You Can Make Every Day Earth Day

Earth Day rolls around once a year to remind us to practice the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle.  Many of us take advantage of the convenient and local events to recycle those old electronics, athletic shoes, worn out books, burnt out light bulbs, and stacks of papers that need to be shredded.

You may have been collecting and storing these items since last Earth Day. After all, you don’t want to contribute any of them to the landfills.

It is a great and noble thing to take care of our earth. But if you are using your home as a temporary trash storage area while waiting for the once a year Earth Day events then that could be a big problem.

You don’t deserve to live in a trash dump!

Take advantage of this Earth Day to gather the information about places you can take items to be recycled year round. Newspapers (online and printed) are writing articles and listing websites and local addresses at this time. Create a folder, either on the computer or paper, to keep this information.

In August, when you take advantage of the back to school sales on computers you can look up where to recycle the old one. The same with all those outgrown rubber athletic shoes. Or those burnt out CFL light bulbs.

Many stores such as Best Buy now have bins to recycle small electronics year round. I know my local city has curbside recycling plus lots of schools now have the big metal bins for recycling. I’ve even noticed ones that are for recycling old clothes.

So there are lots of places to recycle your stuff everyday and feel good about taking care of the Earth. Just make sure you take as good as care of your own home. You deserve it!

To a lighter load along the way.


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Clear Out The Clutter On Snowy Days

The news today said that at least one third of the nation (USA) will experience some of this huge winter storm. I know here in St. Louis we are under a Blizzard warning. I don’t ever remember being under that kind of warning before.



Because of this storm many people will find themselves stuck in their homes for at least a couple of days, maybe even longer. If you have children that means they are out of school and will either be glued to the TV watching movies, reruns, or cartoons, on the computer playing games, or be bored out of their minds and driving you crazy.

So take advantage of this time stuck in the house to do so decluttering and organizing with your children. Of course, if you don’t have children at home you can still do some of the projects listed below. A lot of these ideas are from Chapter 4 (Paper Memories) in the eBook “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”.

  1. Go through your boxes of photos and throw away the bad shots. These may include ones with the heads cut off, blurred shots that are unidentifiable, too dark or too light, or duplicates.
  2. While going through the photos be sure to write any information about them on the back. It’s best to use a photo safe pen if you have one. If you’re doing this with your children then take the time to talk about the photos. They probably will find it a lot more interesting than reruns on the TV.
  3. Pull out those boxes of your children’s saved papers from past school years (or your own). Go down memory lane with them and then get rid of as many as possible. Usually when you do this you’ll be asking yourself, “Why did I keep this?”. When time loosens the hold these items have on you or your children, take advantage of it and let them go.
  4. Snowy days are also a good time to go through the overstuffed bookshelves and all those DVD’s or even VHS tapes if you have them. Pull out any you know you’ll never read or watch again. Put them in a box or bag to take to your local charity next time you run errands. You’ll be giving other children or adults a chance to read those books or watch the DVD’s.
  5. This is also a good time to pull out some of those craft supplies and get creative. When supplies sit there unused for long periods of time they can become clutter. But if they are used in the process of a creative project, they are not clutter!

If you are one of those stuck at home due to the weather don’t sit around and waste the time. Have fun going through things and clear out some of the clutter at the same time. You won’t regret it!




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If you have piles of paper clutter then you need to get my eBook, “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”. It can help you clear out those piles and organize the important papers.



The Holiday Rush Has Started!

The holiday rush has already started! There’s Thanksgiving to prepare for. Holiday cards need to be bought along with presents for Hanukkah and Christmas.

As Willy Wonka said:

“So much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it.”

The cooking shows and magazines are giving ideas about how to make a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner along with having the best Christmas or Hanukkah ever. In theory, it looks and sounds great. In reality, it’s a whole other story.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas can be simple and great at the same time. All three holidays are celebrating: being grateful, hard work, miracles, and compassion and understanding for our fellow man/woman. If we think about these basic reasons for celebrating it will be easier to keep from being caught up in the commercialism of fancy cooking, elaborate decorations, and over the top and expensive gifts.

To help counteract the media pushing us into believing these high expectations we need to have a written plan for the holiday season. The best way to do this is to create a notebook and write out your plans for each holiday you will celebrate. These plans should include what you want to accomplish and by what date.

