Opt-Out of your Phone Book Delivery

If you are like me, you don’t use your phone book. The Internet does the job for me when I need to look up a business, yet I get about 8 phone books a year. I am able to recycle them through my community’s curbside recycling program… but as part of a waste-free life, I would rather just not get them. Thankfully, there is a way to do that!  On the front of each phone book (I have 4 in my house) there is a little recycling sign. Next to the sign reads “To stop delivery of future directories visit http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com.”

optout

Sorry so blurry!

To opt-out of deliveries from Yellow Pages, you must enter an email address, create a password, and enter your name, address, and phone number. To those concerned: I have never received any spam emails, letters, or phone calls from Yellow Pages. (I opted-out at our last house, too.) After entering your opt-out information, you will receive an email from “optout@yellowpagesoptout.com” for confirmation, but you don’t have to do anything with that. You are done! And should you move, just log in and change your address! That way, the person who lives in your previous home will have the option to keep or opt-out of the books as they choose. And you, at your new location, can opt-out as you please. This is especially useful for renters! I encourage everyone to look at the front cover of your phone books for a website – particularly if you receive a phone book other than Yellow Pages. Do you use your phone books? Will you opt out of phone book delievery?

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Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under our kitchen sink was a horrendous mess! Mostly because we never cleaned it out before moving in. I thought hey, if the previous owners kept the painting supplies etc under here, it must be a good place, right?

Wrong! I’m used to keeping other things under there, and there was hardly room.

Under Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step one: Empty everything out. Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 2: Wipe out the inside of the cabinets.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Step 4: Get rid of things that don’t belong. Paint supplies moved to the garage. Phone books will be recycled as soon as I unsubscribe from each. There were way too many plastic sacks that I will recycle next time I go to the grocery store (I did save several, though.)

Step 5: Categorize what’s left. I store my ziploc bags, wax paper, foil, parchment paper, and paper bags under the sink for easy access. I also keep my garbage bags (including grocery sack liners for small trash bags), brown paper grocery sacks for cardboard recycling, and blue recycling bags under the sink.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Here’s my plastic box full of trash day goodies.

I also installed a wire shelf-like thing from the Container Store on the cabinet door. I put the parchment paper, foil, wax paper, brown paper bags, freezer bags, and gallon storage bags in this.

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

END RESULT:

Under the Kitchen Sink Makeover

Much cleaner and easier to find anything I want. On trash days I’ll just pull out the plastic box and take what I need since everything is grouped together. I also added the soap refill.

How’s the underside of your kitchen sink looking? Does it need a makeover?

Organize your purse

My purse was getting a bit cluttered and disorganized, so I decided to dump it all out and organize.

1outside

This is the purse in question: I got it at a flea market and it looks and seems brand new. It was perfect for my needs and still is.

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Inside.

Inside I realized I had a bit too many of certain things. Like, a pocket calendar AND a planner? I got the calendar in January (or before) and the planner just last month. 1calendars

Obviously I only need to carry the planner around – it is what I use.

1coupon book

Coupon organizer. I do use this, though I might get a different one, because this one doesn’t have all the folders I need. Maybe that will be a future post.

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Do I really need three notepads in my purse? Nope. I kept the most functional: far right.

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On the left: my wallet. On the right: my “extra” card holder.

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Inside the wallet are my important cards (debit card, giftcards, shopping cards, insurance cards, driver’s license) and cash. The shopping cards are rewards or discount cards and are on a small key ring. I went so far as to punch a hole in my Best Buy card because though it was not small like the others, I wanted it to be on the same ring. I just made sure to punch the hole through a spot where there was nothing important.

I also keep a different small change container for my pennies. I chose my (very) old Smackers change purse because it is see-through. The rest of my change is in the middle of the wallet.

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Finished product: on the left, my wallet, card holder, checkbook, and chosen notepad; on the right, my coupon holder and planner. Everything stands vertically because I have a tall enough purse that I can fit much more this way.

There are two smaller compartments which hold floss, hand sanitizer, and headache medicine (left), and a calculator, gum, and a pen (right).

The most important items: my keys and cell phone, go in the very front zippered pocket where not much fits, but when I need one of those items, it’s easy access.

My sunglasses rest on the top of the main pocket for now so they won’t get broken.

That’s it! Nice and organized now.

What’s in your purse? Anything similar to mine?

