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Archive for donations

A Day in the Life of a Child with Cystic Fibrosis

In May many families are raising money to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  This video show’s one families motivation and determination.

Learn more about Cystic Fibrosis  and how you can help.

Please share your stories in the comments below.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Recycling and Donating

Organizing Challenges Unraveled – Recycling and Donating

OES Ontario Electronic Stewardship

If you are looking for locations to recycle your computers, TV, printers, fax machines, etc., this website will help you find a location near you.

Highlight Consumer/Retailers then click on Recycle your electronic

Go to the bottom of the page and type in the name of your city in Ontario and it will give you a list of locations

Books

If you have books you would like to donate, libraries and used bookstores may take them.  There is a new organization that is able to put books into prisons.  It is call Books to Bars.  It is dedicated to promoting literacy, creativity and functionality in correctional facilities.

Clothing

Clothing can be donated to women’s shelter as well as Salvation Army, Value Village, New Horizons Store on James St, Hamilton ON. There is a children’s store that is called Once Apon a Child and a teen and young adult store called Plato located at Guelph Line and Upper Middle Road, Burlington ON.  They are not consignment stores.  You bring in your clothes and they buy it (what they want) on the spot and give you the money right away.

Building Supplies

Habitat for Humanity Restores will take building supplies.  Call ahead to see if they need the items that you wish to donate.

Antique Stores

Some antique stores will take window frames, furniture etc.  I have an artist that is looking for  antique items to use in her craft business.  Contact Julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Decore on a Dime

This store is located in Hamilton, ON and will take some stylish home furnishings on consignment.

Orange Drop

Check out this website to learn locations to drop off your corrosive, flammable, explosive and toxic items.

Single Use Batteries

Rechargeable batteries can be dropped off with your electronics but they will not take single use batteries.  Try contacting your local stores to see if they are a collection depot for single use batteries.

Rona 

 

Please go to www.mindoverclutter.ca  and click on the links page for more ideas about recycling and donating good used items.  If you have and questions or other great recycling and donating ideas click on the contact page, I’d love to hear from you.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

5 W’s of Downsizing

Scaling down

Great ideas for downsizing, moving or moving a family member

Whether you are moving from a house to an apartment, retirement home or you have already done this but still have abundance in your home and want to scale down even more understanding the where, why,who how and what can make the decisions easier.

Where does all the stuff come from?

It may not even be your stuff.  Some of us have things from your parents downsizing that ended up at your house because your Mom and Dad didn’t want to give it away but didn’t have room, so out of respect to your parents you stored it at your house. Perhaps your children have moved out but their stuff hasn’t.

Why do we keep so much?

During the depression we learned to keep an iron grip on anything that might still have some good in it. Then we were encouraged to buy, buy, and buy and to acquire every luxury we could afford.  Next, items began to be manufactured so cheaply that when you couldn’t find it you bought another. The Reagan years were about visible consumption.  We had TV shows like the Lifestyles OF THE Rich and Famous.  We started competing with millionaires. Perhaps you have spent 40 years accumulating and now you are spending time getting rid of excess.

Who is downsizing?

The first thing is for YOU to make the decision that it is necessary to do it.  Not because your spouse or your sister or friend says you should.  Just like losing weight or quitting smoking, it has to be your decision otherwise you won’t be successful.  It is a hard process not only because it can be very physical but there are a lot of emotions that go with it and it can be a long process.  Our culture seems to think that building up is inherently better than scaling down. Fewer luxuries make you appear to be a less successful person.  The idea that some people judge your worth by the things you own, rather than by your personality and achievements can stop you from downsizing. It can be life changing to let go of your things.  When the process is over, you may feel

  • less stressed,
  • sleep better,
  • have more time to be with family, grandchildren or even travel.

Scaling down does not mean renouncing your own style. It means stripping away things that no longer fit or do not contribute to making your lifestyle easier.  You want to be able to find the things you need and love.

How? Make a Plan

Once you have made your decision to downsize or streamline, before you begin the process it is important to know what you want as the outcome, set a goal of what you ultimately want it to look like. If you’re moving – you need to know room sizes and what are the absolute must have large items like a bed, couches, dressers, antiques etc.  Write it all down.  Once you know what you want, and what it should look like and visualize the end product then you start to go through your things.  It will help make the decisions easier, because you can see if it will fit your plan.

What is stopping you?

If you are the type of person that has a hard time getting rid of things, try to understand why it is difficult for you.