Here are some links to help with the planning of Thanksgiving:



If you don’t know where to get started with Christmas then Flylady.net has some great information.


I have written an article on how to set up a holiday card system that I’ve used for years. It may take a little time to set up at first if you have a lot of people on your list, but in future years it will save you tons of time. You can check it out here:


If you are mailing gifts this holiday season then check out the USPS site for dates. Write in your notebook who you want to mail gifts to and when you need to buy them and mail them. You may want to mark your main calendar with the “mail by” dates to make sure you aren’t late.


Below are links a few more links to help with Thanksgiving planning. I’ll be adding links for Hanukkah and Christmas on the next blog post. Be sure to check back soon.


*Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 25








If you have piles of paper clutter then you need to get my eBook, “Cut Out The Paper Clutter”. It can help you clear out the piles and organize the important papers.

3Debook_Clutter8 http://organizebythemonth.com/CutOutThePaperClutter.html

Lighten Up Your Perfectionism

We all want to be perfect. We are told from a young age that “practice makes perfect”. So we grow up believing that if we try hard enough and practice enough times we should be successful in what we set out to do.

Well, reality sets in that we are not perfect. No matter how hard we try the results are not always “perfect”. So then we start doubting ourselves. We feel like failures. After all, there are winners or there are losers. How you play the game doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.

In this strive for perfectionism it’s hard to laugh at ourselves for being human. We’ve become obsessed about:

  • always wanting our homes to be “magazine perfect”
  • always sending the “perfect” thank-you note and sending it on time
  • always cooking the gourmet meal even when our family prefers the boxed mac & cheese
  • always responding to that email, twitter or facebook post right away even when there are more important things to do

These are just some of the things our perfectionism causes us to think “failure” instead of laughing at our human imperfections.

Perfectionism is the striving to reach a destination that doesn’t exist. So why even try to go there. Lighten up on yourself and start enjoying the journey. The journey should consist of:

  • Sending the thank-you note on a plain piece of paper if necessary.
  • Setting a timer and work a little each day at decluttering. Enjoy the process.
  • Reply to that email 2 weeks, even 2 months later. Apologize and move on.
  • If it’s something that needs a timely response (email, phone call, etc.) just respond the best you can. Don’t worry about what the person on the other end might think, that’s their problem.

We worry too much about making ourselves look “perfect” in other people’s eyes. If they expect us to be perfect then they have a BIG problem. If we didn’t worry so much about what others think then we just might enjoy life more. We could learn to laugh at our faults. Once we learn to laugh at ourselves we can come up with clever ways to compensate for those “imperfections”. Compensating doesn’t mean we are working to eliminate our faults. It means accepting our imperfections and working around them to achieve our goals. We will work at being the best we can be and that will be good enough.



Starting Over & Over & Over

Have you ever cleaned up your home for company and then promised yourself you will keep it that way…always? Then daily life gets in the way and before you know it the house is a mess with clutter again.

You beat yourself up for not keeping your promise. You tell yourself you are a failure. You feel you can never get the house under control and keep it that way.

Then you get angry and decide you’re going to clean up the house once and for all and keep it that way. So you start over again with hopes, dreams, and determination to get it right this time.

Here’s a a quote to think about when you find yourself in the above situation.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

When you start over to clean up the clutter in your home for yet another time, stop and think of “why” it got this way again, not the “how”. We all the “how” – we simply did not put things away. It’s when you figure out the “why” then you can start doing something different and guess what – you’ll get different results.

  1. Why didn’t things get put away?
  2. Why do you keep purchasing more items? (Do you really need them? Do you buy without planning first?)
  3. Why don’t you have a place or “home” for each item in your home? (Too many items? Not enough or the right kind of storage?)
  4. Why don’t you have a routine to follow to keep the house cleaned up? (Never wrote out a plan? The old routine never works? )

We all have weaknesses and it’s easy to come up with excuses. We all have strengths too. Maybe you keep you desk at work clean and organized. Or your craft project is organized and ready to work on. Or maybe you’re great at organizing your childrens school parties, etc. Take a look at what you do well no matter how large or small it may be and try to apply some of those techniques to what you are not good at.

“Have confidence that if you have done a little thing well, you can do a bigger thing well too.” ~ Storey

“It’s not how many times you fall that matters; it’s how many times you get up.” ~ Anon