How Recycling Electronics Make a Difference

organize recycling

 

It’s started as a drip and now it’s a tsunami. The rate of new electronics coming into our home is beyond a pace we imagined.  New technology evolves faster and faster.  Recycling electronics makes a difference for our environment.  We can make the conscious choice to recycle electronics.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
  • For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

A scary statistic is the pollution that is occurring in our landfills due to electronics.

  • According to the E.P.A., electronics comprise 1% of the material entering U.S. landfills; yet contribute 70% of the toxins found there.

Because of the rapid changes in technology, we often have a variety of items to recycle.  We can have multiple cell phones, computers, and tablets in our homes.  Here’s the basic steps to recycling electronics in your home or office.

Steps to recycle

Before you change to a new device, be sure you are backing up. It’s easier than ever with different options. You can use the cloud (itunes), a service (Carbonite) or an external hard drive. Be sure to wipe clean your device so you can protect yourself from identity theft or other issues.  (Apple) (Android) . It takes a few extra steps but your security will pay off. You are ready to decide  then if you want to sell, donate or give away your electronics. Inspect your devices to decide if you are going to donate or sell your electronics to be sure they are in top condition to sell.

Places to donate or sell

You can donate your used equipment to Goodwill, a local charity or at retail stores like Best Buy, Staples, and OfficeMax. Specific sites like Ebay Giving Works or  CellphonesforSoldiers recycle your device and may use the funds for a good cause.  These items are recycled and used for others. Sell your used equipment to Amazon, eBay, Gazelle, Glyde and uSell.  This gives you a little cash for your investment. Other resources include AllGreen and Earth911. No matter which path you take,  you are eliminating extra items in your home and clearing space.

 

Good deeds that benefit all of us

Recycling your e-waste takes a few extra steps. Just like all recycling, it’s about creating a good habit.   You can find other ways to recycle electronics in your own community.   This contribution to global well being is well worth the time.

 

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Beginner’s Guide to Time Management

time management

 

Each year we start off with great intentions about our time management, like arriving on time, scheduling appointments, and prioritizing our time with our family. Even the most organized can feel stressed by time challenges. Having a few guidelines can make it easier to be productive and feel in control.

 

• Time for bed. Even adults need a bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation finds that adults need 7 – 9 hours of rest to be most productive at home and work. Setting a reasonable bedtime and establishing good routines to promote sleep make a big difference. Start by having a time in mind to get in bed, and work backwards to get ready for bed. Turn off TV, iPad and any other electronics an hour before your head hits the pillow. Strive for a consistent bedtime to get a great night’s sleep.
• Give yourself time. Being realistic about how long a task takes and giving yourself permission to take the time to get a task complete can be a relief. If it takes you an hour, two or three to pay bills, set a time that allows for you to completely get this job done. Not sure how long any task will take? Double up on your best guess and then write it in your calendar. It is sure to be completed with this accountability.
• Take time between. When we schedule appointments back to back or have a long series of tasks to complete, having a little wiggle room (“white space” visually on your calendar), takes the stress away. It is rare that anything runs smoothly, so giving yourself this space eases the stress. Just in case you arrive early or have extra time, take a magazine in your car or carrying case just for fun!

 

time management

• Planning time. Be proactive this year with a weekly planning time and family meeting. Get ahead by looking ahead, setting time to gather up what you need and be prepared. This time is priceless for organization and success.

 

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Spring into Organizing

spring organizing

 

 

It’s not been a long winter, but we are already hearing robins chirping, the sun rising earlier and the sensing feeling of change.  It’s also the time we feel ready to tackle organizing in our space.  It’s time to spring forward into organizing.

 

There’s a few important spaces that need attention.  These spaces require a fresh start with a new perspective.  Organizing your office space, laundry room, landing spot and linens help you get a fresh start for spring.

 

Office space

Your office may have become the dumping ground for anything and everything.

  • Get this space back to functioning with a mass purge of papers.  Check out what to keep and for how long and get down to shredding.  Now you know what to keep when papers come in. Keep filing simple with broad categories or just the box for the year.  Simple filing makes it easier to file and takes less time.
  • Reset this space by moving items back to where they belong.  Often offices have lots of bags and boxes that simply need to be redistributed.
  • Recycle your dead technology.  Check on Earth.911 to know where and how to recycle items.

