#156 Donate Your Books

Your dusting efforts become a lot more efficient when your bookshelves are de-cluttered. You’ll feel better knowing that those volumes are engaged with more purpose.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#156

Donate Your Books

Do you have shelves of books that you’ve read? Or of ‘how-to manuals’ that are contain information easier to find on the internet now? Or old textbooks that may even be obsolete at this point? Will you be re-reading any of them? If not… perhaps it’s time to clean off your shelves.

There are a lot of places that you donate those books so that they don’t end up in a landfill – a thought that seems completely sacrilegious. Here’s a few ideas:

Donate them to the Salvation Army. There’s been a lot of publicity about the various donation organizations and this one takes the lead in terms of amount of donations that actually fund its programs. Your ‘trash’ will be someone else’s treasure.

Local libraries. Your local library may be interested in your cast offs but check with them first. Some are inundated and stop taking certain genres.

Hospitals & nursing homes. These institutions often have small lending libraries for patients and residents. Even older books may be appropriate for nursing homes as their residents often prefer to read popular fiction from their era.

Underfunded schools. If you’re close to a region that struggles to meet the needs of its population – in particular, students – they may be very interested in books that can be used for educational purposes. The Reader to Reader program will take your books from local donation points and distribute them where they are needed.

Book Art. You could try your hand at Book Art… a growing genre of artistic expression that is accomplished by folding the pages of a book in a certain way. You can make anywhere from $30 to $75 per creation by selling them on Etsy. Maybe a great way to pull in some spending money.

Your dusting efforts become a lot more efficient when your bookshelves are de-cluttered. You’ll feel better knowing that those volumes are engaged with more purpose; potentially helping someone or providing relaxation and/or entertainment for another individual or child.

Grab a box and pull out those paperbacks that you finished reading years ago and …

Donate your books.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#215 Organize your ‘tupperware’

Organization helps us to feel a sense of order – to feel in control of our lives. It’s great that we keep general appearances in good shape but superfluous if each time we open a cabinet or drawer, the chaos screams hello.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#215

Organize your ‘tupperware’

I am using ‘tupperware’ to represent all food storage containers which, I think is a generational thing but you know what I mean. Like yesterday’s post, this suggestion is more about a tiny thing that will make you feel better each time you open the cabinet than some grand design to promote happiness. Ironically however, you may find a sense of ‘feeling good’ overcome you because your level of annoyance will be reduced each time you open the cabinet where you keep food storage containers.

Chaos

There’s an entire industry aimed at helping us keep these plastic or glass dishes with their accompanying lids under control. It’s interesting because one would think it’s much easier than most of us make it and I’m not sure where it goes so wrong. It’s true though, unless you live alone or you have anal tendencies, it seems to be a major challenge to keep any consistent organization to the food saving containers we accumulate over time.

Hoarding

Maybe it’s because this is the place we grant our hoarding desires a pass. We may tend to keep every container that is REusable – adding it to our already sufficient supply. Eventually they accumulate to the point that they overrun any good intention. And… what happens to the lids? Do they meet up with the socks that disappear? Ideally, we keep the lids and bowls together but then we run out of room quickly and so the nesting of bowls takes place and maybe, the lids get disgruntled because some of them disappear for good.

Organize

So, the challenge is to get in there again. First rule – discard any container that does not have a matching (and well fitting) lid. Next, consider how often you will use said container. If it’s a keeper, set it aside – if not, recycle or repurpose it and get it OUT of the cabinet. Once you have all the keepers together, make the choice to nest them and stack the lids or store them with the lids attached; either is perfectly acceptable.

Feel Good

Organization helps us to feel a sense of order – to feel in control of our lives. It’s great that we keep general appearances in good shape but superfluous if each time we open a cabinet or drawer, the chaos screams hello. This is one small step you can easily take to keep disorder – and mayhem – at bay. Next time you put away the dishes, take a few minutes and…

Organize your ‘tupperware’.

I love hearing your thoughts and idas. Please share in the comments below.

#217 Have a Yard Sale

Try and adopt the attitude that ‘something is better than nothing’. That ‘thing’ wasn’t a dollar in your basement so let it be a dollar in your pocket.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#217

Have a yard sale

I may be preaching to the choir here as I know yard sales are very popular weekend activities and some people have them annually. I know others who have never had a yard sale as they don’t “have the energy” or want to “take the time” and yet with just a little bit of energy, it can be rewarding on several levels.

Declutter

Obviously, the first step is to declutter. I keep a box in the bottom of my closet for clothing that needs to be recycled and another in my basement for ‘things’ that I no longer use or need. When I look in a cabinet and realize that it’s been a year or more since I’ve touched something, I pull it out and put it in the box. Sometimes an item ends up there simply because I’m tired of looking at it after a few years.

