Good morning sunshine!

This is not an April Fools’ joke. This really is the most confusing day of the year (if you’re a resident of NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS or SA). The clocks went back one hour at 3am as Daylight Saving came to an end, so it’s actually only 7:15am on the East coast (6:45am in Adelaide) not 8:15am. But, most of you can’t just roll over and enjoy your extra hour of sleep… there’s a certain Easter Bunny 🐇 situation that requires your attention!

And while you’re at it, please remember to change the battery in your smoke alarms, and perhaps replace your toothbrush, dish cloth, vacuum cleaner bag, water filter, mascara and any other similarly neglected items in your home. Then, you can have a sleep-in. No joke.

Unless you’re a parent of young children. Then you get nothing… sorry. (Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone)!

From my family to yours, Happy Easter.

Advertisements

We have NOT gone fishin’!

melissa-walker-horn-605716-unsplashEaster and the school holidays is often a busy time for most people. Lots of family get-togethers, an opportunity to finish that lingering DIY job around the house or perhaps to go camping and get away from it all. But for some, it’s an opportunity to get organised whilst you have a few days off work and perhaps some kids around to help or some help to mind the kids!

little miss sorted is open and taking appointments for the whole of Easter & throughout the school holidays to support you in getting organised when it suits you, but get in fast as spaces are filling up quick!

I’ve already got bookings for one Saturday night, Easter Monday and throughout the holidays. Not many other Professional Organisers offer an out-of-hours service like this and even less if any offer an out-of-hours service without a surcharge, so this really is a fantastic time to get help if it’s something you’ve been considering.

However you choose to spend your Easter, may it be a very happy, peaceful and safe time.

signature

Community Announcement

msfin

MSFIn-standards

little miss sorted aims to provide a decluttering service that is as environmentally sustainable as possible, supports our local community and provides a high level of service to our valued customers.

As part of our desire to continuously improve in these areas, we have recently reviewed our clutter disposal policy and are pleased to announce that going forward we will be a mobile collection point for items that you wish to donate to Mums Supporting Families in Need. What this means is we will happily deliver to the MSFIN warehouse on behalf of our clients, any items earmarked as suitable for donation. We are also willing to collect donations from our followers and supporters when we are next in your area. Simply email sophie@littlemisssorted.com to arrange a pick-up or check the Service page on our website for further details.

We hope this changes makes you feel better about letting go of quality items that no longer serve you, knowing they will live on in the hands of someone in need whilst giving you the space you crave.

What’s in your garage?

NOW 2018 image

Welcome to Day 7 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:

Garage Clutter

The garage is often home for everything but your car. Car parts, boxes that haven’t been unpacked from 2 house moves ago, all the things you’re “definitely” going to repair, craft supplies you will use one day but can’t fit in your house at the moment, baby gear “just in case”, tax papers from fifteen years ago that you’ll sort out one day and all the amazing art your children have brought home since they were 4. And sometimes there’s even some junk that’s actually been earmarked to go but hasn’t quite made it out the door yet… It all makes for a cluttered mess and when the time comes to turf it, a serious health and environmental hazard if not disposed properly.

The World Health Organisation say that stockpiles of waste tyres sent to countries like Vietnam has caused the spread of Dengue Fever and other mosquito borne diseases by providing a perfect breeding ground. But recycled, they are useful for making sporting & playground surfaces, brake pads, insulation and constructing roads and drains among other things.

Another big problem is batteries. Australia has one of the lowest battery recycling rates in the world. Each year, over 300 million household batteries are thrown away with ordinary waste, meaning a staggering 8,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill. Batteries leech toxic metals into the ground which contaminates our soil and finds its way into our water systems.

