clutter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7454/all en-US Best Money Tips: Gifts That Don't Create Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-gifts-that-dont-create-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-gifts-that-dont-create-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000048579540.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found holiday gifts that don&rsquo;t create clutter, ways to prevent overspending during the holidays, and how to do Disney on a budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/holiday-gifts-that-dont-create-clutter/">Holiday Gifts That Don&rsquo;t Create Clutter</a> &mdash; Give the gift of a year's worth of experiences! Any family would appreciate memberships to a local children's museum or zoo. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-to-prevent-overspending-this-holiday-season">5 Ways to Prevent Overspending This Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Shopping when you're sad, hungry, lonely, or bored can lead to unnecessary purchases to fill the emotional need. Check in with your feelings to avoid buyer's remorse. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4011/disney-on-a-budget">10 Ways to Do Disney on a Budget</a> &mdash; If you're planning to spend the whole day at a Disney park, it doesn't make sense to spring for a pricier hotel. Consider budget resorts for more reasonable prices. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1213/Where-to-buy-this-year-s-most-Googled-gifts-for-less">Where to buy this year's most-Googled gifts (for less)</a> &mdash; There's currently a great deal on the Smart Scooter HoverBoard at NeweggFlash! [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/credit-education/fraud-prevention.html">What to do if your wallet is lost or stolen</a> &mdash; You can minimize the risk of identity theft by requesting credit and debit cards with your photo on the front. [Experian]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://sidsavara.com/personal-productivity/time-management-lies">6 Bald Faced Time Management Lies We Tell Ourselves Every Day</a> &mdash; We often tell ourselves, &quot;It's better/faster if I do it myself.&quot; But you can be just as effective (or even more so) if you train someone else to do it properly. [Sid Savara]</p> <p><a href="http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/12/new-years-theme-2016/">A Fun Way to Make a New Year's Resolution: Choose a One-Word Theme for 2016.</a> &mdash; Summarize a resolution idea into one word and make that your overarching theme for the year. [Gretchin Rubin]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Minimize-Stress-During-Holidays-39206131">8 Tips For Having the Best, Most Relaxing Holidays Ever</a> &mdash; Carve out some time to relax between parties and events. Spend the downtime with your family and focus on the simple things in life. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/barbaramarquand/2015/12/15/why-safer-cars-might-not-save-you-a-dime-on-car-insurance/">Why Safer Cars Might Not Save You A Dime On Car Insurance</a> &mdash; The safety rating of a car is only a small factor that influences insurance premiums. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/money-making-tricks-to-offset-your-mortgage/">4 Money Making Tricks To Offset Your Mortgage</a> &mdash; Sort through the items that are tucked away in storage areas and sell anything that you don't use. [Cash The Checks]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-gifts-that-dont-create-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-meaningful-mothers-day-gifts-for-every-budget">30 Meaningful Mother&#039;s Day Gifts for Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/80-stocking-stuffer-ideas-for-10-or-less">80 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-clever-and-attractive-ways-to-save-on-gift-wrapping-paper">15 Cheap, Clever, and Attractive Ways to Save on Gift Wrapping Paper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips clutter gifts Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1621623 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_surrounded_clutter_000070751617.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways clutter is keeping her poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst financial mistake I ever made was keeping a cluttered home.</p> <p>Losing money is painful. Bad investments have driven people to suicide. People end friendships and marriages over debt. But what's so insidious about clutter is how relatively pain-free clutter is in comparison to other financial blunders. People who live with clutter may never realize the tremendous amount of money they are wasting. Here's why.</p> <h2>1. Over-Consumption</h2> <p><a href="http://www.uctv.tv/shows/Stuff-A-Cluttered-Life-Middle-Class-Abundance-Ep-1-24699">Americans are hyper-consumers</a>. Americans now own more possessions than any society in human history. In the United States, clutter is so commonplace, that it has been normalized. For example, United States has 3.1% of the global child population, but Americans consume 40% of toys. This means that many Americans, from the cradle, are accidentally taught that more is better by their own parents. Over-consumption generally means overspending. Babies grow out of their clothes before they can wear them out. People swap out their cell phones for the thrill of the new. Over a lifetime, buying unnecessary things carries a tremendous cost.</p> <h2>2. Duplication</h2> <p>Earlier this year, I wasted $300 on painting supplies. Why? Because I needed to repaint the dining room and I couldn't find my box of paintbrushes in my garage (that is packed to the rafters with stuff my husband and I don't use). I am still mad about this purchase. Not only did I have to spend money to buy something I already own, but now I have duplicate brushes that I don't need. Buying unneeded replacements is costly.</p> <h2>3. Like Cash, Only Not</h2> <p>I don't even want to know how much money I've lost in coupons, free tickets, and store credit over the years because I've managed to misplace these money saving offers in the random stacks of paper in my office. Of course, I always find these lost treasures the day after they expire.</p> <h2>4. Time</h2> <p>In addition to wasting $300 on the purchase of duplicate paintbrushes, I also lost an hour of my day digging through the garage, looking for my missing painting supplies. Time is money.</p> <p>Even if I only spend five minutes a day looking for lost items, five minutes a day adds up to more than 30 hours each year of lost time. In 30 hours I could write eight articles for Wise Bread. In 30 hours I could make 210 jars of jam to sell at my local pop-up farm stand. In 30 hours I could knit a scarf for my husband while I watch an entire season of <em>Law &amp; Order: SVU</em> and still have time for many snack breaks.</p> <h2>5. Upkeep</h2> <p>The purchase of material goods is only part of the expense of ownership. Even if you do your own housework, keeping possessions clean and in good working order costs money. I have discovered through stupid amounts of trial and error, that I actually need very few possessions to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">pass as an adult</a>. In fact, it's way easier to pretend that I have my act together now that my house verges on minimalism. It's easier to fake a clean house when there's no clutter. My default setting is messy but clean. Unfortunately, no one ever believes that the clothes stacked on the bedroom chair are actually freshly laundered. Clutter makes even the most sanitized home look dirty.</p> <h2>6. Moving</h2> <p>You really never know how much stuff you have until you have to move it. My best friend was in the Navy. She and her husband have moved approximately 453,000 times in the last 20 years. Moving does not stress her out. If anything, it inspires her to refine her personal style. With every move she's jettisoned things that don't make her happy or reflect who she is now. Since she only moves the possessions that are both beautiful and functional to her (at this moment in her life), her home always works like a gorgeous machine, and each move requires a smaller truck.</p> <p>Alas, most people do not view moving as a way to curate a better life. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the <a href="http://www.promover.org/content.asp?pl=1&amp;sl=61&amp;contentid=61">average interstate move costs $5,630</a>, an amount that is based on the average weight of 7,100 pounds. The average intrastate move costs $1,170 based on the same weight. That's a lot of money to move things that aren't beloved or used constantly.</p> <h2>7. Storage</h2> <p>The very first story I ever wrote for Wise Bread was about personal storage and how much <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-self-storage-units-are-more-sad-museums-than-savvy-solutions">I hate it</a>. At the time I wrote the article, my friend Sarah had spent $48,000 on personal storage. Six years later, I would like to report that Sarah is out of debt and now has a robust 401K.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this is not the case. Sarah is currently in the process of moving all of the stuff she has in storage in Los Angeles... to storage in another city. She has spent over $100,000 storing her personal belongings, some of which she hasn't seen in over a decade. Unless she's storing gold bullion in one of those dusty cardboard boxes, there is nothing, in any of her four storage units, that could possibly be worth all that time and money. Had she set everything on fire six years ago, she could have saved $50,000 and instead used that money to pay for an advanced degree to increase her earning power.</p> <h2>8. Profit Loss</h2> <p>My old iPod classic is selling on eBay for about the same price that I paid for it in 2006. Which is amazing. What other nine-year-old piece of technology has held its value so well? I should be thrilled that I when I sell my iPod, I will break even. I pretty much got a decade of use out of it for free! However, had I listed my iPod last year on the day that Apple discontinued the click wheel, I could have netted a cool $300 in profit. But, I held onto my iPod for nostalgic reasons. It's traveled all over the world with me, after all.</p> <p>Let me just say for the record that the extra 12 months of nostalgia was not worth $300.</p> <p>Most material goods do not gain value with age. Clutter makes it that much harder to identify what should be sold immediately to maximize profits or at least a tax write off. If you are holding onto things because you think they might be valuable and not because you love them, the least you can do is look at what similar items have sold for online. More often than not, people are shocked by how much their possessions depreciate in value. If you have to hoard something, make sure it's worth all the money and time it will cost you to buy it, clean it, store it, move it, and get rid of it.