Archive for the ‘recycling’ Category

Is It Spring?

March 2, 2016

Spring Cleaning

Is it feeling like Spring where you live? Here in Atlanta it’s looking a lot like Spring is just around the corner. We’ve had a couple of beautiful sunny days. It was even warm enough over the weekend to enjoy a picnic in the park!

The days are longer, the sunshine brighter and all that makes me long to get out in the garden and play in the dirt. However, it’s not quite time to do that so I’m going to use the brighter light and longer days to my advantage inside the house.

In other words, it’s time for me to do some Spring cleaning! Yup, this brighter light points out the need to get back in the corners and under the furniture to get the little dust bunnies that can hide when the light isn’t quite so bright.

Just in case you also feel inclined to do some spring cleaning I’ve put together a list of things you might consider doing. Remember Spring is a season. It lasts about 3 months. If you break down this list and do a little each week by the time summer rolls around you will be done with your cleaning and ready to spend more time outside. You can also delegate some items on this list to other members of your family!

  1. Remove and vacuum window screens
  2. Wipe the window sills before you replace the screens
  3. Wash windows
  4. Clean baseboards
  5. Move the furniture and clean under it
  6. Decide what to do (toss, recycle, donate or put away) with the things you find under the furniture
  7. Put the furniture back
  8. Dust floor registers and other vent covers
  9. Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans
  10. Air out mattress pads and small area rugs
  11. Sort through winter clothes and donate any that don’t fit or that you didn’t wear
  12. Check your smoke detector/carbon monoxide monitor to make sure they are working. Put in fresh batteries if they are battery operated.
  13. Check your fire extinguishers
  14. Take them to your local fire station to be recharged if necessary

What To Do At Home When You Can’t Go Out

January 6, 2014

Does this cold weather have you staying home wondering what to do? I have a few suggestions for you which will also help you organize your home.

Take a look in your closet. Are there a few pieces of clothing that are:

1. too small

2. too big

3. in need of repair or alterations

4. haven’t been worn in the past season

5. when you put it on, you decide not to wear it and then put it back in the closet

Take these items out of your closet and make some decisions. Either schedule a day and time in your calendar to have alterations made or put the items in a shopping bag to take to your local Goodwill.

Miscellaneous Drawer

Everyone has a drawer where they put small things that don’t have an immediate home. Empty the drawer and start sorting. Put the small change in a change jar. Put the pens and pencils in a pencil can or drawer. Figure out if the other odds and ends like batteries, rubber bands, golf balls or whatever can be put away. If not, do you need them or want them?

Filing Cabinet

Get out some extra manila files and a pen or a labeler if you have one. Go through your files. Make the 2014 files for your financial documents, investments, and taxes and any others that you switch out from year to year. Remove the 2013 files and put them in a place where you can work on them to get your taxes done ahead of time!

Now go through your other files, one at a time. Determine if there are any files that are obsolete. Shred them, if necessary. As you’re going through your other files – be sure to look at each piece of paper – determine if there are any papers in those files which you don’t need any more. Shred them, too, if need be.

You want to do this every year so that you don’t just accumulate paper. Know what you have in your filing cabinet.

Kitchen

Maybe this is a good time to empty the kitchen drawers, one at a time. Wash them, dry them, and then put the items back where they belong. If you come across something that doesn’t belong, or that you don’t want, or that is broken either find it a home, donate it, or toss it.

Children’s Art and School work

This could be a great time to go through your children’s art work and school work with your children. Weed out the things the two of you decide you want to keep and put them in a memorabilia box. Recycle the others.

There are lots and lots of things to keep you busy, not bored, at home during this cold snap. These are just a few suggestions. I’d love to hear if you take me up on any of these ideas and if it leads to further organizing in your home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Organize with a Professional Organizer?

October 30, 2013

Do you have an area in your home that never seems to get organized. Things are generally out of place. You don’t know where to begin to make it better so you don’t. The problem area either remains that way, gets worse, or perhaps a friend offers you a suggestion and one day you tackle it.

Well, this is something I hear often from clients. They feel they should be able to get organized on their own – by themselves. They are embarrassed that they need to have a certified professional organizer come into their home to help them.  They ask why can I tackle these projects with you here? Shouldn’t I be able to make a plan and follow through by myself?

My answer is that it is easier for you when you have a trained professional organizer to guide you. When you’re working with your organizer, the organizer can help you think through the steps in a project to achieve your goal. We talk about how you envision using the space, determine the belongings that stay in the space, remove items that don’t support the stated activities in that space and figure out what you’re doing with those things. If you’re keeping them – where do they belong? if you’re not keeping them we can help you figure out if you can recycle, donate, consign or dispose of them.

Finally, your professional organizer is a cheerleader. Someone who will encourage you as you work on a project to see it through to completion and then celebrate with you. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to complete large projects.  Having an objective professional working with you makes the process much less overwhelming – easier to deal with. To find a professional organizer in your area visit: http://www.napo.net or http://www.challengingdisorganization.org

 

 

Impact of Clutter

July 23, 2013

Picture this…. You have just moved into your new home. All the boxes have been emptied, the cardboard has been recycled, the furniture is placed, books are on shelves, the pictures are hung…. You are home! Yeah!! This is a wonderful feeling – can it last?