Top Tips to sustainably declutter the garage

  • Hazardous waste should never go into landfill. Check out this blog post for destinations for most types of rubbish including making use of your council hard rubbish collection service which is often your best friend when it comes to cleaning out a garage
  • Determine what is of no use to you, and what is of no use to anyone. Donate the former and ensure the latter is sent to its proper destination. The RecycleNearYou website is a great resource
  • Anything sentimental or of value should never be stored in the garage, where temperatures can vary wildly. If it’s important, it deserves a place in your house

Top Tips to organise the garage

  • Create zones for the different types of things you keep in your garage, such as tools, gardening equipment, car paraphernalia, sports gear, outdoor living and the like. Store like things together and ensure small items are contained
  • Keep the floor clear as much as possible by utilising vertical space. Shelving along a wall, hooks, brackets and even rafters are important to make the most of this space whilst still being able to park your car here
  • Create a dedicated area for items that are ready to be donated or disposed of. Don’t make it too big. That way, when it is full, you are reminded to empty it (regularly) in order to make more space

Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering the garage:

ITEM

DESTINATION

Chemicals, paint, batteries, fluros, etc Detox your home collects items throughout the year at various locations. Use this link to find a date, time and location near you and to see what they accept

Battery World accepts all types of batteries

Aldi accepts household batteries  (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sizes)

Sports/Playground equipment Progress Pikinini donates suitable items to children and schools in need in Vanuatu
Furniture suitable for a classroom such as desks, large tables and chairs Progress Pikinini
Old tyres Tyrecycle is one company recycling used car tyres. Check the list of participating retailers on their website to ensure the place you get your tyres changed is committed to recycling them, or if they’re not on the list, ask them before you book in.
Bicycles Bicycles for Humanity
Cars Kids Under Cover
Tents & Swags Rumbalara
Everything else 1800-got-junk? is a handy resource for your back pocket. They will remove your unwanted item (whatever it is and from wherever it is) and take it away. They divert as much as possible from landfill and you pay based on the amount of truck space you use. Considering it includes two men with lifting power this is often a very good solution when you just don’t know what to do with your unwanted stuff or can’t move something yourself

These resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

Today is the last day of National Organising Week and our week-long sustainable decluttering challenge. Congratulations on making it to the end and I hope you’ve learnt something new and got a little closer to finding your Organised Sweet Spot.

Getting organised is not a one-time event. It’s a life long journey that requires your ongoing commitment and prioritisation, much like you health and garden. At the end of the day, its a choice between the stuff or the space. There is no right or wrong choice, but it is important to acknowledge you can only have one or the other and to work out what the right balance is for you.

If you want to maintain momentum on your decluttering journey and would like one-on-one help with sorting your space, please call or email me for an obligation free chat. There is no pressure to take any action right now, but it is always empowering to know your options for when you are ready. I can do in-person consultations in Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and West Gippsland. I also have a brilliant & trusted colleague based in the Gold Coast for our Northern Friends in Brisbane, Northern NSW or anywhere in between. So whenever you are ready for more time and space, we are ready & waiting.

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

Conquering kiddie clutter

NOW 2018 image

Welcome to Day 6 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:

Kids’ Clutter

Kids today think they need a new pair of shoes when the shoe-lace is frayed*. This is the throw-away society we have become. The toy industry is worth over $20billion in the U.S. alone and growing. Unfortunately, so is its impact on the environment. Plastic toys make up 90% of this and are notoriously hard to recycle with most ending up in landfill. Not only that, but often the batteries do too. A double-whammy for our planet.

 

Top Tips to sustainably declutter kids’ stuff

  • Start by thinking about your acquiring. Do you really need another toy, book or item of clothing? And if you do, can you buy it second-hand? Also consider the amount and type of packaging and the materials that the item is made from before you hand over your plastic for more plastic
  • Landfill should be a last resort. Wherever possible, pass your toys, clothes & other kids’ stuff on to friends and family or donate or sell them. Also consider whether a broken toy or piece of clothing can be repaired. Most cities have a doll hospital or something similar to restore the life to many a toy and clothing can often be repaired (by someone handy if you’re not)
  • Don’t hold on to items just for sentimental reasons. Take a photo as a memory and move it on

“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.”― Phyllis Diller

 