 

Laundry room

Have an overload of clothes taken over your laundry room? Is it impossible to enter?  Get a fresh start in this space.

  • If your laundry room is really your closet, it’s time to move items back.
  • Set up a system with baskets, laundry sorter or other product that helps you start and finish one load at a time.
  • Less clothes make laundry easier. Eliminate clothes in your closet you are not feeling joy and make space for what makes you feel fabulous.  Organizing your closet is a gift to yourself!

 

Landing spot

Winters gone and so should your heavy coats!  It’s time to get the landing spot ready for spring.

  • Go through coats, sweaters and boots to see if these are ready to be donated and bless others.
  • Add a basket for flipflops and other summer shoes that gather in this area.
  • Add hooks for swim and other summer season bags.

 

Spring linens

Give yourself an extra gift with sorting through the linen closet.  Often we have many seasons of linens.

  • Are there stained and torn towels or sheets that can be donated?  How many sheet sets or comforters do you need?  These are sold as rags at thrift stores and used for animal shelters.
  • Is your linen closet in disarray? Just a little decluttering and straightening can help.
  • Need a fresh perk in your bedroom?  Purchase new linens and let go of your existing linens.

 

Choose one of these a week to spring into your organizing this year!

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Six Simple Solutions to keep you Sane every Season!

simple organizing solutions

Do things seem more complicated than ever? Rather than joy and anticipation, are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of the new year and all it will bring? Start the year with simple organizing solutions to create order and balance in your life.

 

Your calendar

Have a great calendar you love! It can be paper or electronic, whichever is most compatible and engaging for you. It should be portable to travel with you and the format should be week or month at a glance. Rules for using your calendar include writing in everything regularly (from doctor appointments to work meetings) reviewing it daily. Add a weekly planning time for you to review what is coming up and adding items from your master list. This is the single most important tool you can have for time management.

 

Your list

Most people have too much to remember on a daily basis to remember it all without writing it down. Having a list keeps you in the moment, so that you can keep energy and focus on the project you are doing. Keep a spiral notebook or PDA with you at all times, so you can easily jot down notes and lists when the thought occurs. By consolidating all of this in one place you can review and prioritize actions and projects, combine activities and errands and be more productive each day.

 

Command center for your papers

Create a space for papers that require action. Your command center holds all the very important action papers, including bills and other papers requiring an action. Add a section for papers that will be filed. Each day open your mail at this station, recycle junk mail, shred potential identity theft papers and bring catalogs and magazines to a reading spot. By creating a specific work station for these papers, you are ready to act on them with an hour of weekly administrative time.

A place for everything

Often clutter is the result of items needing a specific “home” or space. Designate that space by deciding where the item is used most often and determine to place it back each and every time. By designating a space, you are also setting a limit to the quantity of the item you can own. For example, all clothes must fit in the master bedroom closet or all laundry products fit on the shelves above the washer. Defining a place for everything helps you save money, ease the stress of looking for items and maintain the order you have created in your home.

simple organizing solutions

Keep it Simple Sweetie

By keeping our projects and routines simple, we can enjoy our lives more fully. Routines like laundry and dinner should be as easy to complete as possible. These are activities that enhance our lives by completion rather than complication. Think of simple ways to create routine for you and your family. Can each family member having their own laundry basket eliminate laundry in the family room? Can dinner be sandwiches and soup? The K.I.S.S. principle makes the difference in our homes and activities.

15 minutes of organizing every day

Every day have 15 minutes of organizing to maintain the systems you have set up. After our busy days, we come home tired from our work, but we still need to get a little organizing completed. What can you do in 15 minutes? Get things back to where they belong, get ready for the next day, get lunches made, get your list together, get paper sorted into your command center and get your sanity back! We all can do anything for 15 minutes, especially, if it adds peace of mind and quality to our lives.

 

 

Work on these simple solutions a little each day. Uncomplicated, easy, straightforward and effortless organizing solutions for every season will make this year your best!

