Category Archives: Residential

Upgrading Your Electronics? Recycle the Old One!

The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) suggests:recycle electronic symbol

Before Donating or Recycling Your Used Electronics
  • For your computer or laptop, consider upgrading the hardware or software instead of buying a brand new product.
  • Delete all personal information for your electronics.
  • Remove any batteries from your electronics, they may need to be recycled separately.
Where to Recycle
Corporate and charitable organizations will recycle your electronics for you. If the organization is not located in your community, you may be able to find one that will pay for shipping.
You may already know that Staples will recycle your empty ink cartridges and toners and give you back $2.00 in Staples Rewards, but did you know they will recycle other electronics?  Follow this link to find a list of what items they accept:


Tis the season to be jolly and charitable, therefore, you may consider donating your used electronics.  The American Institute of Philanthrophy  – now CharityWatch can ‘help you give wisely to charity.’ They offer some tips for donating your old cell phone.


Along with The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NACDV), you can help save lives and the environment.


Operation Gratitude sends care packages to our military personnel. Recycled cell and smart phones, Ipods and Ipads will help them in their effort.


Each organization offers guidelines on how to recycle on their website. Are you aware of other organizations that accepts recycled electronics? Please let us know.
[Image courtesy of Bing Images.]

“I’ll need this someday.”

Are these words familiar to you when it comes to hanging onto to an item in your home? A year or ten years later you haven’t used that item, so face the truth, it has become clutter!

Here are the top 5 reasons I’ve heard as to why we hang onto stuff?

Reason 5 – “I’ll get it fixed later.”   broken vacuum cleaner







outdated jeansReason 4 – “I’ll lose/gain weight and will be able to wear it again.”









old tape recorder  Reason 3 – “I paid a lot of money for this.”









ugly chair


Reason 2 –  “I don’t use it but it belonged to my grandfather/grandmother (or other relative).

They are deceased and I hate to get rid of it.”








stacked mailReason 1 – “I just don’t have time to go through my mail, read my magazines or newspapers or file away   paperwork.”





We hold onto to things that no longer have value. We hold onto to things because of sentimental reasons. We hold onto to things because of perceived value. We don’t do tasks because of time management issues. These are reasons that cause clutter in our homes. They cause our homes to be less desirable to live in. They cause our lives to become overwhelmed.

Are these “things” cluttering your home or your life?  You don’t have to worry, I won’t tell anyone I found them in your home.

[Images from Bing and Google Images.]

EP’s Quick Organizing Tip

Contain school paper clutter.

Choose a sturdy container such as a plastic organizing bin.  Place folders in the bin labeled “art” and “classwork.” Teach your child to file the papers away when they bring them home. This system should contain papers from the school year for several years. At the end of each year, you and your child can review all the papers and decide which to keep or discard. Or perhaps, you can pass some of them along to grandmothers.

School papers unorganized

School papers unorganized

School papers organized

School papers organized

“Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.” –St. Francis de Sales

I’ve heard 100% of my customers apologize for the condition of the space that needs to be decluttered or organized, and 100% of the time, I have responded, “There’s no need to apologize.”

Each one had the courage to acknowledge imperfection when they took the step in the right direction to contact me for help.  Most of the time, a customer has an organizational system that just needs tweaking. Sometimes dramatic life situations have caused complete chaos and we work together to create a new system. Organizing is a process. It doesn’t happen in one day. You must have the mindset to get organized and the will power to continue the process even when things get out of control.

All of us need reassurance sometimes that none of us are perfect.

Never say sorry

What To Do With Miscellaneous Stuff When Decluttering Your Home

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I’m decluttering a client’s home,  often we find old or unused medications. You’ve been told not to flush down them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. What exactly do you do with them? I was at the Vehicle Registration office and was happy to see a Medicine Disposal Kiosk.

We use to be able to get rid of the old TVs at the local charitable thrift stores, but not anymore. Some of us have recycling services at our homes or in a central location in our neighborhoods, however, you are limited as to the items you can recycle. So what do you do with other stuff like old electronics, mattresses, hard drives from computers, etc..  After an Internet search, I found this Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County Public Works Department “Nashville Area Recycling Service Providers” pdf:

 Nashville area residents, check it out! Most likely, other cities will offer a similar publication.  Just go to your  ‘ .gov ‘ website and conduct a search for recycling service providers.

Hopefully, this will be a resource you’ll be able to utilize often, and you’ll probably never have to wonder what to do with some of that stuff that’s in your closet, garage or junk room anymore.

If you got other resources or tips on how to get rid of miscellaneous stuff, please drop me a comment.

The Practical Daughter

A recent client of mine is a very fortunate woman. Her daughter gave her an organizing session as a Christmas present.  I visited the client’s space for an assessment on Thanksgiving Day last year and a few months later, she has the sewing room and office space that she has wanted since her son moved out of the room.  Of course, her son had left quite a few of his belongings but she didn’t sell them off like Kobe Bryant’s mother did.

It was an all day marathon of decluttering, taking unwanted items to a charitable organization, shopping for organizing products and organizing the space.  When I got home and pulled off my jeans, a long piece of red thread was stuck on the legs – evidence of a hard day’s work.

End of a hard day's work

One good thing from this session, the client had several organizing items already and I spent less than $50.00 for new items.  Some of the items she already had, I simply utilized them in a different way than she was currently using them, such as a large sewing organizing tote. She had a lot of scrap materials and some sewing notions placed in it haphazardly.  I cleared it out and made it her “current project” container.  It was placed under her sewing machine and now she will use it more efficiently by putting everything she needs and is working on for one project at a time.







See for yourself the dramatic change in this space.  sewing room chaos

A future sewing roomClient organized sewing roomunorganized sewing supplies shelfbuttons-threads-notions and stuffnotions on a shelfthrifty thread holderunorganized workspaceorganized office space