  • Are you sentimental?
  • Do you like to be in control?
  • Is it about pride?
  • Do you hate making decision?
  • Is it too painful to revisit certain parts of your life?

Being honest with yourself makes the process easier.

When?

Schedule time to do it when you are not rushed and do one room, box or corner. Give yourself a set amount of time, if you feel you want to continue then great, but don’t become overwhelmed.

Here are some steps you can take to tackle the job

  • Set up a few boxes or bins and label them.  Charity, family, garbage, recycle, keep.
  • While sorting, group like with like.  Put all your books together, electronics, collections, paper etc.

At the end of the session

  • take the donated items to the front door or even better right out to your car so that you will drop it off
  • put the recycling out
  • put the garbage out
  • move items that you are returning to other people close to the door

When deciding whether you should give it away, go back to your plan and see if it,

  •  will fit into your space
  • will go with your new design or décor.
  • If not donate.

After grouping all the items you can then see how much you really have and you may need to donate some more items.

Collections and Antiques

The hardest thing for people to let go of are their collections and antiques especially, if they belonged to a parent or a loved one that has passed. Ask youself:

  • Do you have room for them?
  • If they end up in storage or in a box how treasured are they?
  • Could you just keep one or two and give away the rest?
  • Can you take pictures of them?
  • Do some research to see if they are evaluable and have someone sell it on e-bay for you or contact an antique dealer?

If you don’t have room for it give it to a family member that has the same passion for collecting so they can enjoy it and you can visit.  Invite a people over for brunch.  After the meal show them the items you are giving away and let them select things that have meaning for them.

Staying surrounded by things that remind you of the past or which you respond to predictably may prevent you from moving ahead with your life.   Remember they are just things you will still have the memories.  After you have completed downsizing you will end up with a beautiful home, filled only with what you need and love, that uses every inch of space the way you want. You will have control over your environment and freedom from chaos.

Need help with downsizing, contact Mind over Clutter for a one hour free assessment in-person or virtually over Skype.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

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?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/01/26/charity-clothing-bins-millions.html

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.

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.

Unwanted Inheritance

For children of hoarders, the mess remains after their parents pass away.

Newsweek   By Hannah R Buchdahl Jan 26, 2011

Greg Martin wasn’t sure what to expect when his mother died last May, forcing him to return to his childhood home for the first time in nearly 18 years. The house, located on a pleasant block in San Diego, had always been cluttered, but now it was virtually uninhabitable. “There were piles as tall as me, six feet or so,” Greg said. “Where there used to be floor, there were trails—a foot and a half high, so you’d be walking on stuff.” Greg was forced to navigate through piles of magazines, papers, and books, plastic bags filled with thrift-store purchases, expired medicine bottles and literally tons of clothes. The only “living space” was a small pocket by the front door, where his mother, a colorful and fiercely independent woman, had collapsed shortly before her death at the age of 83. Greg, who has taken a leave of absence from his job, expected that cleaning out the house would take six months. It’s now been eight—and counting.

It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar to children of hoarders, who are burdened with far more than funeral arrangements, probate, and grief. They must also deal with the overwhelming piles of stuff that a hoarding parent accumulated over the years—in apartments, in houses, in storage facilities, and garages. The items themselves may vary, but for many children of hoarders, the result is the same: the unwanted inheritance of a whole lot of nothing.

Greg Martin’s mother lived in this home until her death last year. (milbetweenus.blogspot.com)

The inclination to hoard typically begins in the teenage years, but experts say it can also be triggered—or made worse—by brain damage, a traumatic life event, or depression. As the hoarders age, the piles grow, gradually eclipsing everything else in their lives.

“I’m dreading the day when the house needs to be cleaned out, more than I dread the day that they leave us,” laments Teresa C. of Winnipeg, Canada. Teresa, like several others interviewed for this story, did not want to give her last name because the hoarding is a source of tension in her family. For Teresa, inheriting her aging parents’ hoard is a worry for the future.

Hoarding is an extremely complicated mental disorder that generally involves the acquisition of too many items, difficulty getting rid of items, and problems with organization and prioritization. Few statistics exist related to hoarding, because hoarders rarely seek or accept treatment. But shows like Hoardersand Hoarding: Buried AliveAnimal Hoarders have certainly raised awareness and triggered a tidal wave of anecdotal evidence to suggest the illness, often associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, affects millions—either directly or indirectly. Support groups and message boards are flooded with stories about the once-secret life of hoarders and their families, and the constant battles to get the hoarders to understand the impact their illness is having on their loved ones. That impact doesn’t end with their passing.

