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Janine in tulip field

Earth Day & Containers

I love the colors of spring, the bright daffodils, tulips, and flowering trees. They make me smile. They also make me think about Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22nd. It’s a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. You may not see the connection between organizing and environmental protection, but I’m reminded of it every time a client donates and recycles responsibly. Therefore, I’d like to share 3 simple ways we can show our support.

Get Organized Month

Donate & Recycle

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021! I hope you are healthy and keeping a positive mindset. That’s my objective this year, especially since I was sick with…

clean out project

How to get rid of stuff?

During this stay-at-home directive many of us are taking time to clean out and organize our homes. That is a great way to create a happy home and an orderly home work environment. However, what do we do with all the stuff we want to clear out and get rid of? During normal circumstances I’d recommend donation-drop-sites, such as Savers, Goodwill (some Goodwill locations are still accepting donations), Salvation Army, and Saint Vincent De Paul. I’d also recommend at-home donation collection options, such as Big Brother/Big Sister Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation (still collecting) and the Vietnam Veterans of America, but many of these places have closed their doors to keep their employees and volunteers safe. So what are our options?donate don't dump sign

Here are a few suggestions: (Please note that some of these options may not be currently available in your community.)

  • Contact the organizations in your area that give directly to those in need. They may be searching for what you’re wanting to give away. A few organizations are Cradles to Crayons, My Brother’s Keeper, and Clothes to Go.
  • Use the available donation drop boxes in your community for clothing, shoes, and books. Please respect the drop box boundaries and don’t leave items outside of them to become someone else’s clean up problem. Bay State Textiles works with schools in MA on recycling textiles. They set up collection bins in school parking lots. Check their website for locations.
  • Use recycle drop boxes for small electronics, adapters, cords, batteries, and light bulbs at stores like Best Buy, Lowe’s and Target if available.
  • Use on-line free-give-away communities like Give Back Box, Free Cycle (not operating at this time), and Buy Nothing.
  • Post on Facebook Yard Sales, Craigslist and other on-line options.
  • Reach out to local Senior Centers, Boy Scout Troops, and Mom’s Clubs to see if they’re planning an annual rummage sale. You may have to hold onto the items for a few months, but it’s motivating to know you’ll be helping your local community.
  • Put items out on the curb with a free sign on them.
  • Ask friends and family if they want anything you’re ready to let go.
  • Box things up to donate later, but be sure to clearly label what’s in the box.
  • To donate specific items contact food pantries, homeless shelters, domestic violence centers, and organizations the distribute hygiene products (Dignity Matters and Hope and Comfort) to see whats in high demand.

If you have other suggestions that will be of help to others please share. Thank you. Be safe and take care of you!home happy

©April 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

one dollar bills

Shopping Guidelines

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Celebrating
10 years in business
in 2018!
 
 
I apologize for not sending out a newsletter in July. I was traveling and the summer just flew by. However, I did write some blog articles that you may find inspiring and interesting. Please see below.   
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Recent Blog Articles:
Question:  Have you ever experimented with minimalism? Please share.
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      How are you? Can you believe it is already the end of October? Summer has come and gone, and once again we are gearing up for a cold, snowy New England winter. Time marches on and with winter comes the gift-giving-season. Are you ready? Would you like to do things a bit differently this year? If so, I have a few organizer friendly shopping guidelines.
  1. Make a list and check it twice (like Santa).
  2. Set limits on number of gifts to give each person and dollars to spend per person.
  3. Always shop with your list and have a specific purpose for each purchase.
  4. Buy gifts that get used up instead of things that take up space. A few examples are bubble bath, art and craft supplies, and sweet treats.
  5. Use technology as a gift-giving inspiration and acquire downloads of books, movies, and games.
  6. Purchase gifts of experience like movie passes, sporting event tickets, zoo memberships, concert tickets, and ice cream shoppe gift cards.
  7. Check out my list of clutter-free gift giving ideas.
  8. Store gifts in one spot, so you can easily see what has been purchased.
  9. Update your list each time you make a purchase.
  10. Schedule time to wrap gifts so you don’t have to stay up till 3:00AM the night before the big holiday.
 If you have other shopping guidelines that have worked for you in the past, please share them with me.

Giving Resources

Looking to clear out some stuff before adding more during the holidays?

Here are a few giving options for toys:

  1. Cradles to Crayons helps families and children in need.
  2. Project Smile works with police and fire departments
  3. Daycare centers
  4. Domestic and homeless shelters
  5. Children’s Homes
  6. Social Services
  7. Hospitals and doctor’s offices
Here are two on-line giving communities:
  1. FreeCycle
  2. Buy Nothing

Happy 2018!
I’m truly grateful for you and your support of me and my business. Thanks for helping me make it to my ten year anniversary. Wishing you all the best in the final two months of 2018 and a happy and safe holiday season!
From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 3 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
photo albums on shelf

Letting Go

Helpful Organizer BlogLetting go of things can be stressful and difficult, especially if they hold some sentimental value. We tend to hold onto things that remind us of precious people and moments from our past. A few years ago I was helping a client organize her bedroom, and we came across some dried, brittle, dusty, yellowed flowers in a vase. She explained that it was her dried wedding bouquet, and she wanted to keep it. I asked her to pause for a moment and tell me objectively what she saw. She did. I then asked to tell me about other mementos she had from her wedding day. When she was finished she understood what I was getting at and said “I think I can let the flowers go.” She understood that although her wedding flowers were an important part of her wedding day, now they were just dust collectors. Since she had other more meaningful mementos from her wedding day, as well as photos of the flowers when they were vibrant and beautiful, she could let go of the brittle, dusty, yellowed version. By taking a moment to look and think objectively we can all make better choices about letting go.

Here are 7 options for letting go that will help you keep the memories but not the stuff.

  1. Keep only the best of photographs, artwork & hand-made crafts to bring greater value to the memory.
    • Set limits (container limit or quantity limit)
    • Set criteria (most meaningful, most representative of personality)
    • Go digital with photos, memorabilia, artwork
    • Share and send photos to family/friends
  2. Keep part of a set or collection: china, glass items, collectables, furniture, nick-knacks & tchotchkes, holiday decorations & decor to bring ease to maintenance.
    • Get items appraised to understand valueplanters made from recycled goblets
    • Set limits (keep half, the best 3, most memorable)
    • Establish a specific place for display or specific use
    • Reduce what you keep (just signatures on greeting cards, every 5th year of journals)
  3. Get creative, re-purpose or reuse to bring new life to items.
    • Re-purpose dishes and stemware as planters or jewelry holders
    • Re-purpose china to make jewelry or mosaic art pieces
    • Reuse fabric from items to make quilts, pillows, teddy bears, mittens, bags, Christmas stockings or other items
    • Use paper items to make place-mats, wrapping paper, greeting cards
  4. Take photos and videos to preserve visually and digitally.
    • Create digital scrapbooks to share the memories and storiesChristmas stocking made from old quilt
    • Use as a screen saver on computer or phone
    • Consolidate images into collages
  5. Share and document story of item to preserve memory.
    • Use on-line digital options to share stories and photos
    • Share stories and memories of items verbally at family gatherings
    • Star in a video sharing stories and memories of family heirlooms
  6. Find worthy recipient to ease guilty feelings.
    • Search on line for specific worthwhile charities
    • Ask family, friends, and social media connections for willing recipients
    • Accept that we may not be able to find the perfect recipient and let it go believing the next owner will cherish it
  7. Experiment and practice letting go.

©September 2018  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®