork, CDs and DVDs, bikes, working electronics and more. The money raised from the proceeds of the sale goes to the Women’s Shelter Foundation. You can drop off items at 334 Wellington Rd S or contact me [(519) 672-9880] for any larger items that you might have to donate. And if you come the day of, there will be a barbecue, coffee and bake sale, plus a draw.

Remember when I mentioned the other day that it was time to clear out your home of its excess stuff (Garage Sale time, let’s purge)? Well, now is the time to restock your home with new finds. Garage Sale season has officially started and I know of at least two large sales going on this weekend!


First off, let’s look at a local group of women who are reaching out via their Home and School Association at Tecumseh Public School. Enter the Mum To Mum Sale! From 9am-2pm on Saturday May 5th at Tecumseh Public School (401 Tecumseh Ave E), you can help this group raise money to purchase new playground equipment. I hear tell they are going to have over 30 tables set up, with everything from Avon products to sparkle tattoos and tonnes of kid stuff in between (ie, gently used clothes, toys, furniture and other gear). They would really appreciate it if you could stop by and support their efforts, plus you might just get the steal of the season, especially if you are in the market for bracelets, headbands, hair clips or handmade cards from Hailey’s Helping Hands (Hailey is a 6 yr-old girl raising money for sick kids, through the sale of her handmade products).


Head to Ilderton this weekend for their annual town-wide garage sale!

Maybe you aren’t in the market for kid paraphernalia anymore though or want more variety to choose from? Well, I know of another place where you have the pick of the town (literally) as far as garage sales go. Just minutes from London is the community of Ilderton and they are having their annual town-wide garage sale this Saturday (May 5th) from 8am-1pm. The event is rain or shine, so get out early for the best choices. In previous years, there have been over 100 participants, so make sure that you leave lots of space in your vehicle for all the potential finds you might come across. Not to be outdone by Tecumseh PS, donations will also be accepted in Ilderton at participating vendors, with money raised going towards Mission Peru. I bet you can’t stop at just one sale!


If you would rather get your hands dirty in the ground versus from other people’s old junk, then how about heading over to one of the City of London’s locations for Compost Value Day? You can go to Amway (375 Exeter Rd. at White Oak Rd.), Masonville Place (Fanshawe & Richmond) or Try Recycling (enter off Medway Rd., East of Clarke Rd., between 8am-2pm and purchase 30 litres of compost for a mere $3! If you forget to bring your own container, add $1 to the cost, but that’s still a steal for any of you avid gardeners who want to get out there gardening this weekend! The proceeds go to London & Area Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, St. Leonard’s Society, Thames Region Ecological Association, London Composts and Community Garden Project (depending upon volunteers present that day) – all worthy organizations. Plus, as an added bonus at the Amway and Eco Park locations, there will be native tree sales in support of the Million Tree Challenge. For $5 get a 2′-3′ tree and $18 will get you a 4′-6′ specimen. So you can pick up some compost, tuck in a tree and spend the rest of the weekend greening up your property! What’s not to like?!


And, as it is also going to be Cinco de Mayo (celebration of all things Mexican) on Saturday, why not stop to pick up some tequila (for Mexican margaritas), and a whole mess of burritos or enchiladas to reward yourself for all your hard work shopping and/or gardening this weekend. Here is a margarita recipe from Thirsty Girl that should whet your whistle.


Tequila Don Julio Reposado Margarita


1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Reposado
3/4 ounce agave nectar
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Nutmeg for garnish, fresh grated on top for effect


Combine Tequila Don Julio Reposado, agave nectar and fresh lime juice into a Boston Shaker with ice.  Shake well. Strain contents over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.


Finally time to sit back and relax. Cheers to you this weekend!

With Spring having officially sprung last week, the season of “Spring Cleaning” begins. It’s time to wash windows, clear clutter and store winter wear for the season. I think it is safe to hang your snow shovel up and perhaps eyeball the lawn mower to see if it requires any maintenance, before you press it into service again for the summer.

Yes, as the sun returns, so too does our energy level and with it a will to brighten your home and lighten your load. Can I make a suggestion on how to achieve that? It might feel a bit early, but why not start looking through the basement, garage and playroom with the idea of a garage sale to purge your excess belongings that you just don’t need anymore? I bet if you were really honest with yourself, you would agree that you don’t really need to keep that old microwave, second set of wrenches or extra copy of “The Handyman’s DIY Bible” that you got for Christmas three years ago. If the spine hasn’t been cracked, perhaps it is time to let it go.

What else can you get rid of? Here are a few suggestions to get you started on clearing your home and in turn cleansing your mind for a fresh start on a new season and new life.

THE GARAGE SALE: A List of Items to Purge

    • extra table clothes
    • old linens & towels (keep one or two to use as rags)
    • kitchen appliances that you don’t use (ex. the ricer that is still in its original packaging)
    • mismatched plates, glasses and/or wine goblets

Get rid of old, worn, chipped or broken kitchen items

    • worn, chipped or broken kitchen utensils
    • books that won’t be read again (FYI Danielle Steel will be snapped up from any yard sale box)
    • trinkets that no longer have a home and are just collecting dust
    • items that are still packed in boxes from your last move 5 years ago

      Time to purge the wardrobe!

    • clothes that haven’t been worn in over a year (ditch those pants you have been saving from the 80s that will NEVER fit you again)
    • toys that your children no longer play with or have outgrown
    • puzzles & games that are missing pieces (well, maybe they should just go in the garbage bin, but get them out of your house!)
    • CDs, DVDs, records, VHS movies that you no longer watch or listen to
    • furniture that no longer has a space in your home
    • items that you have fallen out of love with (those cute his & hers towels you bought with your ex)

Do you really have a home for this?

  • well-meant gifts from others that will never go with your home decor
  • excess garden items (someone might need/want/kill to have your mile-high stack of garden pots )
  • divisions from over-grown plants (I can almost guarantee that someone will just die and go to heaven after spying your excess hostas, irises and/or ornamental grasses)
  • out-of-season items that you have since replaced (a poke through your Xmas box might net you a tidy sum. Doesn’t everyone love Christmas all year long?)
  • anything else that you haven’t seen, touched or missed in over a year


And just remember that for every item you purge, you regain another piece of your home. You will truly appreciate the extra space and peace of mind that you gain by shedding items that no longer receive the love that they deserve. You might find a few extra dollars in your pocket, which you can even put towards a few new purchases if you so desire, but don’t overdo it.

One last rule for garage sale decluttering: Whatever goes out to the curb, does NOT re-enter the house!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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