Set up

I think this is where people get caught up when it comes to having yard sales. Yes… some people lay things out nicely, folded, organized, and individually priced but – it’s not necessary. People will come, and if they are interested in an item, they will ask and/or make you an offer. The only time it’s particularly necessary to price an item is when it is expensive… a collectible, or valuable. Certainly, have an idea of what those items are worth so you won’t be taken advantage of although clearly, people go to yard sales for bargains.

Make money

I’ve decluttered my house with items that are no longer useful or valuable to me and haggling over prices is a risk that the item remains as I am closing shop. My goal is to get rid of it so… go for the money. Try and adopt the attitude that ‘something is better than nothing’. That ‘thing’ wasn’t a dollar in your basement so let it be a dollar in your pocket. Make deals and get rid of it. Toward the end of the time period – sell it in box lots or ‘everything for $1.00’. A friend of mine used to have ‘quarter hour’ – at the end of her yard sales, anything left was $.25… she had people lined up at noon to get bargains.

Don’t let it back in

Vow to take whatever is leftover to Goodwill, Habitat, or another charity. It doesn’t go back in the house. I box up any left over items and put them directly into my car for delivery to the closest donation center. The only exceptions are those valuable items that then get posted on yard sale Facebook sites or apps like Let Go.

Think about what you would spend a few extra bucks on and take a look around. Put a box in the basement and start a collection so that this time next year you can …

Have a Yard Sale.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#237 Clean out the Linen Closet

If I look closely, I believe there is still a SpongeBob pillowcase deep in the bowels of my upstairs linen closet leftover from my son’s bedding ensemble more than 20 years ago.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#237

Clean out the linen closet

Why is it that the linen closet is likely at the bottom of our priority list? Maybe because it rarely gets seen by guests and it often collects those items that don’t tend to make sense anywhere else. Mine stores much more than just linens and the only truly organized ones that I’ve seen are those from emptynesters. Does that mean that having kids in the house prevents an organized linen closet that isn’t a junk magnet? Or perhaps it means that kids universally can’t seem to stack towels and sheets in a straightforward manner. In either case, there’s a chance that yours needs a little attention.

Stored Junk

If I look closely, I believe there is still a SpongeBob pillowcase deep in the bowels of my upstairs linen closet leftover from my son’s bedding ensemble more than 20 years ago. I believe there are water bottles that haven’t been used in ten but made sense to have at one point. These are typical items hiding in the crevices of sheet stacks that are better delegated as drop cloths these days. Some of those I kept only because they made for good Halloween costumes.

Let It Go

Check the top shelves too… that’s where the peach shower curtain from 2003 I thought I’d keep as a backup is hiding along with the bath mats that got replaced a few years later. I’m pretty sure the backing on that mat is now fully dry rotted and will disintegrate as soon as I take it off the shelf. They both have to go. As a rule of thumb – if you haven’t used it in three years – get rid of it. If it’s torn, tattered, or torn, get rid of it. If it’s stained or dingy – get rid of it.

As a side note… most animal shelters will take your tattered towels, sheets, and blankets. Please consider donating them when you…

Clean out the linen closet.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#345 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Years ago when I had an estimate for house cleaning, the woman said she had to charge me more for all of the ‘chotchkies’ she would have to dust. Ummm. That’s a fair disadvantage to collecting random baubles.

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#345

Declutter

Minimizing is a thing these days. From the tiny home craze to the amazing success of Marie Kondō’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up… we are beginning to connect to the concept of ‘less’. Retiree’s are ‘downsizing’; families are embracing a ‘minimalist’ lifestyle; and an entire industry has risen on the concept of ‘decluttering’. After decades of acquiring mentality people are finding peace in the concept of ‘letting go’.

Reducing clutter relieves anxiety. We simply feel better when things around us are in order. Indeed, less stress about our environment allows us to sleep better, particularly when the decluttering is in the room where we sleep. The benefits of decluttering include increased happiness… when we are happier, we are more productive and creative.

Years ago when I had an estimate for house cleaning, the woman said she had to charge me more for all of the ‘chotchkies’ she would have to dust. Ummm. That’s a fair disadvantage to collecting random baubles.

In order to successfully declutter we have to be conscious of what we truly need. How many junk drawers do we have to have – really? Take a good look around at all those knick-knacks you’ve been collecting in the pursuit of making the cover of Good Housekeeping and assess their importance. Are they things you’d grab in the even of a fire? Would you miss it if it was gone?

Start small. Clean out the drawers you rarely dive into. Try the back of the closet and thin out the clothes you didn’t wear this year. Do the basement, the attic, and the garage. By the time you get through those spaces you will have more discernment and can attack the main living spaces.

Think of how much time you’ll fee up when you don’t have to dust/clean all those nooks and crannies after you…

Declutter.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.