</p> <p><em>Why are you holding on to your clutter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today">8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Home clutter messy home money organization waste of money Thu, 15 Oct 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Max Wong 1592472 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_emails_000038233654.jpg" alt="Woman deciding which emails to purge from her inbox" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have that email account &mdash; it's swimming in loose, unmanageable messages we can't seem to delete. It's our primary account. How did it get this bad? By not deleting these five kinds of emails.</p> <h2>1. Old Work Emails</h2> <p>You stopped working there two years ago but still let the entire history of communication rot in your email account, because who knows &mdash; maybe you'll need a coworker's contact info, need to access a file, or need to reference something. Here's the question: Have you so far? If not, consider adding all those old coworkers' addresses to your email contacts list and delete those emails! Here's how to <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8933?hl=en">add contacts in Gmail</a>.</p> <h2>2. Newsletters You've Read (or Never Read)</h2> <p>You signed up for a lot of newsletters that seemed informative at the time, everything from your favorite retail outlets, to blogs, to clubs or associations you're a part of, to your bank's and gym's regular notifications. Once you've scanned or read them, delete! If you haven't read the sender's newsletters in more than a month, unsubscribe using a tool like&nbsp;<a href="https://unroll.me/">Unroll.me</a>. All the better to see the more important messages waiting in your inbox every morning.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Notifications</h2> <p>You opted in for email notifications on Facebook and other networks a long time ago, back in the oughts, when we expected to receive email notifications about everything. Now you have a smartphone that pings you everytime something new happens. All you have to do is check the app or go to the site (as if you don't already do that every 30 seconds) to stay abreast. So why do you still spam yourself with email notifications? Only because you are too lazy to delete them. Here's how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/327994277286267/">get rid of Facebook emails</a>.</p> <h2>4. Blind Solicitations</h2> <p>You scroll past emails from someone you don't know very well, because they're asking for something. Do you plan to reply to them in the next two days? If not, let it go. The recruiter who emailed you about a job you don't want, the sales person following up on your purchase, the not-even-an-acquaintance who asked you to donate to their Kickstarter &mdash; they all knew it was unlikely they would hear from you, anyway. Stop feeling bad about not replying to them and delete those emails!</p> <h2>5. Sentimental Emails</h2> <p>You keep those special emails from your significant other, your parents or grandparents, your closest friends in a special folder. It's meaningful to hold onto those messages, but you don't open that folder very often. Well, you can still do that by <a href="http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/download-copy-of-your-gmail-and-google.html">downloading those sentimental exchanges</a> to your hard drive, Dropbox, or other cloud storage. Anything not pertinent to your everyday communication needs is email clutter. Save those precious emails somewhere more permanent, where they'll be kept safe.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your inbox tidy and uncluttered? Drop us a line in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity clutter digital clutter email Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1315185 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000050424184_Large.jpg" alt="socked feet christmas decorations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate to admit it, but I'm a basement hoarder.</p> <p>My subterranean lair is the slightly moldy home to any and every item that I cannot decide what to do with. If it weren't for the fact that our washer and dryer reside in the basement, there probably wouldn't even be room to walk down there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>But for every item that actually should be stored in my basement, there are at least two others that are just taking up space. It's high time to clean house&hellip; literally! So if you're like me, here are 10 common basement items that you no longer need to hold onto (and the best way of getting rid of them).</p> <h2>1. Computer, Electronic, and Appliance Boxes</h2> <p>It's one of those completely irrational urges: to carefully preserve all of the packaging for any new electronic equipment you purchase. This might have made sense when you bought a desktop computer back in college and expected to move every nine months, but now it's just silly. Break down and recycle all those boxes. You can always get another box if you have to move. Recycling what you have will immediately clear up space in your basement and give you a sense of decluttering accomplishment.</p> <h2>2. Old Electronics</h2> <p>Speaking of technology of yore, how many of you have a VCR or a monitor the size of a sofa hanging out in your basement somewhere? (I actually still have a TV/VCR combo from my college days.) Often, we hang onto these items because we have no idea how to get rid of them. Enter <a href="http://www.earth911.com/">Earth911.com</a>. This website allows you to search for local recycling centers for everything from batteries to electronics.</p> <h2>3. Cables, Wires, and Chargers</h2> <p>Every device you buy comes with a new cable, wire, or charger. Take the time to go through your collection, match up the ones you actually need with the devices you use, and donate the rest to Goodwill or recycle them at <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/global-promotions/recycling-electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025">Best Buy</a>.</p> <h2>4. Owner's Manuals</h2> <p>One of the perks of living in the age of the Internet is the fact that you can recycle all of those manuals you have been carefully saving. You can Google the problem you need to troubleshoot faster than you could find the necessary owner's manual in the pile, anyway.</p> <h2>5. Hazardous Materials</h2> <p>Basements tend to collect everything from half-empty cans of paint, to expired motor oil, to jugs of antifreeze, to expired batteries. Just like your old electronics, you may have held onto these because you don't know how to safely get rid of them. Earth911.com can help you determine where to take these items without harming yourself or the environment.</p> <h2>6. Unused Small Appliances</h2> <p>I'd wager you have a bread machine kicking around somewhere in your basement. Or maybe your mother-in-law gave everyone a crockpot one year for Christmas and yours has never seen the light of day. Nearly every basement has some sort of kitchen appliance that's been used once or twice and then stored. Drop off those George Foreman grills and Williams-Sonoma panini presses at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You'll never miss them.</p> <h2>7. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>When is the last time you used that home elliptical machine for anything other than drying sweaters? Or the skis you bought before you broke your leg in Aspen? If you have pieces of exercise equipment gathering dust in your basement, it's time to clear them out. No, you won't use them and you won't get your money's worth out of them. Believing that you will is just the&nbsp;<a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-loss-aversion-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">loss aversion</a>&nbsp;talking, and you'll feel much better to let go of those false beliefs (and the accompanying guilt).</p> <p>When it comes to sports equipment, the options run the gamut from donating them to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to selling them on Craigslist. It's also a great idea to check with your local YMCA, Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America, or Special Olympics chapter to see if you can do even more good with your unused equipment. (Not to mention the tax write-off.)</p> <h2>8. Broken or Unused Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>It seems like most basements in America have at least one strand of non-working Christmas lights stored somewhere. You can send your lights to <a href="http://www.holidayleds.com">HolidayLeds</a> for recycling year-round, and receive a coupon good for 15% off LED Christmas lights on the site.</p> <p>If you have an artificial tree even Charlie Brown wouldn't put presents under, check your local drop-off recycling center (or Earth911.com) to find out if you can recycle it.</p> <p>For Christmas ornaments and bulbs that have seen better days, donate them or trash them. Don't assume that you'll make that lovely Pinterest mosaic from the broken pieces.</p> <h2>9. Baby Items</h2> <p>If you're not sure you are done having children, it can be tough to get rid of old baby items. But some baby gear expires (like car seats, for instance), and baby clothes, jumpers, strollers, and the like are generally going to be the worse for wear after spending years in your basement. Donate the usable items.</p> <p>As for those car seats, there are specific guidelines for disposing of them.</p> <p>Car seats generally expire within six years of purchase because the foam padding degrades over time. If your car seat is newer than six years old and has never been in an accident, you may be able to give it to another family, although you will likely have to pass it along to someone you know personally. Most parents are (understandably) leery of accepting a used car seat from a stranger.</p> <p>If you cannot donate your seat, you may be able to recycle it. There are <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/what-to-do-with-a-used-car-seat/index.htm">recycling centers in 11 states</a> that will accept used and expired car seats for recycling. Otherwise, you can dismantle the seat, remove the straps, and recycle the plastic and metal portions of the seat while trashing the rest. As a last resort, you can dispose of the seat in the trash, provided you have removed or cut the straps so the seat cannot be used again.</p> <h2>10. Games With Missing Pieces</h2> <p>Just because you <em>could</em> play Monopoly with a handwritten B&amp;O Railroad card doesn't mean you want to. It's time to just get rid of any games with missing pieces. It's likely that you will have to just trash/recycle these misfit toys, but it's always a good idea to post such games on <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> to see if a local artist-type could use some random game pieces.</p> <p><em>What items are you still keeping in your basement that you have not gotten around to throwing out? What items do you plan to keep forever in your basement, no matter how much it will confuse future archeologists (and your current significant other)?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization basement clutter declutter hoarding Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1302027 at http://www.wisebread.com Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retro-businessman-messy-office-desk-Dollarphotoclub_72115873.jpg" alt="businessman messy desk" title="businessman messy desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people are just born to be organized.