Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feel Good Clutter Strategy

I find one of the easiest and best ways to manage clutter is to get on several charity call lists for donation pick-up service (see my resource page on my website, I receive at least 1 postcard a month from a charity asking if I could donate a bag or two of items on a specific date. The postcard is a notice indicating they will be in my neighborhood and it is a reminder to call for a pick-up. I think this pick-up service is a win-win opportunity for charities and also for individuals and families. The charities get some great items, hopefully in good condition, and we get to have an easy way to remove items from our homes that we no longer need.

Last night at 10:30 I moved out of my laundry room all of the bags I had collected over the last 2 weeks, filled with out grown clothes, toys and books my kids have aged out of, and other assorted items. By the time I got it all by the front door to go out this morning, I had 5 tall kitchen bags and 1 large box full of items.

My house feels a little lighter and I feel good that I am helping Lupus out. I have the Vietnam Veterans of America coming on November 24th and I'm sure I'll have a few bags for them.

Give this feel good clutter strategy a shot, and if you aren't receiving the postcards, get on the lists today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Preschooler's Logic

I had a good laugh Friday night as I was driving to Panera, to get a quick dinner with my kids, when I commented how pretty the Christmas trees looked at Lowe's. My daughter who is 4 said to me, "we need to tell them to take them down"! She went on to say that it was bad and she wanted to know why the trees would be up when we still have Halloween decorations up at our house. By the way, I do think our Halloween directions do need to come down. Her preschool, as most, really goes into detail for every holiday and in her mind November is Thanksgiving and talking about anything else that comes later doesn't make sense.

She of course is right in a way, and will understand when she gets older that consumerism drives the early onslaught of each and every holiday. It does seem to get earlier and earlier each year. I swear some stores had Halloween candy at the beginning of September.

I think the rushing of holidays and seasons feeds into the fast paced, crazy busy lives that we all lead. I think it is way too early to see Christmas trees and seeing them this early, as well as all of the holiday commercials on t.v., takes something away from a special time of year.

So, I do agree with my daughter, but I won't go say anything to the Lowe's manager. I do appreciate her logic and love that a young child sees very clearly that it doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Slowing Down the Pace

My children have been off from school today and yesterday for Fairfax County teacher work days. It was a big weekend with Halloween falling on Saturday so lots of sugar has been consumed, our schedules have been off with the extended weekend and needless to say, so have our diets.

I know I'm not alone in the fact that we live so close to all the beautiful memorials and wonderful Smithsonian museums in Washington, but despite the fact we live so close, we don't go as often as we should. Today, I decided since the weather was so great to head down to the mall (not Pentagon City mall, as my son originally thought) and spend the day meandering around.

We did pop in my husband's office on Capitol Hill to share some of our Halloween candy and to visit some. We decided to go to the Air and Space Museum and ended up spending hours there and then we spent a good deal of time at the Botanical Gardens both inside and outside. I love that my kids love the Botanical Gardens because I think walking around there all worries, concerns and agendas are forgotten. I actually at one point laid down on this large bench with my daughter and we enjoyed looking at the clouds through the sky light.

It was a special treat to have a "free" day on a Tuesday, and to not capitalize on the extra time that I could have gotten other things done around the house, focused on a work project or other priority. Having a nice, slow day was what we all needed and now we just need to get the candy out of our house.