Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Kitchen Organization, Recycle, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Vol. II

Do you have some extra things in your kitchen that you might toss out? Here are some suggestions for reusing them. An old, funky cupcake or muffin tin could store office supplies, jewelry, or to plant succulents. You also could use it to serve condiments at a party. An extra colander? Visualize yarn storage. You could feed strings through the holes to prevent tangles. Have too many, somehow? Hang them on the wall as fun art. You also could use one as a planter, though be sure to add something underneath to catch water. Hang one or two on chains, to store small objects. Do you have old, unmatched flatware? You could bend forks and spoons into napkin rings or curtain stays/pulls. An extra wine rack, somehow? It could hold wrapping paper. You could place one in the bathroom, with rolled towels inside. A surplus paper towel holder could hold bracelets and hair scrunchies, tape and ribbons for wrapping presents. If horizontal and meant to be hung on a wall, think about bracelets and necklaces. Any mismatched dishes? Hang them as wall art. Teacups could store jewelry. Ice cube trays? Great for storing jewelry and office supplies. Or, if you’re planning an art project, a paint palette in the making. If these suggestions spark your imagination, but you don’t have the needed pieces, it’s garage/yard sale and flea market season! Go forth and have fun!

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Posted in Holidays, Recycle, Seasons, Timely Tips

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s the holiday season and all that goes along with it – happy gatherings, glorious music, decorations, lights and, of course, presents. Wearing my de-cluttering “hat,” here are some suggestions to perhaps decrease your own and perhaps others’ clutter, too.

Reduce. Many people already have enough stuff. What to give? For something memorable, how about something intangible, like a special restaurant meal, or an experience. Yes, this is a repeated idea from last year, but still feels valid. Concert tickets? A hot air balloon ride? Or, how about an especially good bottle of wine, with the promise to share it over an equally impressive homemade meal, including a truly decadent dessert? A built-in bonus – time together which, in these increasingly busy times for many of us, is precious. Perhaps save this gift for the New Year, after all of the holiday busy-ness, when you might be able to relax and enjoy it more.

Reuse. Another reprised suggestion, but what to do with all of that newly-used wrapping paper? Sure, while responsible to recycle it, you also can use it again. How, since it might look less-than-wonderful now? If you have access to a shredder, run it through, then save it for padding when storing fragile ornaments. Or, if you’ll have to send boxed gifts in the near future and have storage space, you might bag it for when the time comes. Another easy reuse – as written last year, egg cartons are great to snugly store ornaments.

Recycle. Yourself. Yes, by donating blood, also suggested last year. Donation centers experience drops in contributions at this time of year, though the need remains constant. Even if you can’t stand needles, and I’m no fan, it’s not all that bad. It normally takes ~45 minutes, and you’ll feel good for having done it – like voting! The Red Cross will be grateful for your help.

Posted in Clearing Clutter, Filing, Holidays, Home Maintenance, Kitchen Organization, Mental Clutter, Planning Ahead, Recycle, Reduce, Seasons, Timely Tips

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year? What? It’s not January! The calendar shows August. Even so, with the school year already begun in some places, and about to start in many more, in some ways it feels like the beginning of a new year.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions in January and, if so, how long do they last? A few days? A week? A month or two? Here’s something you can do on a daily basis, to lighten your load – clear clutter each day. That’s right – get rid of something every day. You will feel lighter and, after a short time, you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment. Can you imagine how it’ll be after 365 days?

Here are some tips to help.

  1. Consider how to do this. Give away, donate, recycle? If none are appropriate, toss?
  2. Don’t buy out of habit, or worse, out of boredom.
  3. Don’t keep items out of guilt or obligation. I had a pottery cookie jar, a gift from someone I’ve not been in touch with for years. I really didn’t like it all that much. I dropped something a few days ago, which landed on its lid, chipping it. Did I want to struggle with trying to glue the little pieces back on? No thanks! Could I “re-purpose” and use the bottom, say, as a planter? No, not really. I actually was relieved to place it in the trash.
  4. Does like = need? You may like some things that you don’t actually need.
  5. Don’t over-equip. You likely don’t need enough plates, cutlery, bed linens, towels, etc., to stock a hotel. If a big group of guests is coming, you might borrow from friends, neighbors, family.
  6. Save time. Every item you own takes time – to clean, maintain, perhaps repair. And, that’s after likely earning the money to buy, then taking the time to shop.
  7. Non-material gifts. Encourage those who might buy presents for you to make them gifts of experience or adventure. Concert tickets? A special restaurant meal? A hot air balloon ride? Also, consider time together, perhaps to be used on a big project. How about a donation in your name to a charity you hold dear?

Happy New Year!