Small plastic drawer organization

I have a three-drawer plastic container under my bathroom sink. I used to keep hair decorations and makeup in it.

Top drawer consisted of clips, bobby pins, and barrettes:

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Middle drawer held a brush, ponytail holders, a few headbands, and A LOT of ribbons:

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I’ll get to the makeup drawer in a minute.

First task was to declutter. The top drawer may have looked organized because of all the small boxes housing different things, but I didn’t use all of those things and that’s not organized to me. I made three piles (besides what I kept):
-throw away
-offer to adults – specifically, mom
-offer to little girls – nieces

I offered to my mom pretty soon after I made these piles, and what she didn’t want I either threw away (bobby pins/small, deformed clips) or donated.

Any ribbons I didn’t want were thrown away. Then I tied the shorter ribbons together (there were fewer) and rolled up the larger ribbons. (I use shorter ribbons for wrapping around a ponytail, braid, or bun; I use longer ribbons to wrap around my head like a headband.)

I then combined the drawers, since I had less of everything.

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I’ll admit, it looks LESS organized now. But trust me – I’ll be more easily able to find things now.

The next drawer housed things from another area under my bathroom sink:

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The place in the cabinet where this was was NOT helpful. And I almost never style my hair, so some products were unnecessary and others need to be more readily available so I’ll REMEMBER to use them!

This, minus the hairspray that didn’t fit, became the third drawer down:

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I also have my sporty-headbands in this drawer.

Bottom drawer used to be makeup… and other random stuff, apparently.

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Threw away every broken or super old makeup, the tattoos, the extra sponges (which I don’t use, I use a brush) and was left with virtually nothing.

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But that’s okay, because I rarely wear makeup. I plan on putting the brushes, mascara (not shown), and eyeliners – everything in the pink pencil holder – in a jar or something in my medicine cabinet. The eyeshadows, blushes, sharpeners, etc. will go in a travel makeup bag and live somewhere else so I can have another free drawer.

Since doing this, I’ve used more hair decorations than I have in a while, because I remembered they exist!

What’s under your bathroom sink?

Disposing of Clutter pt 2 (donating)

Selling things can be fun and rewarding. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that my discarded items will bring someone else joy – and if not, I profited from getting rid of them.

Selling can also be a pain. 

It can be much, much easier to give things away, and just as rewarding – if not more so!

  • Make sure the person or organization wants your leftovers.

If they don’t, someone else will, so look around. I say this because I’ve given things to people who were uninterested in a donation and they go to waste – this was only realized later. I now know that just because my niece (or her parents) don’t want my giant stuffed dog that I thought might be fun for her – it gets thrown away when they move and I am slightly heartbroken. It’s not that I want the dog back – I just wish someone could have gotten use out of it, or at least that I wouldn’t have found out that they didn’t.

That’s the big one.

I tend to donate:

  • books to the public library. I don’t think they go on the shelves very often, but our public library has book sales to raise money for the library. The books they sell come from donators.
  • clothing and housewares to a local organization, Love INCLove INC is a Christian-based organization that provides low income families with inexpensively-priced items. They have “yard” sales where they sell items like what I donate.
  • furniture to Love INC also. They can even take things from your house if you request a pick up for large items such as a bed frame.

If you want, there are always shelters and the Salvation Army; we also have a Disabled Veterans organization that I an donate to.

I might sell rather than donate if I think the item is worth a pretty good bit of money, like a toy that is also seen as a collectable. Otherwise, I do tend to donate.

Things I’ve donated/given away recently, or am going to soon:

  • Children’s books (public library)
  • Blank photo albums (Love INC – probably for garage sale)
  • VHS tapes and VHS player (family member)
  • Bed frame (Love INC)
  • Clothing, shoes (Love INC)
  • Toys (family members)

Everything I give away or donate is in good condition.

To stay organized, and because I don’t want to go out every time I find something I want to give away, I keep my items together, usually in a big bag or box.

If you like the joy of selling AND the joy of donation, you could always sell items and donate the cash you receive as payment! 😉

Where do you donate your used things?

Disposing of Clutter: Pt 1 (Online Selling)

Disposing of Clutter: Pt 1 (Online Selling)

I decided to go through and declutter some toys I’ve kept for a long time. I kept them for a variety of reasons, but those reasons don’t matter now, because I’ve decided I don’t need to keep them anymore.

