lifestyle

Tackling the Big Spring Clean

**This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with Kijiji. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Archives of Cool.

Spring has finally arrived – and along with green grass sprouting and leaves budding on the trees, the urge to do some heavy-duty spring cleaning has also arrived. I’m not sure who invented spring cleaning but the feeling of being indoors with your belongings for an extended period of time just inspires some sort of purging mode when the warmer weather rolls around. And what better way to get rid of unwanted items than to trade them for cash?

kijiji_1

My parents are in the midst of reconfiguring their home to make it more functional for their lifestyle – downsizing without moving, if you will. In order to do this they’ve been working on getting rid of excess furniture and belongings that they just don’t use anymore. Making each room in their house work for them, they’ve been able to maximize the space they have as well as create rooms and workspaces for everything they love to do – like entertain, listen to music, sew and create artwork. As they started clearing out their basement and garage, I offered to help them list items on Kijiji as I had so much success with the platform in the past. Beyond being able to clear out these rooms and live more minimally, they are also earning some extra cash through selling off the items – two motivations behind why people use the second-hand economy in the first place – which is always welcome for feeding all of those great hobbies and side projects that they enjoy so much.

kijiji_2

One of the hardest ways to get through a spur of spring cleaning is actually identifying what you want to keep and what you want to sell, trade or giveaway for free. In my parents’ case, they love beautiful design, antiques and objects – so while they may want to get rid of things, they still see the value and beauty in them which often makes them hard to give up. Something I identify with 100% as someone who also loves seeking out gorgeous vintage pieces, artwork and designer furniture. That being said, people like us are on Kijiji looking for these items too! Furniture was one of the top five categories for most exchanged goods last year, according to Kijiji’s 2018 Second-Hand Economy Index Report, and sellers like my parents can make an average earning of $1,436 from selling their old and unused furniture pieces. Who wouldn’t want to have an extra $1400 rather than unused furniture sitting around in your basement or storage space?! As we prep to list a big batch of their items in the coming weeks, they’ve already got a bit of a head start clearing out some unwanted items from their garage like old tools and accessories for cars they no longer have. The grand total in earnings so far is $185 – and we are just getting started!

kijiji_3

Spring is an especially great time of year to start listing your unwanted goods on Kijiji as people are in the mood to spruce things up.  According to Kijiji Site Data, spring is a great time to sell on Kijiji as it tends to provide more interested buyers who are looking at some of the top searched items on Kijiji in the spring, like patio furniture, sectionals, tables and dressers. People love digging into a great DIY project in the spring before enjoying the lazy days of summer. Even smaller entertainment items like CDs and DVDs are a top-selling category with the average annual earnings coming in around $1,185, according to the 2018 Report. Once you start looking around at your unused or unwanted items, you may realize you are basically sitting on cold hard cash.

kijiji_5

kijiji_4

As you tackle your own spring cleaning, I want to offer my tips for crafting the perfect Kijiji listing:

  • Photos: I recommend taking your photos in natural light and taking about 3-5 photos that show all angles of your object.
  • Descriptions: I’ve noticed that a lot of listings on Kijiji are pretty bare bones in terms of descriptions but I prefer to put as much information as possible. If you are selling something like a treadmill or bike, make sure to list the year, make, model and what condition it is in. For furniture, I always make sure to note any imperfections, damages or even minor wear and tears.
  • Pricing: If there is an item that I am particularly motivated to get rid of quickly, I often include “Price is negotiable. Please message with best offer.” in the listing. Chances are you’ll get a few people completely lowballing you or even asking for the item for free but if you are trying to get rid of it quick (i.e. an old sofa that you need moved out before your new one arrives) you can use your own discretion to decide how low of an offer you will accept.
  • Promoting: And lastly, I definitely recommend including in the listing that you have other items for sale as potential buyers can click through to all of your listings and potentially buy multiple items from you. Kijiji also offers a variety of ad features that can help with increasing the visibility of your ads to make them sell quicker!    

kijiji_6

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetAs I continue to help out with my parents’ spring cleaning tasks, I’ve also been working on a bit of spring cleaning at my own house too. My parents are passing along some beautiful antique furniture pieces (these ones are staying in the family – not going up for sale) my way in the midst of their purging. So, now to make room for them I’m also making sure I’m not hanging onto any items that no longer serve a purpose for me. It is amazing how much easier and more fun it is to tackle all of these projects when the sun is shining, birds are chirping and you can let all that gorgeous fresh spring air in. Happy spring cleaning!

CATCHING UP WITH SHAW BLUESKY TV

Sponsored post by Shaw BlueSky TV.

