Ode to my blue jeans

Blue jeans, oh blue jeans.

Why’d you have to get so tight?

You were my favorite pair

and now you don’t fit quite right.

 

Blue jeans, lovely blue jeans.

Maybe I’ll just wait a while.

Surely I’ll drop a few pounds.

Just let me live here in denial.

 

Blue jeans, lonely blue jeans.

Relegated to the high shelf.

Just sitting there collecting dust,

much like that Christmas elf.

 

Blue jeans, old blue jeans.

I waited too long a time.

Stored you, moved you, wasted space,

it should have been a crime.

 

Blue jeans, donated blue jeans.

Much better with you gone.

Feeling lighter, wardrobe smaller.

A good way to end this song.

 

Seriously, don’t hold onto something because it may fit one day or come back in style one day.  Donate it; there is someone who can wear it and does need it. Today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dive In

As kids, most of us did not put much thought into the planning part of an activity. Deep end of the pool?  Cannonball!  New board game? Let’s dump it all out on the floor and go from there.

As adults, I think we sometimes put too much planning into an activity, so much so that the planning of an activity becomes its own activity.  This can happen a lot in organizing. People try to plan each detail beforehand, and then they get overwhelmed and never actually start. Others have absolutely no idea where to begin and give up.  The kid-you would be ashamed!  The kid-you would tell the you-you to get on it and just DIVE IN.

As most people read this, they will have an area in mind. For some it will be the pantry,  and for others it will be the attic or garage. For me, it was the spare bedroom closet complete with a hodge-podge of things that didn’t go anywhere else like luggage, golf clubs, the vacuum cleaner, etc. I hated that closet. I could feel it laughing at me, taunting me. Then, one day I went in there to get something and just started pulling everything out!  I would love to say that it was easy and that all it took was just getting started but alas, no.  What I can say is that there is a time when this approach is the best thing as long as you keep a few things in mind.

1. You will create a big mess. One look around may have you heading for the door, but you can do it.
2. A little patience is required. You might be tempted to throw away or donate all of it. Be careful. I have taken this road and gotten rid of something precious by mistake.
3. Keep in mind your end goal. Is it getting organized, purging unwanted things, or just figuring out what you have?
4. When you begin to put things back in place, always keep the most frequently used items in the handiest spots.
5. Do not give up! Power through until all of it is put back into place (or the donate pile or the trash).  Most often, if you take a break and then try to come back to it, say tomorrow, it won’t happen.

Go! Dive in!

What’s it worth to you?

Imagine that you got paid to be you.  Not work you, but personal you.  For simplicity’s sake,  let’s posit that you make $20 an hour when you are at home – doing the dishes, watching TV – whatever you do when you are at home. Your time is worth $20 an hour in this scenario.

In this scenario that also means you would be paid $20/hour to: look for your keys, dig through clothes you don’t want to get to the ones you do, search through the random papers on your desk for a bank statement, or shuffle around the kitchen looking for your special coffee mug.  How much time do you spend (waste) on those activities?  An hour a month? An hour a week? What if it’s an hour a day?  Is it worth it?  That’s a lot of questions.

I would prefer to be paid $20 to drink a cup of coffee by the window looking at the sunshine and petting my cat rather than looking for the cup. You may think to yourself that it’s not that bad, but if you quantify it in money, how bad is it really?  Do you throw out $20 a day? We both know that you are not going to take a twenty dollar bill out of your wallet and throw it in the trash.  And yet, that’s what you’re doing when you waste time looking for, digging through, searching out, etc.

Picture your day: You get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, pay bills, make dinner, and watch TV.  Basic day.

