Monday, November 13 2017
Many times we are ready to gather the items in our home that we no longer need or want but are unsure as to where we can donate them. Some items can be more challenging than others. A local donation site might not take what you have to offer.
When you are ready to donate and don't know where, here are a list of suggestions to help you out.
Medical Equipment - Many times when I am working with a client who had an elderly relative living with them or is cleaning out that elderly person's home, we come across medical equipment that is no longer needed. https://www.med-eq.org/Donate/ . Med-Eq matches donors with charities that need what the donors are offering. You fill out a simple form online and the staff at Med-Eq will choose a recipient. The receiving party covers any costs such as mailing expenses for smaller items or arrangements are made for pick-up right from your home.
Wigs - There is a wig exchange program which provides free wigs to women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. The EBeauty Community can be found at https://www.ebeauty.com/donate-a-wig/.
Musical Instruments - Instruments in the Cloud is a non-profit organization that allows donors to connect with local teachers who are looking for instruments. http://www.instrumentsinthecloud.org/donations/new. For more information, go to http://www.instrumentsinthecloud.org/pages/faqs.
Homemade Blankets - For those who quilt, knit or crochet and wind up with more quilts or blankets than can ever be used, I recommend Project Linus. https://www.projectlinus.org/donations/. Materials that can be used to make blankets can also be donated, if you want to reduce your stash. (These must come from a smoke-free environment for allergy reasons.)
Lastly, in honor of Veterans Day this month, Operation Gratitude sends care packages to deployed troops, and all those care packages, including Beanie Babies or other small plush toys, as well as gently used ones, are accepted. https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/beanie-babies-for-the-troops/. There are other ways to donate as well, so take some time to review their site.
So, the next time you are in the midst of decluttering and stuck on how to donate certain items, refer back to this list.
As always, I am here to help you create A Better Space.
Monday, April 13 2015
It's time to think outside of the box! There are so many items that can be re-purposed in a new way. Now, I am not suggesting that you hold on to everything you own for this reason. That would be hoarding!
However, below I have created a short list of seven items you can use in a new and different way. Let's be creative!
1. Coffee Filter - The original use is to keep coffee grounds out of your coffee cup. A new use is to put a filter at the bottom of a flower pot to prevent soil from draining out of the pot.
2. Paper Shredder - The original use is to protect against identity theft by shredding confidential documentation before disposing of it. A new use is to create decorative tissue paper filler in a gift box or gift bag without having to purchase bags of already shredded filler at the store.
3. Tissue Box - The original use is to hold tissues for running noses and watery eyes. A new use is to store plastic grocery bags under the kitchen sink or bathroom vanity to save space.
4. Toothbrush Holder - The original use is obvious - to store the household's various toothbrushes in an upright position and separate them from each other. The new use is to hold individual flowers. Fill the holder with water, cut the stems so they are only a few inches above the top of the holder and slide one flower into each slot. This is idea for a small arrangement of flowers.
5. Dried Spaghetti - The original use is a staple in most households to accompany the meatballs. The new use is to light multiple candles when extra-long matches are not available.
6. Ice Cube Tray - The original use is to make ice cubes. The new use is to organize earrings. Use the separate compartments to sort out pairs of earrings for easy storage and retrieval. (And they stack nicely in a drawer.)
7. Dental Floss - The original use is to clean in between your teeth for good dental health. The new use is to unstick photographs that are stuck to an album page by working the floss in between the two surfaces without damaging the picture.
Now that I have provided you with some ideas, do you have any of your own? If so, please comment below and share with others. Let's all be more green this Spring!
If you are overwhelmed with the contents in your home and need help deciding what to keep, toss or donate, don't hesitate to give me a call at A Better Space. I am an expert in interior redesign and can help you utilize items already in your home in a new way.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Tuesday, May 06 2014
Have you taken a look around lately? All of us have things scattered around the house that can be re-purposed. There is something in almost every room of the home, in fact.
Today, I want to share with you 10 ideas for items you already have in your home that you can "re-purpose on purpose":
1. A CD tower in the bathroom can be used to hold toilet paper, toiletries or small towels. You can even turn it on its side with the openings upright and hang it on the wall for additional storage.
2. A tennis ball canister or Pringles canister that has been cut on the bottom can be used to hold paper baking liners for cupcakes and muffins or to hold paper cups. Hang it on the wall to save space. It can be used for so many other things too!
