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20 Projects You Can Do in 20 Minutes

Have any summer projects?

My husband is a teacher and always takes on summer projects. Well, if you ask him, I’m sure he’d say I provide him with a list of summer ‘honey do’ projects. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit, he’s right. I think summer is a great time to work on projects especially if you have more free-time on your hands.

20 Projects You Can Do in 20 Minutes

Set the timer for 20 minutes and get busy!

Devoting 20 minutes to any one of the projects on this list will help you create more order in your life.

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Love It or Lose It!

Organizing tipDo you love your stuff? If you don’t love it or use it, LOSE it!

Unfortunately during this pandemic many donation drop off locations are closed. So it is a bit more difficult to get rid of your unwanted things. My most recent blog, How To Get Rid of Stuff will provide you with some options and resources. Please stay healthy.

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

Spring fling = spring cleaning

Spring Fling: 5 Boxes in 5 Days

Spring has sprung and that always motivates me to clean, organize, and get rid of stuff. Please join me in my annual Spring Fling: 5 Boxes in 5 Days. The challenge, if you wish to accept it, is to get rid of 5 boxes of stuff in 5 days. You can use any size box, bag, or bin. It’s acceptable to get rid of the easy stuff that hasn’t been used in eons, or you may want to push yourself a bit. It’s up to you. It will be helpful to establish some keep criteria and if an item falls within that criteria allow yourself to hold onto it, use it, and cherish it. It will also be helpful to ask questions about the items as you consider their usefulness and value. I’ve listed some questions for each day to inspire you. Good luck with your spring fling!

Day one = clothes and shoes

  • Do you feel great when you wear it? If not, how do you feel when you wear it?
  • Do you love it on the hanger but hate it on your body?
  • Does it fit your current lifestyle and wardrobe needs?
  • How many times has it been worn in the past 3 years?
  • Is it more than one size too big or too small?
  • How old, outdated and unflattering is it?
  • Is it always your last choice?

Day two = kitchen items

  • When was the last time you used it?
  • How much dust does it have on it?
  • Is it still in it’s original box?
  • Is it taking up too much valuable kitchen space?
  • Does it only serve one specific purpose?
  • Is it broken, damaged, or missing parts, and you’re not going to fix it within 3 months?
  • Do you have a newer model or version that is currently being used?

Day three = books and magazines

  • Have you read it? If not will you read it within the next 3 months?
  • Is it still of interest to you? Do you want to read it?
  • If you have read it, do you plan on re-reading it? When?
  • How much time do you allow yourself to read each day?
  • How many other books or magazines do you have on the same subject?

Day four = electronics

  • How many times has it been used in the past year?
  • Do you have a newer model or version that is currently being used?
  • Is it broken, damaged, or missing parts, and you’re not going to fix it within 3 months?
  • Is the adapter or cord missing?
  • Are you only holding onto it because you want to remove photos or personal information?
  • Are you unsure of how to dispose of it? (ASK ME!)

Day five = knickknacks

  • Do you love and cherish it?
  • Is it worth dusting and maintaining?
  • Is it broken, damaged, or missing parts, and you’re not going to fix it within 3 months?
  • Are you only keeping it because it was a gift?

Please share your results and comments. I’d like to hear how you did?

©March 2020   Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer   All Rights Reserved

Incoming vs. Outgoing

Organizing tipThe rate of what comes in needs to be less than or equal to the rate of what goes out. It is easy to bring things into our lives and spaces, but it requires more effort to remove things. Therefore we need to consistently and continually work to remove things from our lives and space. By consciously working at it we increase our chances of being able to manage what we own and keep it organized.