Top Tips to organise kids’ stuff

  • Give everything a home. Although it mightn’t spend much time there, it means you could theoretically put everything away if the Queen (or your mother-in-law) was coming
  • Don’t have every toy you own accessible to your children all the time. Have a space set aside for a selection of toys you’re happy for the kids to access and store everything else up high or out of sight. Rotate them every so often to keep them interested and the amount of potential clutter limited
  • Use open baskets or containers stored low so the kids can help you put things away. Have a pack-up song that you play or sing to signal that it’s time to put everything away. It might take some time to establish this as a cue but it really works. Little children can’t read so save your labels for the pantry. A photo on the outside is a better way to show what belongs in each basket

 

Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering kids’ clutter:

ITEM

DESTINATION

Soft toys in new or lightly used condition suitable for under 3 years of age only  

MSFIN

 

Books in English including storybooks, picture books, colouring books (unused), textbooks of any subject; for all ages and reading abilities.

Stationery e.g. writing materials, paper pads, notebooks, art supplies (coloured pencils, paint, etc.), rulers, erasers, etc.

School supplies e.g. backpacks, drink bottles, lunch boxes

Bedlinen, clothes for boys and girls of all ages

Progress Pikinini offers a collection service in Melbourne and a drop-off service in the Riverina, NSW. If you live outside these areas, they are worth contacting to see if something can be arranged for your area.
Art & Craft supplies Reverse Art Truck accept donations of your unwanted items – anything that could creatively be used for art & craft. If you’re not in Melbourne, try Reverse Garbage or your local childcare centre or kinder
Used toys & clothes MSFIN accept lightly used clothes

You can also sell on consignment at places like Kids Warehouse 

If you’re not in Melbourne, most charities accept kids toys & clothes in good used condition

Alternatively, you can go online to places such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or your local buy, swap and sell sites to move items at no cost

Unwanted Nappies – don’t have to be in their packet MSFIN
Batteries Battery World accepts all types of batteries for recycling including button batteries

Aldi accepts household batteries  (AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sizes)

Old blankets Animal shelters such as the Lost Dogs’ Home
Toy Library Toy libraries are a great way to access just about any toy you can think of without having to buy it, permanently store it, or get rid of it when the kids no longer use it. The Frankston Toy Library is a great local resource that we use but many councils throughout Australia offer this service

These resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge. Well done for sticking with it! Tomorrow we venture into the deep dark corners of your garage. I’ll have lots of hints, tips and resources to help you safely declutter your unwanted items from that zone. It’s also your last chance to drop your unwanted items to me for sustainable recycling. Here’s where you’ll find me:

Sun 11th March
Sandbox CafĂ© – Sandhurst Golf Club
75 Sandhurst Blvd, Sandhurst
10-11am

*The shoe-lace story is based on an actual conversation with one of my children… eek! Do you have a story like this? Share below – no judgment here.

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

Have you got the bathroom blues?

NOW 2018 image

Welcome to Day 5 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:

The Bathroom – Hazard or Haven?

Bathrooms are an underrated danger zone for our children and the environment alike so it’s really important that we get this zone decluttered and organised safely.

  • In Australia, 50 children are admitted to hospital every week as a result of poisoning. In many cases this involves the consumption of medicines that are not intended for them. This doesn’t account for children treated in out-patients, by a GP or near-misses
  • More than 500 tonnes of medicines find their way into our waterways and landfill every year
  • Globally, travelers and hotels throw away an estimated five million bars of waste or unused soap to landfill every day

 

Top Tips to sustainably declutter your bathroom

  • Put together a few sets of nice towels, and perhaps keep a few older ones for flooding emergencies but donate the rest
  • Thrown out any crusty products or anything you don’t know what it is or where it’s been. This includes make-up more than a year old. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs whatever you put on it. Don’t risk it!
  • Medicine is dangerous at the best of times. Expired medicine should not be kept. Anything past its use-by date should be taken to your local chemist for safe disposal. All chemists are required to accept expired medicines
    • Don’t flush medicines down the toilet. Sewerage plants can’t treat all
      chemicals in waste water, resulting in contamination of waterways
    • Don’t pour medicines down the sink. Household medicines contain highly
      soluble chemicals which can harm aquatic life when they enter our water system
    • Don’t throw medicines into the garbage bin. Household medicines disposed of this way end up in exposed landfill sites

