Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trash Day Tuesday: Electronics

Yaye, Trash Day Tuesday is back! I love this series. I love getting rid of items that no longer serve my needs!

Ok, let's get this post rolling.

Let's start where we always start- reevaluating the electronics that you own. As many electronics/electrically operated items are plugged in and used, you are going to have to take an inventory of everything that you use. I mean it- go into every room and write down EVERYTHING you have, its frequency of use, and your plan for it. Dig all your electronics out. If you are brave enough tackle everything you store in your basement, garage, and attic. Here's my inventory:
This might seem crazy to you but being this thorough helps you be more honest
about your needs. I decided to omit the hallways (we have no electronics there)
and the kitchen (I want to tackle the kitchen another day). On a side note, isn't
it crazy how many electronics we have?! I know this is all for a family of four
but somehow it still seems ridiculous to me, especially if you keep in mind that
some of these items have many components. 

Once you have sorted out the things to remove from your house, the work gets MUCH easier. If you are feeling generous consider donating your working electronics to Goodwill, Oxfam, the Salvation Army, etc.  Whatever doesn't work or doesn't work well can be recycled responsibly through ANY electronic manufacturer or dealer. Seriously, free of cost to you, the company HAS to provide a way for you to recycle your electronics. I believe this is the case for most US states- I don't know if any similar laws exist internationally but I am sure there are some sort of organizations that deal with recycling e-waste. It gets better, most manufactures/dealers offer incentives to customers for taking part in such recycling programs. In my personal experience Apple, Verizon, and Best Buy all have trade-in-programs where you get monetary credit for items that they determine have value to them.** If they don't offer money for your products they will at least take the product off your hands and recycle it. If they don't accept your particular electronic, give 1800RECYCLING a call/Google search. In total, I recycled 11 items which is awesome even though mom and dad wouldn't let me toss everything that I wanted to toss. All about compromise I guess. :)

How many unused electronics did you have? Were you able to take advantage of the various trade-in-programs?

** Please note that the company determines the value of your product. Not everything you hand in will be worth money. Everything but the Canon camera was worth absolutely nothing, which I didn't mind- more important to me to get these unused/broken items out of my house and recycled responsibly. Make sure you delete all personal or sensitive information from your electronics- I had to smash my hark drives with a hammer because my computers were lemons and didn't turn on to be cleared.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Travel Pill Case

 I am lucky enough to not have to take medication on a regular basis but I do like to carry some sort of pain reliever with me in case that time of the month decides to body slam me. So when I came across this ADORABLE travel pill capsule at The Container Store, I couldn't resist buying it! It's portable and actually fairly sturdy. It firmly closes but also easily opens when pressure is applied. It is small enough for my needs and is easily recognizable in my bag. I can even see this capsule being useful during vacations in addition to everyday use.

Isn't it adorable? A pill shaped pill case. The
Container Store has a variety of color
combinations, I liked this one the best
because it seemed the most calmest to me.
An upcoming post will show how I
organize this pill capsule in my bag,
so stay tuned. :)
The Container Store has 2 sizes- I picked
the smaller one. It comfortably fits four Aleve
 liquid gels, which is all that I need. 
The only thing that worries me is the badly
painted interior. I hope the paint doesn't
chip off and stick to my pills. On a side note,
does metal affect medication? It is safe to cary pills
in metal containers, painted or not?
Let me know if you know anything about that. 
Do you carry medication with you? How do you store your to-go medication?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Life Update

Hello everyone. I just wanted to write a quick note about my absence. I have taken the past month or so to reevaluate my life, my relationships, my goals, etc. Lucky for me, I have been sick quite often so I had the time to do all this. :) Without going into any specifics, I am glad and extremely happy to say that I have been able to let go of everything that has been causing me anxiety or unhappiness.  Decluttering isn't only for objects- it's for everything in your life. I know suffering and struggling are important parts of life yet during such times, reevaluating your life is equally as important. I am just happy to say that I am in a more stable and peaceful place than I was months ago. That said, I hope to resume posting on a regular basis soon. I have lots of awesome projects that I have completed during my time off and lots of ideas that I want to try out- can't wait to share them with you!!

Hope you are having a blessed day. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Clean Your Remotes

My sister and I were eating Indian food (YUM!!!!) one night and somehow our TV remote control ended up on my plate. While I was cleaning the edge of the dirty remote, I noticed just how dusty/grimy the remote was. I can't believe I didn't clean it earlier. Take a look at your remotes, bet'cha they are dirty too. If so, let's clean them. 

Cotton swabs
Rubbing alcohol (I didn't have rubbing alcohol so I used hydrogen peroxide)

1. Remove batteries.
2. Gently clean the keys with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. (Make sure your cotton ball isn't dripping with rubbing alcohol).
3. To get into the crevices, lightly dip your toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and clean the crevices. 
4. Let rubbing alcohol evaporate and then replace batteries. 