</p> <p>Labeling and categorizing comes naturally. Itineraries and schedules are seen as welcomed tools. These are the people that can easily lay their hands on a shopping receipt, the water bill, or the warranty on the refrigerator at a moment's notice.</p> <p>I admire these people. I even envy them at times. But I am <em>not</em> one of them&hellip; not even close.</p> <p>It's not that I don't appreciate the benefits of a good system&hellip; I do. But my brain just doesn't work that way. As counter-productive as it might be, I am innately disorganized to my core. And I have been that way for as long as I can remember.</p> <p>Which is why I knew I had to write this post.</p> <p>See, it's easy for an organized person to tell you how to bring order into your life. Throw stuff away, they counsel. And do one thing at a time.</p> <p>But for those of you &mdash; like me &mdash; who have trouble with those concepts, this kind of advice simply won't work. I do throw things away for instance, but one look at my closet or my garage and you'll know it's not nearly enough. And I'd love to focus on just one thing at a time, if only my mind (and my attention span) would cooperate.</p> <p>So, if you and I have this in common, if you too struggle with inherent disorganization in a relatively organized world, then this post is for you.</p> <p>Do this one thing, and defeat your disorganization for good.</p> <h2>Build Your Own System</h2> <p>I spent years trying to work within the commonly accepted model. File important papers alphabetically for example, and if you haven't used something in a year, toss it out. A place for everything and everything in its place.</p> <p>But those rules simply didn't work for me and the more I tried to adhere to that kind of structure, the more overwhelmed I began to feel.</p> <p>I have spiral notebooks full of story ideas that are older than a year, but toss them out? I think not. I also have the megaphone from my cheerleading days &mdash; decades old, I might add &mdash; and certainly not anything I'll be using anytime soon. Does it have &quot;a place?&quot; No. It's bulky and dented and dusty and it doesn't really &quot;fit&quot; anywhere. Is it something I really need to keep? You betcha.</p> <p>Filing things alphabetically isn't a &quot;bad&quot; idea <em>per se</em>, but let's be honest. Asking me to set up (and follow through with) said filing system is like asking me to stash my socks in those cute, individual cubbies they make for dresser drawers. It's a nice thought, but it's probably not going to happen.</p> <p>So, I've created a system that works for me instead, and you can too.</p> <p>Here's how you do it.</p> <h2>Find Your Flow</h2> <p>We all have a preferred way of doing things and finding yours is the key to building your system. So, look around and see what makes sense to you.</p> <p>What items do you most need to find on a regular basis? What items are you most likely to misplace? Do you frequently write down phone numbers or passwords or other important information on envelopes or scraps of paper?</p> <p>I do, and then would have to spend hours trying to find the right &quot;scrap&quot; when I needed that information again. To remedy that, I keep a steno pad handy at all times to record those little tidbits of data. It's not a &quot;pretty&quot; way to organize that information, but I haven't had to hunt down an old sticky note in ages.</p> <h2>Find Your Place(s)</h2> <p>And all those spirals containing my writing? They're in a box that sits underneath my desk. I know where it is, it's easily accessible, and I can take from it or add to it whenever I need. I do the same with receipts I want to keep and all our various warranties go straight into a drawer in the kitchen the moment they enter our house.</p> <p>Warranties also share space with our chargers, but it's a deep drawer so it works fine and again, both of these item now have a &quot;place&quot; that I can work with, even if it's not the most logical arrangement.</p> <p>My socks also make it to a drawer, but that's about as much as I can promise. Sometimes, they're matched, sometimes they're not, but they're all in the same place and that's good enough for me.</p> <p>The point is to create a system that works the way you work and addresses the areas you struggle with the most.</p> <p>Remember, the whole point of being organized is ultimately to make life easier. You want to find things when you need them, without having to launch an all-day search and rescue. And contrary to popular opinion, there's more than one way to achieve that goal.</p> <p>Building your own system allows you to create your own version of &quot;order,&quot; even if that version still looks chaotic to your more traditionally organized counterparts.</p> <h2>What About Clutter?</h2> <p>Will this get rid of all the clutter?</p> <p>It depends on how deep your clutter runs. The reason that disorganized people find themselves surrounded by clutter is that we haven't yet decided what to do with all that stuff.</p> <p>I have tons of craft supplies for instance, and at some point in my life, I've had specific plans for each and every one. If I can comfortably say that I'm no longer interested in doing a particular project, it's easy to get rid of the supplies in question.</p> <p>But that's not always the case.</p> <p>So, I compromised. I keep the supplies not being used in a plastic tub in the back of my closet. The supplies I use frequently are kept in a smaller tub that slides underneath my bed.</p> <p>Is it a perfect solution? It's perfect for me!</p> <p>Building your own system may not permanently clear out all the clutter, but it at least organizes the &quot;stuff&quot; together, so that you can focus on how to store it. And that makes it easier to find the things you use without weeding through the things you don't.</p> <p>So. Does this mean I won't have to throw things away?</p> <p>You'll still eventually have to &quot;spring clean&quot; and clear things out, especially when you need to make space for the new &quot;stuff&quot; you need to store.</p> <p>You can however, use this model to give yourself more time to come to that decision by making your potential junk less of a nuisance while you assess your options and remember, there's more than one way to &quot;get rid&quot; of something.</p> <p>Maybe you can find a way to upcycle the item into something you'll actually use. Maybe a friend or relative will mention they're looking for that very thing, allowing you to say, &quot;Hey, I just happen to have one you can use!&quot;</p> <p>You can also donate the items, sell them on eBay or Craigslist, host a garage sale, or in some instances, wrap them up and give them as gifts (use common sense with that last one). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever?ref=seealso">Do This One Thing to Defeat Clutter Forever</a>)</p> <h2>What About Non-Stuff Clutter?</h2> <p>That sounds great, but what about organizing the non-tangible aspects of my life?</p> <p>So, you're starting to see your physical environment take a more organized shape, but still you're struggling with things like appointments, reminders, bills, and due dates?</p> <p>The same basic approach still applies.</p> <p>I don't work well with day planners for example, but I do love lists and as luck would have it, my cell phone has a simple notes app that keeps those lists forever at my fingertips.</p> <p>I have a running grocery list that gets updated any time I notice we're out of something, a list of clothing sizes (should I want to shop for the family), and another list for thoughts and ideas that that come to me when I'm out and about and my spirals aren't within reach.</p> <p>Birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, bill dates, and trash days are easily managed with the generic reminder app, but if you want something fancier, there are plenty of ready-made apps to help keep you on track as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you?ref=seealso">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a>)</p> <p>The key to success here is to write it down (or type it in) when you think of it. Don't assume you'll remember later, because you won't.</p> <h2>Where to Start?</h2> <p>Okay, but one last question&hellip; where do I start?</p> <p>My organized friends would tell you to pick an area, be it a room or one of those non-tangible aspects, organize it and then move to the next area. Focus on one thing at a time.</p> <p>And that's not bad advice. It just may not be the best advice for you.</p> <p>My recommendation is to pick the areas that need your attention the most. After all, restoring order to your kitchen cabinets might give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will be short-lived if your electricity is turned off because you forgot to pay the bill.</p> <p>So, start with your most immediate concerns, then work your way out from there. And don't be afraid to think outside the box because chances are, that's where you'll find the best solutions to defeating your disorganization for good.</p> <p><em>Have you defeated disorganization? What worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office">10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clutter planning productivity Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:14 +0000 Kate Luther 1285778 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000019250454_Double.jpg" alt="mother daughter cleaning" title="mother daughter cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone cleans differently, but there are many rules that are near-universally followed.</p> <p>Most of these cleaning rules are rules because they work, but some of them aren't quite right, or aren't necessary in order to have a clean home.</p> <p>Here are six cleaning rules you shouldn't feel dirty about breaking.</p> <h2>1. You Need to Get Rid of All the Germs</h2> <p>I grew up in a house where everything that could sparkle did. But it didn't sparkle for the sake of sparkling; it sparkled because people in my house feared germs. I was sick quite a bit as a child, and the more often I got sick, the more furiously the house got cleaned.</p> <p>However, my mom needn't have bothered. In general, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/family/07/04/love.germs.parenting/">germs are good for us</a> (even for kids!). Exposure to bacteria gives our immune systems a chance to get stronger, because they have to learn how to resist and fight off infection.</p> <p>You probably don't want to grow that culture of MRSA in your shower, but you don't have to clean with antibacterial products or clean obsessively because a few germs won't hurt anyone.</p> <h2>2. You Need Expensive Cleaners for Your Oven</h2> <p>I bought a new stove/oven combo about a year ago and everyone we talked to &mdash; sales people, friends, even my mother &mdash; wanted to make sure that we learned which cleaner was the proper one to use in it. It was very important, I was told over and over, to get one that was compatible with my particular make and model.