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Archive for the ‘Go Green’ Category

How to Spring Clean and De-clutter

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
April 27th, 2014

Make de-cluttering quick and easy. Use our de-cluttering categories for sorting. Designate three boxes or bags: Giveaway, Throwaway, and Put Away. Print these de-cluttering categories and then fold to make “tent” cards.

The Giveaway box is for those items that you no longer need, wear, use, or want. Pass these items on to someone in need or to a local charity. When donating items to a charity request a receipt for tax purposes. If you are not sure how much your donated items are worth, view Goodwill’s Donation Value Guide.

The Throwaway box is for those items that are broken or too worn for reuse. Try to recycle these items. Click to find out where to recycle specific items in your community or learn recycling guidelines.

The Put Away box is for items that belong in another room. Wait until the end of your de-cluttering session to put items away. If you leave the room during the de-cluttering session you many never come back. Remember to save time at the end for clean up. If you don’t clean up, your project may look worse than when you started.

There is a fourth category that should be used with extreme caution. This only-if-absolutely-necessary category is Another Day. This category is for items that you know you should not keep but you just can’t let go of no matter how hard you try. You know, those jeans that haven’t fit in 20 years or a gift that was never on YOUR wish list but you are reluctant to part with. Toss these items into the Another Day box so you don’t delay the de-cluttering process. When you finish de-cluttering, revisit this box for additional tossing. Now that you are on a de-cluttering roll, you should be able to let go of items more easily.

Once you have de-cluttered, organize what you have left by creating designating places for everything. The system or places you create should be so simple and easily understood that it takes little or no instruction from you so others can quickly understand and follow. Label each designated place so you and your family members can easily locate items AND put them back. Labeling is the key to maintain organization.

Now that the de-cluttering process has been completed it is time for the actual cleaning.

Happy spring cleaning and de-cluttering!
diane_sign_off_75

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Tips on How to Spring Clean & De-clutter

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
March 21st, 2013

Wondering where to begin with spring cleaning? The first step to spring cleaning is de-cluttering. De-clutter one room at time by using our de-cluttering categories. Start with the room that will have the most impact for you and your family. Be sure to set a realistic goal in the time you have allotted on a given day for de-cluttering. Be sure to save time at the end for clean up. Even if you have just 10 minutes a day to devote to de-cluttering, it will help.

Items that you no longer need consider donating or recycling. If you struggle with where to donate or recycle items view our comprehensive list of where to donate or recycle. Request a receipt when donating items. This will allow you to take a tax deduction. To learn the value of items in good condition go to Goodwill’s Donation Value Guide.

Be sure to research the recycling laws in your state. Pennsylvania has a new electronic recycling law. Beginning Jan. 24, 2013 desktop computers, laptop computers, computer monitors, computer peripherals, televisions, and any components of such devices may no longer be disposed in Pennsylvania with municipal waste. Click to learn more about the PA electronics recycling law.

If you struggle with what to keep and what to toss in your clothes closets, turn all of your hanging clothes so the hanger is going over the rod the opposite way. After you wear and launder an item, put it back in your closet with the hanger going over the rod the normal way. At the end of the season you’ll easily be able to see which items you didn’t wear by looking for hangers that are going the opposite way. This also works great for kids clothing and a spouse’s.

Once you have de-cluttered, organize what you have left by creating designating places for everything. Label each spot so you and your household members can easily locate and put back items. Labeling is the key to maintain organization.

Once you have de-cluttered, keep an ongoing giveaway box. Then every time you come across something you no longer need or want, you can toss it in the box with the goal to giveaway or donate. By keeping an ongoing box (your garage or coat closet is great place) you’ll never have to go through a massive de-cluttering project again.

Every household needs a few set categories to reduce clutter. Click to print labels for our 5 top categories to keep clutter at bay.

Happy spring and happy de-cluttering!
Diane

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Posted in Clutter Busters, General, Go Green | 1 Comment »

How to Store and Organize Reusable Tote Bags

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
May 1st, 2012

Reusable tote and grocery bags are here to stay. If you’re someone who is wondering how to keep your reusable bags organized, look no further. The Tote Buddy is the world’s first reusable bag organizer. It neatly holds a pile of reusable bags, keeping them nearby and handy for every shopping trip. Store your reusable bags or totes in the Tote Buddy and then place the Tote Buddy in your trunk. You’ll be ready for your next shopping trip – even it is last minute.

The Tote Buddy includes an interior pocket for coupons, a cell phone, car keys, grocery list, etc. It is available in five patterns and colors to match you style.

The Tote Buddy is an easy way to begin using reusable – it’s a beautiful addition to any grocery shopping trip and helps put the happy back into shopping! The Tote Buddy makes going green easy! The Tote Buddy is made in the USA.