“Nine times out of 10, it’s not the hoarder who suffers; it’s whoever comes after them to clean up,” says a very frustrated Bill L. of Colorado, who’s been working to clean his mother’s home, located in a different state, for almost five years. (She suffered a stroke and has since moved into assisted living.) It took a dozen people, and eight Dumpsters, to clear out the first floor. Still to go: the second floor, a large attic, a basement, a garage, and a storage locker that Bill says should be easy, but may not be.

Often, hoarders are the only ones who know or understand their system of “organization,” keeping stock certificates amid expired receipts or diamonds amid a pile of junk jewelry. For survivors, the stress and strain related to the search itself may simply outweigh the potential of finding any objects with financial or sentimental value. Bill plans to return to his mother’s house soon with a professional cleanout crew. “That will mean forgetting about recovering anything of value,” he says, “including possible family heirlooms. If we tried to continue sifting the hoard, we’d still be at it 10 years later [and] we’d be jobless, homeless, and insane.”

Cory Chalmers, owner of California-based Steri-Clean, which provides help finding hoarding-remediation specialists around the globe, estimates a typical clean-up can range from $5,000 to $20,000 and beyond depending on the severity of the hoard, conditions inside the home, and regulations relating to the disposal of electronics and hazardous materials. His crews occasionally recover items of value that may help offset the cost of the cleanup. But more often than not, it’s a simple, yet massive case of quantity over quality. “Most of the elderly hoarders we work with all say the same thing: they’re saving this because it all has use, ‘I want to give this to my son, and this to my daughter, and this to my grandchild. [But] no one wants that crap,” he says, not without sympathy. “What they see as this big investment to pass on is really a big stress on families and not even worth it. A lot of them don’t want it. They’d rather just walk away.”

The Minimalists – who?

What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want?

In 2010, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus  both abandoned the majority of their material possessions and created TheMinimalists.com. In 2011, they walked away from successful six-figure careers to live more intentionally. Then, in 2012, they moved to Montana and started writing a book. This book,  Everything That Remains is available today. Feel free to get your copy signed during the 100-city tour, but remember to minimize it once you’re finished—pass it on, donate it, or sell it.

Everything That Remains, photo by Spyr Media

Everything That remains

In most cities tickets are free.  They are in Ontario, during July and August.

 

Keep or Toss?

Most of us keep more than we will ever need.  This costs valuable storage space, makes retrieval of the items we actually need more difficult and adds to the stress of daily living.  Ask yourself the following questions when deciding to keep something or not.

For Paper:

  • Are there any tax or legal reasons for keeping this?
    Shred personal data
  • Can I easily get a copy elsewhere?
  • Does someone else have this information?
    Shred paper with personal data on it, recycle other paper and file your keep papers.
  • Can I identify a situation in which I would ever refer to this information?
  • Is it still relevant to my life?
  • What are the implications if I didn’t have this?

 

For belongings:

  • Is it out of style, the wrong size or colour or mismatched?
  • Does it still work?  DO I have all the parts?
  • When was the last time I used this item and when would I need to  use it in the foreseeable future?
  • If  it is something I use rarely, could I borrow one from someone else?
  • Do I use it often enough to make it worth  the cost to store it?
  • Do I have more than one? Do I need more than one?
  • Has the collection outgrown the space or the container originally allocated to storing it?  Has the collector outgrown the collection?

Children of Hoarders

An Unwanted Inheritance

For children of hoarders, the mess remains after their parents pass away.

Newsweek  by Hannah R Buchdahl

“Greg Martin wasn’t sure what to expect when his mother died last May, forcing him to return to his childhood home for the first time in nearly 18 years. The house, located on a pleasant block in San Diego, had always been cluttered, but now it was virtually uninhabitable. “There were piles as tall as me, six feet or so,” Greg said. “Where there used to be floor, there were trails—a foot and a half high, so you’d
be walking on stuff.” Greg was forced to navigate through piles of magazines, papers, and books, plastic bags filled with thrift-store purchases, expired medicine bottles and literally tons of clothes. The only “living space” was a small pocket by the front door, where his mother, a colorful and fiercely independent woman, had collapsed shortly before her death at the age of 83. Greg, who has taken a leave of absence from his job, expected that cleaning out the house would take six months. It’s now been eight—and counting.”   This is a great article click here to read the entire article.

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-247986923.html

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