Tis the Season for Trash – or Not

dump giftAccording to the EPA, Americans generate 25% more trash than usual between Thanksgiving and New Years. That’s about an additional 25 million tons.* We’re talking a LOT of empty containers of eggnog and canned yams! Not to mention all the cards, paper and gift boxes that still get thrown in the garbage instead of the recycle bin. This season, make a promise and an effort to gift Mother Earth. Here are a few ways to start: Read more.

*EPA Source – Consumer Reports December 2015

Repurpose Your Wine Tote – Tip #1

toteYou don’t have to be a wine drinker to appreciate those cute tote bags. Everyone from Trader Joe’s to Fred Meyer offers bottle carrier bags in a variety of materials and patterns. I find the pocketed totes perfect for storing/transporting any number of things. First tip: shoes. These make for great portable shoe bags. Holds three pairs with each shoe getting its own pocket. For optimum protection, place clean shoe heel in first with sole facing out. Works best with low heels/flats/sandals. Tote fits easily into a closet for storage or in the back seat of your car for travel. Eco note: Whether they are poly or jute, reusable bags only help the environment if they are reUSED a lot. Be sure you get the most mileage from yours by thinking creatively and acting resourcefully. Thank you for helping to make the earth a clearer place.

HP Instant Ink is a Clear Deal

inkI love smart technology that works with you and the planet. HP Instant Ink is one of those ideas that makes sense. Register online, pick your plan (I went with the $4.99 per month option but can change at any time) and get printing. They track your usage and ship your ink when you need it before you run out. No worries about picking the right replacement at the store. Cartridges are recycled. Ink is cheaper. HP quality. What’s not to like? Check it out. HP Instant Ink

Clear Your Desk in Simple Steps

Before and After: Happy client in NW PDX gets her space back.
Before and After: Happy client in NW PDX gets her desk space back.

Put a positive spin on tax week by using the time to clear your space of paper clutter. Sorting can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s an abbreviated approach to my usual ACP Sorting guideline to get you started:

Put two paper grocery bags on the floor by your desk/counter. Label bags: KEEP and GOES. Depending on how high the piles, you may want to use boxes instead of bags. Sort items into one of the above categories. Aim for 80% or more of the stuff to go. Continue this process until surface is cleared. It may require several trips to the recycle curb and that’s ok. No judgments here. Unless you are involved in a litigation, bankruptcy or other legal process, anything dated older than 6 months goes. If you are undecided about an item, put it in the KEEP bag temporarily. Next, go through the KEEP bag and take out anything that can be regifted or donated (calendars, stationery, office supplies). Keep only what is current and absolutely necessary to have on hand for your lifestyle. Then designate a place for each of your KEEP items i.e. a file folder, plastic bin. Make sure those containers are labeled and within easy access. Limit your surface display to three items only and resist the temptation to set anything else down on your now clear desk top.

EXTRA: Shift the energy by placing a stem or two of fresh flowers on your desk. A small plant works well, too. Use glass objects to reflect natural light and brighten your work area. Include a smile factor like a favorite card or small toy. Finally, let go of the fear factor. Most of our paper clutter comes from credit card and bank statements and receipts. With today’s online banking and digital records, there’s very little that can’t be replaced if need be. If you’re still unsure about purging paper, here’s a good guideline to help ease the letting go – Receipts: Which to Keep.

Gifting Green is a Clear Choice

winter designACP Deck the halls! I’m celebrating the season with FREE earth friendly gift wrap for all holiday orders. So just what makes these ACP Wisdom Cards so special?  Click here to find out why these decks are the perfect way to gift green!

No Blame, No Shame HOUSE CALL

Introducing House Call options from A CLEAR PLACE! No blame, no shame one-on-one private consultation by Jane Green, author, teacher and creator of A CLEAR PLACE and STUFFication© workshops. Expert advice in using what you have in a better way and letting go of what isn’t working for you. Lighthearted, tough love for you and your space. The doctor is in!

Choose from 60 minute or 30 minute phone consultation OR email photos of your challenge for a focused quick fix. You can also combine the options.

I designed the House Call to give people a fresh pair of eyes and expert insight while maintaining their privacy.  This can eliminate the guilt trip, the excuses and putting off what needs to get done.  It’s surprising how much comfort and reassurance can be shared with just one phone call. Wheels start turning, challenges dissolve and rooms come into focus once the “Green” light is on.

House Calls make great gifts, too.  Ideal for weddings, holidays, birthdays or new home. View consultation options and purchase on Etsy.