TADA! Enjoy awesomely clean (and disinfected) remotes!

Sorry for the differences in color- took pictures at different times of the day. SOO CLEAN!

Friday, January 24, 2014

What's on/in My Nightstand?

So, I think this might be a bit weird but I love to see what people have in their refrigerators, bathrooms, nightstands, and bags. I always think these most used spots showcase a person, in some form or another. Therefore, today I open my nightstand to you. Enjoy! :)

I don't have the typical nightstand; instead of a separate piece of furniture I have two cupboards in a bookcase. This just made the most sense for my room as I share it with my sister. Ideally, I would have a proper nightstand and would be able to tuck away the items that I use at night. I'd also get a lamp and a dock for my charging my iPhone, which I also use as an alarm clock.

Our bookshelf nightstand. I omitted showing my sister's side because I want to respect her privacy.

My "nightstand" an open cupboard and a cupboard with a door.

The open cupboard. Maybe if I get a proper nightstand I won't have as much on display.

This is what I keep behind the closed door. When I am able to invest in a proper
nightstand some of these things will move out of here.

I don't like seeing cords next to or behind furniture.
These cable drops help discretely hide my phone
and computer chargers without making these
cable out of reach.

The minute I typed up this post, I didn't like how I organized the visible part of my nightstand. So here is the new version.

I think this looks more organized and tidy. That's the thing with organizing- you have to tinker with the process
until you find a system that works for you. Something what works today might not work tomorrow and, thus will need
adjustment. It's an ongoing process about constantly meeting changing needs. 

What's in/on your nightstand?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trash Day Tuesday: Hangers

As I am gearing up to renovate my closet to maximize space and accommodate my growing closet, I thought this post would be relevant. Most of my clothing hangs in my closet and thus hangers are personal to me. They should be to you as well!

Why good hangers are important?
Sturdy, well structured hangers provide the best support for clothing, which helps them maintain their shape and keeps fabric in tact.

Why hanger uniformity is important?
The answer to this question is mostly based on aesthetics, with a hint of positive reinforcement. Obviously having all hangers be of the same style, color, brand, etc is pretty to look at, but it's more than just that. This uniformity, because it it visually pleasing, compels you to keep your closet neat. If something's a mess, it's harder to clean it. It something look neat, it's easier to maintain it. It's a simple change that you can make to help reinforce a behavior that is favorable.

With all this as background, let's talk about what to keep and what to toss.

To Toss //

  • Wire hangers from the dry cleaner (these are SO BAD for your clothing).
  • Broken hangers.
  • Hangers that are warped.
  • Hangers that are too big/too small.

To Keep //

  • When looking for new hangers or which hangers to keep, think about the hanger's function. You don't have to have the exact same hanger for every type of clothing. Skirts should be hung on skirt hangers, blazers should be hung on padded hangers. Keep function in mind, when choosing the proper hangers for your needs.
  • I would recommend felt, wooden, metal, or plastic hangers- all depends on what you are hanging. (Tip: If your clothing slips from the hangers, try tying a rubber band on each hanger shoulder so prevent clothing from slipping off.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Polish Your Shoes

I have fond memories of being little and polishing my dad's shoes when we would go somewhere as a family. (Is that weird?) That said, I do not have fond memories of trying to find all the essential elements for shoe polishing! I could never find the brush or the wax- it was a nightmare. Shoe polishing is a must and I think any dapper gentleman and classy woman should always have shiny, clean shoes. For that to happen, a shoe polishing kit is in order.

You need not have a pre-made kit, you can fill your own kit with your favorite assortment of products. Your basics will be (white and/or black) shoe polish, boar hair brush (one with soft bristles and one with hard bristles), and cloth(s). My family has a few products that we like and we just place them in a container in our entryway closet. It's seriously that easy. The point is to have your kit in one spot.

Now, I'll be honest, this isn't only a shoe polishing kit. It's also a bag cleaning kit. Some of the products are
interchangeable so we keep them all in here. We use old shirts as our cloth, saddle soap for cleaning bags/salted shoes,
black and white polish for different colored shoes, mink oil (does this come from real minks?) for oiling leather, two shoehorns, and a boar bristle brush. I also don't recommend using clear containers because seeing the contents of the container isn't very nice. By the way, our basket is repurposed from a gift basket that we got from my sister's boyfriend. I love the potato sack/linen and the hand shaped metal basket- sort of reminds me of when my family used to harvest potatoes from our backyard. 

Another view of the basket. Note, it isn't filled to the brim- keep it simple and light. You don't want to be
fumbling through products when you are in a rush or have products expire. It's about ease and simplicity. 

We neatly store the shoe polishing basket on a shelf  in our
entrance way closet where we hang our coats.
What do you keep in your shoe polishing kit?