Recycling Tips- Do’s and Don’ts

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from landfilling).

While most of us try to do what we can to recycle, more often that I’d like to admit, I see people putting all the wrong things the recycling bins. So, here’s a few “Do’s and Don’ts” about recycling if you really want to do your share to protect the environment.

ITEMS THAT CAN GO IN THE BLUE BINS:
Paper: All clean dry paper, including:
• Computer paper
• Ledger paper
• Arts and craft paper
• Unwanted mail
• Flyers
• Telephone books
• Note cards
• Newspaper
• Magazines
• File folders
• Paper bags
• Post-it notes
• Catalogs
• All envelopes, including those with windows

Cardboard: All cardboard boxes and chipboard, including:
• Cereal boxes
• Tissue boxes
• Dry food boxes
• Frozen food boxes
• Shoe boxes
• Detergent boxes
• Paper towel and toilet paper rolls
• Cardboard boxes (broken down and flattened)

Cartons: All refrigerated, shelf-stable, aseptic packaging, including:
• Fruit juice boxes and cartons
• Orange juice cartons
• Milk cartons
• Wine boxes
• Cereal boxes
• Heavy cream cartons
• Egg substitute cartons

Metals: All aluminum, tin, metal, and bi-metal cans, wiped out if possible, including:
• Soda cans
• Juice cans
• Soup cans
• Vegetables cans
• Pet food cans
• Pie tins
• Clean aluminum foil
• Empty paint and aerosol cans
• Wire hangers

Glass: All glass bottles and jars, wiped out if possible, including:
• Soda bottles
• Wine bottles
• Beer bottles
• Spaghetti sauce jars
• Pickle jars
• Broken bottles

Plastics: Empty plastic containers, wiped out if possible, including:
• Soda bottles
• Juice bottles
• Detergent containers
• Bleach containers
• Shampoo bottles
• Lotion bottles
• Mouthwash bottles
• Dishwashing liquid bottles
• Milk jugs
• Tubs for margarine and yogurt
• Plastic planters
• Food and blister packaging
• Rigid clamshell packaging
• All clean plastic bags (grocery bags, dry cleaner bags, and film plastics)
• All clean polystyrene products (plates, cups, containers, egg cartons, block packaging, and packing materials)
• Plastic hangers
• Non-electric plastic toys
• Plastic swimming pools
• Plastic laundry baskets
• Car seats (cloth removed)

ITEMS THAT SHOULD NOT BE PUT IN THE BLUE BIN:
If the following items are put in the recycling container, there’s a likelihood of contaminating the other clean materials. Placing a non-recyclable item in the recycling bin often results in the entire bin getting tossed in the trash. Here are some items that should be left out of the recycle bin.

Contaminated Paper: Heavily soiled papers or bags with oils or food waste.

That old pizza box may be made of cardboard and it might even have a recycling logo on it, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in the bin. This is because old pizza boxes, like so many other used products, get dirty during their lifetime and lose their recycling qualities. Contaminants like grease and glue will actually disrupt the processes needed to extract raw materials and will ruin an entire batch of materials intended to be recycled. When sanitation workers find a single contaminated product, in order not to contaminate the larger batch, they will toss the entire load of recycling into the trash.

• Food covered plastic cups
• Food covered cardboard
• Used paper towels
• Used paper cups/plates
• Shredded paper
• Colored Construction Paper

Glass:
• Window glass
• Mirror glass
• Auto glass
• Standard light bulbs
• Crystal
• Ceramics

Miscellaneous Materials:
• Cloth/fabric
• Mini blinds
• Kitchen utensils
• Lawn furniture
• Garden hoses
• Rubber tires
• Construction materials, including asphalt or concrete, wood and wood products

Electronic Waste:
• All electronic devices
• Electrical cords and wiring
• Electric or battery operated toys
• Appliances
• Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs
• All batteries (including car batteries, household batteries, and rechargeable batteries)

E-waste is accepted at the curbside by special appointment or by drop-off at S.A.F.E. Centers and Mobile Collection Events.

