De-clutter advice

I hope you all see this post for what it is worth without being offended. I have been putting out a few posts here and there about de-cluttering and getting organized in my house. I have also spent lots of time on some “sites” to see what others have to say about clutter and how to eliminate it, and they mostly include list after list of what to eliminate. May I just say that people who keep most of the items on those lists are not looking to eliminate clutter because if they keep those items they don’t really have a clutter problem, they have a hoarding problem and that is a completely different issue. There I have put out my feelings on this and so after one little explanation, I will give you my list.

Here is the thing, I keep things mostly because I am anti-filling up the land fills. I want things to be thrown away only when they have completely reached the end of the road of use. I am all about repurposing items and recycling. I just wish that it was financially possible for us to have a recycling drop off in our area. Because we are such a small population it is more costly to collect and transport items to a center than it is to purchase more land for a land-fill, and in our are that means taking land out of agricultural production, which means less area to grow food, so you figure out what that really means.

Styrofoam

I have come to the conclusion the only real way to de-clutter is not to buy it in the first place, which is a bad idea for the economy and capitalism, but that is a completely different post. Now with that as background material, here is my “list” of what to please leave off any future lists of 25, 50, 60 80, 100 things to throw away to get rid of clutter. I already know to toss these items and I don’t want to be insulted because I see them on your list. So here is my list of 10.

 

  1. The banana peels from breakfast. (compost pile–then on the garden)
  2. Empty juice containers (recycle)
  3. Cardboard boxes (ok so I do need to break mine down and recycle them)
  4. Broken dishes (like really do you put that on there–of course I have been saving some to break up for a mosaic table top, but those are old ceramic pieces)
  5. Styrofoam insides of flower arrangements (Yes, I forgot where I put them, they are in the garbage now)
  6. Used gift wrap (I swear I threw it away this summer)
  7. Plastic bags from stores (I reuse them for small garbage bags, and I promise to take back the rest and recycle them in the future)
  8. Old food in the fridge or pantry (our rule has always been when it smells or the mold covers the entire top, it goes out, and not to the stray cats either because here we just end up with skunks and raccoons in the yard.)
  9. Toilet paper rolls (I confess there was a time when I used them as candle molds, or fire starters in the fire pit, but currently they are straight in the garbage, they are cardboard and will break down at some point–I need to find the company that figured out how to make the rolls without the tube.)
  10. And finally, last but not least or best is the: Dried up pens. (I have a theory that pens and pencils multiply when we leave the room, and though I don’t ever toss one that is still functional, I am quick to eliminate the dried up ones.)

Hopefully this has come off in the way I intended. Perhaps I will work on a serious list of what I keep to recycle and repurpose and what we actually do with those items. Earlier this year, we filled our van and drove to the place where Jessica lives and dropped the items at the recycling center there. It was a good feeling to know that what we were removing from our space was going to be remade into something useful and not just dumped into a landfill. Mostly I am hoping manufacturers begin to figure out ways to reduce the amount of garbage that comes with each product. I know that a good part of our packaging is there as a safety factor, but we need more of a happy medium at this time.

What do you do to help out the environment???

De-clutter/Reduce/Repurpose or Move it out 1-10

I keep reading these lists of what to eliminate in order to get rid of all your clutter. They vary anywhere from 25-100 thing to throw out. I can’t say that I agree with many of them. Actually, the more digging I have been doing, the more I have been finding the value of hanging on to certain things. It seems that the past two weeks, I have been more than thankful for the many things that I keep around. I do agree that certain things should be rearranged or organized better, and some should be eliminated, though I don’t see that all things should be tossed into the garbage. Some of them should be donated or repurposed. Well, you can probably guess what is coming. Here are 10 ideas I have of what to do with the extra stuff hanging around your place.

1–Old Towels: Some suggest donating them to animal shelters and that is a good idea. Here we use towels until there is not much left and then I end up cutting them into squares to be used as scrub rags. I did notice a post someplace about cutting them into strips and weaving them into rugs. I might try that one sometime.

2– Shoes: I was always taught that shoes mold to your feet and shouldn’t be passed on like other clothing. I also wear mine until there is not much left, so they really need to be tossed out.  I am not quite like the stereotypical woman when it comes to shoes. I have a shoe rack that holds 9 pair and seldom have more than it can hold. When I bought a new pair for the wedding, I checked the rack for some to remove. I found a never worn pair to donate and a worn out pair of tennis shoes that was ready for the garbage. Hurrah, that was my toss out for the day, but not before I salvaged the shoe strings. I always find those helpful in sewing projects, or if they are not in the best condition, they end up in the garden cabinet and are used to tie up the pepper plants in a wind storm.

3–Clothing: I have not done a serious purge of my closet, but I did a few drawers earlier this winter. Socks, unders and such. I mostly tossed what was worn out, had elastic showing. I did find some never worn items that will be donated. I also have a pile of about 10 pair of socks that I just plain don’t like. They will become a snake for the door in the near future. I will post on that when it happens.

4–Old Eye glasses: Recently I realized our eye Dr. place takes old glasses. What a relief. James and I gathered up about 7 or 8 pair between the two of us. I also cleaned out several of the glasses cases and included them. Hopefully they will be able to help someone. It felt really good to be able to remove something that will be of value to someone else. And, the best part was because we turned in so many, they refilled two of our glasses cleaner bottles for free.

5–Paper and notebooks: This is one that really gets me when I see suggestions to throw away extra notebooks and paper. Instead organize them and place them either in a designated desk drawer or a shelf where you can locate them. Recently I also found lots of little note pads which I stacked up and put on the edge of my desk for future use. Drop one in your purse and put one beside the phone with a pen for taking notes. If you really want to get rid of the extras and you have full notebooks, drop them off at your local elementary school. Teachers can always find a use for paper.

6–Pens and pencils: Sort before you toss. Dry pens and pencils too short to hold belong in the garbage, but all the rest can be used at sometime by someone. If you don’t need all that you have, find a place to donate them. Again schools are always an option.

7–Food: So this might not be a donate area. This is a reduce. James and I have been trying to limit the amount of food we have been purchasing and using up what is already in the freezer or on the shelves in the pantry or the cellar. The positive of this is that we have been eating less junk food and the freezer is finally not a problem to close. We might even be able to defrost it by summer. Ha!!

Digital:

8–Apps: Before we left for Tennessee, I realized there would be no pictures taken with my phone or iPad unless some of the memory was freed up. I began by eliminating at least one of the games that I never use.

9. Pictures: Pictures take up most of the storage on my phone. We downloaded what was on the iPad to the computer and burned them onto CD’s then I erased them from both the iPad and the phone. I would back them up onto the cloud, but I need to take the time to clear that of an App that should not have backed up on it.

10. Computer files: We needed to take the lap top in for a virus check, which in the long run was a good plan. Because I was afraid of losing files, I finally put the important items on a zip drive and now I have them with me to use at home on the lap top or in the church office if need be. It was actually nice this past Wednesday in the office to have access to all of my sermons and bulletins for reference when I was trying to plan the rest of the Lenten services. And the laptop now has lots more room for other files, like the new track season.

So, that is all I have for now. I am looking at the clutter on my coffee table and looking forward for when it is empty. Currently it holds a pile of papers that need to be organized into a neat little list for the income tax person. My plan is to have that turned in by Monday afternoon. Hopefully I don’t get side tracked. It actually isn’t a problem and is rather fun to do once I get started. Now if I would just finish here, I could get to it.

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