Archive for Recycling, Donating and Re-purposing items

Some Donations go to Charity and Some Don’t

CBC has a great article about how companies help charities and are able to make a profit for their business.  Click the link to learn more about the business of donations.

What is your favourite place to donate to?

For the DIY – Re-purposing Unused Items

New Life for A Bike

When you are sorting through your items,  unused items may need to go to the garbage, recycling or can be re-purposed.  Finding a new life for your things might save your money.

  1. A peg board can make a great place to hang jewellery or medals. Paint it the same colour as the wall.  If you prefer decorate it and make it a piece of artwork to hold you items.

    Use a peg board to hang jewellery or medals

    Use a peg board to hang jewellery or medals

  2. A magazine holder can be used on a shelf, standing up or laying down to hold paper products in your kitchen, wax paper, baggies, parchment paper, plastic wrap etc.
  3. Muffin tins can be used to hold paint

    Muffin tins can hold paint for those touch up jobs around the house.

    Muffin tins can hold paint for those touch up jobs around the house.

  4. Egg cartons are good for jewellery or small craft items, beads, “googly eyes”, stickers, glitter. It also makes a good desk drawer organizer for tacks, paper clips, binder clips, keys, etc
  5. Plastic containers from fruit, vegetables, take-out food, baby wipes can be used to hold markers, pencil crayons and pens
  6. Dressers make great entryway storage places.  Paint or decorate it to match your entryway and then use the drawers to store, keys, sunglasses, sunscreen, scarves, mitts, hat, baseball caps etc.

    Use a dresser in your entryway to provide more storage

    Use a dresser in your entryway to provide more storage

  7. Icing containers.  If you buy icing in the grocery store they are great containers for storing pens and pencils on your desk.  Once the label is removed it is a beautiful white container.
  8. Cleaning Caddy can be used to hold art supplies.  Use the icing containers to hold crayons, rulers, pencils, stamps, glitter glue.  Add scissors, glue, tape stapler and you can take your art supplies anywhere.

    Use a cleaning caddy to hold art supplies

    Use a cleaning caddy to hold art supplies

  9. Laundry hampers can be used to store extra pillows or blankets.  It is a great way to keep them neat, clean and out of the way until they are needed for company, watching TV, laying by the fireplace.
  10. Picture frames can be turned into chalk boards, white board or magnetic boards by painting the cardboard or wood insert  with specialized paint.  It comes in lots of colours.

Leave a comment and let me know what best thing you have repurposed and its new use.

To Pinterest or Not to Pinterest

Pinterest logo

A great site for visual learners

Pinterest can be a great resource.  It has ideas on how to organize everything and anything.  It has DIY solutions in all price ranges and skill levels.    Pinterest is good resource for visual learners, you see the design on your screen.

So why don’t I like it? The problem that arises for me, as a Trained Professional Organizer, occurs when clients see something on Pinterest and ask me to create that system for them.  Just because it is on Pinterest doesn’t mean it is the right solution for you.  It is the right solution for the person who posted it.

Evaluate the idea and think about how you do things before you copy it.  Just because you like the way it looks or because it is trending doesn’t mean it will work for the way you think and do things.  Deciding how to organize your books, jewelry etc needs to be done in a way that you can find what you need, when you need it and in a timely manner.

Organizing your books by colour looks great on the wall but will you be able to find a book you need.  If you did it with  a small number of books or only pick 2 or 3 colours of books you could adapt the idea  and make it work.

Books sorted by colour

Books sorted by colour create an interesting design for your wall

If you organize your jewelry hanging it from the horizontal bar of a hanger using binder clips to attach the jewelry if may be a good solution if you don’t have a lot of jewelry.  If you hang all your jewelry and then slide the hangers on a rod to look for a certain piece of jewelry the jewelry might become tangled as they sway when the hangers are moved. How would you attach your rings? You might end up this your jewelry stored in many different locations and not be able to find what you want.

Jewelery ooohund on a hanger using binder clips

If you have a small amount of jewelery and a space on your wall to place your hanger this might work for you.

A recipe may look great.  Is it something you can make in a big batch and freeze so you can get 2 meals for the time you are spending in the kitchen?  Are the ingredients something you have in your cupboard or will you need to make an extra trip to the store?

Enjoy using Pinterest but use it wisely to help you save time, money and effort.

What Should I do with Clothing I no Longer Need?

Clothes that are old and out of style are hard to donate so when you no longer want to have it in your closet make a plan so they can be loved by someone else.

1. If you have children sort their clothes at the start of each season and put the clothes that no longer fit in a box or bag.  You may find it easier to put clothes that now longer fit into the donation box or bag right after they come out of the dryer.  Make a connection with a family that has children a year or two younger than your children and give them the box of clothes at the beginning of each season.  This helps both families to know what clothes they have and what they need to buy and you don’t need to figure out where to donate them because they go to the same family every season.

2. There are many consignment stores that sell clothing.  You can find them on line.  Each store will have their own niche market.  Contact

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

Clothing can be sold through consignment stores

them to see if they want high end clothing, teenage clothes, etc.

3. If you have unusual pieces of clothing like a nurses cape, old fashioned outfits or accessories take them to  your local little theatre group.  They may be able to use them in their productions.  It would help the theatre company to say money on their costumes.

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

Vintage and unusual items can be donated to theatres

4. Sometimes communities have special clothing drives.  You may find that formal wear can be donated to groups collecting clothing for proms.  In the late fall there maybe winter coat and boot drive for homeless street people.  Running shoes can be donated at some running stores and they donate them to organizations that send the shoes overseas.

5. Clothing can be donated to women’s and men’s shelters as well as thrift stores in your community.

Tool Lending Library

Get your tools here, donate your tools here

We have toy lending libraries. kitchen lending libraries and , now a tool lending library.  People can donate tools to the library that they no longer use.  It gives people access to tools that they might not otherwise be able to afford to purchase or don’t need to buy because they use these tools infrequently.


We choose to donate to ………

A teacher heard my interview on the Joy of Organizing Radio show.  She had her class research where items could be donated and reused.  The resource is geared to the United States but it can give Canadians many ideas on where to look to donate the items they no longer need and use.    Click on this link to get some great ideas.

Residential Organizing Services for the Region of Niagara, Hamilton, Halton-Peel and Surrounding Area