Hazardous Materials:
• Syringes and needles
• Medical waste
• Drugs (pills, liquids, gel caps, vials, and injectables)
• All partially filled aerosol cans and containers for cleaning fluids, automotive fluids, pesticides, oil-based paint, garden chemicals, and pool cleaners

Household hazardous waste (HHW) can be taken to our S.A.F.E. Centers and Mobile Collection Events.

NOTE: Danger to Recycling Machines:
Discarded items undergo a lengthy process before they can be reused. There is a tremendous amount of sorting that needs to be done before products can return to a raw material stage. The machines that do this work break down just like any other machine that might be used. This means that workers need to take special precautions with what they place in them to prevent any potential damage.

So, when it comes to recycling, when it doubt, leave it out. For more information about recycling, go to: https://www.glad.com/teachable-trash/what-can-and-cannot-be-recycled/#yE7lc8IKvey2Iual.99

Of course, there are other ways to recycle as well. For example, you can re-use items many times over before discarding (ie., plastic water bottles and plastic bags)

You can also use something for a purpose other than that item’s intended purpose (ie., an egg crate can serve as a great way to store earrings)

Give something to someone else who can use what you don’t want or need so it doesn’t wind up in the trash.

There are countless ways to recycle. I just wanted you to be more aware of the Do’s And Don’ts that we either never knew or perhaps just forgot.

If you find this article interesting, please share it with your friends, family and co-workers.

Thank you!

Top 10 Reasons to Get Rid of Things

top ten reasons to get rid of things

Top 10 list

We all have too much stuff. The fact is, we never use 80% of what we own.

Below is a top ten list of reasons to help you make the decision to “get rid of it”:

1. You don’t need it anymore – You’re over it.
2. Someone else does need it – Cell phones, for example, are frequentlly refurbished and given to victims of domestic violence.
3. There’s just too much stuff – If there’s no place to put it, get rid of it!
4. It doesn’t work anymore – FYI, chances are the parts can probably be recycled.
5. It doesn’t fit you anymore – Whether you’ve lost weight or gained weight, whatever the case may be, get rid of it. You can get a tax deduction for donations.
6. It no longer suits your lifestyle -You’re moving, redecorating or downsizing or, you’re just ready for a new look.
7. You can get value from it – Sell it on e-bay, donate it and get a tax deduction, have a garage sale or set up an estate sale.
8. Less stuff makes your life easier. There’s less to clean. Getting rid of clutter will reduce housework by 40%.
9. It’s expired -Oh, just get rid of it.
10. Because “Less is More” -Ludwig Miles van der Rohe

If you’re still not sure whether you should get rid of it or not, ask yourself the following questions:

Papers
1. Is the information still current?
2. Can the document be duplicated if needed?
3. What is the worst thing that can happen if I get rid of it?
4. Is it a duplicate?
5. How long do I need to keep it?
6. Do I need it for tax, legal, insurance, or warranty issues?
7. Can I find the information some place else?

Clothing
1. Do I love it?
2. Does it fit?
3. Is it too worn?
4. Is it out of style?
5. Do I feel great in it?
6. Does it match anything else?

Other Items
1. Is it broken?
2. Do I use it?
3. Will I really need it?
4. Does it make others happy to see it?
5. If I keep it, will I remember I have it?
6. If I was moving, would I want to pay to have it packed and shipped?
7. Can I borrow or purchase another one if I need it?
8. Does it make me happy?
9. Am I keeping it because someone else gave it to me even though I don’t like it?

Get started today by getting rid of the things that either have no value (sentimental or monetary) or no longer have a place in your life. Ready, Set, Go!

Bins, Bins and More Bins

Bins, bins, and more bins. Seems like every time I speak to a prospective client one of the questions is inevitably going to be “How many bins should I get”. The next question is usually “Where should I get bins?”.

