Category Archives: What are you Squirreling away?

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Paper Clutter

As Spring moves toward Summer and the outdoors beckon, it’s easy for clutter to get out of control inside our homes. Paper can be a necessary nuisance. It will pile up if you let it. Here are 5 easy strategies to get paper clutter in check and enjoy summertime activities.

#1 – Cancel unwanted catalogs and other types of paper mail

Catalogchoice.org is a free service that will send merchants your opt-out request on your behalf. It’s a non-profit organization on a mission to stop junk mail for good. If want to support their cause, they’ll gladly accept your donation.

#2 – Cancel magazine and paper newsletter subscriptions

Go digital where you can... Read the rest

Leftover Building Material: Use Them or Lose Them?

If you’ve ever remodeled your kitchen, painted a room, or tiled a surface, odds are you’ve had extra material hanging around for years. If you feel uncomfortable throwing it in the trash, what do you do with it? Instead of letting it go to waste, give it new life! Here are several ways to re-purpose unused building material in an environmentally-friendly way.

Use Them

There are countless uses for scraps of wood, partial cans of paint and stacks of tile. Get in the creative spirit and build or give new life to something.

WOOD

  • Raised garden bed
  • Storage unit
  • Bookshelf
  • Birdhouse
  • Picture frame
  • Comfortable fire (untreated wood)

PAINT

  • Home touch-up
  • Chair, dresser or table
  • Undercoat primer (mix same paint types together)
  • Arts & crafts project

TILE

  • Beverage coaster
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Outdoor planter box
  • Home address sign
  • Mosaic (tabletop, counter, garden path stepping stones, etc.)

Lose Them

Lose Them

One person’s trash is another’s treasure... Read the rest

Heirloom Jewelry: Keep It or Let It Go?

You’ve decided it’s time to do something with that box of jewelry you inherited. But it’s hard to know which, if any, to keep. It’s helpful to set a timeline to review the jewelry pieces and decide what you want to do with them. Here are three questions that will help move you through the decision-making process:

#1: Does It Have Sentimental Value?

Some pieces can invoke strong emotions while others have a story to tell. Does it fit? Will you wear it? If the answer is ‘yes,’ and an item has special meaning to you personally, keep and enjoy it... Read the rest

Remove Your Risky Medications: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

There is one household item that tends to linger far longer than most. It usually lurks in a cabinet in the dark. We spend a lot of money for it, so we want to keep it around just in case. What we don’t realize is that this item can cause great harm, even death, to anyone accidentally consuming it. What is this dangerous item? Prescription medication.

Americans take a lot of medications today, far more than any other country. In fact, the total number of prescriptions filled has increased by 85% in the past two decades, according to Consumer Reports. Statistica.com estimates 4.25 billion prescriptions will be filled this year in the U.S... Read the rest

Safe Recycling for Your Paint Leftovers

Homeowners all seem to have this item lurking around. It’s left on a shelf in the garage, or underneath a workbench or tucked away in a shed. What is it? It is leftover paint and other liquid coatings; primers, varnishes, sealants and shellacs. If we have lived long enough in our homes, we usually repaint either the interior or the exterior or both. We can’t guess precisely how much paint it will take, so we overallow. This means that we end up with excess paint. In fact, Americans don’t use about 10% of the paint they buy. This amounts to 78 million gallons of unused paint every year... Read the rest

Are You Squirrelling Away China and Crystal?

Modern couples typically do not order china and crystal for their wedding registries, or at least not like the old days. In fact, couples are marrying at older ages now and prefer online registries at places like Amazon, Home Depot or Honeyfund (for honeymoon trips). Many Millennials are choosing experiences, not seldom-used items that merely take up valuable space. We remember visiting older relatives and seeing the china and crystal in museum-like china cabinets. Then, it was passed down. Ask anyone. They will tell you about that box of china they have in the attic or garage or some inaccessible place in the kitchen... Read the rest

Taming the Tide of Toys

Does your playroom look like a tornado has hit? Do you find toys everywhere in your home? Are you constantly stepping on Legos or picking up puzzle pieces? I can relate. Having had three children in a ten year span, I know what having too many toys looks like. When my youngest was a toddler and the oldest was in junior high school, there were tons of toys for all age groups all over the floor of my house. I also had a girl and two boys which meant having additional toys to please each gender. I fell prey to the marketing of the era... Read the rest

Kitchens: The Heart of Your Home

Make the Heart of Your Home Easier to Use

 
The kitchen is the heart of your home. It is increasingly being used for multiple purposes. It’s where family and visitors gather to prepare meals, have conversations, and build memories. As our lives become more casual, the kitchen becomes more important. It is the central meeting area for the family. By following some simple rules of accessibility you can make your kitchen one that is more comfortable and easy to use for everyone. Universal Design principles will reduce fatigue and allow for safer and more efficient use of your kitchen.

To start, the layout should be one that allows for flow through the three major areas of use: the refrigerator, the sink and the cooking area (stove, oven or microwave)... Read the rest

Camping Gear Chaos

I have many pleasant memories of camping with my family – the beach, hiking, fishing and eating around the campfire. Everyone would dutifully unload the car upon our return, but then everyone would disappear. Somehow, it always fell upon mom to clean the camping supplies and put them away. I remember trying to put everything back where it came from, but somehow, it wouldn’t fit on the same garage shelves. How was this possible? Wasn’t it there before? Well, yes and no. We always seemed to buy new camp gear during each trip although we kept all the old gear for back-up... Read the rest

Too Many Mugs

It dawned on me when I started moving the last time. I was in my kitchen and packed three full boxes of coffee cups. What? How was this possible? Where did they all come from? I started examining them. It all started with a cute matching pair of cups that I bought for me and my husband as newlyweds forty years ago. They had roadrunners on them (we lived in Tucson, Arizona at the time). They were beautiful – with muted desert colors and cactus. Since that first pair of cups, I had moved to six states, had three children and many different jobs... Read the rest