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Posts Tagged ‘recycle’
What can YOU do to recycle more?
We’re well into January 2017 already!
Have you been trying to get organized for a long time? Do you need to do a major clean out that involves disposing of a multitude of items and lots of garbage? Stop and rethink about disposal. People tend to frequently toss out items which still have a useful life.
In my work as a professional organizer, I encourage clients to follow the 3 R’s–Reduce, Reuse/Repurpose and Recycle.
If you live in Waterloo Region, new Waste Management restrictions come into effect on March 6. For residents of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, only 4 bags or cans of garbage can be put out for pickup. Excess bags will require tags which will cost you an additional amount. It’s important to note that garbage pickup will be reduced to once every two weeks.
Here are some pointers to help you begin that big project.
RESOLVING TO GET ORGANIZED
Have you already given up on your New Year’s resolutions?
“The biggest reason most people fail is that they try to fix too much at once – join a gym, get out of debt, floss after meals and have thinner thighs in 30 days.” Marilu Henner
Whether you need to organize your home, your office–or both–here are some ideas to help you succeed.
“Most of us start out with a positive attitude and a plan to do our best.” Marilu Henner
Set aside some time to think about what you want to organize. Make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage. Grab a pen and some paper. Did you know that if you write down your goals, you are more likely to achieve them?
It’s the start of a new year. Dream BIG—even if you think it’s unattainable. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you break a big dream down into small projects.
Create a Master List
Go through your house thinking about one room at a time. Take photos of each room; decorators say you’re able to view it more objectively. Determine what functions each room has to fulfill. If the room has to perform multiple functions, create a different zone for each activity.
Your master list should contain all of the projects that you want to complete. Estimate how long you think each project will take. Be realistic.
The next step is to prioritize your list, and determine which room you will work on first. It’s best to start with the room that is bothering you the most.
When you schedule organizing sessions in your planner or calendar, you’re making a commitment to do the required work.
You may not be able to complete a room all at once. If necessary, divide it into sections, and work on one section at a time. If you only have one hour, pick a project from your list that you can complete in that time period.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to do all the work yourself. If you want to organize a number of areas, schedule a family meeting. Involving the whole family in the process can teach them valuable life-long skills. Just remember that children can’t stay focused as long as adults. Try to make it fun!
It’s also a good idea to schedule a snack break; prepare snacks ahead of time. Plan ahead–when cooking, double a recipe and freeze one batch. At the end of the day when you’re tired, you’ll have an easy meal!
Stock up–garbage bags, recycle bin, empty boxes, cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, etc. Label boxes—Keep, Sell and Donate.
Use storage containers that you already own—the ones you emptied when you decluttered. For some items, you may need to purge before you can determine what type of containers you need.
“. . . don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started.” Marilu Henner
Harold Taylor, a leading Canadian time management expert, tells us studies have found that you’ll accomplish more if you focus on one task at a time.
Gather together everything you want to store in an area before you start organizing that space. Start by grouping similar items together, so it’s easier to make a decision about what to keep. Place items that belong elsewhere in a box just outside the room. It’s easy to become distracted if you leave the room.
Resist the urge to tell yourself, “I may need it someday!”
Take a break–set a timer–to keep up your energy level. This is especially important when working with children.
Similar items should be stored together and as close as possible to where they are used. An item is more likely to be put back if its home is close at hand.
Clear storage containers should be used as much as possible, so you can see what is inside. Be sure to label all containers.
Maintaining your organized space will require some effort from everyone. Make tidying up part of your children’s chores. Schedule a daily or weekly clean-up time, so things don’t get out of control. If you find something isn’t working, don’t give up. Schedule a family meeting; a small change may be all that’s required.
When you’re done, don’t forget to reward your children and yourself for all your hard work!
So get started and turn over another leaf!
Until next month,
TO TOSS OR NOT TO TOSS?
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right? Here’s a quick list of things to toss from your home office TODAY! Some of them are a bit TOO obvious!
• Pens and markers that don’t work
• Bent paper clips
• Old newspapers and magazines
• Old equipment like phones, computer components and printers
• Old documents
Please remember to be kind to the environment and RECYCLE! Check out the WHERE TO RECYCLE resource page on our website to learn more about how to recycle markers, electronics and much more!
Do you wonder when is the right time to shred documents? Here’s a quick guide:
• Pay stubs for one year, until you receive your new T4 (or W2) receipt
• Credit card statements until the next one is received (remember to check for accuracy)
• Tax returns and receipts after seven years – Check with your accountant and/or Canada Revenue.
• Bank and investment statements for one year – Check with your accountant, financial planner and/or Canada Revenue.
• Medical bills and benefits statements for one year – unless required for income tax purposes – Check with your accountant and/or Canada Revenue.
• Newspapers and magazines ideally after you’ve read them
If you follow these simple rules to rid your home office of excess clutter, you’ll find that you have more energy to GET PRODUCTIVE!
At a recent consultation with a client who is getting her
home ready to sell, she asked me about renting a
dumpster. I told her to wait until we started the big
purge. So far a dumpster hasn’t been necessary.
During the purging process, she donated or recycled at least 95% of the items. There has only been a small amount of garbage.
Do you or your children purchase clothing at H&M? Recycle some old clothes and earn a small discount ($5 on purchases of $30 or more in store). Learn more about the Close the Loop initiative–fabric recycling programme.
There is a Dress for Success Drive at the Inspiring Women event in Kitchener on September 24. Attendees are asked to donate business appropriate clothing, shoes, and accessories to help empower local women entering the workforce. Donations are accepted by The Green Door. For more information, click here.
Do you just throw out your children’s old markers? Crayola’s Colorcyle program is being tested in a number of Canadian cities; any brand of marker is accepted. Spread the word–teachers at your children’s schools may find this program helpful. A bit of volunteer time is required, but there is no monetary cost to join the program.
Did you know that you can recycle used pens, markers and highlighters through the TERRACYCLE program? Drop off items at your local Staples store.
And last but not least, Textbooks for Change is a social venture that provides affordable and accessible educational materials to students both locally and abroad. If you live in Southwestern Ontario, you can make a difference by donating university textbooks (10 years old or less).
Reduce what ends up in our landfills. Get motivated to recycle!