There's a lot of great information in this post and I encourage you to read through it ... however, if you don't have the time right now, you might find the following quick links helpful:
Our first challenge of the year was one of my favorites ... organizing. There's something very liberating about sorting through stuff and keeping only what is, or will be, used. I particularly like the idea that an item can get a new lease on life by going to a new home. It's recycling at it's finest!
The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments. Here's what they had to say:
Sarah accepted the challenge, focusing on her kitchen, and shared that she's completed two drawers. While visiting her blog, I also read that she's gone through a pajama drawer and removed several items that no longer fit her daughter. Yay!
Check out Argentum Vulgaris' junk drawer HERE. He shares that he rather likes clutter but his clutter is used. He did commit, however, to organizing his drawer a bit.
Greenie is moving into a home which is half the size of her current house ... so she's embracing this activity. She says "Can't begin to say how liberating it is seeing things go to new homes and knowing I am no longer bound by too many possessions." Best of luck on your move, Greenie!!
Nicole did a bit of decluttering before the holidays, focusing on her children's area and donating some of their toys. Then, after Christmas, she again sorted through their things and yep ... donated some more! Just wondering, Nicole ... were your kids part of the sorting and donating process? If so, how was that? I'm always impressed by the generosity of children and their ability to let things go.
Did you know that Jacqueline is expecting triplets? WhooHoo! To get ready for their arrival, she's decluttering and organizing. By the way, if any of you are interested in a vegan cleanse, check out her REVIEW.
I loved Anita's method of organizing! She sets up three bins ... 1) for KEEP, 2) for GIVE AWAY, and 3) for TRASH. As she sorts through her things, they are placed in one of the boxes. Great idea, Anita!
Want to see the room which Mrs. Green is organizing? Click HERE. She brings up an interesting thought ... she shares that looking at the room makes her unhappy and that getting it organized would help her love her home more. Isn't that the truth ... we feel great when things are organized!
Kristina said "I started off the year strong on this one but faded quickly. Is it really only the 16th? Boy I didn't last too long. I'll continue with my office." I think a lot of us feel that way, Kristina! Decluttering is an ongoing task and it seems, to me, that my enthusiasm for the process is on a positive skew curve (rises up fast and then dwindles). Good luck on the office!
I shared a story with my artisan friend Donna about how, when I get creative making earrings, I start collecting all manner of broken jewelry to work with ... and how it very quickly gets disorganized & cluttered. She responded with this: "I can surely relate to your "earring story" so your little nudge is just what I needed! I'll be organizing all those little extra treasures I've been accumulating. It's only a beginning as there is so much organizing I need to do. I used to be soooooo organized ~ whatever happened! Peace and Hugs for successful organizing everyone!" I hope you'll come back, Donna, and let us know how it goes. :-)
Bob recently moved into a smaller home so he's on top of this activity. He donated a lot of things ... in fact, he filled a 17 foot Uhaul full of things to give away. Wow! Bet it felt great, Bob!
EcoGrrl is also on top of this challenge. She says "I do this about once a month in my office, which is my sadly-unused dining room I converted when I started my business. Always feels cleansing to go through the piles. Rest of my house is pretty organized - I tend to naturally audit/clean, so I don't have a lot of stuff." Doing an ongoing declutter is a great habit to get into. By the way, if you haven't visited EcoGrrl lately, head over ... she's got a new look and lots of new, interesting content.
Here's another example of how great kids are at this activity ... CelloMom said this: "If your child does it for you, does that count? It took three weeks (and I had no hand in it), but now CelloPlayer has a room that is neat, organised, and walkable. I've been shamed into doing some more of that in the rest of the house." Ahhh ... I love it when kids set the example.
Andi-Roo stopped by and said that she's minimizing, organizing, cleaning, and decorating her office this month! Yay! I met Andi-Roo via Triberr and truly enjoy her very direct, honest and "in your face" approach to everything. She says it like she sees it and doesn't mince words. If you're looking for an "edgy" blog, swing over and visit her! She has a lot of good stuff to say!