 

Top Tips to organise your bathroom

  • Store like things together such as makeup, towels, shaving needs, hygiene products, hair accessories, showering, dental, soaps, perfumes etc
  • Caddies or dividers inside your drawers helps to keep small things organised, such as makeup & hair accessories whilst keeping them accessible. Larger clear containers work better for things in cupboards that you have a lot of or are storing for use when things run out
  • Keep medicines out of reach of children. Storing medicines in an airtight container, with a lockable-style lid up high is ideal and it really doesn’t matter which room – as long as it is safely out of reach and everyone who needs to access it knows where it is

 

Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering your bathroom:

ITEM

DESTINATION

Unopened/unused toiletries, cosmetics & hygiene products, inc hotel size Dress for Success is a global organisation with a branch right here on the Mornington Peninsula

Fitted for Work

MSFIN

In addition to their “It’s in the bag” November campaign mentioned in yesterday’s post, Share the Dignity runs Dignity Drives every April & August collecting feminine hygiene products for women experiencing homelessness or financial crisis

Otherwise most homeless shelters or refugee centres appreciate these items all year round

Unwanted inflight amenity kits, cosmetic and make-up samples Every Little Bit Helps

ELBH also accepts hotel toiletries

Hotel toiletries Pinchapoo
Used contact lenses & blister packs Terracycle
Empty aerosol cans Recycle (kerbside)
Expired/unwanted medication Your local chemist is equipped to accept any medication and ensure it is disposed of safely. It is in no way recycled or reused
Old towels Animal shelters such as the Lost Dogs’ Home
 Hotel Soap via Soap Aid

“…collect, sort, clean and reprocess hotel soap into fresh, hygienic soap bars for distribution to targeted communities around the world”
More than two billion people across the world lack adequate sanitation causing the spread of infectious diseases and hygiene-related deaths. Tragically, 1.4 million children under the age of five die each year due to preventable childhood infectious diseases. Whilst they don’t accept household soap, you can help by supporting hotels that participate in the Soap Aid program, turning waste and unused hotel soap into hygenic soap for countries where children still die from the lack of basic hygiene

Oaks Hotels & Resorts

These resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

I hope you found today’s challenge a little easier. You’ll need all your courage tomorrow as we seek to conquer the mountains of kids’ stuff that tends to seep into every corner of our homes like lava. But don’t worry, I’ll have lots of hints, tips and resources to help you, plus it’s a Saturday and a long weekend here in Victoria, so enlist the kids and let’s get sorted together. No collection tomorrow but you have one last chance to drop your unwanted items to me on Sunday, the last day of National Organising Week. You will find me here:

Sun 11th March
Sandbox CafĂ© – Sandhurst Golf Club
75 Sandhurst Blvd, Sandhurst
10-11am

Have you stayed at any hotels that support Soap Aid? I haven’t been very successful in finding out which hotels participate in this important program and would love to expand my list of resources. I’ve emailed Soap Aid to ask them to provide a directory on their website but thought you may have seen a sign in your hotel room somewhere? Please let me know in the comments if you can help.

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

Wardrobe Work-OUT

NOW 2018 image

Welcome to Day 4 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:

Tales of Fast Fashion & Wardrobe Woes

The fashion industry uses more resources than the planet can sustain, clocking up greenhouse emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes a year – larger than that of international flights and shipping combined. Fast-changing trends and low prices see the average consumer now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept only half as long. A staggering 95% of clothing thrown away in landfill could have been reused or recycled.

By diverting your clothes from landfill, you help reduce the amount of natural resources needed to produce new garments.