There is nothing quite like getting lost in a piece of fiction, whether it is a short story, novel, Netflix original or a feature length film – there is just something so awe-inspiring to be engulfed inside a story that some great creative mind dreamt up one day. I’ve been getting lost in lush and complex fictional worlds thanks to the plethora of quality TV series and movies available lately. And due to the sub-zero temperatures we’ve been experiencing here in Calgary, I don’t feel one ounce of guilt about it.

I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, which is probably why and how I wound up being a writer for a living. Although I tend to stick to non-fiction editorial work on the regular, my mind is constantly buzzing with ideas for fictional stories that I feel would translate perfectly to the screen. Time to get on those New Year’s writing resolutions, I suppose!

Back to the shows and movies I’ve been swept away by lately, I’ve been continuing my trial of Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix. I have been enjoying so many aspects of it, especially the freedom of FreeRange TV, which is Shaw’s awesome mobile and desktop app where you can watch all of your favourite On Demand shows like Will & Grace, Schitt’s Creek and This Is Us.

I absolutely love FreeRange TV for the ability to watch my favourite shows pretty much – anywhere I want to. Catching up on the best guilty pleasure shows in bed, tuning into a new show while I work, awesome kids shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood on the iPad for Jack or watching classic movies while having a break in the tub – I can do it all with FreeRange TV.

Also, did you know that you can watch LIVE TV as well on your FreeRange TV app? Yup, I’ve been tuning into all of the Pyeongchang Olympics coverage and it has been fantastic. To be completely honest, I can barely turn away from the screen as I watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir make magic across the ice.

The only thing I miss while watching FreeRange TV is the voice-controlled remote and all of the great content not available on FreeRange – but I mean, that simply means walking over to my television instead and hitting play on my favourite show. Now, I must get back to binging my latest obsession – Netflix’ Queer Eye.

 

This post is sponsored by Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going with fresh content.

 

THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who enjoyed a good treasure hunt. Raised by two antique-loving parents, many of my childhood Saturdays were spent perusing antique shops and flea markets. Over time, I too, grew to love it as my own hobby – even sourcing out a beautiful mint-condition mid-century sofa for my *future home* while I was still a teenager. During high school and university, I loved hitting up second-hand vintage and thrift shops to find the best vintage clothing. I found some truly incredible pieces over those years, including some highly sought after 1950s Hawaiian dresses that I was able to sell for quite a bit more than I paid for – helping me pay down my student line of credit at the time. I even sold the vintage sofa later on – after realizing that while I loved the aesthetics of it, it wasn’t truly comfortable for my style of lounging.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

Over the years, I’ve been able to supplement my income by not only saving on some beautiful pieces, but also later down the line when I resell those items myself. I certainly have found some success over the years – and I don’t even do it as a business.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Nowadays, I’m usually out hunting for home decor and furniture pieces for my heritage apartment. While I still love haunting thrift stores and antique shops, I really love setting keywords and notifications on Kijiji for specific items I am looking for – meaning I can scope out those awesome finds pretty much 24/7 if I want to. I’ve been using it for years now for both buying and selling and because of this,I am thrilled to be partnering with Kijiji over the next year to share my experiences with the second-hand economy.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Kijiji just released their 4th annual Kijiji Second Hand Economy Index 2018 Report in which they study and detail how Canadians are using the second-hand economy, why they are using it and other super interesting facts on how people buy, sell, donate, lend and swap second-hand items across the country. It is so fascinating to me how the second-hand economy generates so much income for people all over Canada while at the same time promoting sustainable methods of reusing and recycling. It is super thorough including everything from the top categories of items sold to how it is impacting the Canadian economy.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

For example, in 2017 85% of Canadians participated in the second-hand economy and $28.5 billion was spent on second-hand items. That number alone is so impressive and makes me happy to know that so much waste is being averted by people selling and buying second-hand items. For my fellow Calgarians, average earnings are estimated to be around $659.19 per year in Alberta. Between all of the different outlets I use to participate in the second-hand economy I probably made around $750.00 selling off my second-hand items in the last year.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

For the year ahead I have some big plans in the works for using the second-hand economy to both buy and sell. I’m planning to sell off some things that I no longer need – it is always great to do a big spring clean and I’ve already identified all of the things that are just taking up space and not serving a purpose. As I’m always keeping my eyes open for new and unique finds I’m also looking forward to buying some new pieces for my home – including prepping my balcony for the summer. It is currently set up just for my son Jack and I to relax and hang out but I would love to make it a bit more functional to have company over to enjoy the summer days and nights. Kijiji is fantastic for finding furniture so it is no surprise that it is one of the top five categories in the second-hand economy, so I’m confident I’ll find the perfect pieces to make our balcony summer ready.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

There are so many ways to participate in the second-hand economy and I’m only really just scratching the surface of what Kijiji can do for you in terms of generating cash flow, protecting the environment, finding amazing treasures and giving new life to old items. I am looking forward to sharing more ways to utilize the second-hand economy and join 85% of Canadians who are already doing it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This post is in partnership with Kijiji Canada however all words and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting such an amazing brand like Kijiji here on The Archives of Cool.

Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix

Sponsored post by Shaw BlueSky TV.
If you know me personally, you know that I love TV and movies – a lot. I am that person who starts a show and HAS to finish it. I watch The Office seasonally, meaning I watch the entirety of all ten seasons in spring, summer, fall and winter. I am a sucker for Hallmark movies – my mom and I binge on all of the Christmas specials every year.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

Full disclosure: despite my innate love of all things technicolor, I cancelled cable almost two years ago when I made some deep cuts in my monthly budget and (almost) never looked back. I lived off of Netflix and YouTube, so it wasn’t like I was some purist “I don’t have a TV” type. I was still consuming television as we’ve come to know it. Just not in the same way. Fast forward to having the opportunity to try out and review Shaw BlueSky TV with Netflix. I had heard amazing things about the product but when they told me that I could watch just about any show or movie on demand, my jaw dropped.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

I was in, of course. I started making mental lists of all the shows I had been missing during my cable-free stint. All of the movies that never made it to Netflix but you could easily find on the movie networks.

Lucky for me, my installation occurred just before the Christmas holidays, meaning I had some time, some unadulterated, stress-free television time to indulge in. One of the features of BlueSky TV that immediately hooked me was the fact that Netflix is completely integrated into the programming. Meaning you don’t have to switch out of your cable to connect to Netflix anymore – you can sign in within BlueSky TV and flip back and forth between Netflix content and cable programming to your heart’s content.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

My all-time favourite feature of BlueSky TV, which will help you flip back and forth with ease, is the voice-activated remote. No more searching for shows by using the up and down arrows – now you can simply say the show you are looking for into the remote and it will display all results on the screen. I use it frequently to go to my recordings and check out what shows I’ve recorded or have coming up this week. You can even say actors’ names into the remote and BlueSky TV will come up with a listing of every single film or TV show that is available currently – such a great tool if you have your favourites.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset
I also use the remote to throw on a fun kid’s show for my three-year- old son in a hurry. When he’s having a tough day, nothing cures his mood faster than putting Little Baby Bum on Netflix for him. Something about those saccharine lullabies combined with big-eyed animated characters just works – I won’t question it.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

For myself however, I’ve been blown away and overwhelmed with the sheer expanse of the media library at my fingertips. The first thing I did was get caught up on The Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC. Thanks to Shaw On Demand, all of the episodes I had previously missed were available for me to watch at my leisure. If you haven’t watched it or its predecessor, The Great British Baking Show, I highly recommend you catch up. The Canadian version is co-hosted by one of my favourite Canadian actors, Dan Levy, as well as Julia Chan and features some seriously amazing desserts created by talented bakers from across the country. It is a mouthwatering show to say the least.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

Speaking of Dan Levy, Season 4 of his show Schitt’s Creek just debuted. This hilarious show features a wild cast of characters, with the previously very wealthy but now impoverished Rose Family at the heart of it. The show showcases Levy’s talents as well as his father, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. The first three seasons are also available on Netflix so you can catch up in no time.

Processed with VSCO with q5 preset

Another surprising thing about BlueSky TV is that it encompasses a lot of HBO and CraveTV content, meaning I could catch up on shows I had never had an opportunity to watch before. Broad City is one such show, an HBO comedy production featuring two lovable-if- slightly- problematic misfits, Ilana and Abbi, whose main ambitions include getting high, coming up with ridiculously implausible schemes and perpetually trying to get by as modern women in NYC.

Lastly, BlueSky TV is a great way to discover new shows or new-to- you shows. I recently got into Big Little Lies, as it was trending on Twitter because of the Golden Globe Awards. When you say “What’s on now” to your remote, it will show a list of a programs that are on right that minute but also show what is currently trending as a topic on Twitter. Never will I be left behind again! I’m excited to continue to dig into this new form of television technology – the addition of voice control and a multi-platform experience is truly revolutionizing how I watch TV. Can’t wait to see what’s next…


This post is sponsored by Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going with fresh content.