</p> <p>As it turns out, though, you can easily <a href="http://newsner.com/en/2014/10/i-used-to-hate-it-but-now-i-wont-have-to-worry-about-cleaning-the-oven-ever-again-this-is-so-brilliant/">clean any oven</a>&nbsp;with baking soda, vinegar, water, and some time. I assume the expensive cleaners work, too, but they're full of potentially harmful chemicals, they cost a fortune, and (trust me!) the baking soda and vinegar do a great job, too!</p> <h2>3. Your Pillow Is Clean When the Case Is Clean</h2> <p>I remember, after I'd been in college a few months, asking someone how in the world you clean a pillow. They looked at me like I was crazy. After a few more questions, I found out that most people don't clean the pillow itself, they just wash the case. It seemed gross to me, but what did I know?</p> <p>Apparently, I knew quite a bit. Pillows actually need to be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/home/9-things-your-house-you-have-been-cleaning-wrong-way-2D79486819">cleaned 2-3 times per year</a>&nbsp;because they collect all sorts of skin cells and oils, not to mention sweat. Unless your pillowcase is industrial strength, some of those will get through it and onto your pillow. They won't collect particularly fast, but they will build up if you don't wash them off.</p> <h2>4. You Shouldn't Wash Cast Iron</h2> <p>I started cooking with cast iron several years ago, and I think that every single person I mentioned it to (at least, every single one who knew anything about cast iron), warned me against washing my new pots and pans with water. Since the pans are made of iron, water makes them rust, and most of us don't really want to cook rust into our food.</p> <p>On the other hand, water only causes cast iron to rust when it gets left on the pan. If you can dry your pan thoroughly (usually by putting it on the stove over low heat), water is the best way to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107747">clean your cast iron pans</a>. You can boil the water first or add baking soda to it if it makes you feel better or the pan is extra dirty.</p> <h2>5. You Should Just Toss an Old Dirty Shower Curtain Liner</h2> <p>When I lived in an apartment for the first time, I shared it with three other young women. One of them walked in on me cleaning the bathroom one day and looked at me funny. Since we were actually pretty good about keeping the house clean, I asked her what the look was about. &quot;You're cleaning the shower curtain liner?&quot; she asked.</p> <p>As it turned out, most people don't do that. When the shower curtain liner gets dirty, they replace it.</p> <p>If you're going to scrub it, it is hard to clean, indeed. It's a good thing, then, that you can usually just <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/cleaning-wrong">throw it in the washing machine</a>. Make sure the water isn't too hot (especially if your liner is plasticky), and include some other things like towels or sheets, to help it keep from sticking to itself.</p> <h2>6. Spray-On Cleaner Is Best for Eyeglasses</h2> <p>I don't wear glasses. I should, but I don't. My husband, however, wears his all the time. When we first got married, he cleaned them with this special spray-on stuff that was specifically designed to work with the coatings on his lenses. It worked, but it seemed to cost way too much for its limited range of uses.</p> <p>Now, he&nbsp;<a href="http://allday.com/post/1261-you-are-cleaning-your-glasses-the-wrong-way">washes his glasses</a>&nbsp;with dish soap and water, and dries them with microfiber cloths. He reports that his glasses are as clean as ever, the expense is a lot lower, and he's not at a loss if he forgets his little bottle of cleaner. His eye doctor warns him against this practice every time he goes in, but it's been years and he hasn't damaged a pair of glasses yet. As long as you don't use soap with ammonia or other additives, you should have similar success.</p> <p><em>What cleaning rules do you follow? Are there any you've found to be incorrect?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space">20 Ways to Live Large in a Small Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home cleaning cleanliness clutter organization Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1286278 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000041840182_Large.jpg" alt="woman garage bike" title="woman garage bike" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my favorite features of my new home is an oversized double attached garage. I'm in storage heaven in there, but I know I could be using the space better to accommodate all my different needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions?ref=seealso">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Ideas</a>)</p> <p>Below you'll find a number of ideas &mdash; from broad to specific &mdash; that will help you use your garage space better. Feel free to share your own solutions in the comments.</p> <h2>1. Pipe Rack</h2> <p>A few small pieces of PVC pipe can go a long way toward making <a href="http://www.ashbeedesign.com/2012/05/organizing-tools-with-pvc.html">smart tool storage</a> that will hold up for years to come. The author of this project cut angled pieces of PVC from scraps she had around the house. You can also head to the hardware store and ask an associate to make six inch cuts for you. Then mount and label.</p> <h2>2. Gutter Genius</h2> <p>I've seen a lot of <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZwPjpdMjZqk/Uh_yk82mm-I/AAAAAAAAHSs/ym1-DXbl8Cg/s1600/garage+p.jpg">gutter shelf projects</a> for the home, but what's more perfect than making storage shelves for your garage? Go to your hardware store and pick out gutters and end caps in whatever size makes sense for your purpose. Then hang them and fill with paint, caulk, sprays, seeds, whatever.</p> <h2>3. Container Corral</h2> <p>Our attic is full of blown-in insulation, so we don't use it for storage. Instead, we have several rows of basic shelving where we've arranged our plastic containers up and off the ground. For better organization, <a href="http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2014/10/garage-organization-part-1.html">label your bins</a> in big, bold letters. I suggest using clear tubs for the most transparency.</p> <h2>4. Mudroom Magic</h2> <p>If you're low on closet space indoors, turn your garage into a <a href="http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2014/11/how-to-create-a-garage-mudroom.html">beautiful mudroom</a> with just a few tricks. You'll want some hooks for coats and other apparel. A few hanging baskets to keep umbrellas, bags, and mail in check. The rest is up to you!</p> <h2>5. Peg Rails</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273114/peg-rail-organizer?xsc=eml_org_2011_03_12">peg-rail organizer</a> is as functional as it is beautiful. You'll hang wooden beams along your wall and then drill holes for your pegs. If you don't have tools or time to do this project yourself, consider buying several long hook or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=peg%20rail&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=Y7H3CNH2JLZXBUYT">peg rails</a> and arranging them in a couple long rows for the same impact.</p> <h2>6. Toy Tamer</h2> <p>There are a lot of different ways you can approach toy cleanup in your garage. I love these <a href="http://orgjunkie.com/2013/05/organizing-concepts-for-kids-garage-toys-free-printable.html">educational ideas</a> that put some responsibility in your child's hands. For example, tall laundry baskets for sport balls; stackable shelving for bubbles, helmets, and pool toys; and brightly taped off areas for bikes and scooters. The key is keeping everything clearly labeled and encouraging your kids to put their stuff away.</p> <h2>7. Hook Hideaway</h2> <p>The minute we moved in, my husband went out and bought a set of inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=gladiator%20hooks&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=VD6DFRTRB7YIBQWX">Gladiator Hooks</a> at the hardware store. There are a number of different ways you can use them, but he arranged them on the studs to get bikes, skis, sleds, folding chairs, and other outdoor items off the floor.</p> <h2>8. Pegboard Pal</h2> <p>One of the best things you can get for your garage (or basement) is a pegboard. After you figure out how high you want to hang your board, you'll make the spot and then drill into the studs using wood screws. Don't forget to level! Then buy some hooks and go crazy.</p> <h2>9. Screw Central</h2> <p>Our garage also serves as our tool storage area. We had inherited an old tool bench at our last house where the original owner had <a href="http://www.chezlarsson.com/myblog/2009/02/screw-organizing.html">organized his screws</a> by placing them in small jars. The cool part? All the tops of the jars were glued (or screwed) to the bottom of a shelf for easy keeping. It's a simple project with big impact.</p> <h2>10. Bungee Corner</h2> <p>Stash all your soccer balls, basket balls, and kick balls in one space <a href="http://100things2do.blogspot.ca/2013/08/organization-ball-storage.html">using bungee cords</a>. The cost of this project was a mere $2. You'll need a wooden frame for the top and bottom of your zone. Then four or five bungee cords stretched between the posts will hold things tightly together.</p> <h2>11. Shoe Win</h2> <p>Those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F51AHG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F51AHG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=P4Y2XDFB63JTZIIU">plastic shoe organizers</a> work in almost every room, and the garage is no exception. Use it to hold spray paint, golf balls, tools, cleaners, and anything else you have in chaos. You don't even need to hang it over a door. Just nail or screw hooks into the wall or use rope to tie it onto a shelving system.</p> <h2>12. Bike Shelf</h2> <p>I love this simple <a href="http://daily.sightline.org/?attachment_id=21734">DIY bike shelf</a>. Cut notches in a fruit crate to accommodate the top tube of your bike. Mount on your wall. You can use the top shelf to store your helmet or any other gear. (And though this storage device would work great in your garage, it would also be perfect for apartment storage!)</p> <p><em>What's your favorite genius garage storage idea?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter garage gardening storage tools Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1285072 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Home Office http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000036142028_Double.jpg" alt="woman home office" title="woman home office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holidays hit my home office like a tornado, but one of my New Year's resolutions was to get my workspace spic and span, and keep it that way. And with a genius storage system, a change in behavior, and a few simple items that are inexpensive and widely available, I plan to do just that.</p> <p>Sure, you could blow all your holiday gift money at the Container Store, but you don't have to do that. Here are the steps I took and items I'm utilizing to keep myself, and my work, organized:</p> <h2>1. End Clean, Start Clean</h2> <p>Throughout the day, my work unpacks itself: books, papers, post-its, pens and pencils, push pins, newspapers, and magazines. So I end every day by tidying up my space and bringing order to the widespread disorder known as my desk. I write out a list of my tasks for the next day and place that list in the center of my desk so that I can start tomorrow with clarity and focus.