Consignment Tips from A Clear Place

A Clear PlaceA recent visit with shop owner, Judy Gulledge of Upscale Consignment in SE PDX has prompted me to do another update of my consignment tip sheet. Click on the link at the end of this post to download the latest version of this handy pdf file giving you new store information along with the proven guidelines for  “What, How and Where” when consigning your stuff. Happy clearing and good luck!

“Where do I consign my stuff?” That’s one of the most common questions I’m asked in clearing work. The answer, however, has more layers to it than just where. You also have to consider what and how. I’ve put together a nifty Consignment Tip Sheet to address all three. Every city I’ve traveled to has consignment stores with items ranging from high end to low brow. If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland metro area, there are some great choices for consigning furniture, fashion and jewelry. But even if you live outside the City of Roses, my CTS (Consignment Tip Sheet) has helpful hints on deciding what is good consignment material and how to prepare your items to help ensure a higher dollar return. Click here to get the pdf file: Consignment Tips from A Clear Place

Wishing for Volunteers

dessertHow’d you like to be around scrumptious food like this and help a great cause at the same time? If you live in the Portland metro area, here’s an opportunity. Albertina Kerr needs volunteers, especially servers for their restaurant in NE PDX. Albertina’s Restaurant features Northwest-inspired cuisine in a garden setting serving lunch/brunch Mon thru Sat. Also on site is the Kerr’s Economy Jar (antiques consignment), Albertina’s Jewel Box (gift shop for jewelry/accessories), and the Kerr Thrift Shop (clothing for men & women/household items) – all run by volunteers!  All proceeds and tips help support the work of Albertina Kerr, which strengthens Oregon families and communities by helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges – empowering them to live richer lives.  Click here for information about volunteer opportunities. Click here to read a recent Oregonian article featuring the restaurant, it’s new chef and the history behind the famous Kerr name.

Click here for a free pdf of my Consigning Your Stuff – Top Tips for Portland Area ( including Kerr Economy Jar).

Resale with a Mission

GHM-boutique-3200 Need a place to donate your purged closet items? GHM in SW PDX welcomes them. Looking for a boutique experience at thrift store prices? Put GHM on your list. What a delightful little place. Clean, bright, odor-free (no stinky floral potpourri) and well-organized, tastefully displayed merchandise. It helps that the shop formerly housed a frame gallery and provides lots of natural lighting. It also helps that the young manager knows her stuff and has an artistic flair for fashion. All the clothing is sized and arranged by color. Everything from shoes to handbags to jeans is in excellent condition and priced to sell. Tanya greets customers with a warm smile and eagerly shares the story of the shop and its mission. All the items are donated with donors receiving a 20% discount off their purchase as a special thank you along with a tax receipt. The shop also has great half-off sales on a regular basis. (I snagged a stylish bustier by My Boyfriend’s Back for just $12.50.)  Donate your gently used clothing and accessories (men’s apparel, too) directly at the store located at 4711 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, PDX 97221. Store hours are Tues-Fri 10 to 5 and Sat 10 to 4. Phone: 503-265-8613.  (The shop is tucked down a slope and hard to see from the road. Watch for the pink and white sign on the north side of the road.) Visit the GHM Facebook page.

Note: Donations that are not accepted for the boutique are transferred to other metro area agencies including Dress for Success and Blanchet House. GHM stands for Gung Ho Ministries, a non-profit with a focus on transitional housing for homeless vets in the metro area. They currently provide food, toiletries and spiritual support to the homeless and working poor “Under the Bridge” near Old Town. Visit the website to learn more.

Breasts Deserve a Good Home

brasIf you are like most women, you don’t give much thought to your bra. You have one maybe two and wear them to a frazzle. Your breasts deserve better treatment. Why would you choose to cover your heart with something frayed? Make a point of treating yourself right and get a new bra this week (under wire free, please). While you are at it, pick up a bra to donate to Free The Girls – a wonderful program (that I just learned about) dedicated to keeping young girls out of prostitution. Why bras? Find out here. Are you a “on second thought” gal with a drawer full of bras you bought and then decided you didn’t really like? Donate those, too. Any gently worn style is welcome. Visit the website to find donation sites near you. If you live in the Vancouver area, Camas Antiques is collecting bras now through April 15th for the CW Soroptimist group who will send the donations to Free The Girls. Note: Thanks to my friend, Karen, for passing this donation opportunity along.