Finding the best way to recycle your clutter - Metro US

Finding the best way to recycle your clutter

Recycling is simply a part of everyday life. Well, it is for my moving-and-downsizing-business, anyway.

I remember the time years back when I was a recycling greenhorn: I admit that I had a lot to learn. I’d think, for instance, “What’s the big deal if I throw out some magazines in the trash?”

Well, that was then, and now I’m informed. Fortunately, I’m in the position to teach many clients the most environmentally friendly ways to disburse their excess contents.

Last week, I was dumbfounded when I realized that a client was completely oblivious to recycling at home. This woman is an educated, successful business owner with a lot of stuff, and like many of my clients, she has issues letting go of things.

Her reasoning follows an old way of thinking. She’ll say, “Why throw it out? It’s not broken, and you never know.” But at the same time, she can admit she’ll never, ever use the item in question again. With gentle nudging, I was able to help her part with things that she no longer needed, used or fit into, as well as things that didn’t work or had expired.

She didn’t deal with change well and she found the new recycling routine confusing. So we implemented a very simple bin system under her sink to accommodate her daily kitchen recycling. The system is easy to use, but the real motivator was the threat of the city fining households that don’t recycle.

It’s great to be generous with charities when you’re editing household contents. But it’s very important to remember that the charities usually don’t have resources to fix or clean your much-less-than-perfect items. So please ensure the items are in good working order and that the specific charity is accepting such items before you donate them.

One issue many of you might be able to relate to is the security concern over recycling mail, bills and any other documents that contain personal information. Unfortunately, identity theft is a real concern, so using a paper shredder is a great safeguard. For large volumes, I suggest using a mobile shredding company. They’ll shred your bags and boxes of papers onsite; it’s affordable and very quick.

Bring your organizing questions and come out and meet me at the International Home And Garden Show, March 15 to 19, www.internationalhomeshow.ca.

Brenda Borenstein is your professional organizing guru. Look for her column every second Tuesday in Metro, in the home fashion section. For more tips and ideas, visit www.organizedzone.comor call 416-665-2165. Brenda has organized hundreds of homes and says, “There is nothing I haven’t seen and nothing that can’t be overcome.”


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