 

Top Tips to sustainably declutter your wardrobe

The truth is, most of us wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time so no wonder it takes longer than it should to get ready in the morning. Think of all the clothes you forgot you had that are getting in the way of finding the only pair of jeans* you actually wear!

  • As is often the case, the starting point is to consider your acquiring habits. Only buy what you need. Try it on in the store, make sure it fits well, that the colour and style suit you, that it’s good quality and you have something to wear it with. Resist poor quality clothing that you know only gets worn a handful of times before it starts falling apart, going out of shape or developing holes. Never buy something just because it is on sale or that doesn’t fit you right now. If you try something on and it is just ‘okay’, leave it in the store. Unless you are happy to burst out of the fitting room and give the sales assistants a fashion show, you should probably give it a miss
  • Try this trick to identify the “hangers-on” in your wardrobe. Pick a memorable date back to front coat hangersto hang all your coat hangers back-to-front (hooking under the rail from the back). Each time you put something away after wearing it, hang your item the normal way (hooking over the bar from the front). At a glance you can see what hasn’t been worn in a while and if it’s been a whole season or more without getting a guernsey (pardon the pun), it should be safe to donate
  • Only donate items in good, wearable condition. If you’re donating items in poor condition for rags, make sure they are going to an organisation that accepts this type of donation, otherwise you’re just creating an expensive landfill problem for a charity that doesn’t need the extra expense and wasting an opportunity to recycle. As much as I am loathed to promote a company that is a big contributor to the fast fashion problem, I have to give kudos to H&M who, since 2013 have had a garment collection program that accepts garments in any condition. Just drop them in the collection boxes in their stores
  • Don’t discard your clothes to landfill without considering all the sustainable alternatives. See the Resources list below and on the little miss sorted website for suggestions

 

Top Tips to organise your wardrobe

  • Only keep it if you feel fabulous in it. If wearing it makes you feel less than great, get rid of it. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life
  • Your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle. Work how often you wear various categories of clothing. If you wear corporate clothing 70% of the time (5 days a week), then 70% of your wardrobe should be corporate. Likewise, there’s no point having a cupboard full of evening gowns if you go to a formal event once a year
  • Store the items you wear most frequently front and centre in your wardrobe. Use space up high, down low or in the harder to reach corners for clothing worn less frequently. Occasional clothing can be stored further away, in another location or perhaps packed away seasonally if you need more space

 

Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering your wardrobe:

ITEM

DESTINATION

Women’s good quality/condition work & interview appropriate clothing, accessories, handbags & near-new/unworn shoes

Brand new underwear, bras & hosiery with tags attached or unopened in packet

Dress for Success is a global organisation with a branch right here on the Mornington Peninsula. Click here to find more locations

Fitted for Work

Casual & dress clothing The Conscious Closet
Sports Shoes Shoes for Planet Earth accept sport shoes in clean, decent condition (worth shipping to another country!)
Old reading glasses Recycle for Sight
Bras The Uplift Project, although Vic & Qld are currently at capacity until they can raise funds to ship what they already have in storage. Donate funds here to help

Try your local op shop or charity such as Oxfam

Wigs & turbans The Uplift Project
Handbags Share the Dignity run a campaign every November collecting handbags filled with personal items for women in need

MSFIN

 Clothing in any condition H&M garment collection boxes in stores
Most if not all charity shops accept all size clothing, shoes and accessories so look one up in your local area. Some also accept unwearable clothing to turn into rags for industry such as mechanics. Please check before donating clothes in poor condition as not all offer this and note children’s clothing is usually too small Check out the Givenow or recyclingnearyou websites to choose a suitable charity near you and read more about donating clothes for rags

All these resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

Tomorrow’s challenge will have you busy in the bathroom so look out for lots of hints, tips and resources and remember you can drop your unwanted items from the list mentioned in my post on Sunday to me any day during National Organising Week. Tomorrow you will find me here:

 Fri 9th March
The Garden – Frankston (Near the Entrance)
4 Ross Smith Ave W, Frankston
11-11:30am

*How many pairs of jeans do you have? And how many do you wear? If you’re brave, post your answer or a photo below.

