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March 5, 2023

Great Decluttering Tips

Time to Start Thinking of Spring Cleaning.

As with anything, getting rid of clutter can be made incredibly simple: just go through your stuff, one section, closet, drawer, or shelf at a time, and get rid of everything that isn't absolutely essential, that you don't love and use often.

Declutter Checklist and Where to Donate

Declutter Checklist

A checklist is a good way to get started decluttering. Checklists are useful for tracking progress and feeling productive. Checklists provide a clear path forward in the process of decluttering. They can be used to create a timeline and keep track of the progress that has been made. They also help to boost morale and motivation, as checking off the items on the list can be a great source of satisfaction.

A good starting point is to use the DeCluttering Checklist from They offer a lot of practical tips on how to declutter your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room. This checklist is designed to help you quickly identify items you no longer need or use, and it also helps you decide what items should be donated, recycled, or thrown away. It also provides a plan of action to help you start your decluttering journey and keep it organized.

Don't just throw away things, give them away to people who may need them more than you do. also offers some helpful suggestions on where to donate your clutter. This is a great way to help others because they may be able to put your items to good use when you no longer need them. Giving away your items also helps you declutter your home and save money because you don't have to pay to dispose of them.

15 Great Decluttering Tips

Recently I found some great decluttering tips ... and I pulled some of the best of those (there are many more good ones I wasn't able to use). They're reworded here slightly, and a couple has been modified indiscriminately by me. :) But they're great tips nonetheless. Enjoy!

  • Declutter for 15 minutes every day. It's amazing how much you can get through if you just do it in small increments like this.
  • Don't allow things into the house in the first place. Whether you've begun decluttering the living space, or you've just completed it, stop bringing in new stuff NOW. Even if that's ALL you do and don't start decluttering immediately, if you can only establish one habit at a time, establish the no-more-stuff habit first. This way, when you do get to decluttering the existing stuff, you've already stopped making it worse. Think of bailing out a boat with a hole in it. You can bail and bail, but it won't do anything for the leak.
  • Donate stuff you're decluttering, so you don't feel bad about wasting it.
  • Create Joe's Goals chart with decluttering on it -- either daily, or 3 times a week. Check off the days when you declutter, and you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment.
  • Start at the corner by the door and move your way around the room, doing the superficial stuff first - surfaces, emptying the bin, etc. Repeat, but do more the 2nd time around - ie. open the cupboards.
  • Whenever you're boiling the kettle for tea, tidy up the kitchen. If the kitchen is tidy, tidy up the next room - it's only 3 minutes but it keeps you on top of everything (helps if you have an Englishman's obsession with Tea as well!)
  • Use the "one in, two out" rule. The rule: whenever you bring in an item, you have to throw away two other items. First, you cheat, by throwing out two pieces of paper, but soon you will have to move to the big stuff.
  • Make your storage space smaller and more minimal. If you have lots of storage, you'll fill it with stuff.
  • Clothing rule: If you haven't worn an item in 6 months, sell or donate it.
  • The One-Year Box. Take all your items that you are unsure about getting rid of (e.g. "I might need this someday..."), put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still didn't need to open it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won't even remember what there was in the box.
  • Declutter one room (including any closets, desks, cabinets, etc.) before starting on the next one. Spending time in that room will feel *so* good, and it will be so easy to keep clean, that it will motivate you to do more!
  • Internalize that your value is not in your "stuff". It is just "stuff". And realize that your value grows when you share your "stuff". Hoarding is a selfish act.
  • Have someone else (who you trust!) help you go through things. They don't have the (sometimes irrational) emotional attachment that you might have, but can still recognize if something should be kept.
  • Gift everything. Books you've read immediately get recycled among friends, family, or local libraries. If you buy a new gaming system, donate your old one - and all the games.

August 31, 2022

Putting an end to desk clutter

Focus on a Clean Desk

In order to work smarter, you don't need to change your entire life. Sometimes, all it takes is making a few small tweaks to how you approach certain tasks. For example, did you know that by changing the way you organize your desk, you can improve your productivity?

Aug Desk Cartoonizer

Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Start by clearing off your desk completely. This may seem like an impossible task at first, but it's important to start with a clean slate. Once everything is cleared away, take a moment to assess what items are essential and what can be stored elsewhere.
  • Next, group similar items together on your desk surface. This will help keep things organized and easy to find when you need them. Pens and paperclips should go in one spot; stapler and tape dispenser in another spot; etc..
  • Use storage containers or baskets to hold smaller items like paper clips or rubber bands so they're not taking up valuable space on your desktop..
  • Finally,, invest in some good quality office supplies . A comfortable chair, well-lit workspace, and good quality pens and paper will make any task more enjoyable - meaning you'll be less likely to procrastinate!

August 24, 2022

Mental Training for Decluttering Your House

Putting Your Mind in a Position to Think Confidently and Clean Well

Decluttering your house mentally is an important step to creating a clutter-free house. Making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of is easier when your mind is focused and clear.

