You can’t shop at any store these days without seeing new “green” products. But Vickie Dellaquila of www.OrganizationRules.com goes one better. Here are some suggestions she has for using what you already have on hand to organize your life.
Use and purchase less stuff
- One of the easiest ways to stay organized and be green is to use what you have. Ask yourself: Is this purchase something that will enhance my life, is it something that I will use, or is it consumable? For example, if you have clothes that you never wear, pass them along to friends, family, or to a charity. Keep the clothes that you really wear.
Use what you have to organize
Many times after de-cluttering, clients want to run out and buy the newest organizing products. Many of these are wonderful products and work well and at times are the best solution to an organizing problem. However, many times you have what you need right in your home to organize your items. Here are some examples:
- Shoeboxes can be used to organize so many items from Legos to spools of thread. Label the outside of the box and store like-sized boxes together.
- Checkbook boxes are great for drawer organizers. They are a very nice size to keep small things in drawers organized.
- Repurpose your already owned plastic bins and totes. Just because you bought a bin to store extra clothing does not mean you need to reuse it for clothes. Just re-label your container.
- Use cereal boxes as magazine holders. Cut the box in half diagonally for a magazine holder or to store other papers.
- Make your own drawer dividers. Cut up cereal boxes, shoeboxes, or cardboard to make dividers that are a perfect fit!
- Keep a bag by your desk or household management area to toss junk mail (that does not need to be shredded), old magazines, old envelopes or any other paper to take to the paper recycler. One of my favorites is Paper Retriever. Every week I go to my library and take my recyclables to put in the Paper Retriever.
- Don't waste stuff. If you can use a little less paper, tape, staples, or printer ink, do so. Use what you need to get the job done, but if you can use a little less, it is better for the environment and for your pocket book!
- Think before you hit print on your computer. Store what you can electronically on your computer. Use the back of used paper for things you need to print that are not that important and have a limited shelf life (coupons).
- Save time and gas when driving to do errands. Consolidate trips when going out-grocery store, library, gym. Do them all in the same trip if possible. Try to do some of these errands on your way home from work.
- Use the Internet and your phone to find out whether a store has the product you need instead of wasting time and gas to search. Dialing the phone or using the Internet saves time, gas, and is easier.
By Vickie Dellaquila, CPO, CRTS