Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Hopefully, you have been able to take advantage of many of the document shreds in our community this spring. Whether you save up your shredding and shred in bulk, like I do, or shred as you process your mail, there would be less to shred, if you only receive mail that you need to receive, instead of receiving junk mail. However, with a little work, you can significantly reduce or eliminate all unwanted mail from your home by utilizing some apps, services or contacting paper reduction/preference organizations. PaperKarma is a free IOS and Android app that allows you to snap a picture of unwanted mail you want stopped. PaperKarma contacts the mailer and handles removing you from the unwanted distribution list. It is so easy to use and all the hard work is done behind the scenes for you! Another way to reduce paper coming in is to set up an account with Catalog Choice, a non-profit mail preference company. You inform them of the mail you don't want to receive any longer - not only catalogs, but credit-card solicitations, junk mail and other unwanted mail. They handle getting you off the list so you no-longer receive the unwanted mail. Another way is to go to the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website and complete their on-line form to opt-in or opt-out of firm offers of credit or insurance. The Direct Marketing Association charges $1.00 to remove your address from their lists and once your information is in their database, it cannot be sold to other companies. A person must renew every 5 years. You can see, with a little work, there are ways to significantly reduce, if not eliminate unwanted mail coming to you. Your shredder may soon be collecting dust!
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Organizing a closet may not be on your top 10 fun things to do list, however, if you want to wear more of your clothes and gain a sense of accomplishment in a short window of time, it may just be the job to tackle. Here is what I recommend. First, do a preliminary glance through and pull out everything you 1) don't care for now, 2) is stained or damaged, or 3)doesn't fit now. Discard the damaged and start a donate bag for the clothes someone else can wear. Second, try on all the rest, yes, may be a pain, but then you'll be able to identify clothes that look fine on the hanger, but less than fine on you! Third, sort by color, sleeve length and type of clothing. Need help keeping the categories sorted then use closet rod dividers that can be labeled. Need more short hanging space? Check out Umbra's height adjustable hanging rod. Utilize the often unused space at the top of the closet by turning a square crate on its side so that you can separate items by categories and then utilize the top of the crate as a shelf. If you don't have the budget to do a full closet redesign and overhaul, sometimes with a little time spent on reviewing, sorting and organizing the clothes, and a few, inexpensive modifications to your closet, you will be able to find what you want to wear in less time and know that everything in your closet you love and looks good on you too.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Hopefully you have caught the spring cleaning bug which has definitely hit our house. My 10-year old daughter is begging me to have a yardsale and as of yet, I haven't committed - more than anything due to the amount of time and work that is needed to have one. Knowing how persistent she is, we will have one this spring! Yardsales are a great way to make a little profit from items that don't bring you joy now, items you don't need or want and clothes that don't fit. So if you have the time and think they are fun - like my daughter - then go for it. However, make sure you don't bring the items back in your house that don't sell. There are many local charity dropoff centers or you can schedule a charity pick-up for the day after your scheduled yard sale. Another great activity to do to help augment your home lightening is to take advantage of all of the free document shred events that are offered in the spring time. There is a power shred Wednesday, April 22nd from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Crystal City that will take electronics to recycle properly, documents to shred securely and paint to dispose of safely. Having a deadline of a document shred can be a great motivator to go through old tax files to take out the supoorting tax information (only need to keep 7 years worth - return forever), and clean all of your files of unnecessary papers so that your files aren't over stuffed and are more pleasant to use (ha - we all hate filing)! Organizing all of the closets in a house is a great way to prepare for the change of seasons. Clean and store all winter coats and accessories and bring out light outerwear, sunblock, swim goggles and summer hats. Since our closets are small in our house, we can't keep our out of season clothes in them so it is always quite the project to clean and prepapre the fall and winter clothes, contain them and then bring down from our attic the spring and summer clothes - me plus three in our house. I have written in previous blogs this is a dreaded task, but I find with my teenager wearing a very limited wardrobe of sweats, shorts and t-shirts and my husband and I wearing less wool, that I am dealing with fewer bins and this seasonal job isn't as dreadful. Good luck with all of your spring lightening projects and get outside and enjoy the weather.