Tips Archive

The average person gets only 1.5 personal letters each week, compared to 10.8 pieces of junk mail. Collectively, that adds up to 4.5 million tons of junk mail produced each year! 44% of all junk mail goes unread and directly into the trash.”
                                                                        - Native Forest Network

“Approximately 40% of the solid mass that makes up our landfills is paper and paperboard waste. Tax dollars spent to dispose of junk mail: $320 million.” 
                                                                        - Ecofuture

Do yourself and the environment a favor: reduce paper clutter by “opting out” of unsolicited direct mailings.

Do it yourself:
http://opt-out.cdt.org
optoutprescreen.com
catalogchoice.org

Or pay someone to do it for you:
greendimes.com ($20/year)
41pounds.com ($41 for 5 years of coverage)


boxesSTORING KEEPSAKE CLOTHING:

Folks often ask us: "What type of organizing supplies do you recommend?"

As a general rule, we believe: "the simpler the better" and that "there's no one-size-fits-all solution." However, in our experience, an item that most folks can benefit from owning is an archival garment storage box for precious keepsake clothing.

One thing my clients often hear me say is that "your closet is not the Smithsonian Costume Collection". It's not a museum! Don't waste precious hanging space for storage of keepsake clothing (items which you no longer wear, but are too precious to give away). In my family, we each have an archival quality clothing storage box in our closet. Mine houses my wedding trousseau, my husband's is filled with old sports uniforms, and my son's includes the outfit he wore home from the hospital after his birth, some monogrammed baby items and his oh-so-memorable Elvis Halloween costume (which he wore at the age of 1!).

If you have a museum-like clothes collection of your own, consider pulling these items off of the hanger and into an archival garment storage box (store on a high shelf in a closet - not in an attic or basement). The archival garment storage box we use most often is found at The Container Store.*

-Amy

*The Clutter Consultants receives no compensation from The Container Store for mentioning their website or this product.
Photo courtesy of the Container Store


STORING CLOTHES TO PASS ON:

When helping an expectant mother get organized for baby, I always set her up with several large, empty plastic bins, labeled by size (0-6 months, 6-12 months, etc.) to house outgrown clothing. It’s important to have a place to quickly and easily cycle and store outgrown clothing to pass down to other children or to donate. If you’re no longer saving clothing for future children, place a bin or basket labeled “clothes to donate” in a centrally located spot (the laundry room or linen closet works well).

-Amy


IT'S NICE TO SHARE:

As I’m constantly reminding my toddler, “It’s nice to share!” The same holds true for adults. Reuse items by trading or swapping. This method benefits you AND the environment: you get a book or DVD that you actually want, while keeping the swapped item out of a landfill.

A warning: Some folks get so hung up on getting items to the “perfect” final destination that the clutter never leaves their house. Know when it’s time to fish our cut bait. If you don’t have a lot of time for swapping, admit it, then donate the items and take the tax deduction instead!

Books & Media:

Peerflix.com: trade DVDs
Spun.com: sell or trade CDs, DVDs, & games
TitleTrader.com: swap books (paperback & hardcover), music (CDs), and movies (DVDs & VHS)
Paperbackswap.com: swap paperback books
Swaptree.com: trade books, CDs, DVDs & games

Other items:
Freecycle.org
Freesharing.org
Earth911.org

-Amy


FOR THE KIDS:

"There's lots of research that suggests your child's behavioral patterns are set by age three, and organizational skills are no exception. Children definitely follow your lead. You have to look at what behavior you are modeling for them from a very young age."
-Peter Walsh

Teach your children organizing skills. They’ll thank you later.

-Amy

 


DONATION TOWN:

So many folks are stymied by where to donate items.  People want their discards to find a good home. They want their stuff to be used by someone who needs it and will appreciate it. And for many, just getting donations from the house to the car and then, finally, to a donation site is a big job! It can take multiple carloads. Or the process takes a backseat to more important things such as grocery shopping or school pick-ups. Meantime, the newly organized space still feels cluttered. (Sidebar: This is why The Clutter Consultants hauls off donations to the nearest Goodwill at the end of each organizing appointment – FOR NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!).

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