3. A hard glass case is useful to store your ear buds or other small items in your luggage or handbag.
4. A muffin pan is a great way to store small items in your drawer in the bathroom or bedroom such as children's hair clips or jewelry.
5. An upright magazine holder can be used for gift bag storage or sheets of wrapping paper.
6. A long towel holder with knobs can be mounted on the back of a door or on a wall to organize your jewelry.
7. Use a business card case to transport your favorite sweetener packets.
8. Re-use a tissue box to store plastic grocery bags.
9. A small shower caddy can be hung on a doorknob in your laundry room to hold detergent, dryer sheets, clothes pins, etc.
10. Use an acrylic napkin holder to organize your bills to be paid, putting them in chronological order to avoid late payment.
Which of these items will you repurpose? What other ideas do you have for re-purposing your items? Take a look around and get creative!
If you are simply overwhelmed with the thought of getting organized and don't know where to begin, contact me at A Better Space. I will be more than happy to help. Let's "re-purpose on purpose" together!
Monday, August 27 2012
This time of year many people are eliminating their clutter and getting organized for the new Fall and Winter seasons.
On many occasions, while working with my clients, I get asked how to recycle an item. Today, I thought I would take some time to help you find out how to recycle some of your own items.
Here are some ideas you might not have thought of:
Backpacks - The American Birding Association accepts donated backpacks, which its scientists use while tracking neotropical birds (www.americanbirding.org).
Batteries - Recycling batteries keeps hazardous metals out of landfills. Many stores such as RadioShack and Office Depot accept reuseable ones. Car batteries contain lead and can't go into landfills because the toixic metals can leach into groundwater. Almost any retailer seling them will also collect and recyle them. Hazardous waste events will take them as well.
Carpeting - The Carpet America Recovery Effot (www.carpetrecovery.org) will help you find a carpet reclamation facility near you when you ask "What can I do with my old carpet?". Some carpet manufacturers, like Milliken (www.millikencarpet.com Shaw (www.shawfloors.com) and Flor (www.flor.com) have recycling programs.
Crayons - Send them to the National Crayon Recycle Program (www.crazycrayons.com) which melts them down and reforms them into new ones. Be sure to leave the wrappers on them so they are more easily identified by color.
Wire Hangers - Some dry cleaners and laundromats will reuse them. Check with your local dry cleaner. My dry cleaner happily accepts them as it helps them reduce costs. If not, recycle them with other household metals but be sure to remove any attached paper or cardboard first and recycle that separately.
Hearing Aids - The Starkey Hearing Foundation (www.sotheworldmayhear.org) recycles used hearing aids, any make or model, no matter how old. The Lions Club also accepts hearing aids (and eye glasses)
If you are not sure how to recycle items in your home, visit www.earth911.org to find out where and if those items can be recycled.
Do you have any other recycling tips for unusual items? Please share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of August and your Labor Day weekend.
Wednesday, May 04 2011
Okay, Easter is behind us, but perhaps those plastic Easter eggs are still hanging around. I have found some great ways to re-use those eggs for organization and want to share them with you!
Besides, just putting them away til next year, there are other ideas for their use.
1. Having a party with balloons. Keep them from floating away by filling the egg with small rocks and close the end of the ribbon from the balloon in the egg. Instant balloon weight!
2. Keep your jewelry free from tangles while traveling by coiling your necklace in the egg and snapping it shut. You can use this idea in your drawer to organize your jewelry as well. Why not keep all of your earring backs in one place in an egg?
3. Use the eggs as packing material. When shipping a box, toss a bunch of lightweight, colorful eggs inside.
4. Tote a healthy snack with you. Use a clean egg to stash a handful of your favorite snack, nuts or trail mix.
5. Carry your MP3 ear buds in an egg to keep them from knotting up.
6. (This is my favorite). Why not store your pantyhose or knee highs in the eggs and use an egg carton to keep them in place in your drawer? I remember when my pantyhose used to come in an egg. Do you?
What ideas do you have for making use of your plastic Easter eggs? I would love to hear them and share them with others. Reusing the eggs is a way to be "green".
In the meantime, if you have any issues with clutter, let me hear from you. I would love to help.
Have a great week and a wonderful Mother's Day!
Wednesday, September 30 2009
I found this information and thought it might be helpful so I am passing it on...
