Archive for the ‘
Trash ’ Category
As a Professional Organizer, I help people de-clutter their homes and get rid of things they no longer need, want or use. Sometimes the items are donated, sometimes they’re given to friends and relatives. But, most often, they’re bagged up and left at the curb.
Professional Organizers (and their clients) make LOTS of garbage. On ‘Garbage Day’ our clients put all the trash bags we’ve filled out to the curb (some tell me they wait for nightfall when the neighbors can’t see) and say goodbye to them forever. We are the hero. Our clients are relieved of a weighty burden. But, who is the real hero here with the most weighty burden?
Trash Collectors, Garbage Men, Sanitation Personnel–the people who haul away trash.
Professional Organizers partner with Home Stagers, Psychologists, Real Estate Agents and other professions to help clients reach their organizing goals. Trash Collectors are the ‘silent’ member of a Professional Organizer’s team.
In a blog post written by Kindness Girl, Patience Salgado, Patience decided to take a poll to find out what the most thankless job in America was. Turns out the answer was–garbage collectors. Knowing what an important role they play in our society, she created a ‘kindness project’ for them. She says in her post,
“What could be a more lovely and simple message of respect than saying, “I see you, I value your contribution to my community and I thank you.”
Patience enlisted the help of her daughter’s kindergarten class to make thank you cards for the trash collectors. Word spread and more schools joined in on her kindness project.
How great is that? Just when you think one person can’t make a difference–think again.
So if you get a moment, stick a ‘Thank You’ sign on your garbage can once in a while–especially days you put out an inordinate amount of trash.
As for me, I’m going to look into making some ‘Thank You’ stickers to place on the trash bags I create in my own home and those of my clients. It’s never too late to show appreciation through random acts of kindness.
How will you thank your garbage man?
Do you ever watch TED Talks? I love watching TED Talks.
If I get to watch at least one a day I’m a happy camper. I watch them while I’m cooking, while I’m on the treadmill, and while I’m eating lunch at my computer. If I don’t have the time, I use one of my favorite apps, Pocket to store them until I have a free 20 minutes to watch.
TED began as a conference in California in 1984–five years before the birth of the World Wide Web. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It’s mission is to spread knowledge and since it’s inception, TED Talks have had attracted over a billion views online–there’s a lot more knowledgeable people in this world thanks to TED!
With all my TED Talk watching, I was curious as to whether there were any talks on the topic of Organizing. Well–there are! No one is sorting through papers or an overstuffed garage on stage, but the TED Talks I’ve selected are based on an ‘organizing’ theme. Carve out time in your day to watch them–you may learn something new just like I did…
Jessi Arrington: Wearing Nothing New
In my opinion, Jessi is one brave woman. She packed seven pair of underwear for her trip to Los Angeles to do her TED Talk. My heart is palpitating just thinking about it. When she got off the plane with her very tiny suitcase, she went shopping for clothes at local thrift stores in order to “reduce the impact of her wardrobe on the environment and her wallet.” I don’t expect you to watch this and then travel light, but listening to what she has to say, might cause you to take a good look at the clothes in your closet.
Laura Vanderkam: How To Gain Control of Your Free Time
Laura Vanderkam writes about Time Management. She says, “Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” Basically–it’s all about priorities. Your priorities. Your schedule and your choices. Listen to her TED Talk and think about how you use your time…
Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Do you procrastinate often? Whether you do or not, you’re going to get a good laugh out of this funny TED Talk. You might even see a bit of yourself in Tim Urban. Think about what you might be procrastinating on and watch out for the ‘monkey.’
*BONUS* TED TALK–Yes–I said ‘3’ in the title but this one is short–only around 5 minutes long: Mundano: Pimp My…Trash Cart?.
The unsung heroes of the organizing world are garbage men. They take away what we no longer want in our lives and are not always highly regarded for their work. Watch how one artist in Brazil took the work of Catadores, people who collect recycling, and transformed their work into an art form to be celebrated and appreciated by their communities.
Which Ted Talk resonated with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Where I live, it’s kinda cold. And it’s the first day of Spring (insert frowny face here). As much as I’d love to start doing a little spring cleaning in my closet, I still need my polartec tops and flannel lined jeans. May have to start elsewhere this weekend…
But, if you live in a warmer climate or just can’t look at your boots one more day, then by all means start spring cleaning your clothes closet.
Here are the 5 ‘must-haves’ you’ll need for this project:
Despite their name, these bags won’t all be used for garbage. Grab two colors–black, white, and a third bag can be a reusable tote. Designate black for trash, white for donations, and the tote for repairs. Why use this system? I have heard stories of people accidentally donating their trash and putting their donations to the curb because they used bags of one color.
As you are sorting through and purging clothes from your closet, place them in the correct bag. Clothes with repairable tears and shoes/handbags that need a little TLC from the shoemaker go in your tote bag. When you finish, place the black bags wherever you keep your trash, put the donation and repair bags in your car or at your doorway, and mark off a day on your calendar to drop off them off at their next destinations.
Pad of paper and pen or cell phone
As you go through your clothes, you may find that they have an old stain, they’re too loose or tight, or you just don’t love it anymore. When getting rid of garments, keep a list of items you’d like to replace. That way, when you’re at the mall, you don’t have to think about what clothes you need–just refer to your list and you’ll know exactly what purchases to focus on. Use pen and paper or your cell phone to create the list–whichever works best for you.
