August, 2010 browsing by month


ThuRsday Recycle and Reuse: Refrigerators

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

If you live in Ohio and have an old refrigerator hanging around, now is the time to get rid of it. AEP Ohio has doubled the reward for recycling from the usual $25 to $50 through the end of August.

Karen Sloneker, director of customer service and marketing for AEP Ohio, said the program gives people looking to let go of an extra refrigerator or freezer an easy way to start saving money and to make money.
‘All they have to do is schedule an appointment and we do the rest,’ Sloneker said. ‘However, the $50 offer will only be extended through July and August, so it’s important to act now.’ (Wierton Daily Times, July 9, 2010)

The old refrigerators are trucked to a warehouse on the west side of Columbus where they are disassembled by JACO Environmental. Workers separate the different elements: plastic, glass, aluminum trim, refrigerants, oil, and copper tubing for reuse. All told, 95% of the appliances will stay out of a landfill.

To recycle a refrigerator, call American Electric Power at 1-877-545-4112 or visit to schedule a free appliance pickup. Refrigerators and freezers must be cleaned out, operable and at least 10 cubic feet in size.

What is your WHY?

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

In case you haven’t guessed by now, organizing is not an end in itself. There is always a “WHY?” that must be in place. Who wants to even get started on this thankless job otherwise? (Besides the organizer who loves it!)

Fill in the blanks to find your WHY.

I want/need to organize my _______________________ so I can _________________________.

These are some compelling reasons to organize my clients have expressed:
“… home office, so I can attract and keep more clients”;
“… closet, so I can get dressed quickly and get to work on time feeling confident”;
“… kitchen command center, so I can better keep track of my family’s activities”;
“… basement, so I can get rid of non-essentials and find what I have stored quickly”.

Think of the pain that your disorganization is causing. Then imagine what your space would be like if you could have your ideal solution come true. How would that solution make a difference in your life? THAT is your WHY!

Only when your WHY is big enough will you take action. The most common results that will stir folks to action are:

  • Save time
  • Benefit my family
  • Save money
  • Be more productive with less effort
  • Avoid physical pain, be more healthy
  • Gain emotional freedom

The best part for me is, when someone figures out their WHY and is ready to take action, I get to help – with written encouragement, group support classes, show-you-how eBooks, and 1-on-1 organizing sessions. Gotta love this job!

When you know your WHY, the pieces fall in place and you will move forward with purpose and resolve.

Please feel free to share your “why” with us, leave a comment.

Easy and Efficient Under Sink Storage

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

What have you tried to store under your kitchen sink? The space is different in each house depending on where the water lines and disposal end up. You are lucky to get one skinny container on one side of the cabinet.

Then there is the mix of cleaning products; dish-washing liquids, powders and tablets; trash can liners; rubber gloves; and assorted scrubbing doo-dads. The shapes and sizes are a nightmare to organize and contain.
When you are in a hurry, something is bound to topple over. Gooey spills, dishwasher detergent powder, and spider webs conspire against you to make a sticky, dirty mess under there!

Let me offer a few suggestions. You are free to mix and match to come up with a solution that fits your unique circumstance.

  • Store only what you use in the kitchen here. If you have an adequate pantry or space in your laundry room, keep the majority of your cleaning products there. This also helps cut down on the danger of poisons a child can reach (locks are necessary, but should not be the only safeguard!)
  • Move trash bag liners to your plastic wrap area. These boxes should fit in the drawer on their side.
  • Cover the floor of your cabinet with a rubber mat or shelf liner. The spills and grit will be easy to clean with a wet sponge. Once that cheap particle board gets wet, it is never the same. A pristine cupboard looks good when you get ready to sell.
  • Use a slide out container with a stable bottom. Choose solid plastic, mesh, or metal stripping that is less than ½″ apart to avoid tipping.

A 6 qt plastic shoebox with no lid will do for the side of your cabinet that has the most head room. This is the frugal organizer’s option.

Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer

Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer

The Rolls Royce of pull-outs for the tall side is the 11″ x 21″ chrome Lynk Professional Kitchen Under-Sink Rollout Double Drawer. There is an 11″ x 18″ version as well.