Alicia has already begun this process. She shares: "First up has been going through lots of papers. Filing the ones that need that and shredding the others. We then take the shredded paper to be recycled. I also have been going through our cabinets and reorganizing them. It is amazing how much more room you have and how much easier it is to find the items. This is just a start. Have lots more to do!!" That's great, Alicia ... I especially like the idea of recycling shredded paper rather than simply tossing it out!
Christina is another blogger whom I met through Triberr ... she writes a lovely blog called Spilled Milkshake Designs. Christina suffers from a chronic illness so decluttering has been hard for her. But ... on the days that she's feeling better, she tackles it. You inspire me, Christina!
You might remember that in November Katie did some decluttering of body care products (you can read about it HERE). She's continuing the process in her pantry. Thanks, Katie!
Randy (aka Rewinn) went prospecting and struck gold ... which resulted in meeting this challenge and a happy wife. Find out what happened in Sifting The Pantry: A #CTWW Challenge.
Our Twitter friends joined the conversation this week ... here's what they had to say:
- Reducing paper should be easier: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Opinion/010713MONedit
- Junk mail pile: One year, 40 pounds: http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_2b4db492-5e49-11e2-acd2-0019bb2963f4.html
- 20 tips for making your office environmentally responsible: http://www.physbiztech.com/how-to/20-tips-making-your-office-environmentally-responsible
- Charity watchdogs give their advice on stopping mail flood: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/795884_Charity-watchdogs-give-their-advice-on-stopping-mail-flood.html
- Free PaperKarma App for iOS, Android Aims to Eliminate Junk Mail: http://blogs.cio.com/iphone/17664/free-paperkarma-app-ios-android-aims-eliminate-junk-mail
- I started reorganizing again in Jan. Freezer has all the food that needs to be used first in upper baskets.
- Ron & I have also agreed that, until the food in the upper baskets is used up, we're on a shopping ban for those items.
- Kitchen: Recycled old non efficient built in dishwasher that we don't use & filled the space with shelving :)
- When organizing & purging, the "donate" box is taken out of the house, placed in the vehicle & dropped off asap. Then it's gone
- Organizing/Decluttering Tip: Resolve not to stock up on things just because they're on sale. If U haven't used up UR supply don't buy
- The kitchen has been reorganized & decluttered so now I can focus on getting some baking done, I think. Another bonus to reorganizing
- Getting Rid of Clutter Part One -http://goatmilkstuff.com/blog/2012/04/11/getting-rid-of-clutter-part-one/
- He who hesitates is lost-Proverb
- cleaned out a couple of drawers yesterday and threw out mostly papers. A good start! :)
The #CTWW Gang are those folks who share our challenges on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they have a lot of great things to say. Let's meet them:
My Final Thoughts:
Tim Cook of Apple Computers has been quoted as saying "Inventory is fundamentally evil". From a business standpoint, it makes sense ... inventory takes up space and if it isn't controlled, then more space is required. Sometimes, that inventory is temperature sensitive so, heating/cooling is used in the storage facility. As new inventory arrives, it might be necessary to shuffle things around so ... there might be moving costs associated with it. And what above inventory which has a shelf life? Too much means that some items will go bad before they can be sold. So, inventory which isn't being sold is simply a liability. If we apply that idea to our homes, there's a parallel. We need space for our stuff ... homes have been getting bigger and bigger over the years. Unless we section off a part of the house and neither heat nor cool it, our stuff contributes to our energy costs. And shelf life? How many of us have had to toss something out because we forgot it was there and it ended up spoiling. The fact is, stuff is a homeowner's liability as well. As we organize and reduce stuff, we reduce our liabilities. That's a good thing!
Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I have Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share feature at the bottom of this post.
This Week's Challenge:
Ready for something new? Here you go ...
This week start an "Action" journal. List the Eco-tasks you'd like to accomplish this year. This can be done in an actual journal, a blog ... or even on a piece of paper. Get the whole family involved since we're often more inclined to follow through on a task if it was our idea in the first place. Put the list of actions somewhere accessible so that it can be referenced often. As actions are completed, mark them off (ah the sense of accomplishment).
Are you game for this activity?
SPECIAL NOTE: Next week our CTWW post is going to be a bit different. Stay tuned ... it should be fun!
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Until next time ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!