</p> <h2>2. Wrangle Papers</h2> <p>While the good ol' filing cabinet works for some people, it's a blackhole for me. Papers go in there and never see the light of day again. Instead, I bought a simple set of three stacked trays marked &quot;urgent,&quot; &quot;current,&quot; and &quot;to scan.&quot; All of my papers make their way down the ladder in that order. When they hit the &quot;to scan&quot; tray, I use my desktop scanner and file them away in folders on my laptop hard drive. <a href="http://www.neat.com/">Neat</a> is another wonderful option for receipt tracking and document scanning. With the push of a button and the accompanying Neat mobile app, you'll banish papers and keep your space clear from rampant paper clutter.</p> <h2>3. Get Wireless Everything</h2> <p>A few years ago I had a storage box marked &quot;cords.&quot; In it I stored a tangle of cords for my many electronic devices. Even when they were wrapped and labeled, I couldn't stand that box and I hated the mess that wires caused in my home office. In that moment, I decided to go wireless as much as I could. The plethora of brands that now make wireless and Bluetooth-enabled devices have greatly reduced their prices and increased the available selection.</p> <p>Some of my favorite wireless pieces are my wireless printer/scanner, wireless device charging pad, and wireless mouse. I couldn't believe the peace and harmony I found in my office once I cleared the jungle of wires. I still have to charge some of my devices overnight but now I have a designated space for that charging and all the cords are neatly tucked away in a drawer under the table.</p> <h2>4. Use Just Enough Space</h2> <p>I move a lot. Last year alone I moved to three different apartments. When you move a lot, your items tend to follow you, and they may not always be best for your space. To counter this, I keep everything as small as possible no matter how big my space is. My desk is only as big as I need it to be to fit the essentials of my trade as a writer: a laptop, a pad of paper, a jar of pens, and a small desktop printer/scanner. The bigger the desk, the bigger the mess. I fill my space so I keep my work space, and furniture, small.</p> <h2>5. Find Storage Everywhere</h2> <p>Everything I have serves a double or triple purpose. I learned early on that all furniture needs to pull its weight in my space. There's hidden storage in everything. For example, the seat of my desk chair lifts up for storage and the desktop itself sits atop a hidden storage tray.</p> <h2>6. Use the Walls</h2> <p>Because I keep my desk small, I make full use of my walls. I have hooks, cork boards, magnetic strips, and right-sized sturdy shelves woven in with art that inspires me on my walls. Walls resist clutter in a way that horizontal surfaces can't, so I use my walls as much as possible.</p> <h2>7. Choose a Bright and Simple Color Palette</h2> <p>My office space has a simple color palette &mdash; white, brown, seafoam green, and a dusty blue. That's it. It's a beautiful combination of brightness and soothing comfort because it reminds me of the sea, the sand, and the sky. And because it's beautiful, I'm motivated to keep it neat so that it remains a place where I enjoy spending my time.</p> <p>I also have just the right combination of light: natural light, desktop light, and an overhead light when I need to spread out a bigger project. I use the right light for the right time of day for the right project. By keeping it bright, clutter isn't able to hide from my view so I'm more likely to take care of it quickly and restore order.</p> <h2>8. No Junk Drawers Allowed</h2> <p>Forget giving yourself an allowance of a junk drawer. It has a natural ability to grow without your permission. In 2015, I'm subscribing to the old philosophy of &quot;a place for everything and everything in its place.&quot; I picked up mason jars of various sizes and a large set of small plastic boxes at my local dollar store to keep all those tiny desk items like paper clips, rubber bands, and writing instruments organized.</p> <h2>9. Keep It Clear</h2> <p>This is a new idea I got when I was shopping around for organizing materials. If we keep them clear, we can easily see what's inside of them and the light that filters through them gives an airy feeling to the space. They also make a small space seem bigger. You can even get a clear desk, chair, storage furniture, and shelving if you really want to make everything in your space clear.</p> <h2>10. Digital Wins</h2> <p>I read a lot of books, magazines, and newspapers not only because I love to read, but because I also edit and review books for publishing companies and write on a wide variety of topics that require me to read massive amounts of content every day. I have a handful of books and periodicals in paper form &mdash; these are ones that really resemble workbooks of some kind that are easier to use in paper form. Everything else is digital on my Kindle and through a set of mobile apps on my iPad. After a few days, my eyes were feeling the fatigue of that bright screen so I adjusted the settings on iPad to have my screen be black with white type. This helped tremendously and now my eyes aren't any more fatigued than when I read in paper form.</p> <p>And all those books? I donated them to my local library so that they could be enjoyed by my community.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your space tidy and organized?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-home-office">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clutter productivity storage Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:00:19 +0000 Christa Avampato 1283486 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-clothes-rack-Dollarphotoclub_75282538.jpg" alt="woman clothes rack" title="woman clothes rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stop making excuses and clean up the clutter in your home! It'll make you feel better and make your living space look better as well! Ask yourself these questions and get rid of your items based on your answers. And when we say dispose of your clutter, we mean either <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Sell-Used-Goods-28874509">sell it</a>, donate it, recycle it, give it away to friends and family, or throw it away.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/List-Things-Dispose-24575006">One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away</a></p> <h2>1. Have I used this in the last year?</h2> <p>If your answer is no, it's time to toss.</p> <h2>2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?</h2> <p>If the current you wouldn't buy this item now, why would you even keep it?</p> <h2>3. Is the only thing that's keeping me from disposing this item that I don't want to waste money?</h2> <p>Think of it this way: You wasted money when you bought an item you don't use.</p> <h2>4. Am I holding on to this for sentimental value?</h2> <p>Be strict and keep only a few of those sentimental items in a small memorabilia box. Then take a photo of items you are throwing away so you can keep them forever.</p> <h2>5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose?</h2> <p>If yes, then get rid of one of them.</p> <h2>6. Do I have a realistic plan to use this?</h2> <p>Remember, don't lie to yourself about how perfect an item would be for <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Halloween">Halloween</a>. Make sure you have a concrete plan to use the item, and if you don't use it within the time frame you set for yourself to use it, then toss it.</p> <h2>7. Does it fit me or my living space?</h2> <p>You may love it, but do you have space for the item or does it even suit you now? Think hard on what to keep &mdash; your space is sacred.</p> <h2>8. Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future?</h2> <p>Fix it now, or if you don't get around to fixing in the next two weeks, then toss it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> So much clutter is stuff that seems important, but really isn&#039;t. Give your things this quiz, and if they don&#039;t pass, it&#039;s time to let them go. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Live-Frugally-24174070#photo-24174070">66 Tried-and-Tested Tips for a Frugal Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Simple-Closet-Organizing-Tips-36488783#photo-36488783">11 Easy Organization Hacks for the Lazy Fashion Girl</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Ways-Simplify-Family-Life-36292022#photo-36292022">8 Ways to Simplify Your Family's Routine in 2015</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization clutter declutter organization storage Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1281603 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things in Your Office You Can Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009052797_Full.jpg" alt="man messy office" title="man messy office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most people, your office is your second home. You probably spend way too much time there and, because of that, have way too much stuff there. If the new year has you inspired to make a fresh start, maybe the best place to begin is your office. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>So grab a box (you know, the big empty ones near the copier) and start purging. Here are 12 things in your office that you can throw out today.</p> <h2>1. Old Resumes</h2> <p>If you have a hand in the hiring process where you work, then you know the steep ratio between qualified candidates and open positions. If your stack of resumes is 6-12 months old, toss them. Most applicants' availability, career goals, and contact information have likely changed.</p> <h2>2. Outdated Electronics</h2> <p>Unless your business is selling antiques, it's okay to toss that dot matrix printer. And while you're at it, explore other ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">get rid of old electronics</a>. Once that 12 pound laptop and broken fax machine are gone, potential new clients will be far less likely to think your 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass has a bag phone in it.</p> <h2>3. Dead Plants</h2> <p>What special kind of voodoo makes even the most robust plant wither within weeks of becoming part of our office décor? Do the fluorescent lights sap the life out of them? Are they allergic to business jargon? Do they revolt at the smell of burnt popcorn? Whatever the reason, if you can't revive them, toss them.</p> <h2>4. Fake Plants</h2> <p>The only thing worse than a dead plant, is a fake one that can't die. These faded dust-collectors add nothing to most office environments. Switch to the real, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-hardest-to-kill-houseplants">hard-to-kill plant variety</a> or just embrace the dark power of your black thumb and go plant-less.