As a Professional Organizer you would think that I would love bins. For the most part I do and they do serve a purpose BUT, bins can also create more problems than their worth. Here are some explanations that I’m guessing most of you haven’t considered:

The downside:
• Bins typically become dumping grounds for all kinds of random items, even if the bin is properly labeled.
• Bins, especially large ones, are too cumbersome and usually wind up at the bottom of a heap of other bins and are not easily accessible.
• Bins that aren’t stackable create problems when dealing with limited space.
• People don’t understand the different types of bins and falsely believe that if something is contained in a bin, especially a plastic bin, then it must be protected (Note* See below for additional explanation). This can be problematic when someone discovers, after storing something valuable, that it was not protected as they had thought.

Obviously, there are many good reasons for having and using bins. Bins are one of many tools/supplies that people can use for organizing.

The upside:
• Bins can serve as great storage solutions.
• Bins can maximize your storage space (for example, under the bed storage bins).
• Bins, if you choose the right ones, can protect and preserve important items.
• Bins, if and when properly used, can help keep small items together and from getting out of control (ie, hair accessories, small office supplies like staples, paper clips, push pins, crafting supplies).

It is important to note that all bins are NOT created equal. Believe it or not there are many types of plastic bins. Just because you put something in a plastic bin does not mean that the contents will be protected. For example, if you want to protect memorabilia and you’re putting it in the garage, you may want to consider a bin that is “air-tight” or “water-tight” depending on what you intend to store. They cost more than a regular plastic bin but they protect the contents from moisture and critters.

Quick question: How many of you reading this even knew that air-tight or water-tight bins were an option?

Explanation: Airtight storage bins prevent items from water damage. Watertight storage bins work well in a moist basement or in a humid attic where items may become damp over time. These airtight storage bins have a foam strip in the lid which prevents moisture from getting in. The latching lids work to suction the lid onto the air tight container, to secure the lid to the top of the airtight storage bin. You can use airtight plastic containers for important files, clothes, family photos, collectibles or any item that you wish to preserve. You can also get extra piece of mind knowing that items in your basement or garage are being stored properly and protected from the elements.

As a rule of thumb, we usually suggest that people first use what they have before buying any more bins. In fact, that most people usually have whatever we need on hand (other than the air-tight/water-tight bins) and don’t even know it. We make use of many household items that serve as bins and work just as good. For example, we use the boxes that checks come in for office drawers to organize small items like pens or binder clips. We can use egg crates to store earrings, tupper-ware for small items that need to be contained. This list goes on.

So, next time you feel that you need to run out and buy a bin to help with an organizing project, remember to check first to see what you have on hand. If you determine that you might need a bin or two, think about out what you intend to use it for so that you get the right kind, size and color.

As always, if you are in need of any assistance with your organizing project, give us a call. We would LOVE to be of service!

3 Top Trending Organizing Styles

NAPO professional organizers association
We all have our different ways of organizing. Of course, I’m assuming (and we all know what implications that has) that there is some form of organization in your world. One can hope right?

Some people fold their clothes and put them away in drawers while others hang everything. Some people fold clothes, others roll their clothes. Some people file while others pile. There are so many options! There are countless ways to organize so do whatever works for you as long as you do something.

The Organizing industry is getting a lot of attention these days. There are TV shows (Enough Already and The Hoarding Show); literature (See books by Peter Walsh, organizer to the Stars and countless other authors) and entire stores (The Container Store) dedicated to anything related to organizing. More than ever before, people are talking about how important getting and being organized really is.

Here is some information about the 3 top trending organizing methods that are getting a lot of press these days (in no particular order). Maybe you’ve heard about them, maybe not. For those of you who aren’t in the loop about the latest organizing trends or want more information about them, this is for you.

• The KonMari Method™: KonMari, originated by Marie Kondo, is a way of life and a state of mind that supports cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. As such, people are encouraged to part with anything that doesn’t spark joy. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of if they no longer spark joy.

KonMari places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic. Read more about The “KonMari” method of simplifying and organizing in Marie Kondo’s bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

• Swedish Death Cleaning: In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, a combination of the word dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning”, aka the art of death cleaning.