I had a duffle bag with Barbies and her friends, her clothes, her accessories.

First, I took pictures of everything – for two reasons.

1) I will keep some photos for memory’s sake.
2) SELLING!

I took the highest quality pictures I could. I even dressed an re-dressed a single Barbie with every dress or complete outfit. My husband thought this was a little crazy, but I didn’t have THAT many. 😉

I put every doll in the clothes she came in, and photographed every doll as well.

I made collages. There were far too many photos for anyone to really care about. So I used PicMonkey, a FREE photo editing service that is online (you don’t even have to download it!) I’ve only recently discovered PicMonkey and I’m so glad, because you can make collages: just what I needed.

I organized the outfits by category and put each category in a collage. For some, I had to make 2 collages and then make a collage of the 2 collages.

1clothes Barbie casual

2 collages into a single collage

I made captions. I also used PicMonkey to add words to some photos so I wouldn’t have to caption each individual picture everywhere it was posted.

1Dolls Stacie friends Kelly

Pre-captioned collage

I posted in several Facebook buy/sell/trade groups in my area: some general, and some relevant to the item (a toys group, a kids’ items group.)

I also posted on CraigsList in my area (the Barbies fit into the Toys category. I felt since they were used and loved, they wouldn’t fit into Collectibles.)

I decided on fair pricing. Since I am selling the toys individually OR as a set, I figured out how much I would charge for each item – within reason. I chose to sell all clothing, accessories, and pets as a set. Still, I put them in separate labeled bags.

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Categorized bags

The dolls are just in a large boot box for now, as well as the larger accessories.

I asked a second opinion on prices. My mother-in-law frequents thrift stores, and told me that $5 a doll was a little hefty as they retail for $1 at thrift stores. She suggested I compromise, and I did.

I have one item for just a dollar, so I made another item worth $4, and it evened out to a nice, round number. I don’t want a buyer to have to carry around four $1 bills, nor do I want to carry change.

I decided where I would meet. For sales like this I always meet in a public place, like a gas station parking lot (they have cameras out there!) or the mall parking lot, because everyone knows how to get to the mall, even if they are from outside of town.

I did NOT post my phone number or email address. On Facebook, anyone can privately message me, and CraigsList automatically allows for emails to reach you without exposing your e-address. The only thing I posted was the town I am in, because I am not willing to travel.

Patience is key. I know I may not get any responses to the Barbie posts right away. Sometimes I have lucked out; I sold some Legos recently where three people were interested very early on. This does not always happen. I am willing to live with the clutter – organized into bags and boxes – for a little while before I just donate it all. I’d love to make some money on my childhood memories.

Have you sold your clutter online? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Do you have any tips for selling? 

Tip for organizing/decluttering drawers

This post is specifically about your sock and/or underwear drawer(s). 

When it comes to socks and underwear, I used to think it was impossible to have “too many” socks or underwear. But there IS such a thing as too much! I have a policy.

  • Anything torn or stained
  • Anything that doesn’t fit right
  • Anything that you just don’t wear

GET RID OF THEM!

I have donated socks that are in good condition, but I tend to throw away underwear that has ever been worn. I think the only underwear I’ve ever donated were ones specifically purchased to donate.

Ladies’ bras may be donate-able but I’d be careful about the condition. Would you wear a secondhand bra that was stretched out, stained, or with exposed underwire?

There is nothing wrong with going through items like this – it gives you room in your dresser drawers!Image07272013101737

My sock drawer is huge… I roll all the socks into pairs and the drawer is then organized into boxes.

Left: Fluffy winter socks that I tend to wear only at home when it gets real cold here in Missouri.

In the middle: ankle socks. I don’t have as many of these because I like to wear sandals in the summer. Also, they are smaller socks.

Right: crew socks for winter as well as dress socks for work toward the front.

I will keep a single, mate-less sock for a little while as their mates do tend to show up. I hold true to my policy of if it is torn or stained, it’s gone. I have a lot of older crew socks, many of which have held up. If I’m left with an odd number after throwing away torn/holey socks, I’m confident that soon another will tear or get a hole, and I’ll pair up the two mateless ones together. (This obviously doesn’t work if the sock is somehow unique.)

It’s always nice to keep your dresser drawers organized so you can find what you need!