</p> <h2>5. Gifts You Never Took Home</h2> <p>Rare is the employer that doesn't participate in some sort of white elephant or gag gift event during the holidays. While the parties can be a welcome diversion, after a few years, the gifts can leave our offices looking like a thrift store. Do a deep declutter one Friday afternoon and donate what you can to an actual thrift store.</p> <h2>6. Random Mugs</h2> <p>First, pat yourself on the back for using real mugs instead of disposable Styrofoam or paper. Then, take a critical look at just how many mismatched mugs you've collected. More than five? 10? Donate the excess or pass them on to a co-worker who's still single-handedly keeping the polystyrene industry afloat.</p> <h2>7. Jackets, Sweaters, and Gym Clothes</h2> <p>The temperature in most offices varies wildly, prompting many to amass a small collection of light jackets and sweaters on the backs of their chairs. Take a few moments to scale back your growing second wardrobe. Oh, and while you're at it, clear out that small pile of gym clothes under your desk.</p> <h2>8. Tchotchkes</h2> <p>In our home offices and at work, tchotchkes multiply like dust bunnies and empty Starbucks cups. While a few might be endearing, having too many tchotchkes implies that you need a desk full of totems to get through the day. Donate or take the excess home.</p> <h2>9. Boxes and Packing Material</h2> <p>It's hard to avoid the slow accumulation of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts in any office. If your business doesn't involve frequent shipping, freecycle these items (someone's always moving) or take them home to use for holiday gift-shipping.</p> <h2>10. Out-of-Date Magazines</h2> <p>The price of magazines makes them difficult to toss even after they've been read from cover to cover. Consider donating them to a hospital's waiting room, a retirement home, or a school.</p> <h2>11. Old Receipts and Bills</h2> <p>Once your expense reports have cleared, why keep old receipts? And how long are you planning to hold on to that cell phone bill from last April? While it's always a good idea to leave a thorough paper trail for tax purposes, it's also entirely possible to get a call from Hoarders as an industrial-sized dumpster gets dropped on your front lawn.</p> <h2>12. Old Marketing Materials</h2> <p>The sheer volume of business brochures, leave-behinds from conferences, catalogs, and random business cards that the average professional accumulates in a year's time makes me think printing is where the real money is. Take a moment before you leave for the weekend (you do leave for the weekend, don't you?) to go through the stacks. Keep what you need and feed the rest to the recycling bin.</p> <p>Okay, maybe you can't purge all 12 categories of items in a single day. Conveniently, there are twelve months in the year if you decide to take the scenic route on your decluttering journey. Whatever way you do it, you'll be glad you did. And with a clutter-free workspace, you just may be inspired to redecorate and find inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">make your office look awesome</a>. Remember, clearing out your office can help clear your mind, inspire new levels of productivity, and make Monday mornings feel slightly less daunting.</p> <p><em>Is your office filled with items that get in the way of your productivity? What's the strangest item you've seen in someone else's office?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-in-your-office-you-can-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-in-your-basement-you-should-throw-out-today">10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Organization clutter declutter Office productivity Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1278979 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-closet-clothes-Dollarphotoclub_55445948.jpg" alt="girl closet clothes" title="girl closet clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Be honest &mdash; if your closet were a TV show, would it be Project Runway or Hoarders? If it's time to call in a backup team equipped with shovels and Hefty bags, maybe you just need a little help separating wearable clothes from the unbearable clutter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's a list of 15 things in your closet that you can throw out today.</p> <h2>1. Clothes With the Tags Still Attached</h2> <p>Let's face it, if you've purchased a piece of clothing but never removed the tags and worn it, there's probably a reason. Cut your losses. Return the item if you can or donate it to your favorite charity.</p> <h2>2. Old Bridesmaid Dresses</h2> <p>Sure, the bride may have promised you'd get years of versatile wear out of that fuschia and black dress, but it's just hasn't worked out that way. Donate it so that some young woman can pull a Pretty in Pink and harvest it to create an original prom dress.</p> <h2>3. Mismatched Socks</h2> <p>We may never fully understand how pairs of perfectly good socks lose their mates. Stop wondering and don't try to force a mismatched marriage. Move the loners to your rag drawer; they make great dust rags. Or, explore other creative <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sock-it-to-me-15-uses-for-old-socks">uses for old socks</a>.</p> <h2>4. Free Promotional Clothing</h2> <p>Do you have an upcoming event where a t-shirt advertising a low rate at Bill's Discount Autos is <em>de rigueur</em>? I didn't think so. Consider donating most of your promotional clothing.</p> <h2>5. Sentimental Clothes</h2> <p>It's a natural impulse to keep clothing that means something to us. Your first college sweatshirt, a t-shirt from a marathon you spent months training for, a scarf from your favorite aunt. But if you're not still using any of these items, maybe it's time to store the memories and let the items go.</p> <h2>6. College Tees</h2> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to wear a college t-shirt &mdash; if you actually attended college there, if you're forking over crazy tuition for a kid who attends, or if you're employed there. Otherwise, toss those tees or explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">ways to creatively recycle them</a>. Wearing random college swag might have been hip for about five minutes in the late 80s, but the moment has passed.</p> <h2>7. Anything With Blown Elastic</h2> <p>Socks, bras, and underwear all require elastic to be comfortable and fulfill their important wardrobe functions. Remember that and live by this this mantra: When the elastic blows, the item goes.</p> <h2>8. Clothes Saved From Old Relationships</h2> <p>We've all collected a few clothing pieces from previous relationships. But wearing them regularly is the wardrobe equivalent walking around in a scrapbook. Whether we consciously realize it or not, these items can make us melancholy and keep us literally wrapped up the past.</p> <h2>9. Damaged or Stained Clothes</h2> <p>Damaged clothes present a special challenge for many people. If we love the item, we tell ourselves we'll repair that rip, replace that zipper, or research how to remove a stubborn stain. But we seldom find the time. That's why damaged and stained clothing can languish in the back of our closets for years. Be honest and realistic with yourself. If you can't &mdash; or won't &mdash; repair it, toss it.</p> <h2>10. Clothes That Don't Fit</h2> <p>If it's too tight, too short, too long, or too big, why keep it around? If a piece of clothing can't be tailored, clear it out and make room for something that fits just right.</p> <h2>11. Clothes That Aren't Comfortable</h2> <p>That wool sweater that makes you itch just looking at it, those pointy shoes that turn every step into exquisite torture, those jeans that hug all the wrong places &mdash; scrap 'em all. Life is too short (and our closets are too small) for clothes that aren't comfortable.</p> <h2>12. Clothes With Pilling</h2> <p>It's not always easy to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">keep clothes looking new</a>. Depending on the fabric and the weave, pilling is just a fact of life. Though there are pill-removing devices, relying on them is often an exercise in futility &mdash; you really shouldn't have to shave you sweater before you wear it. Toss what's pill-prone and shelve your shaver.</p> <h2>13. Unflattering Clothes</h2> <p>I can't wear low-rise jeans; I know it and I accept it. But every time I shop for jeans I'm tempted to buy a pair because finding an alternative is nearly impossible. Facing a high tide of low-rise jeans, I completely understand how folks end up buying a piece of clothing that's just not right for their body type. If something unflattering has wound up in your closet, embrace the fact that you wouldn't &mdash; and shouldn't &mdash; wear it. Pass the item on to someone who can really pull it off.</p> <h2>14. Clothing That's Out of Style</h2> <p>1982 called, and it wants those parachute pants back. Holding out until items come back in style is a misguided strategy; either the cuts have slightly changed or our waistlines have &quot;evolved.&quot; Delight a hipster and sell these retro fashions for a premium on eBay.</p> <h2>15. Faded Black Clothing</h2> <p>Black can't handle even the slightest fading. If that little black dress, black shirt, or black cotton sweater is obviously going gray, give up the ghost. Chuck it and look for a replacement.</p> <p>Just imagine it: a closet purged of every single thing that isn't flattering and wearable. It's not an urban myth and it's entirely doable with a bit of discipline and diligence. Oh, and once you declutter your messy closet, explore new <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">ways to organize it</a>. You just may love the results so much that you finally tackle what's under the bed.</p> <p><em>What's in your closet that you can toss, recycle, or donate today? What have you been holding onto for years?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet">14 Ways to Organize a Messy Closet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization Style closet clothing clutter fashion old clothes Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1275772 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-digital-tablet-picture-509234135-small.jpg" alt="couple digital photo" title="couple digital photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a hard time parting with things that hold significant sentimental value. Yeah, they're just sitting around my house, collecting dust, but these things are part of my life, memories of good times, and I don't want to get rid of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">Toss It or Not? 5 Organizational Tricks From a Chronic Clutter Bug</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, in the age of technology and how-to articles, there are brilliant compromises to be made that ensure that you're preserving some of the touchstones of your existence without tripping on them all over the place.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine clutter-free ways to preserve your memories, and see if you can't preserve who you are while getting rid of all that stuff.