 

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3 Easy to Use Small Business Tools

business organizing tools

It’s the little things that can cause the biggest snarls in business. When you are a small business owner, it’s hard at times to keep all the balls in the air. You have to work with clients, invoice and bill clients, run small errands and manage multiple projects.  These 3 easy to use business tools simplify and organize your business tasks.

 

Hours Keeper

Struggling with invoicing clients? Here’s an easy to use app that can track hours, add in extra services and send your client an invoice. It takes away the pain of invoicing later that day or later that month. You can email your client and yourself a copy of the paid invoice too.  It’s a small way to jump start an important task.

 

Task Rabbit

What do you need help with?  Assembling your new product? Shopping or delivery? Task Rabbit is available in 19 cities to help you with small tasks at a reasonable price.  Task Rabbit is “smart way to get things done by connecting you with others in your neighborhood.”

Trello

Managing multiple projects is how we maximize our time as small business owners. Trello gives us a visual way to keep everything running smoothly.  This free software is available on all devices to help you use it at the office and on the go.  Trello consists of a board with a list of lists.  You can create cards as  your project progresses and move the cards as you accomplish tasks.  It’s great to use with a team too.

business apps and tools

There’s more tech and apps that can help, depending on your small business needs.  Start small with tech that caters to a specific need.

4 Rules for Organized Living

organized living

My own personal mantra has always been “Keep it simple sweetie.”

No matter the situation or the conversation, my life works best when I keep it simple. What happens when it’s not simple? Stress from clutter, frustration from lack of time, or feelings of being overwhelmed are common when life is complicated. A focus on simplicity brings life into balance.

How do you keep it simple?

• Ruthlessly look for ways to cut down on clutter.

Set up a bag to drop in unused items to donate to our local philanthropies every week. Keep a shopping list of only what’s needed. When something new comes into your home, let go of something else. Simplify by letting go of MORE than you think you can.

• Prioritize you and your family’s commitments.

There are lots of “good” things we “should” do. Know what’s most important to you and your family and align your activities with these priorities. Keep up to date on your personal and family calendars to know what your commitments are.
• Know what papers to keep, what to shred and what to recycle. Set up a command center for papers that come in and triage paper daily. It’s a station in your home and office where paper is kept and categorized. Each day you go through paper and file, shred or recycle. Once a week have an administrative time to go through the remaining paper, pay bills, and do what’s needed.

• Host a weekly meeting for you and your family.

Building your team makes your efforts easier. Having everyone talk through upcoming activities and plans makes for good communication. Add time to your personal calendar for your own weekly planning as well where you consolidate information from papers, kids, email and more.
Have simple systems and routines in place to reinforce your new mantra. Your sense of efficiency, productivity and positivity will grow as a result too!

 

organized

3 Ways to Make Essential Routines More Fun

routines

 

Routines are an essential part of an organized life. The more you do a routine, the easier it becomes.  For some of us, routines are tedious. It’s in adding spark to the mundane, every day routine that makes it much easier.  There are 3 essential routines for all of us: getting stuff back to where it goes, getting ready for bed, and getting ready in the morning. Take a new perspective on these routines with these 3 ways to make routines more fun.

 

Reset

If the idea of picking up each day and getting stuff back to where it goes is too dull, start by renaming this routine the RESET. A reset is where you get everything back to where it goes.  The best time to do this is every evening, right after dinner. Set a timer and you have enough time to RESET for 15 minutes and then you are ready for the next day.

 

Shutdown

You and your kids need to get ready for bed and everyone is tired of hearing all the details. It’s time to start the SHUTDOWN.  Explain to your family that when we say, SHUTDOWN, it’s time for you to brush teeth, get in jammies and start your reading.  Keeping it super simple,  your family knows each step and you are all ready for bed on time.

 

Pandora Morning Music Set

Music touches our inner souls. What if you have a playlist for different routines in your home? Just like the Clean up song for preschool, a pre – set playlist signals time for everyone to start a morning routine.  Morning can be especially rough for some of us and a play list eliminates the need for talking.

 

routines

 

 

 

Even if you can’t keep your routine daily, you can always get restarted on a routine. Just start back up the next day, morning or evening.  Be positive about your routines and successes too.

 

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