Kermit the Frog famously sings that “it’s not easy being green,” but it’s easier than you think when you get organized. In honor of Earth Day, here are some of my tips (first published 5 years ago) for going green:
Reduce paper clutter by unsubscribing from catalogs and junk mail lists and opt to receive bank statements and bills online.
Donate items in good condition.
Buy less. The fewer possessions you have, the less time you’ll spend maintaining them.
Buy bamboo organizing products instead of plastic and non-toxic cleaning products.
Give experiences as gifts. A movie, a day at the zoo, or a baseball game can be more meaningful than a physical gift and don’t create clutter.
When you shop, bring your own bag or carry purchases without a bag.
Unplug electronics that are not in use.
Recycle batteries, ink cartridges, and cell phones.
Also, check out ecoATM,a nationwide network of automated recycling kiosks that gives consumers instant cash for their mobile devices, tablets and MP3 players.
Like most of my projects, this one started with a phone call. There was a townhouse and two dads, two kids, two dogs, and way too much stuff. Could we help? Of course.
At the first appointment, we met Bill and Alvarro, two busy dads at their home in Brooklyn Heights which was beautifully decorated yet warm and child friendly. From the basement to the office on the top floor, we could see the evidence of a well lived life. Gifts, souvenirs from travel, photos, school projects, and books could be found in boxes and piles throughout the house. Bill and Alvarro craved better organization so that they could live with less clutter and less stress. After a walk through of the house, we made a plan: we would meet once a week, and tackle one room at a time, starting in the kitchen.
About a year ago, a friend asked if I would consider doing a project pro bono; Lisa Meshulam, a single mother of triplets, desperately needed help with organization of her one bedroom apartment. I was intrigued.
When I saw the apartment, it was piled floor to ceiling with storage boxes on wire racks. Cube furniture was filled with bins, books, and papers. Children’s drawings and photos were taped to the walls, and the kitchen counters overflowed with food that didn’t fit in the pantry. Lisa slept in a bed in the corner of the living room, sacrificing her privacy so the boys could share the single bedroom. While the boys’ room was cleverly outfitted with two bunk beds, it was overrun with clutter. Clothing spilled out of empty cubes and onto the floor.
I immediately agreed to help and started by enlisting ClosetMaid as a sponsor. Then, I assembled my team of organizers, and began operation organize.
By: Barbara Reich and Erica Keswin, Founders of Never Caught Up, LLC
Every year, as the weather grows warmer, there’s a flurry of interest in spring cleaning. Morning television segments, news articles, and blog posts will all feature the latest organizing tips, cleaning short cuts, and advice on how to get to those hard-to-reach areas. That spring cleaning is “business as usual.” But, there’s another kind of spring cleaning that no one talks about…that is, spring cleaning your friends.
Being green not only helps the environment, but it can also help you get rid of the clutter in your life. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Go paperless. Opt for emailed bank statements, utility bills, credit card bills and credit card statements. This will stop the paper coming into your house, and save trees!
Reduce paper clutter by unsubscribing from catalogs and junk mail lists.
Donate items in good condition.
Think before you buy. The fewer possessions you have, the less time you’ll spend maintaining them. Buy quality items over quantity.
Buy non-toxic cleaning products.
Give experiences as gifts. A movie, a day at the zoo, or a baseball game can be more meaningful and don’t create clutter.
Buy bamboo. Bamboo, the fastest growing plant on earth, is becoming one of the most significant and versatile natural resources. Look for it in fabrics and other household items. Drawer organizers can now be found in bamboo rather than plastic.
Bring your own bag or carry your purchases without a bag.
Unplug electronics that are not in use.
Recycle batteries and ink cartridges.
Sell old electronics like cell phones, tablets and MP3 players at the ecoATM.
Even though the temperatures in New York City are still hovering in the 40’s, I have to believe that spring is right around the corner. And if spring is near, then it’s time for SPRING CLEANING. Sometimes purging is emotionally draining because of the sentiments surrounding your possessions, but here are 10 items you can get rid of RIGHT NOW without another thought!
Clothing that’s too small, stained, torn, or beyond repair.
Clothing that’s never been worn.
Any toiletries, cosmetics, or medications in your bathroom that have expired.
As a young girl, there was nothing I loved more than going to Jaffee’s, my local stationery store, to shop for school supplies. The promise of new notebooks, pristine pencils, and a set of dividers was all I needed to feel pure happiness. As professional organizer, my adult equivalent of school supply shopping is a trip to The Container Store, a veritable playground of organizing possibilities! You can only imagine my delight when I was asked to host an event at The Container Store for a group of bloggers last week. As part of the program, I walked around the store, sharing some of my favorite products∗which I’ve listed below…
Shoe Box, item 10008759
The Little Black Dress of Organizing, I use these to contain action figures, packing tape, sunblock, and cookie cutters.
Bisley 5 Drawer Cabinet, item 10053877
I’ve recently used these vibrantly colored file cabinets in a teen’s room for electronics and papers, and a child’s room for art supplies.
Large Lacquered Rectangular Box, item 10055485
These high style boxes provide the perfect hiding place for batteries, remote controls, or decks of cards (multiple colors available).
POP Canisters by Oxo, item 10042844
Once you store dry goods such as flour and sugar in these functional, sleek canisters, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them (multiple sizes available).
Dream Drawer Dividers, item 10023483
Drawers stay tidier when they’re divided into sections. Separate your underpinnings or your short sleeve t-shirts from long sleeve t-shirts.
Bigso Stockholm Document Box, item 10049716
Use these boxes to store your child’s sentimental items through his/her school years. You can store all but the current year, but they look nice enough to display (multiple colors available).
Small Duo Bin, item 10057626
For items that you reach for often, these bins are modern and chic. I love the shiny black, white, and green.
Clear Divided Tray, Item 201070
I use this neutral organizer in bathroom drawers, office drawers, and playroom drawers.
Apothecary Jar, item 10029279
The inside of your medicine cabinet should look just as neat as your bathroom counter. I use these for hair ties, cotton balls, Q-tips, and grooming implements (nail clippers and tweezers).
Landscape Letter Tray, Item 10047418
These stackable letter trays can be labeled in the front, so you know at a glance which one is holding lined paper and which one is holding white paper.
*I have not been paid or asked by The Container Store to endorse any of these products. They are products I use frequently with clients.