6 Things You Must Not Toss in the Trash

Disposal ResourcesDid you know that it is actually illegal to place the some items in trash or landfills? When organizing your home, there are times when you may wonder what the best method is for recycling, donating or disposing of an item you no longer need. If you don’t have the answer, procrastination can be the result. So…into the garage it goes (am I right?). Here are six items you must not toss in the trash, and what to do with them.

Batteries: all types of batteries contain harmful materials. This includes disposable as well as rechargeable batteries. Place a small bin next to your battery supply and label it “recycle” or “used” batteries. Then once or twice a year, drop them off. Click here to find a convenient location. In my area, there is a local hardware store nearby that will accept them.

Fluorescent Lights: Contra Costa County’s hazardous waste website says, “Fluorescent lamps and tubes contain mercury, which is considered hazardous and therefore it is illegal to dispose of them with regular trash.” If you live outside of Contra Costa County, then I suggest that you search on “hazardous waste disposal” for your local community. Continue reading 6 Things You Must Not Toss in the Trash

3 Ways to Fail At Organizing

Ways to fail at organizing

Sometimes, we are highly motivated to transform our life, in a variety of ways: health, finances, family dynamics, or organizing. Perhaps we have seen something to inspire us, or have had an incident that forces change. Either way, without the right tools and information, inspiration alone will not suffice.

Therefore, I would like to present you with three ways to fail at organizing.

  1. Try to tackle too large of an area. How large is too large? That depends on whether you are working alone, with one person, or perhaps a group of people. It also depends on how much clutter is present. If you simply dive in a start mentally making decisions and perhaps shuffling things as you go, then you have not truly changed your space. Let’s say you are organizing your kitchen. You pull out dishes, pot and pans, serving pieces and an old vase. You take the vase to the hall closet, but it too, is full. Next, you pull towels, linens and an old food processor out of the closet. Now, there is room for the vase – but not the food processor, which you take back to the kitchen. You see dishes, pots and pans all over the counters, and no room for the food processor. So, you put all of the pots and pans where they were, leave the food processor on the counter, shove everything back into the hall closet…and give up. This leads us to reason #2.
  1. Wait until “later” to decide. Ask yourself this: is your decision-making going to be any easier next week or next month? Naturally, it is easier to make decisions in some categories than others. If you have several sections of you house that need attention, then start with the area that has the least amount of sentimental value for you and build from there. Seeing progress and building momentum can often give you motivation to tackle more difficult areas.
  1. Don’t get rid of the donations and discards. Sorting is not enough; you must eliminate excess in order to make room for what you use and love. At the end of each work session, follow through with your discards. Take out the trash right away, and move your donations and recyclables to your car, so that you can drop them off next time you are doing errands.

Simply put, moving stuff around does not change your space. The only way to stay organized is to balance the volume of your space with the volume of your belongings, so that everything you own has an official home.

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Does Your Home Support Your Current Life?

I have a friend who has severe chronic pain, which makes bending very difficult. We were looking at her storage to see how it could be adapted to her current abilities. We found the most-used items currently living on her countertop, which she felt guilty about. I suggested that she add a tray, to make the everyday supplies look purposeful. This is an example of adapting her storage to her current abilities and health status. Here are some other ideas for adapting your surroundings to your current needs, whether or not you have health problems. Continue reading Does Your Home Support Your Current Life?

Do you have one of these?

Do you have a collection like this? Perhaps it is in a box, a bin, or a pile in a corner. Well, mine has been stored in a bin on the shelf in my husband’s office. But, today…I simply could not tolerate it any longer.

Image of a mass of computer cables
Do you have a bunch of cables like this?

To me, the purpose of organizing one’s belongings is so that you can find what you need, when you need it, and that the quantity of any one category fits your life and available storage. When I started the project, the cords and cables did indeed fit their container, but they were in such a wadded-up mess, that it was a waste of time looking for what I wanted.

Here is how I organized our cords & cables bin. Continue reading Do you have one of these?