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

Stuck in Paper Purgatory?

NOW 2018 image

Welcome to Day 3 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge:

Piles of Paper in the office

I’m a specialist in decluttering and organising offices. I could literally talk for hours on this topic and if you’ve been to one of my Organisation Workshops, you know what I mean! But just like the rest of this week, I want to focus on sustainable decluttering. So here are the scary facts:

  • A tonne of paper consumes approximately 20 full-grown trees and over 90,000 litres of precious water
  • Australians use an average of 230kg of paper per person, per year. If my math is right*, that’s 5.5 million tonnes and 110 million trees *GULP*
  • The average office worker bins around 50kg of paper every year; a staggering 10,000 sheets of A4
  • Australians send 1.9 million tonnes of paper to landfill each year and most of it could have been recycled. Newspaper is the most abundant paper waste, followed by cardboard and magazine/advertising material
  • The good news: Paper is the most common material in kerbside collections. Each tonne of paper that is recycled saves almost 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100 kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31,780 litres of water. (To put that in perspective, 17 trees can absorb the carbon dioxide emitted from your car each year)

 

Top Tips to sustainably declutter paper

  • The best way to make your paper easier to manage is to have and acquire less. Put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on your letterbox, cancel your phone book delivery, refuse the appointment card and enter important dates straight in your diary or electronic calendar, opt to receive your bills via email and think before you print
  • Make sure you read Monday’s post on sustainably dividing up your rubbish and ensure you have boxes or bins set up in your office ready to receive your outgoing paper. I’m always amazed at how few offices have rubbish and recycle bins or a shredder in them
  • Don’t double up (unless we’re talking printing on both sides of the paper). If you have the information stored electronically, do you really need to keep a hard-copy too?
  • Make paper earn its space in your house. Can you just keep the important page of a document rather than the whole thing? Warranties and manuals are a classic for being very thick booklets. But if you take a peep, often only a few pages are in English – the rest is just the same instructions reprinted in various languages!  And if you’ve already put your new food processor together and know how to operate it, do you really need to keep the instructions?
  • Newspaper can be used for cleaning windows & mirrors, packing, to line pet cages or dropped off at your local animal shelter. Otherwise, compost or recycle it

 

Top Tips to organise your paper

  • Establish a clear system to ensure paperwork flows. (This also works for digital files and emails). I work on a 5 step system:
    1. Inbox
    2. Action
    3. Reference
    4. Archive
    5. Out
  • Consider using folders rather than a filing cabinet. Filing cabinets are too big for most people’s humble needs in a household setting – you’re not the National Archives! Our human nature tends to be to file everything and fill whatever space we have so folders force us to be more mindful about what we really need to keep and file because space is limited. Filing cabinets make it too easy, so everything stays. And you’ll probably never look at 80% of it again anyway
  • Don’t over-think your system. Fewer, broad categories are much simpler to set up and maintain than lots of categories within categories

 

Environmentally friendly resources when decluttering your office:

ITEM

DESTINATION

Used envelopes (stamps removed) & junk mail Recycle – even the ones with windows
Stamps A number of charities accept stamps as a way of raising funds. Check out the Givenow website to choose one you like
Sensitive documents Shred, then compost or utilise a secure shredding service
Computers – see websites for specifics of what is and isn’t accepted ERNi

Computerbank – also accepts old cords & cables

Drop Zone

 Old reading glasses Recycle for Sight

HCF Eye Care centres also accept donations on behalf of the Lions’ program

Books Brotherhood Books

or try BookCrossing to release your books into the wild!