Finally, I love the 13″ x 13″ ITSO wide tray at Target ($5.19) This can hold sponges, rubber gloves, scrubbers on the short side.

Once you make these changes, you will be surprised at how easily and efficiently you can access everything you need from your now beautiful under sink storage!

This is a reprint of a guest post I wrote for Organize with Sandy, originally published on 8/16/10.

Closet Storage Tip: Use Shelf Dividers

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Don’t you hate it when you fold lots of towels or tees and the first time someone grabs one off the shelf the pile tips over?
That’s where closet shelf dividers come in. You can attach these to either solid shelving or the wire shelves in your closets. Just be sure you are ordering the right type! These are a few examples.

Check your big box stores first before you pay shipping.

Organize It


Chrome Shelf Dividers
Item No: 014982186409
10” high by 12” deep
Set of 2 – $6.99
These can slide on front of shelf, so fit all widths


Acrylic Shelf Divider
8″high x 12″deep
$13.75 each
Pricey, but so elegant! Use for  your MBR closet only?

Lilian Vernon


Wire Shelf Dividers
from Lilian Vernon
SKU: 603989
10 1⁄2″ x 1 3⁄4″ x 12 1⁄4″ H
Set of 2 – $9.98, 4 for $19.96
Expands to fit between most wire shelving slats.

NOTE: Lillian Vernon also has a solid shelf version at a reasonable price, but these fit only 12” shelves.

When you are planning the number to purchase, decide on an odd number of stacks and buy one more divider. (i.e. 3 stacks => 4 dividers)

Finally, if you want to fold with the best of them and fast, this is a neat folding tool!

Downsizing in Place, Part 2: Tap Into Your Treasure

Monday, August 9th, 2010

My daughter, Jenny, recently returned from living in Italy and was faced with the task of sorting through boxes from her college years. She had to decide what still held meaning for her and what she was ready to let go.

Making decisions about possessions that represent your life is difficult.  You wonder where to start. What is the reasoning process to use?

Then you can get bogged down with the question, “If I don’t keep it, what should I do with it?” The object represents history, or still has a useful life.

One strategy to use when the task seems overwhelming is to turn the process around. Rather than looking at what to get rid of and how, start by looking for treasures.

Ask yourself:

  1. What can I not bear to live without?
  2. Does anything give an emotional tug that holds good memories?
  3. What feeds my soul because it is of such great beauty?

Set aside these treasured items; these are “the keepers!”

All that remains is to determine what you use on a regular basis or you must keep to stay out of jail. The rest can go. Isn’t that a freeing thought?

Remember, you don’t have to keep inherited items or gifts if they do not hold meaning for you! Let someone else cherish those.

ThuRsday Recycle and Reuse: Backpacks

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

We used to get new backpacks every year until we realized that buying one of quality was worth the investment. Our backpack of choice was JanSport, but have read good things about North Face, LLBean and Dakine. By middle school, especially, the better construction is necessary for heavy use.

In any case, when you find that last year’s backpack is obsolete but serviceable, there are several ways to reuse it within your home:

  • Backpacks make great baby/diaper bags for younger siblings.. You can stash a lot of diapers, creams, drinks and snacks in the many pockets.
  • Use the pack in the trunk of your car to keep it neat while holding emergency items like: blanket, flares, kitty litter, lock de-icer, etc.
  • Stuff your gardening tools inside, so you can grab everything at once to head out into the garden.
  • Designate the backpack as the overnight bag and keep it packed with extra toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, pj’s, and change of clothes – ready to grab and not forget a thing.
  • Make a backpack the “home” for the best loved stuffed animals. Hang on a hook with faces peeking out. Use this as a good time to purge ratty and unused plush.

If you can’t use the backpack yourself, donate to a thrift store while summer is here so the family who needs one can find it before school starts!

One last option for conservation-minded folk is to donate the backpack to the American Birding Association. This organization’s mission is to inspire all people to enjoy and protect wild birds.” I love it!