Since an estimated 250 million computers became obsolete in the past five years, recycling e-waste has never been more crucial. But figuring out how to do it isn't always easy.
To help the eco-conscious with this dilemma, STAPLES has gotten involved and has launched an in-store e-waste recycling program.
Drop off home-office equipment (computers, monitors, printers, fax machines) to any store nationwide, no matter where you originally purchased it, and for just $10 per item, the chain will recycle it according to the EPA's standards.
Bring in your extra keyboards and mice, too - they'll take care of those for free.
Hope you find this helpful in getting rid of your old home office equipment and feeling good about doing so.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting that home office organized, contact me at A BETTER SPACE. I will be more than happy to help.
Have a great week!
Tuesday, September 22 2009
I love professional organizing because it gives me a great opportunity to use my imagination. This past weekend, I was working with one of my clients. She is making great strides in getting her home organized once and for all.
We were working in the kitchen area to make some sense of her plastic containers and her recycling of cans and paper, among other things.
This particular client purchases the cardboard boxes of soda which you can open up on one side and it acts as a dispenser.
Going through the organizing process with her, we recognized that because her particular apartment complex does not participate in recycling, she is transporting her recycling items in her car to a local drop-off point. Needless to say, transporting a slew of empty soda cans can be annoying and cumbersome.
I love to teach my clients to "think outside the box", (to coin a phrase). We figured out that we could use the empty soda can box/dispenser to fill with empty soda cans to be transported to the local recycling center. It already has a handle to carry the box, so what could be easier!
This is a perfect example of how you can take something you already have and put it to use in a different way. I promised my client I would pass this tidbit of information on to my blog readers.
So, take a moment when looking for a solution to a problem and remember to "think outside the box"!!!
If you have any great suggestions on how to use something old in a new way, send me an email and tell me about it.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or organizing problems you would like me to address, simply send me an email at email@example.com and I will be glad to help.
Enjoy the start of Fall and have a great week!
Thursday, April 23 2009
Yesterday was Earth Day. Did you participate in any way? If not, perhaps you weren't sure what you could do to. It's actually very easy to make a positive impact on the environment for yourself and future generations.
Here are a few Quick Tips For A Better Space that you can start today so you can GO GREEN too!
1. Stop buying bottled water. Did you know that some bottled water is actually bottled municipal tap water? Few people can tell the difference, anyway. Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline and 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. If you do buy some bottles, then be sure to recycle them or refill then at home for your next trip or outing.
2. Check those faucets. Office workers alone use enough water every day to fill 17,500 olympic-sized pools! Much of it comes from leaky faucets. Here's a statistic - a leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste approximately 3,000 gallons of water a year! While you're at it, check the outside faucets as well, especially since they were exposed over the winter months.
3. Use cold water. When doing your laundry, try to wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Heating water is the #1 energy consumer in many homes. And while you're at it, use an outdoor or even indoor clothesline to dry your clothes whenever possible. I always use an indoor drying rack for my delicates and special fabrics. You can dry them on the line and then just pop them into the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes just to get rid of wrinkles and make them softer. This will keep the clothes from wearing out and fading so quickly as well, saving you money!
4. BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag. Instead of using the plastic or paper grocery bags the next time you go shopping, bring canvas bags. You can purchase them inexpensively at most grocery stores these days. Remember, it takes one 15-20 year old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags! And, although plastic is convenient, they are not biodegradable. They can only be recycled so many times!
5. Turn off your screen saver; unplug your tv. The EPA has estimated that using a computer "sleep mode" reduces its energy consumption by 60% to 70%! So, please turn off your monitor when you are not using it. At the same time, consider unplugging your tv or using a power strip with a manual on/off switch. Most tvs, dvd players, game systems and stereo receivers use electricity because they are placed in "standby" mode when you shut them off. They are not really "off". However, keep your vcr,dvr or cable box on the regular outlet so it will not lose its programming.
6. Use a ceiling fan. Some manufacturers have suggested that a ceiling fan can save up to 40% on summer cooling costs and up to 10% on winter heating costs. Sometimes, all you need is a light breeze to cool the room in the Spring and Summer and by reversing the fans in the Fall and Winter, you are drawing the heat down to the floor, thereby saving energy.
You should find these tips easy to implement. Just by doing these simple things, you to can start to go green!
Until next time, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Happy Earth Day!