Text books Progress Pikinini
Magazines Hairdressers, doctors’ waiting rooms and early childhood venues (for craft) are often happy to accept these. Otherwise, recycle
Old mobile phones & accessories Mobile Muster

They’re Calling on You

Old print cartridges Cartridges cannot be recycled in your kerbside recycling bin. Instead, they should be taken to Cartridges 4 Planet Ark collection partners
Other e-waste Tech Collect

Check your local council website for information specific to where you live

Excess stationery, e.g. writing materials, paper pads, notebooks, rulers, erasers, etc. Progress Pikinini

All these resources and more will be added to the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day so what better way to spend it than sorting out your wardrobe! Look out for lots of hints, tips and resources and remember you can drop your unwanted items from the list mentioned in my post on Sunday to me any day during National Organising Week. Tomorrow you will find me here:

Thu 8th March
Mums Supporting Families In Need (Warehouse)
2/7 Sir Laurence Drive, Seaford
12-1pm

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

*Let me know if my math is right
 post below!

Let’s Talk Trash

NOW 2018 imageWelcome to Day 1 of little miss sorted’s 7 Day Sustainable Declutter Challenge

When it comes time to declutter, many people default to sorting items into 3 piles: Keep, Donate or Toss. Whilst it’s a starting point and a good way to conceptualise the task at hand (especially if already feeling overwhelmed by stuff) the majority of the time I personally don’t find 3 categories to be enough if you want to declutter sustainably.

One thing I know for sure is that if you put down a big tub lined with a garbage bag and start putting everything in it that isn’t being kept or donated, the contents will end up in landfill. No-one is going back and sorting that rubbish bag out. No-one. So the key for me when it comes to sustainable decluttering is to sort items properly in the first place.

Depending on the space you are decluttering, think about the following categories for more sustainable sorting (I find large open tubs of different colours or labelled boxes work great for this):

  • Stay (in this room)
  • Redistribute (to another family member/room/place)
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Recycle (kerbside)
  • REDcycle
  • Compost
  • Shred
  • Landfill

So hopefully now you are starting to see why the simple “Keep, Donate & Toss” system isn’t that useful for sustainable decluttering.

If you’re interested to know more, go grab yourself a beverage of choice (this isn’t a brief post) and allow me to share a few of my sustainable “Donate & Toss” tips and resources.

Because if we get this right, we can have a really positive impact on our environment.

 

  1. Donate

I personally love this option for unwanted goods that still have life left in them. It helps to ensure items get to the people who really need and want them whilst generating income for charities who support some of our most vulnerable citizens. It also means you don’t end up imposing your unwanted clutter on an often reluctant recipient (who probably doesn’t want it either but is too polite to say and who probably also struggles to find somewhere to stash it).

However, when it comes to donating, we have a responsibility to do so mindfully and respectfully or quite frankly, we don’t deserve the feel-good fuzzies that come from being charitable.

Charities spend millions of dollars every year disposing of unusable items that have been dumped on them. If you can’t use it, neither can a charity.

Top Tips for Sustainable Donating:

  • Only donate during opening hours or into a designated collection bin. The little miss sorted Resource page also lists charities who offer a collection service
  • Check the guidelines for what the charity will accept before you donate as the rules differ. Some don’t take electrical items, soft toys or certain baby items, for example.
  • Only donate what you would be happy to use for your own family
  • Some clothing, whilst not being suitable to be worn again, may be an acceptable donation for rags. Check out these general guidelines and ensure the charity you take them to accepts this type of donation as many don’t

 

  1. Recycle (Council/Kerbside)

This seems straight forward but apparently 11% of people think used disposable nappies are recyclable. I mean, really? And don’t imagine there’s some magical fairy fixing your recycling sins at the other end. There isn’t. Contaminated recycling goes to landfill.

The top 3 mistakes people make when recycling are:

  1. Putting plastic bags into recycling. 9 out of 10 councils reported this was the main problem. A good rule of thumb we use in our house is if the plastic changes shape when filled with water, it can’t go into council recycling
  2. Putting recyclable items into the normal bin. Nearly half the councils reported this problem which is a real missed opportunity and sees unnecessary space taken up in landfill
  3. Food contamination. Grease and oil affects the paper pulping process, a problem for a quarter of councils

It doesn’t help that every local council has their own rules on what you can put in your recycling bin but we can’t use that as an excuse. Take 10 minutes to look-up the waste services section on your local council’s website and familiarise yourself with the rules for where you live.

