Thursday, December 11, 2008

Organizing Myself (and not in that gauche community organizer way)

From the messy but happy home of JessTrev.

So, I've been offline more than not for the past week (and holy smokes, are you following the Tammany-Hall craziness in Illinois?! I cannot believe I missed the first 24 hours of that meltdown). Anyhoo, I've been engaging in this business some people must attend to nearly constantly, as far as I can tell, being a neophyte to it and all: organizing. What the heck does this have to do with being more green? Well, reuse and consumption reduction may just depend on knowing what all is in your little world. Second, it seems like everything I want to do (for environmental and health reasons) takes just a little bit more planning and time. I'm hoping that actually filing my paperwork and keeping on the Freecycle path will free me up to think about things that matter.

Like making homemade stock. Raking all my leaves and stashing some for my brown compost needs. Planting bulbs so spring will be riotous. Reading books about the human digestive system with my five year old. Getting our Christmas stuff out of the attic. Making a birthday banner for my little boy. Heading to sewing class. OK, and a little of the worky-work.

Part of my organizing frenzy included a trip to the library (bear with me) to return some (cough) well-loved and perhaps months-overdue books. Sigh. Anyways, my small but enthusiastic large-print reader (read: display dismantler) limited my reach on the way from the children's section to the checkout desk. Even with my orangutan arms, I couldn't manage to scavenge any adult reading past the cookbooks. Except...a Real Simple book! Exactly my kind of decompression. (I am kind of an organizing blog junkie. UnClutterer, DeClutter It! how I love you.)

SO, I thought I would note that quite a few of the Real Simple tips are so groovy and cost-effective and actually green. My total favorite that I implemented last week:

*To keep your soap from getting slimy and soupy, put a bunch of rocks (I chose tumbled ones from my great uncle that make me smile every time I seem them) into your soap dish.

Other random fave:

*Alternative to bleach for whitening a porcelain sink: hydrogen peroxide (1 cup, fill er up, let sit for an hour).

Now, if anyone could explain to me how to go paperless without spending hours in front of a scanner! Hope you're feeling calm and organized as we head toward the shortest day of the year. It's helping combat the dismay I'm feeling at five in the afternoon when my daylight slips away.


Green Bean said...

Like the rock in the soapdish trick.

I hear ya on being organized. I do think that part of living green means being more organized. You need to plan just a little bit ahead to line dry the clothes, bike to an errand, realize what you already own so you don't need to buy more, bake your own bread or muffins. The list goes on. Hats off to you for being organized. I will say I'm normally very organized but in December?!? All bets are usually off.

Susannah said...

Whenever I'm going through an organizing phase and clearing clutter, I remember the fantastic essay by Marjorie Williams on the debut of Real Simple in 2000. Williams's real simple tip for moms: black trash bags. You can stalk your child's clutter, stuff the junk into it, and nobody is the wiser when the bag is curbside.

I found the essay on Google Books and highly recommend reading the whole book, Woman at the Washington Zoo

kidletsmum said...

My scummy soap trick is a magnetic soap holder... sorta like this one...

I love organizing too. I'm a librarian. I'm an order and organization junkie.

Anonymous said...

You could also use chopsticks to make a soap holder that will allow the soap to dry underneath.

I don't think you can get rid of the scanner but most places that allow you to get your bill online will allow you to download them in pdf files so you can save them directly to your hard drive.

JessTrev said...

Wow - thanks for all the tips, folks.

GB, it figures that you are normally very organized, cause you generally just blow me away. I am normally *not* so I will be taking notes!

Susannah - that is a very humorous tip (I keep telling Freecyclers - you can have this but you must have a poker face in front of my kids). More excellent book recs? Not sure if anything can top Stiff!

Kidletsmum - ingenious device. Love it!

badhuman - I've seen those chopstick DIYs and think they are a great idea... also need to get on the online bill delivery, you are so right.

Tx all!

Nora Bee said...

I think they make scanners that take a stack of papers at once. Great list!


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