Here are some tips that can help you mentally train yourself to declutter your home.:

  • Make a list of the reasons you want to declutter your house. This will help keep you motivated when the task seems daunting. Some reasons might be that you want more space, less stress, or a neater appearance.
  • Visualize yourself living in a clutter-free home. Imagine how much easier it will be to find things when they are organized and how good it will feel not to worry about tripping over piles of stuff every time you walk through your door!
  • Create a plan for how you will tackle the project step by step. Breaking down the task into smaller goals makes it seem more manageable and helps prevent overwhelming. For example, start by sorting through one room at a time or tackling one type of item (like clothes) each day until everything has been sorted through.

    It's also helpful to set deadlines so that you have something tangible to work towards. For instance, decide that you'll completely declutter your house within six weeks. This gives you enough time but also creates a sense of urgency so that you're more likely to stay motivated.

  • Finally, reward yourself after completing small milestones along the way! This could be anything from taking a break to buying yourself something nice once all the clutter has been cleared out .

Mental Preparation for Peak Performance

Here is a quick video I put together about staying mentally focused while decluttering.

August 17, 2022

Product Manuals

Just Throw Away Old Product Manuals

It's time to recycle printed manuals for products that you don't have anymore. Most product manuals are available online, but there may be times when you need a hard copy. If you've got a bunch of old product manuals lying around, it's time to recycle them!

Most municipalities offer free recycling services for paper products. All you have to do is gather up your old manuals and take them to the nearest recycling center. They'll be recycled into new paper products and help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

So next time you're cleaning out your office or garage, make sure to recycle those old product manuals!

Old Manuals

Things I Learned

I kept a bin of all the product manuals - every time we get one I would just place it in the bin. The only problem was the only time I open the bin was to add a new manual. I never really opened it to get a manual.

Most time when I need documentation on something, I just look online.

I might find the manual - or I would find a website/video on the feature that I am trying to find. Chances are that the website/video will explain the functionality better than a document would.

I can't believe how many manuals I had - many products that I don't have anymore.

I ended up tossing all the manuals that I had saved. There wasn't any point in keeping them. I wouldn't likely go to the paper manuals any time soon.

Take Action

If you keep manuals in a drawer or bin, spend a few minutes going through them. You may be surprised at what you still have.

There are a lot of good websites to find printed manuals. I would recommend visiting the manufacturer's website to get the most updated version. It's a good idea to keep a folder on your computer - just in case you want to have them available.

Most manufacturers will remove manuals once the product is officially discontinued. You'll still be able to find manuals on sites such as Don't forget to search YouTube as someone might have uploaded a video of the problem you're trying to solve.

August 10, 2022

Zip Disk Riser

Another Way to Reuse Stuff

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about using floppy disk as a monitor riser. This week's post is about using Iomega zip disks as a riser.

I ended up buying a lot of zip disks back in the late 1990s. I was obsessed with using them as a backup. Nowadays, I don't think I can read the data as my zip drive doesn't seem to be working.

I thought having them as a monitor riser would add a little tech appeal to my desk.

Zip Disk Monitor Riser

Things I Learned

Two Zip Disk Case equals an inch in height. This means that to raise it 3 inches, I needed 18 disk cases. This is because I have set up three stacks to balance the monitor.

As for Floppies it takes 10 Disks to raise it one inch. I also have set up three stacks. So for ever inch of height, I need 30 disks.

Bare VHS tapes are about 1-inch in height. Since they are bigger, you might be able to get away with 2 stacks.

Cassette Tapes in the cases are about 3/4 inch. I would recommend having 6 stacks. This is because the cassettes are smaller and it would be easier to balance the weight of the display.

Not only is using Zip Disks / Floppies / Cassette Tapes or VHS tapes good recycling but they add a nice decoration to your desk.

The bad thing is that you can't put anything under them - unless you spread them out and have a board on top. That might be something I'll do someplace else on my desk - stay toon for a future blog post!

August 3, 2022

Propane Tanks

How to Get Rid of Expired Tanks.

If you have a small collection of expired Propane tanks in your yard, it's probably because you don't want to have to pay a fee to dispose of them. As a result, some people have a small collection of tanks behind the shed or next to the grill.

But what can you do with those old propane tanks? You don't want them taking up space in your yard, but you also don't want to pay for disposal. Luckily, there is an easy solution: recycle them!

There are several companies that will recycle your old propane tanks for free. All you need to do is call and schedule a pick-up time. Then, simply leave the tanks at the curb and they will be taken away for recycling. It's that easy!

So if you're looking for an easy way to get rid of those old propane tanks, recycling is the solution for you!

Blue Rhino
You can see someone left an empty tank next to the Blue Rhino cage.

Blue Rhino to the Rescue.

Did you know that you could simply drop off any unused/unneeded tank at a Blue Rhino establishment and they will recycle the tank for you - for free!

I didn't know this until recently and was so happy to find out. I had an old propane tank in my backyard that I no longer needed and was dreading trying to get rid of it. But, Blue Rhino makes it easy! They take the tanks, recycle them, and turn them into new tanks - all for free. So if you have an extra tank or two lying around, be sure to take advantage of this great recycling program from Blue Rhino!

Used the location finder on Blue Rhino website for the nearest drop off point.

Simply place the propane tank next to the cage and walk away - there's no need to go inside the establishment.

