recycle day

xamerica-recycles

Yes, there is a day set aside to celebrate and promote recycling. November 15th is National America Recycles Day. Learn about recycling efforts in your jurisdiction and, if your community doesn’t provide recycling services, learn how to get them started.

Recycling is important because it reduces the amount of garbage that gets incinerated or buried in landfills.

Although people often refer to “recycling” as giving new life to an object, it is just one way you can keep trash from accumulating. Notice that the slogan Reduce, Reuse, Recyle ends with recycling; when you reduce what you buy and reuse what you have, you don’t need to discard as much.

Some of the things you can do:

  • Reduce the amount of packaging you bring into your home when you shop
  • Reuse worn-out clothes as rags
  • Donate items that are in good condition

Find an event near you  and learn more about the lifecycle of stuff. You might be surprised at what can be reused or recycled.

Would you like to increase recycling at home or work? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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living with chaos

Red umbrella with reflection in waterEveryone experiences some turmoil regularly. When chaos takes over your life, however, you might want to look at what you can do to tame it.

You can’t control how other people drive, but you can choose not to react angrily when someone cuts you off.

You can’t control the flood of paper that comes home with your kids every day, but you can decide what to keep and toss the rest.

You can’t control how long you have to wait to pay for a purchase, but you can use that time to focus on your breathing, catch up on some reading or check messages.

You can’t control the results of medical tests, but you can write about your fears or talk to someone who understands.

November 9 is Chaos Never Dies Day, a reminder that chaos is a part of life. Many of my clients struggle to manage daily tasks, which leads to a chaotic environment. Learning to accommodate small setbacks and prepare for delays will ease your stress levels and reduce the chaos.

You can’t control how other people behave, but you can focus on your responses. What can you do to reduce the amount of chaos in your life? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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what’s in your refrigerator?

refrigerator-by-patpitchaya

photo by patpitchaya

November is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Month.

If you find yourself throwing away food because you overbuy or because you just don’t know what’s in your refrigerator, this is a great time to clear it out.

Start by taking everything out of the fridge and washing the inside to remove bacteria and odors.

Before you put anything back in, decide if you’re going to use it. The mustard dip that was a gift three years ago that no one likes? It’s okay to let it go. The salad dressing with two drops left in the bottom? It can go, too. Wipe off jars and bottles before putting them back.

Food in foam containers or wrapped in foil is often forgotten and goes bad. Use clear containers for leftovers, and you’ll see what’s in there, making you more likely to eat it.

Group like items so you can quickly grab what you want and avoid buying more of what you already have.

Go into the holiday season with a clean fridge and it will be one less chore to do later. You’ll have room to store food in advance of big dinners and there will be space for leftovers, too.

Do you have anything mysterious in your refrigerator or freezer? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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holiday stress

pie-by-apolonia

photo by apolonia

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Once Halloween hits, the great marketing machine starts pitching Christmas. There’s Thanksgiving to consider, too. Can you feel your stress level rising?

In a study conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, approximately 52% of women and 40% of men ages 35-54 said their stress levels go up during the holidays. The American Psychological Association reports that Americans list the following as causes of holiday stress: lack of money (61% of people surveyed), the pressures of gift giving (42%), lack of time (34%), and credit card debt (23%).

You can approach the season differently this year by deciding what you can let go of.

Reduce your stress level immediately by letting go of the idea of a “perfect” holiday. You’ll save time and money when you use what you have and ignore the appeals for the next new thing.

Adjusting your expectations may lead to other people feeling disappointed, so let them know about your plans to cut back on obligations. If you enjoy baking cookies, work it into your schedule so you’re not icing hundreds of snowflakes the night before the office party. If you love a festively decorated house, consider hiring someone to help you deck the halls. If you really want to entertain sometime between now and January 1, start planning now and think about brunch or dessert instead of dinner. If you want to give gifts to people but are unsure what they want, ask them.

Conserve your time and energy so you don’t end up resenting the people you care about. They’ll recover from the surprise of your doing things differently, and you’ll head into January feeling calmer, and without crushing debt.

What can you let go of this holiday season? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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in the mood

Or not.

cloud-by-supertrooper

photo by stormtrooper

Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to declutter. Or do laundry. Or put away groceries. Or finish a report.

Everybody has things they HAVE TO do and things they WANT TO do. Sometimes they coincide.

I have to do laundry because I want to wear clean clothes. I could pay someone to do laundry for me or I could buy more clothes, but neither of those is appealing to me.

Sometimes I have to force myself to do things I don’t want to do (see above re: laundry, groceries, report) and I find all kinds of things to do instead.

Add spammy phone numbers to reject list on my phone? Check! (Justification: It’s so satisfying not to get those robocalls)

Move items on kitchen counter? Check! (Justification: I don’t have to rearrange things during meal prep)

Change categories to tags on the blog? Check! (Justification: Readers can find what they’re for more quickly)

Look for things I don’t use so I can donate them? (Wait, do I really need to justify this one?)

Clearly, I’m avoiding something more important when I start to do these things.

I’m not watching television or searching facebook, but I am procrastinating. It’s not even what I call “productive procrastination,” because it’s not substituting one important task for another. (You can read more about productive procrastination on page 102 in The Clutter Book: When You Can’t Let Go)

One method that works to get me back on track is to make a deal that I only have to work on the task for a short time. It’s also helpful to ensure that you’re not tired, hungry, irritable or distracted before you commit to a project. That way, you’re more likely to be successful.

What do you do to motivate yourself when you’re not in the mood to work on something? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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organizing on the cheap

money3Products that seem useful are available at discount stores, big-box stores, specialty retailers and all over the internet. While you could drop a small fortune on organizing supplies, there is no need to spend more than you’re comfortable with. Before you buy anything, though, make sure you have a dedicated use for it. I have clients who have collections of storage bins that turned out to be the wrong size or that were really cute but not suitable for anything.

A twitter follower and I got into a conversation recently about ways to save on drawer organizers. You can create your own from old checkbook boxes or cut down cereal boxes to fit your drawer. I have seen people use egg cartons and mini muffin pans in drawers to group small objects like office supplies and jewelry.

My favorite money-saving tip is to look around your house for containers you already have. Most homes have a collection of baskets, bins and boxes that are empty or under-utilized.

Sorting and discarding don’t cost you any money, and using containers you have on hand keeps you from spending more money.

How can you use existing items to help you sort and store things? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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quote: consistency

353ca-xcheck2bby2bstuart2bmilesAlthough it might seem like drudgery, you can complete any task if you work at it regularly, including projects you’ve been putting off.

A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules. – Anthony Trollope

So, rather than claiming that you’ll devote an entire weekend to clearing out your garage, for example, try tackling one section at a time, for one hour each weekend. Decide what you want to keep in there and relocate the rest. Corral similar items (car maintenance, sports, yard tools) and store them off the floor.

Before you know it, you’ll have room to park your car. The process is the same for any area you want to clear.

If it’s a paperwork backlog you’ve been avoiding, not a room, the same philosophy rings true: Organizing, like brushing your teeth, is best practiced regularly.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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