- Refuse - Say "No" to those things you don't really need (or want). Offers at the store to put that big item in a big plastic bag? No thanks!
- Reduce - Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Stop buying extras "just in case".
- Reuse - Invest in one, rockin water bottle and use it every.
- Repurpose - From furniture to twist ties, you can almost always find a new use for an old item. Need some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest page!
- Recycle - Go beyond plastic and aluminum. Do you have a compost bin? You can combine Recycling, Reducing, and Reusing all in one!
Move over 3 Rs - the 5 Rs are here with an even better plan! It is almost April - yay! - the perfect time to celebrate all things "Earth". I also want to introduce you to the new and more effective 5 Rs for taking care of this little place we call home. They not only make sense - they align with everything we try to do here at We Love Messes.
Halloween is over for another year with nothing but leftover treats and memories! Usually by this time all the "good" stuff is gone (that would be anything chocolate in my case), leaving plenty of the less desirable candy (if there is such a thing!). As a parent facing the overabundance of Halloween treats, I've developed some interesting ways to disperse the "unloved" candy.
My go-to method is finding dessert recipes with candy in them. Over the years these ranged from cookies with crushed up candies in them to a Snickers "salad" that was the next best thing, at least for me, to the Snickers themselves. Plus there are apples in it, which served to assuage my guilt just a little over calling it a salad. Snickers never lasted long at our house so the salad was a rare treat. Making trail mix is another easy method, and a hit with the kids.
Thanksgiving brought turkeys made from candy corn, Oreos, and malted milk balls; and pilgrim hats with chocolate wafers and miniature peanut butter cups. Christmas is a great time to use up the hard candies - they make perfect decorations for gingerbread houses. Candy also freezes well, and can be used to embellish cookies and treats on Valentine's Day and Easter.
Not feeling the need to expose kids, and yourself, to so much sugar? Use the candy for playing counting games, sorting projects (size, color, shape, flavor, etc), and alphabetizing by kind. Did you know if a Skittle is put in water the “S” side will float to the surface? Find more candy experiments like this at CandyExperiments.com.
For those feeling altruistic, there are places to donate candy as well. To support our military troops, try Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude – just remember the key is to send heat resistant candy, not soft treats that will melt. And of course leaving it in the lunch or commons area of your workplace makes the candy disappear quickly.
Regardless of how you deal with the leftover Halloween candy, rest assured that Christmas, with all its sugary treats, isn’t far behind! What is your favorite way to use up Halloween Candy?
*I originally shared this post in November of 2014.
Some of you already know that I am a breast cancer survivor. If not, here's a short synopsis of my journey. As with all cancer victims, our stories are as individual as we are.
Anyways...the point of my story, is that bra shopping IS NOT my favorite activity. Even after 15 years the memories can rear their ugly heads and render me to tears. So, with a heavy heart I was talked into getting a bra fitting. Stick with me - it gets better from here!
I hadn't been fitted in years. Ladies, I'm telling you, if you haven't done this lately either follow Real Simple's bra-fitting guide, or head into Victoria's Secret and get it done. It makes a HUGE difference. I was completely shocked when I found out what my correct size was, AND the difference it made in how I felt (and looked). Evidently I'm not alone - 8 out of 10 women aren't wearing the correct size.
Upon arriving home I realized I had 6 nice bras in my drawer that didn't fit me. You know I can't stand throwing things out, and giving used bras to Goodwill seemed, well, a little odd. What to do? A Google search, of course, which lead me to multiple organizations that "specialize" in the distribution of donated bras for good causes. I chose The Bra Recyclers. Yes, I had to pay for shipping, about the cost of my favorite Caribou beverage, and it made me feel good.
The average woman owns 6 bras but only wears 2. How about you? Would you (or do you) donate to a bra recycling organization? Comment below, please!
Here's a super easy tip to move organizing forward in your home - a donation box or bag - a way to make quick, individual decisions instead of facing piles.
What can go in it?
Where do I keep the box/bag?
What do you do when it's full? Put it in the car right away and drop it off next time you are by a donation place. Oh, and put another bag/box in that place!
That got your attention, didn't it? Who'd turn down that offer? Not me....
Here's my little rant for Thursday - according to the Self Storage Association, we spent $24 BILLION on storage in 2014 in the U.S. alone. Ummm....HELLO.....that means we are spending money to shop, then spending more money to store and organize the things we thought we needed or wanted. The smallest storage unit can run $50/month. That's $600 a year spent on something we obviously aren't using, probably don't need, and definitely don't love (because if you loved it, it wouldn't be in storage!). That $600 is just the beginning - climate controlled units start at $100/month. That would buy A LOT of good coffee!
Yes, of course there are times when storage units can ease the burden of moving, or provide needed space for transition periods. These are not the cases for the majority of the renters, however.
Enticing thought to move our excess clutter into a storage unit and out of our living space? Absolutely! The Self Storage Association even offers a marketing campaign called "Declutterfy - Your Home, Your Office - Your Life!" which encourages you to move the clutter into one of their storage units.
I'll end my rant here, my friends. Please, if you don't use it, need it, or love it - don't buy it in the first place and PLEASE don't spend additional money storing it!!! Sell it, donate it, or find a friend who truly needs it. Don't pay to put it in a giant closet. Then treat yourself to that good cup of coffee!
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!
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CPO Tammy Schotzko works with clients of all ages to tame their clutter and create calm out of chaos. She specializes in Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization, but deals with everything from digital files to garages run awry! Her passion for helping people reclaim their space is contagious and