Bottle of water/snack
Spring cleaning a clothes closet is a physical activity. Handling some sentimental items and items with ‘bad karma’ attached to them can be emotional as well. Even if you’ve eaten a large meal before starting, I’d recommend having a bottle of water and a snack at arm’s reach. You’ll need a break to clear your head and refuel–how often you do that during this task is up to you and your needs. But, I always advise my clients to bring a snack and drink into the space we’re working on. It means they don’t have to leave the room and lose focus while we’re working.
Large flat or multiple small flat surfaces
When going through a clothes closet, it’s important to have a place to put the clothes while sorting them out. If your closet is in your bedroom, use the bed to place the garments down as you make decisions. If your clothes live in a room without a bed, use folding chairs or storage tubs to separate your clothes by category. The floor is NOT a good option unless absolutely necessary. If that’s the case, please open a flat sheet, lay it on the floor and place your piles on top of the sheet.
A basic organizing principle to follow for spring cleaning or any organizing task is. ‘Make an Appointment With Yourself.’ We make appointments to see doctors and to make our hair look fabulous and we wouldn’t consider canceling them except in an emergency. Do the same with Spring Cleaning. Take out your calendar and pick a day to start. Pencil in 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour–whatever amount of time you think you can manage. Keep that appointment. You’ll be glad you did.
What do you think you’ll find in your clothes closet this Spring?
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Live far from your family?
Then you probably spend a lot of time in your car.
Our cars are like a home-away-from-home. Sometimes we eat in our car. Sometimes we sleep in our car. We have TV screens and stereos and storage spaces in our cars. Yup–sounds like home to me…
So, if it’s important to keep our homes organized, it is equally important to keep our home-away-from-home organized, too.
I drive a big SUV and if I didn’t organize it, it would resemble a dumping ground on wheels. I have to organize my belongings, stuff for my kids, supplies for my business and supplies for the car just like I would organize any space in my home. When you’re ‘on-the-go’ you have to be able to find what you need quickly.
Your first step towards an organized car is to sort and purge the items currently living in it. Once you know what is staying you’ll need a few organizing products to help you keep your home-away-from- home neat and tidy and of course–organized.
Here are a few products I use in my own car and a few that might be useful in special situations:
Trash receptacle – If you don’t want your car looking like the city dump. I highly recommend purchasing a trash receptacle for your car. This is the one I have by Case Logic and it works well for me. Unfortunately, it’s so old, the company doesn’t make it anymore:
I keep it thrown over my gear stick and hanging into the passenger side. It’s easy to stuff the garbage into the top and the velcro bottom opens easily to release the trash. I own this in tan to match my old car’s interior but when it has seen better days (the time is coming soon!), I’m getting one like this:
|Auto Trash Bag by The Mod Mobile
There are so many fun, colorful and cool designs, I’m not sure which I would pick! Check all of them out on Allyson Hill’s The Mod Mobile Etsy site.
Visor CD Organizer – Downloading songs to my iPhone is on my long list of ‘Things I’d Like to Do Someday.’ So in the meantime, I’ve purchased a CD organizer for my visor–also from CaseLogic. My music, kiddie music–it’s all stored neatly and at arm’s reach.
Collapsible Crate – I got mine at a discount home store a bunch of years ago but you can find them at some office supply stores and The Container Store.
|Photo Courtesy of Office Max
This is what is in mine: box of manila folders for organizing jobs, plastic bags, extra umbrella, and the ‘restaurant’ bag I’ll be discussing next. Other items that can fill the crate are groceries, car accessories, and random items that might otherwise float around your trunk or back of car.
“Restaurant” Bag – I got a drawstring backpack as a promotion from a store I was making a large purchase at a few years ago. When I saw it, I knew what it would be perfect for–a ‘restaurant bag.’ I call it a ‘restaurant bag’ because it is filled with items to keep my kids occupied when we go out to eat. I keep it stocked with paper, crayons, stickers, and a package of wipes. This is kept in the crate so I’ll always know where to find it when we pull into the restaurant parking lot.
Other Organizing Products for Your Car:
Recycle Bag Holder – According to the Tote Buddy website, the Tote Buddy is the ‘world’s first reusable bag holder.’ It neatly holds all of your recycle bags when you go to the market. It’s perfect for keeping all recycle bags in one place instead of strewn across a trunk or backseat. Here is an example of one below:
The people from Tote Buddy were at the NAPO Conference 2012 EXPO with all of their beautiful designs. It would make a great gift for someone who prefers to use recycle bags when they go shopping.
Organizer for Kids: Kids come with a lot of STUFF and they like to bring some of that STUFF with them when they go in the car. To prevent all that STUFF from being all over your car, consider an organizing product that hangs over the driver/passenger seat and faces the child. Many styles have room for crayons, hand-held games, books, DVDs and other STUFF kids like to have with them in the car.
Desk: Do you or someone you know work out of their car? This product is a very good solution for those with mobile office needs. The Car Go Desk secures in the passenger seat with a seat belt and offers space for files, mobile equipment and peripherals.
OK–next time you get into your car, take a good look inside. Would any of these products make your car more organized? Do you currently use any of these products? Tell me–I’d love to know!
After purging items for Trash, Donation, or Repair get them out of your home ASAP.
• Trash goes to the curb/garbage room
• Donations go to a local thrift shop or drop-off bin
• Repairs go to the tailor or fix-it shop
Put Donations/Repairs in the trunk of your car and deliver the bags to the appropriate places as soon as you can. If you can arrange it, purge items from your home the day before your garbage is scheduled to be picked up.