</p> <h2>1. Snap Photos With Stuff You're Tossing</h2> <p>For tangible items that you're sending into the afterlife, a great way to remember the good times you had with it is to take a photo with that item in it. Perhaps it's a favorite piece of clothing that you once cherished, board games that made many memorable nights, or musical instruments that helped cultivate your love of culture. Set up a nice photo up &mdash; perhaps a snapshot with friends with the discarded item as the centerpiece &mdash; so you can look back on it with fondness whenever you want.</p> <h2>2. Scan Pictures, Letters, and Cards Into Your Computer</h2> <p>Reduce that pile (or massive box, as they case may be) of beloved photos, letters, and cards that you've accumulated throughout your life by scanning them into your computer. You might find it hard to part with the original hardcopy documents, but try to remember that it's only paper that you're tossing out. By scanning these items, you're preserving the thought that went into them when they were originally given to you &mdash; and that's what counts. Plus, this way they can never be destroyed, whereas the original versions will eventually deteriorate over time and are at the mercy of fire, water, and other elements that can destroy them completely.</p> <h2>3. Transition to Digital Picture Frames to Eliminate Paper Photos</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, each of your single picture frames is home to about half a dozen photos. I keep the old photos in the frames when I update a picture by simply laying the replaced images behind the new one. While this method reduces the clutter I see, it only allows me to enjoy one of the photos opposed to all of them (even though rediscovering the old ones during the swapping process is a welcome surprise). Nowadays you can enjoy many photos without fussing with any paper by digitizing them and adding them to a digital frame. These frames rotate images automatically so you see multiple pics &mdash; and relive the memories &mdash; on a regular basis.</p> <h2>4. Transfers Old VHS Tapes and DVDs to Computer Files</h2> <p>My husband has a huge cabinet full of VHS tapes from his wrestling days that &mdash; mark my words &mdash; he will never do anything with until they're so old they've deteriorated beyond repair. I even bought him one of those VHS-to-DVD thingamajigs a few years ago that I recently sold on Amazon new, in-the-box. Hey, I tried. In any case, if you want to ensure that your old VHS tapes and DVDs stand the test of time, consider transferring them to computer files that you can save in your cloud. There are plenty of companies that specialize in this service, but you also can <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/transfer-vhs-tapes-to-your-computer/">DIY it if you're fairly tech-savvy</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose Useless Little Things Into One Useful Big Thing</h2> <p>Before you donate all that extra clothing, think of ways you might be able to use the fabric to make something new &mdash; like a blanket, tablecloth, or shower curtain. For instance, you can turn a bunch of old T-shirts into a rad quilt if you've got sewing skills (or, ya know, send away for it if you don't). You may not think about it a lot, but many items in your closet &mdash; especially the really old, ratty stuff &mdash; hold a special place in your heart; repurposing these thrift-shop-ready beauties lets you keep them a bit longer without becoming a hoarder. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim</a>)</p> <h2>6. Turn a Special Moment Into a Beautiful Tattoo</h2> <p>One of my buddies gave me this idea, and I thought it was very interesting. Computers &mdash; and especially the cloud &mdash; help us preserve many of our tangible memories while cutting the clutter, but what about adding those memories to our own bodies? Thus, a tattoo is an awesome way to recognize an important event or time in your life. The result is a permanent reminder of that particular memory, and you're bound to be asked about it over and over again, allowing you to tell the story many times over.</p> <h2>7. Create Sentimental Artwork Out of Attic-Bound Items</h2> <p>I recently came across a Buzzfeed post that I thought was really cool. There were lots of great ideas in author Mike Spohr's <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/incredibly-meaningful-gifts-you-can-give-your-kids">26 Incredibly Meaningful Gifts You Can Give Your Kids,</a> but I thought the framed teddy bear was kind of genius. Expanding that concept a bit further then, you can basically take anything of sentimental value that's perhaps tucked away in a box and turn it into a treasured family heirloom that will serve as a reminder of a special time as well as a conversation piece. It goes without saying that it'll be super fun to go through the attic to see what resources you have to work with when creativity strikes you.</p> <h2>8. Start a Blog Dedicated to Your Memories and Treasures</h2> <p>Maybe I'm speaking for myself here, but I like to share many of my fond memories with, well, basically anyone who'll listen. I mean, who doesn't like to reminisce about the &quot;good ol' days,&quot; right? I bet we're of a similar mindset, which makes starting a blog dedicated to your memories and treasures a decent idea. You can write about fun times that you've had, post pictures of moments you never want to forget, and then share them with the world so you can bring joy to it.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Treasures in the Family by Passing Them on to Loved Ones</h2> <p>You know that old saying &mdash; one man's trash is another man's treasure? Absolutely true, and it provides a great opportunity for you to unload some of your cherished items that are perhaps taking up too much space on family and friends who want or need it. With this tactic, the clutter is out of your way, but the things and the memories they conjure are still part of your life, which makes this easy option the perfect compromise.</p> <p><em>Have a few more clutter-free ways to preserve memories? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-downsize-and-declutter">How to Downsize and Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter mementos memories storage Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1254628 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-cleaning-garage-iStock_000022050235Small.jpg" alt="couple cleaning garage" title="couple cleaning garage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The garage. For some, it's a pristine white-walled home for a four-wheeled pride and joy. For others (and let's face it, that's most of us), it's a place to keep the car, the lawn mower, the old fridge, paint cans, empty boxes, and everything else that we either forgot to put in the basement, or never even realized we owned. There are many items that should be in your garage right now, and others that should be removed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">12 Things You'll Never Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here are the eight things you should throw out right after you've finished this article.</p> <h2>1. Old Paint</h2> <p>Unless you're very lucky, you will never buy exactly the right amount of paint you need for a project. There's always some left over, whether it's a quarter of the can, or a full can that's unreturnable. Either way, you'll most likely let this old paint sit on a shelf for a few years, knowing it will be there to touch up the wall. Of course, a few years pass by, and you repaint the wall. If you have these orphan cans of paint in your garage, they can be a fire hazard; they also go off quicker in garages than inside the home. It's time to dispose of them safely. You cannot just dump them, as these paints contain hazardous chemicals. Instead, visit your local hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot. They will be happy to recycle that paint for you.</p> <h2>2. Files and Paperwork</h2> <p>You may not have much use for them, but an identity thief can have a field day with documentation. If you have decided to keep boxes of bills, personal letters, government notices, and other items in your garage, you are keeping it in the most unsafe room in your house. Garages are very easy to break into, and you do not want to risk anyone accessing this stuff. It's better to scan it and shred it, or if it's really no use, just go straight to shredding.</p> <p>Most copy and office supply stores will be happy to take your old papers for shredding, for a fee.</p> <h2>3. Armchairs and Cushions</h2> <p>You bought a new sofa, so you decided to keep the old one in the garage. Hey, you never know, it may come in handy for that man cave one day. This is not a good idea. That armchair or sofa is a veritable nirvana for mice and rats. They can build nests inside there and hunker down for the winter. They'll happily munch on the foam padding, and have baby mice and rats in the hundreds. This is not something you want to deal with. Do yourself a favor and dump or sell the old seating now, before another family sets up home inside it.</p> <h2>4. Old Motor Oil and Oily Rags</h2> <p>If you change your own oil, you probably have a large container of old oil just waiting to be filled. This is a disaster just waiting to happen. Motor oil is combustible, and as it is no longer needed, it's a waste of space as well. There are various places to recycle this, including many auto parts stores and auto mechanics. Get into the habit of taking the old oil there after every oil change. Yes, it may be easier to let a large container fill up with old oil, but it's not safe. The same applies to oily rags, too. One hint of a flame or spark and they're going up in smoke. Get rid of them, safely.</p> <h2>5. Expired Food</h2> <p>This seems like a no brainer, but it's amazing how many people have a stockpile of old food in his or her garage. It was, of course, intended to be a second pantry. But that shelf is now a mixture of good and not-so-good food items. You need to take the time to go through that food (including the food in the garage fridge) every week and dump the food that is well past its use-by-date. Now, if you're not sure (some foods are good several months after the date printed on the can or bag) do a little googling first. But if in doubt, throw it out.</p> <h2>6. Broken&hellip; Well, Anything</h2> <p>OK, if you're genuinely intending to fix that broken thing soon, then you get a pass. But if it has been gathering dust for 12 months because &quot;when I get the time, I'll fix it,&quot; you need to throw it out. If it was important to you, you'd have fixed it already. If you are just waiting for the right time, you'll never find it.</p> <p>Old junk, broken gadgets, smashed toys, they're all just taking up valuable real estate in your garage. If they're worth something (broken video game consoles can fetch money for parts), sell them on eBay or Craigslist. But really, most broken stuff is just on death row in your garage. Declare the appeals process over.</p> <h2>7. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>It's a safe bet 90% of the books and magazines you have read will never be read again. You are most likely hanging onto them because you don't like getting rid of something you paid money for, or you intend to read them again&hellip; one of these days. Go through those boxes of books and mags now and <em>be ruthless</em>. Then make four piles. Keep, sell, donate, and trash. Some doctors will thank you for magazines that can help the waiting room feel less like a waiting room. Some of those books will fetch a good price online. And if the cover is falling off and the pages are warped from a water spill, dump it.