Some of us remember the Button Game from when we were kids....but what I'm really thinking about are the extra buttons (sometimes colored thread, too) that come with our clothing. You know the ones - twisted on to the last button in the row or tucked into the pocket.
Do you save them? Or throw them?
I can hear some of you literally gasping out loud at the thought of throwing away something WE MIGHT NEED someday. Which leads me to ask, if it comes right down to it, two questions:
1. IF a button falls off will we be able to find the replacement without searching the house or thru all the buttons we've saved?
2. If we do, by some miracle, easily locate the button, do we have the time to sew it on the garment (provided we have needle and thread easily accessible), or does the clothing sit in a pile waiting for a free moment in our hectic, busy lives?
I'm not a proponent of throwing things away. I also see a lot of clutter on dressers and night stands that some find distressing. Among the clutter we inevitably find extra buttons in little envelopes or plastic bags.
To each, their own, I always say, with the caveat that clutter IS the accumulation of delayed decisions. Before saving extra buttons, ask yourself the questions above. If the answer is no, toss them! Trust me, no one is judging!
TIP: To make buttons more stable - a dab of clear nail polish where the threads cross, or on the knot in the back will prevent them from falling off so quickly.
Do you save buttons? Why, or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
With a few spare minutes on your hands you decide to tackle the dreaded junk drawer. But then you open it and are confronted with... the dreaded cord tangle. That's right. Every. Single. Extra. Cord in your house has migrated to this drawer and inexplicably intertwined themselves in a way no human ever could. You quickly shut the drawer and walk away - "another day" you think, "when I have more time/energy/nothing to do/maybe never".
I'm ever optimistic - there is good news! If the cords are already gathered in the drawer the first step of organizing is complete! The challenge isn't to sort the cords - they're already there because they don't work or they don't have a use. It's WHAT TO DO with the cords themselves that can be a challenge.
Best Buy recycles cords, CD/DVDs and cases, gift cards, plastic bags, remotes/controllers, ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries and other larger consumer electronics, even if they aren't purchased at Best Buy. I live 90 miles from the nearest Best Buy, but they are my only option for recycling those items. I keep a box in my garage, put the items in there, and when I'm headed to that area I grab the box.
Will recycling my few items this way save the world? NO. Is it one small step I can take towards reducing landfill waste? YES! (And if we all recycle our items from the dreaded junk drawer, maybe we can save the world.)
Do you have an alternative idea for recycling these items, or a local solution? Please post below - together we can make a difference!
On a bit of a lighter note from last week (hope I didn't scare anyone off!), let's talk about junk drawers. We all have them - yes, even me! And surprising as it may sound, I advocate that every house should have one....with some boundaries, of course.
"Junk" drawers are better played out as the "lost and found" of the house vs. a catch-all for things tossed in "just for now" until the drawer becomes such a jumble the contents look like junk. Do you really want your valuable storage space being used for junk? I didn't think so. Read on for steps to an organized junk drawer.
1. Location. Shoot for a space that isn't right at your fingertips (that is reserved for things you access every day), and that is accessible to everyone in the house. A drawer, bin, or even a free standing box are good options.
2. Contents. This is the interesting part. Make a conscious decision about the items you are putting in the container. Is it truly "junk"? Then why save it? Is it something potentially important but you aren't sure who or what it belongs to? Sounds like a lost item; using this space as designated "Lost and Found" will help everyone in the family know where to go when they are missing pieces and parts! During organizing jobs when we are sorting items we also designate a Lost and Found box for items we are pretty sure have missing parts or we aren't quite ready to throw them away in case they are important.
3. Label and Containerize. Don't skip this step! Not only do we need to label the container as Lost and Found, or whatever term resonates with your family, but the contents need to be containerized and labeled as well. Repurposing plastic containers, small boxes, egg cartons (for tiny pieces) and using baggies inside the drawer keep the items from becoming a massive jumble of "junk" that overwhelm anyone who dares search for a missing part!
Already have a junk drawer? There are two options - determine the last time you went in there for something (and actually found it). If it's been a long time, consider dumping it all in the garbage, pulling out anything valuable, of course. Or, sort the items, returning them to where they belong and containerizing the rest.
Stuck? Post a comment below with your dilemma and we'll work together to solve it. "Junk" drawers are a great segue into a larger organizing project.
welcome to our blog!
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who