Many people (including myself) want to clear clutter from their homes but get stuck when it comes to how to donate items or dispose of waste. I have discovered a few incredible organizations which provide resources so you can donate responsibly.
The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse: The Depot is an ecological treasure trove of art & craft materials, educational supplies, vintage furniture, home décor, paper goods, fabric, and much more. Founded in 1979 by two Oakland public school teachers, the Depot promotes solid waste diversion and resource conservation through the Depot store and environmental education programs.
Generally they take everything from fabric and buttons to paper, art and office supplies, books and DVDs. Check out their current list of drop-off donations HERE.
SCRAP: Same idea but located in SF, SCRAP breathes new life into old objects and reduces waste by diverting over 200 tons of materials heading to landfill every year. Donations of quality re-usable materials such as textiles, buttons, paper, craft and office supplies, plastics, and wood are collected from businesses, institutions, and individuals then sorted and made available to teachers, parents, artists, and organizations. Current list of acceptable donations can be found HERE.
STOPWASTE. ORG: California State Law prohibits disposal of Universal Waste into landfills (such as batteries, electronics, fluorescent lights and items containing mercury). Stopwaste.org will let you search by item and location (Bay Area Only) so you can recycle items and dispose of hazardous waste properly. If you are outside the Bay Area you can just look up your local recycling and hazardous waste facility. To save time, I suggest keeping a labeled bag in a safe place (away from a child’s reach) so you can collect old batteries, light bulbs etc. and make only a few trips a year.
Today I stumbled upon a delightful line of party supplies by Paper Eskimo. My daughter’s first birthday is around the corner and I am having visions of ice cream socials complete with paper cups and wooden spoons and rainbow sprinkles. The whimsical line of party goods also offers adorable cups, plates, straws, napkins and decor in pretty pastels. Sometimes, it’s the little details that take a party from good to great and I can’t wait to get my paws on some mint chip ice cream in an adorable striped cup. Pass the wooden spoons, please.
I have been on the prowl to identify some little things that make a big impact on the home and lighting is at the top of my list. Replacing the light fixtures in your home or rental can make a massive impact on a relatively small budget. I have been inspired by magazines and boutique hotels and have located a few styles that really pack a punch. Out with the brass and glass! In with modern drum shades and chic chandeliers. I promise your home will thank you.
Adorable, handmade, and the only clips that do not slip out of my girl’s hair. Hello Shiso clips and accessories are made locally (In Berkeley) by Mimi Tsang. Mimi also runs a fabulous BLOG with creative ideas and inspiration. I am loving her and her delightful products right up. Check it!
I never thought I would actually be thinking about potty seats, let alone blogging about them but here goes!
Our three year old, Chloe, was potty trained about six months ago and our small bathroom has become cluttered with portable pottys, training seats and stools. Having to share a bathroom with my whole family is a nightmare as it is but with the addition of all of this toilet equipment I was starting to lose it. Enter: Next Step Built In Potty Seat! This genius creation can be installed in about five minutes and will change your life if you have young ones sharing a toilet with you! Chloe loves it and flips the seat up and down easily. I am thrilled to be able to donate all of our other gear and have this simple space saving device instead.
How do you save space in your bathroom? Talk to me!
I recently went for a spa day with my friend, Hedy, and was distracted by her charming LL Bean Open Top Tote Bag. She had filled it with folded beach towels, toiletries and magazines for the day and my imagination started running wild thinking of the bag’s many possibilities: It was big enough to tote laundry or groceries. It could be filled with toys in a child’s room or closet. It could be a great park bag filled with sand toys, sunscreen etc. It is so thick and sturdy that it can stand up on its own and could even function as a catch all for an emergency kit or car supplies.
I went to a birthday party recently and there were these amazing refreshing drinks served in mason jars with colorful paper straws. It was so delightful to kids and adults alike I decided to copy it in my own home. I filled a mason jar with straws for easy access and now the kids and I enjoy fun beverages every day! My husband, otherwise known as the Grinch who stole fun, has taken a pass on my festive drinking accessories. Oh well. You can’t win them all. Happy hydrating!
Call me crazy, but traditional mouse pads have always made my skin crawl a little. You know, the blue flimsy ones on most office desks are so unattractive and I love a chic working environment. I called on my friend, Hedy, for help and without hesitation she exclaimed “FELT!”
I trotted off to Etsy.com and found myself a lovely heather grey thick felt mouse pad. I must say it really makes a difference on my desk. I feel pretty victorious when I can figure out how to pretty up an otherwise lifeless household item. Presto change-o.
Are you ready? Grab a small box and label it “Vouchers.” Store all of your tickets to shows, gift certificates, gift cards, coupons, free gym passes etc. in this box and stash it somewhere handy like a top drawer in your kitchen. You can also use a magnet clip on your fridge so everything is in plain sight, ready to be redeemed. The trick to being organized is simple: Group like items together and be consistent. Now get out there and use those passes before they expire!