</p> <h2>8. The Shoe Graveyard</h2> <p>Don't deny it; you have one in your garage. These are the shoes that once took pride of place in the shoe rack inside, but over the years they got messy, tattered, or went out of style. Now you keep them in one of those shoe holders on the back of the door, or in an old cupboard next to the bag of damp cement. Put them out of their misery. Throw them into a bag for charity if they still have some years left in them, otherwise dump them today. You won't wear them again, even if you have fond memories of them.</p> <p><em>What are you keeping in your garage that you know you should throw out? What's missing from this list? And what would you never throw away, no matter how often your significant other tells you to? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-this-one-thing-a-day-to-defeat-clutter-forever">Do This One Thing a Day to Defeat Clutter Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-garage">12 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Garage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Organization clutter garage old paint organization Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1251546 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-460315379-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kitchens can easily become cluttered with less-than-useful gadgets, tools, and food items, but it's important to keep your kitchen tidy and organized for the health of your family and for your sanity. Stop fighting rarely used kitchen items for counter space. Get rid of the following things and cook with newfound peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponge</h2> <p>Your sponge is where kitchen germs live and thrive. The moist nooks and crannies are a perfect breeding ground, so switch your sponge out often. Even with a new sponge, microwave it daily in an inch of water for a minute to disinfect. You'll keep from spreading lots of germs all around your kitchen and will help keep your family healthier.</p> <h2>2. Meat Mallet</h2> <p>Tell the truth: how often do you use a meat mallet? Most people use one once in a blue moon, and a number of tools can take its place. Putting the meat between plastic wrap and using a heavy skillet is a good alternative. An unopened canned good and rolling pin are other options.</p> <h2>3. Old Plastic Storage Containers</h2> <p>Studies have shown that plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 and many made before 2010 may contain BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into food. If you own some of these containers, toss them. You can often end up with bottoms and tops that don't match or missing pieces, so throw out or donate any without partners.</p> <h2>4. Panini Press</h2> <p>Make paninis on a daily basis? Then ignore this one. But for most of us, this common wedding registry pick isn't a necessity. You can easily imitate this kitchen gadget using a regular skillet and a heavy skillet or pan (a cast iron skillet works great) to press your sandwich on top.</p> <h2>5. Old Dried Spices</h2> <p>Spices can accumulate, get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and crowd your storage space. But spices don't last forever, and can lose a lot of their flavor after a year or two passes. According to McCormick, <a href="http://mccormick.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11/related/1">ground spices last three to four years</a>, leafy herbs for one to two years, and whole spices for four years. Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker</h2> <p>Unless you are living the dream and making bread on a weekly basis, you probably don't need this clunky appliance. It's awkward to store and isn't required for making homemade bread. Flex those muscles and do a little kneading, get a dough attachment for your mixer or food processor, or try no-knead breads.</p> <h2>7. Jigger</h2> <p>Unless you're an amateur bartender, you don't need this awkward tool crowding your junk drawer. You can use regular measuring spoons, with two tablespoons equaling the small end of a jigger (one ounce) and &frac14; cup equaling the large end of a jigger (two ounces). Or you can just relax. You're at home &mdash; just eyeball it and enjoy.</p> <h2>8. Expired Canned Food</h2> <p>It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but they can actually go bad. Canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months, while other items can last up to five years. Be sure to check your emergency kit and replace those, too.</p> <h2>9. Open Canned Food</h2> <p>Leftover canned foods are easy to store by just leaving them in the can and shoving them in the fridge, but the metal can leach into the food and create a metallic taste. This is especially common with acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes. Take the time to transfer your leftovers into a storage container and you'll be rewarded with better tasting food.</p> <h2>10. Toaster Oven</h2> <p>This appliance takes up a lot of valuable counter space without making up for it. If you're a frequent toaster, get a more compact and easily storable toaster. Everything else can be done in the oven, and if you only make toast now and again, you can do that in the oven, too.</p> <h2>11. Rice Cooker</h2> <p>Most people don't cook enough rice to make this large appliance worth the storage space. Although you can make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/5-things-you-can-make-in-a-ric-111057">a few other things</a> with it, it's largely a unitasker. Rice can easily be made on the stovetop or even in the oven, so donating your rice maker is likely the right move.</p> <h2>12. Mandoline</h2> <p>This is another unitasker, and rarely used by most households. Most recipes don't require fruit or vegetables sliced paper thin, making a regular knife more than adequate. Most food processors also offer a mandoline attachment.</p> <h2>13. Pastry Bag</h2> <p>Unless you are making cakes and fancy desserts left and right (and if you are&hellip; can I come over?), you can easily create your own pastry bag with a plastic freezer bag. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners, attach the tip, spoon in your filling, and close the top. You can also use a cone of parchment paper wrapped closed and folded down at the top.</p> <h2>14. Electric Kettle</h2> <p>If you're a heavy tea drinker, then ignore this tip. Otherwise, a stovetop kettle doesn't take that much longer and doesn't take up space on your counter. Donate this one.</p> <h2>15. Leftovers</h2> <p>Leftovers always start with good intentions, but can often end up pushed to the back of your refrigerator. Periodically clean out your fridge, and get rid of leftovers that are more than a few days old. They can contain bacteria and cause illness, and simply aren't worth the risk. Always throw out food that has become moldy.</p> <p><em>What's cluttering up your kitchen?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter declutter kitchen kitchen gadgets Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1248293 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Where to Cash in Your Clutter http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-where-to-cash-in-your-clutter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-where-to-cash-in-your-clutter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-suitcase-laptop-495209323-small.jpg" alt="woman suitcase laptop" title="woman suitcase laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some helpful articles on where to cash in your clutter, things you didn&rsquo;t know about procrastination and how to cure it, and travel tips for infrequent fliers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2014/10/20/6-places-can-cash-clutter.html">6 Places You Can Cash in Your Clutter</a> &mdash; Need some extra cash? Threadflip buys (and sells) second-hand brand-name clothing in good condition. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Stop-Chronic-Procrastination-21784767">What You Never Knew About Procrastination and How to Cure It</a> &mdash; Set up a reward system to push yourself to complete the tasks that you dread. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/fourteen-travel-tips-infrequent-fliers/">Fourteen Travel Tips for Infrequent Fliers</a> &mdash; Before you park your car at the airport, look for nearby garages with better rates. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneybluebook.com/money-moves-career-change.html/">3 Money Moves to Make Before a Career Change</a> &mdash; Build up your emergency fund; it'll come in handy if there's a lag between the last paycheck from your old job and the first paycheck from your next one. [Money Blue Book]</p> <p><a href="http://www.terrystarbucker.com/2014/10/19/quickest-path-building-trust-just-6-big-steps/">The Quickest Path to Building Trust &ndash; In Just 6 (Big) Steps</a> &mdash; Build trust by being a &quot;doer,&quot; not a &quot;talker.&quot; [Terry St. Marie]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/important-get-out-debt/">The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Get Out of Debt</a> &mdash; To ensure you get out of debt and STAY out, you need to change your money habits &mdash; stop debt spending. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/ways-to-give/">Searching for More Ways to Give? Check Out These 6 New Charitable Platforms</a> &mdash; When you shop through websites like We-Care.com and GoodShop.com, a portion of your payment is automatically donated to the charity of your choice. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-interactive-books-your-children-will-love">4 Interactive Books Your Children Will Love</a> &mdash; Celebrate the holidays with the lift-the-tab, 50th anniversary edition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/encouragement-for-difficult-times-keep-going/">5 Things to Do When You&rsquo;re Discouraged Beyond Measure</a> &mdash; When times are tough, it's important to keep looking at the big picture. Think about where you were 5 or 10 years ago, and remind yourself how far you've come! [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/pay-off-debt-freelancer/">How to Pay Off Debt as a Self-Employed Solopreneur or Freelancer</a> &mdash; Instead of putting a set dollar amount towards debt each month, use a percentage so the amount will go up or down with your monthly income. [Careful Cents]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-where-to-cash-in-your-clutter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-in-your-garage-you-should-throw-out-today">8 Things in Your Garage You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-wont-ever-use-again-and-should-throw-out-today">12 Things You Won&#039;t Ever Use Again and Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Affording Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips clutter Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1241959 at http://www.wisebread.com