Margareta Magnusson, author of the book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Make Your Loved Ones’ Lives Easier and Your On Life More Pleasant” suggests that, once you reach the end of middle age, you get rid of all the stuff you’ve accumulated that you don’t need any more so that no one else has to do it for you after you pass. Once people reach a certain age, many know that eventually, even before they face death, they may end up having to deal with some disability that forces them to downsize or move out of their homes. Margareta suggests that this is a chance to go through your belongings and distribute them on your own terms.

• Minimalism: Minimalism is another organizing method that has received great interest. Brought into the public eye by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so that you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom. We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often neglecting our health, our relationships, our passions and our personal growth.

Minimalism is based on the notion that happiness doesn’t come from stuff, but rather from relationships and experiences. So, when you get rid of the excess stuff surrounding you, you can better identify those things that are really important to you and what brings you pleasure in your life. Therefore, it’s up to each of us to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in our lives.

While I don’t “follow” any of these methods in their entirety, I do try to incorporate the best parts of them all when I’m working with my clients to help them get organized or “better” organized, as the case may be. I take what works for me and my clients and apply it accordingly.

If you or someone you know is interested in getting organized, better organized or just wants to go through their stuff and get rid of the surplus, give me a call. We would LOVE to be of service!

Professional Organizer or Magician

The job of an organizer encompasses many different things and many different areas. Sometimes it’s as simple as organizing a linen closet. Other times it’s unpacking and organizing an entire house. It can be organizing a two or three car garage with random items stacked to the ceiling or a storage unit. Other times it might be filing system, or a craft room, an office or a playroom and the list goes on.

I believe I speak for most, if not all, of us (Professional Organizers) when I say that we do our best to find a place for everything. You know the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”. It truly is a Professional Organizers motto. To take it a step further, while we do our best to find a place for everything, we also try to make sure that “the place” makes sense. That it is functional and accessible.

It doesn’t matter if you have a home that’s 500 square feet or 6,000 square feet. There is only so much room in each house, office, closet, etc. We must work within the confines of that space and make it work. While we can make suggestions and introduce you to some great organizing products or space savers to help you get the most out of your space, we can’t make space where there just isn’t any. We are NOT magicians!

If you have to much “stuff” and there’s no room to put it all away, it is then considered clutter. Even if you love it. Even if it was very expensive. Even if your favorite Aunt left it to you. If it doesn’t have a “home” and we can’t find a place to store it or put it away, it’s clutter.

If you want an organized and functional home, office or other space, and it happens to be so full that’s there’s no more room, the only answer is to let some of it go. You can sell it if you are so inclined, you can donate it to charity and get a write-off or, you can throw it away.

Here are some suggestions as to how you can get started.
1. Get rid of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is no longer serving your purpose and hasn’t for a while.
2. If you have VHS tapes of family reunions, vacations or other special events, have them transferred to a smaller updated format, i.e., DVD or hard-drive (especially if you no longer own a VCR player).
3. If you have tons of t-shirts or sweatshirts from your college days, instead of storing them in a large bin which is taking up a lot of room, consider having a quilt made of them.
4. Donate books that you started to read but just couldn’t get through or are no longer interested in.
5. Toss magazines that are older than 3 months. After that the information is pretty much obsolete and you can probably find what you need on the internet. If there is a particular article that you want to keep, rip it out and put it in a file (digital or physical) and throw the magazine away. FYI, hospitals, senior centers and doctor’s offices would be happy to take old magazines if they are in good condition.
6. Old shoes that are worn out, that no longer fit or are missing the match.
7. Clothes that don’t fit, are no longer your style or that you bought but never really liked when you put them on.
8. Anything that is expired including, but not limited to, food, spices and medications
9. Things that you intended to fix or mend one day but haven’t gotten around to for more than a few months. It’s okay to let it go. It’s broken!
10. Something that your favorite cousin or best friend gave you, but you never really liked. They gave it to you to enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t keep it. They love you and wouldn’t want you to keep something that is keeping you stuck and surrounded by clutter.
11. Socks that are torn, worn out or missing its match.
12. Lingerie or underwear that are stretched out or not comfortable any longer.
13. Purses that are out of shape or just worn out.
14. Hats that no longer fit or are just dirty/stained from too much wear and are beyond repair.
15. Old computers that have been sitting around for ages. If there’s important info that needs to be retrieved, take it to Best Buy and pay the Geek Squad or your IT guy to get it for you. If there’s nothing on there that you need, then take it to a place that recycles e-waste. Again, think Best Buy.
16. Going back to clothes… since this is usually a tough decision (especially for women). If you’re no longer working in the corporate world and haven’t for quite some time, start scaling down the business attire. Maybe keep one or two suits but you don’t need your entire wardrobe from that time in your life.
17. Furniture that is no longer serving a purpose. A lamp that doesn’t give off enough light. The couch that you can no longer sit in because you sink into it and can’t get up out of it. The broken rocking chair that’s been in the garage and you just haven’t had a minute to get it to the curb. The baby seats that have been in the garage since your kids were small and now they’re in their 20’s. (FYI, if you’re saving them for your grandkids, please don’t! Your kids will have newer/better models that your grandkids can use).