Now picture this day:  You get up and dig through your closet. You want to wear that shirt, but it has a hole in the arm, so you would have to wear a cardigan to cover it up. You can’t wear those pants, they’re a little sung and that shirt wouldn’t hide that.  Finally, you get dressed, but you don’t really feel like you’re rocking that look today.  You go to work, remember that you have an important meeting, and think “Damn, I wish I felt better about my appearance today.”  You come home from work and sit down at your desk to pay bills.  First, you need to organize these papers. Crap, is that a bank statement from two months ago?  Did I balance the checkbook?  I can’t pay the bills until I balance the checkbook.  Are these all the bills that need to be paid?  You feel like you’re missing one, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.  Your stomach starts growling, and a look at the clock shows it’s 7:30.  You haven’t started dinner yet and you’re starving. You decide to make a salad, but you can’t find the vegetable peeler for the carrots. You use a knife to peel the carrots, which is messy, and then you cut yourself.  After huffing around the kitchen, you eat your damn salad and then just go to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

It probably sounds more dramatic than what actually happens, but if you are not organized, this is what your day could look like.  Everyday.

Recycle Me, Recycle Me Not

When you are organizing your abode, you will eventually get to the kitchen. If you are a tree hugging, earth-lovin’, save the planet hippie (like me), then you recycle. And I applaud you.

The problem some people have is that they don’t know what they can recycle, when they can recycle, and where they can recycle. Since Organize This AR is located in Northwest Arkansas (Hallelujah!), the focus of the recycling research was in the four major cities that make up this area: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville.

Using the information from each city’s website, I determined who had the best recycling program for you. This was based on locations, hours of service, and what you could recycle and of course, my own opinion.

BEST

Fayetteville –

Fayetteville has a bin program, so if you live in a 1-4 family residence (basically anything that’s not an apartment) you get a bin to put your recyclables in and you set it by the curb once a week for pick up.  Yay!  But what if you live in an apartment, condo, or dormitory?  Well that’s okay, they have two locations for dropping off recyclable materials! Double Yay!  One site, located on North Street, is open Monday through Saturday 6:00 am to 5:00 pm. The other facility, while not necessarily in a convenient location on Happy Hollow Road in South Fayetteville, is open 24-hours. All the normal recyclable items are accepted: Plastics #1 and 2, newspaper, cardboard, office paper and junk mail, aluminum and tin cans, and glass bottles and jars. 3 ☆ http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/531/Recycling-Trash-Service

Rogers –

Rogers also has curbside recycling, in addition to one location that you can drop off your recyclable materials.  The drop off center is a little out of the way on N Arkansas St but it is open 24-hours a day for normal recyclable items.  The facility also has regular hours Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am to noon.  You can use these hours if you have questions or need help.  Rogers accepts the following items: plastics #1 and 2, newspaper, cardboard, magazines, catalogs, phone books, office paper and junk mail, chipboard, aluminum and tin cans, styrofoam, and glass bottles and jars.  2 1/2 ☆ http://rogersar.gov/401/Rogers-Recycling-Center

Bentonville –

Three for three! Bentonville also has curbside recycling. In fact, the city gives you two carts!  If you need to take your recycling, there is a trailer on site at the city’s Compost Facility.  The facility is open Tuesday through Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Bentonville’s recycle list is a little more extensive than the other cities: aluminum cans, trays, and foil, plastics # 1 and 2, newspaper, cardboard, brown paper bags, magazines, catalogs, phone books, office paper and junk mail, chipboard, paperback books, and electronics.   2 1/2 ☆ http://www.bentonvillear.com/departments/utility-billing-collections/solid-waste-recycling/recycling-program

WORST

Springdale –

What is this city thinking?!?  The recycling is out sourced to Boston Mountain Solid Waste, which has multiple drop off places but only on Monday and Thursday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. What!?  They accept most of the normal recyclables: plastics # 1 and 2, newspaper, cardboard, magazines, catalogs, phone books, office paper and junk mail, chipboard, and aluminum and tin cans. This does depend on what drop off spot you go to – check their map first.  No ☆  http://www.springdalear.gov/department/public_works_(street_department)/household_hazardous_waste_disposal.php

That’s it folks! Let’s save the planet and hope that some of our cities catch up. ♻️