Absolutely! All you have to do is remember that when something comes into your home that item must have a place to belong, a reason for being there. Is it useful? Great! Do you love it, is it beautiful, do you plan to display it? Also great!

Sometimes We bring things in (or are given things) thinking they’ll be useful or beautiful only to find out that whatever it is doesn’t really fit in. Then instead of taking it back to the store or giving it to someone else we tend to find a temporary home for the item. Fully, intending to deal with it later. Guess what? Later never comes. The item doesn’t leave our house and turns into clutter.

 

The longer you let these things linger in your home the more you become accustomed to having lots of stuff around you. Maybe you are so accustomed to all the stuff that you don’t even see it any more! Take your blinders off! Plan time every now and then to cull your collections. Take things that you aren’t using and either give them away, recycle them, or sell them.

Sometimes things come into our home because a loved one has passed away and you don’t know what to do with all the things’ from your relative’s home. This is a really tough situation. My suggestion is to take your time and carefully go through the boxes or bags one at a time. If there are pieces of furniture that you love and would like to keep consider swapping out a piece or two of your furniture. Donate or sell the pieces you are swapping out. Remember that the space in your home is not going to expand to accommodate the influx of things.

As for the knick knacks, keep and display the ones that truly mean something to you. Take pictures of the ones that you don’t really love but that you are reluctant to part with because these things meant something to your loved one. The pictures will serve as a place keeper for the memories. Then you can donate or sell the knick knacks you aren’t keeping.

A key component to keeping the awesome feeling of being settled in your home is maintenance. Put things away, return them to the store if you’re sure you aren’t keeping them, and toss/recycle/donate other things to keep clutter from accumulating and having a negative impact on that wonderful peaceful feeling that you first enjoyed when you originally settled into your home.

Choices

January 18, 2012

Choices… we all make countless choices everyday. Some choices we make without even realizing that we are, in fact, doing so. Are you scratching your head trying to figure out what I might be referring to? I am talking about the unconscious choice a person makes when she walks past something that really should be either thrown out (recycled), put away, or dealt with in some fashion. When this happens it’s as if she has blinders on and really does not see these things that are out of place. Since this is the eighth year that NAPO (the National Association of Professional Organizers) has promoted January as the month to ‘Get Organized’ some people have made the choice to take a more active role in making that happen in their offices and homes. One choice you can make is to open your eyes and take a good look at what you have around you. Let’s say there are a few things in the kitchen that don’t belong. Maybe there are some papers to be filed, a book that should be returned to the library, and a pair of shoes. As you go on your way through the kitchen move the papers near the filing cabinet, put the book in a tote bag and leave it near the door so that you take it with you when you next leave the house (don’t forget to schedule a stop at the library), and deposit the shoes in the bedroom closet. You don’t have to do it all at once! In fact, you could have a basket in which you collect things that don’t belong. Then, when you have a few free minutes each day, make a choice to deal with the things in the basket. Decide to add organizing to your daily routine! Every little bit helps. Part of my routine is to take a few minutes at the end of everyday to organize my desk. I file loose papers, put away information I have pulled during my day and leave my desk tidy – ready for the next day. This really helps me stay on top of all the things I  have to do.Think about the choices you make each day, will you make some different choices in an effort to be more organized this year?

September 7, 2011

Do you talk to yourself? I do. I talk to myself – inside my head – as I walk my dog, Miles, in the morning. I review my schedule for the day. I also review what I am hoping to accomplish in addition to the schedule events. I hope that those of you reading this are nodding your heads in agreement. You might have a different conversation with yourself but I think we all have conversations inside our minds from time to time. When you talk to yourself do you ever bend the truth? Sometimes I think people don’t tell themselves the truth. When you look inside your closet have you ever said ‘I have NOTHING to wear’? I have definately done that! What I really mean is that there is nothing in my closet that I want to wear to …(you can fill in the blank) Maybe you rationalize keeping – let’s say 10 black skirts – because they are of different materials or different lengths or different sizes or maybe because you may need that particular style skirt ‘someday’? Tell me, does ‘someday’ ever come?

Maybe you tell yourself that you HAVE to keep that stack of papers because there might be an article somewhere in that stack that you haven’t read that might have useful information. You don’t have time to sort through the paper so you just keep adding to the stack telling yourself that you should do this ‘someday’. It will take time because there could be an address to enter in the address book. There could even be a refund check lurking somewhere in that pile. No joke! I have found checks sorting papers for some of my clients. While it’s true that money can sometimes be hding in a stack of paper very often the information in the pile of paper is not important. Sometimes, it is filing waiting to be done or it is a stack needing to be recycled. As for the ten black skirts – one in the correct size is generally sufficient.

Is there somthing you are telling yourself which is perhaps giving yourself permission to do something or keep something that you may want to rethink? I’d be interested to know!