July 27, 2022

Monitor Riser

Declutter Your Goods For Practical uses

There are a lot of different ways to recycle floppy disks, but one of the most popular is to stack them up as monitor risers. By doing this, you can create an eco-friendly and functional workspace.

Here???s how it works: first, gather a few old floppy disks. You can find these at thrift stores or garage sales, or you may even have some lying around your house. Then, stack them up so that they form a sturdy base for your monitor. Make sure that the top disk is slightly elevated so that your screen sits at eye level. Finally, secure the disks together with duct tape or hot glue.

Not only does this recycling project help reduce wastefulness, but it also creates extra storage space on your desk! So if you???re looking for an easy way to go green and organize your work area simultaneously, try using floppy disks as monitor risers

Sample Use

Monitor Riser

July 20, 2022

Storage Unit

Considering Getting a Unit? Some Fun Facts

When you start accumulating things, you may think about renting a storage unit so that your house doesn't appear that cluttered. Here are some fun facts about renting a storage unit:

You can find many different sizes of storage units to fit your needs. This means that whether you are just storing a few boxes or have an entire room to fill, there is likely a storage unit for you.

Storage units come in both climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled varieties, so be sure to choose the one that fits your needs best. Suppose you are storing items such as electronics or musical instruments. In that case, it is important to choose a climate-controlled unit in order to protect them from extreme temperatures and humidity levels.

Rental prices for storage units vary depending on the size of the unit and the location where it is rented; however, most people find that they spend between $50 and $250 per month on their rental fee.

When looking for a storage facility, be sure to ask around for recommendations from friends or family members who have previously rented units themselves - this can help ensure that you select a reputable company with good customer service practices."

Storage Unite

Storage Unit Statistics

These statistics come from the National Self Storage Industry. The numbers are from June 2022 - the latest public numbers available:

  • There are 60,000 storage facilities in the United States
  • The average unit storage price per month is $132 for a 10x10 unit
  • The average rental duration is 14 months, meaning the average consumer will pay approximately $1,848 to store their goods.
  • Only 9% of all households are using rental storage. This is likely because people do not think they need it or they believe that they can store their belongings for free by utilizing space in their home.
  • According to a recent study, people that are downsizing makeup about 32% of people renting storage units. This is the largest group of people needing a storage facility. People that are moving represent the next group of people needing a storage unit (27%). Other reasons for renting a storage unit include remodeling their home (10%) or having too much stuff (8%). Whatever the reason, it's evident that more and more people are relying on self-storage to help them manage their belongings."
  • The most expensive storage facility is in San Rafael, California with a monthly rate of $308 for a 10 x 10 unit. The cheapest place is Bardstown, Kentucky where a self-storage goes for $50 for a 10 x 10 unit.
  • The largest storage unit facility is in New York City. The Public Storage facility at 385 Gerard Avenue, Bronx is the largest one in the nation. A 10 x 10 unit goes for $235 a month. There are a thousand units at this 11-story location.

July 13, 2022

Recycle Your Boxes

Find Ways to Properly Dispose of Cardboard

Recycle Boxes

If you're like most people, you have a lot of cardboard boxes from your recent move. You may be wondering what to do with them all. Fortunately, there are many services that can help you dispose of your cardboard boxes quickly and easily.

One option is to call a local recycling center and ask if they accept cardboard boxes for recycling. Many centers will take them, but they may charge a small fee per box.

Another option is to contact a local junk removal service. These companies will come to your home or office and haul away any unwanted items, including cardboard boxes. The cost of this service will vary depending on the size and number of boxes you need to remove.

Finally, if you have time on your hands and want to save some money, you can always try disposing of the cardboard boxes yourself. This can be done by breaking them down into smaller pieces and placing them in designated trash cans or dumpsters outside your home or office building

July 6, 2022

Wine Glasses

What to do with Old Wine Glasses

The recycling of wine glasses is a process that many people are not familiar with. Wine glasses can be recycled by breaking them into small pieces and then sorting the glass by color. The different colors of glass are then melted down and formed into new wine glasses.

The recycling of wine glasses helps to reduce the amount of waste that is produced each year. It also helps to conserve natural resources, such as sand, which is used to make glass. By recycling wine glasses, we can help protect our environment and conserve valuable resources.

Some Practical Recycling Ideas

If you have a few wine glasses that are no longer usable, don't throw them away! You can recycle them by using them as vases or candle holders. Another option is to use them as drinking glasses. If they're not in too bad of shape, they can still be used for this purpose.

If your wine glasses are too damaged to be used as drinking glasses, don't worry! You can still recycle them by breaking them down into small pieces and using them in your garden as mulch or soil amendment. This will help keep moisture in the soil and improve the quality of your plant's growth.

Not for the Recycling Bin!

Lots of glass items can be recycled including glass bottles and jars. There are some types of glass such as Pyrex, oven-proof glass, and drinking glasses that can't as they are designed to withstand higher temperatures when being recycled.

Drinking glasses are not accepted in your local council's kerbside recycling bin, box, or bag.

You need to throw away the drinking glasses - including fancy wine glasses in the trash.