For more information on the Tote Buddy go to http://thetotebuddy.com

Happy shopping!
Diane

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Posted in Go Green | 1 Comment »

Where to Donate Shoes

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
January 7th, 2012

Haiti Shoe Donation

As a Certified Professional I know all too well that people have too much stuff and have asked the businesses in Emmaus, Pennsylvania and the Emmaus Main Street Partners to join me in the Soles4Souls movement.

The Soles4Souls charity distributes shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 16 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes. The shoes have been distributed in over 127 countries.

Donating gently worn shoes is humanitarian and a green way to clean out your closet. Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or gently worn. Any and all shoes, even those without a mate, are accepted with the exception of muddy and moldy ones. Tying pairs of shoes together with their laces or placing a strongrubber band around pairs is requested.

Downtown Emmaus businesses are partnering together to encourage communities to clean out their closets and donate gently worn footwear to a good cause. You can help by donating shoes, donating money, or both. Our store, All Bright Ideas, is a drop off location for Soles4Souls. As a drop off location we are also responsible for shipping the shoes at our cost to the Soles4Souls warehouse. Monetary donations can be made on our behalf on the Soles4Souls website. Money donated will go directly to shipping the shoes from Emmaus, PA to the Soles4Souls warehouse.

Drop off your shoes 24 hours a day at All Bright Ideas 328 Main Street, Emmaus PA (across the street from Wells Fargo Bank). All Bright Ideas is located 3 blocks from Allentown, PA and conveniently located just 2 miles off of Routes 78 and 309 (Lehigh Street Exit).

Whether you live near or far, you may participate in the Soles4Souls movement by sending us your gently worn shoes or donating money. Ship your gently worn shoes to us at the address above.

Thank you for supporting Soles4Souls!

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Recycle or Donate – Go Green with Your Clutter

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
February 2nd, 2010

As a Professional Organizer I work with clients to help them get rid of clutter so they can simplify their time and space. But while helping clients de-clutter, I encourage them to think green and donate or recycle when possible.

If you struggle with where to donate or recycle view the list below of places that take items such as batteries, computers, printers, cellular phones, TV’s, DVD and VHS players, cords, computer cables, Styrofoam chips, papers, clothing, hangers, household items etc. No matter where you live, this comprehensive list should be of assistance as many of the donation and recycling locations are nationwide. If a location is not nationwide, go to Earth911.com. On this site you can enter your zip code and type of item you would like to recycle or donate. A list will automatically propagate for recycling and donation locations that meet your item category and zip code.

If you have an item that is still in working or wearing condition, consider donating it to a local charity or use freecycle.org.  Freecycle.org is a site to give away items free of charge in your community to other individuals with no strings attached. Freecycle’s mission is to “build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.”

Batteries – Recycle

Books – Recycle or Donate

Cellular Telephones – Donate or Recycle

Clothing – Donate or Recycle

Dry Cleaning Bags (Plastic) – Recycle
Your local dry cleaners

Electronic Items - Donate or Recycle

Eyeglasses & Sunglasses – Donate
Pearle Vision
Lens Crafers

Hangers (Clothing) – Donate or Recycle
Dry Cleaners
Churches
Coat Rooms

Household Items – Donate or Recycle
Good Will
Salvation Army

Grocery Bags (pastic)
Grocery Stores

Ink Cartridges – Recycle
Staples
Office Deprot

Papers – Recycle or Shred
Paperretriever.com

Pet Items and more – Local Humane Society

Go green!

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Posted in Clutter Busters, Electronics, Go Green | 1 Comment »

Where to Recycle or Donate Electronic Items

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
February 2nd, 2010

Whether you have electronic items that work or are in need of major repair, you can recycle or donate them. While some places refurbish the electronic items and resell them at low cost to needy individuals or organizations, others will recycle the parts. No matter what type of electronic item you have, there typically is a place to recycle it.

If you have any of the following items, consider recycling or donating them – computer, laptop, printer, fax machine, copier, PDA, cellular phone, keyboard, cords, cables, telephone, batteries (chargeable and non-chargeable). If you are not sure where to recycle in your area, go to 1800recycling.com.

Places that take electronic items:

Team Childrencollected, repaired, and distributed over 9,000 low cost refurbished computers to families, schools and organizations.

Staples
Will take computers, monitors, and printers for $10 per item. If it is a Dell it is free

Office Depot – Fill the tech recycling box (Small $5, Medium $10, and Large $15 weight limit also) with as many acceptable electronic items. Acceptable items

Best Buy – Takes just about anything electronic, including TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, cell phones and more. You can bring in up to two items a day, per household, and most things are absolutely free. However, there is a $10 charge for TVs 32″ and under, CRTs, monitors and laptops — but they’ll give you a $10 Best Buy gift card to offset that cost.

All Bright Ideas – has a weeklong recycling event every two to three months. Takes just about any electronic item including batteries. They have a year round drop off for batteries (household and rechargeable but must be leak-free).

 Go green!

 

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