Bottom line is you gotta start somewhere. If you keep everything for “someday” or for that “just in case” scenario, you will always find yourself in this constant state of clutter. Getting rid of anything will give you more room than you had and free up some space.

If your space feels like it’s busting at the seams and you want or need some assistance, give us a call. We’d love to help!

Top Ten Tips for Choosing and Using a Calendar


We’re all living in a 24/7 world. So, I’m assuming that everyone is using a calendar of some sort. That is, anyone that has a job, is a student, has a family, a job, a life.

They are really so important for so many reasons on so many different levels. We can use them for:
• Appointments
• Deadlines
• Renewals
• Tracking
• Reminders
• Goals
• Events
• Holidays
• Occasions
• Time Management and, of course, the best for last…
• ORGANIZATION!

Here are my top tips for putting a calendar to good use:

1. Decide if you want to use a paper planner or a digital planner. Go with whatever you think will work for you.
2. Use whatever option you decided upon for a few weeks as it does take time to get used to.
3. If you decide to use a paper planner and it doesn’t really work after a few weeks, CHANGE it. It’s okay to change it if it’s not working for you. In fact, that would be a good thing as chances are you won’t use it if it’s not working for you.
4. Make sure you use your calendar CONSISTENTLY. If you’re not consistent it’s not going to work well. In fact, not using it consistently can have an adverse effect. For example, when you look to see if you’re available when making an appointment and you forgot to add an appointment that you previously made, you could wind up double-booking or missing an appointment.
5. Check it each night before you shut things down so that you are prepared for the next day. It will remind you of what you need, where you’re going, etc.
6. Remember to update it when appointments change or cancel.
7. Don’t forget to cross off the things that you have accomplished. This step can be very rewarding.
8. If you use a paper planner, make sure that there’s enough space. What’s enough space? For me, it’s got to have enough room for appointments, To Do’s and whatever notes are important for each day (ie, someone’s birthday). I’m old school. I use a paper planner with two pages for each day. One side is for appointments, the other side is used for my To Do’s and the bottom has a section for notes. (See photo above)
9. If you use a digital planner make sure that you are synching it with your phone so that you have it on the go. Also make sure to back it up.
10. USE YOUR CALENDAR EVERY DAY!

PAPER:
http://www.lifephoto.com/catalog/daily-planners/day-planners/

http://www.personal-planner.com/US/

http://www.no-frillscalendar.com/

https://plannerpads.com/

https://www.daytimer.com/daytimer/home

https://franklinplanner.fcorgp.com/store/index.jsp?

DIGITAL:
Google Calendar
Cozi
Timeanddate.com
Outlook
Apple Calendar

I can assure you that using a calendar, each and every day, will help you in your day to day life by keeping you on track and, of course, ORGANIZED.

Let me know how it goes…I’m interested!