Top Tips for Sustainable Recycling:

 

  1. REDcycle

This is a game changer in my opinion. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this until recently. RED Group, a Melbourne-based consulting and recycling organisation, has developed and implemented the REDcycle Program; a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic. RED Group has teamed up with Coles & Woolworths to make it easy for you to keep your plastic bags and soft plastic packaging out of landfill. Think plastic food wrapping, shopping bags, bread bags and cereal box liners.

One business doing this well is The Garden. Well worth checking out their system in the reception area if you live local to Frankston, Victoria.

Top Tips for Sustainable REDcycling:

  • Check out what can be REDcycled – do the scrunch test!
  • Set-up a permanent box or bag for your REDcycling at home and print off this list so you know what goes in
  • Set it up at work, your local kinder, childcare centres, schools and universities and spread the word!

 

  1. Compost

This is so easy, we should all be doing it. Even if you live in an apartment you can invest in a composting system that works under the bench. It doesn’t smell
 promise!

So why isn’t this more widely practiced? I think people either don’t know how to do it or get complacent about it because they think food and other things you can compost is organic/living matter and therefore it breaks down easily so what does it matter if it goes to landfill? But that is the very issue. When food scraps are sent to landfill, they decompose without oxygen (anaerobically) to produce methane, a greenhouse gas with
over 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide. Decomposing food scraps are also a potential source of leachates (liquid that drains from landfills) that can contaminate surface and ground water.

If food scraps are composted, the organic matter and nutrients they contain can be reused as fertiliser. Properly composted food scraps are a valuable resource. In some commercial composters, methane and other biogases can also be captured and used to generate electricity. Read more about the impact of methane released into the atmosphere from food scraps here.

Top Tips for Sustainable Composting:

  • Make sure you have your own compost bin, compost heap, worm farm or Bokashi bucket to do your bit at home
  • Composting is not just for food scraps. In fact it requires a combination of wet and dry material to really thrive. Take your open mind over to this article and educate yourself!
  • Even if you don’t have a garden, your local community garden is unlikely to turn your delicious compost away if you do it right. Alternatively you could raise it as an item for your body corporate to consider providing for your block of residents

 

  1. Shred

Anything you wouldn’t want printed on the internet should probably be shredded and not just recycled. However, if you think your life’s too boring for anyone to bother stealing your paperwork, or you like living on the edge, at the very least shred personal and financial information that is tempting to thieves. If you have a large backlog of paper to shred or you seem to generate a lot, it’s worth having a secure document company come and shred it for you. This can be done on site in front of you, at their location with a certificate of destruction issued at the end or a bin (much like your recycling bin) can be delivered to your door for later collection. This can be lockable – just make sure you request it, if that’s what you want.

Top Tips for Sustainable Shredding:

  • Invest in a shredder. One that cross-cuts is ideal
  • Ideally shred as you go – don’t make a huge job for yourself by saving it all up to do “one day”
  • Put your shredded paper into your compost bin or worm farm. The worms will love it and potential identity thieves will give up and go next door

 

  1. Landfill

Okay, so hopefully now we have very little left in our “Toss” pile because we’re utilising all the other options first. There’s really not much more you can do to avoid some items going into landfill if you’re utilising the other options mentioned above first, except for being more mindful during the acquiring process and ensuring you aren’t disposing of harmful items in your rubbish. A big culprit here is household batteries. These should never be put into the rubbish bin as they leach dangerous metals into the ground. Battery World Stores accept all types of batteries for safe disposal and ALDI supermarkets accept household batteries.

Top Tips for Rubbish Disposal:

  • Keep a small child-proof container somewhere safe from little people and store up your used batteries. Then simply take them with you when you know you’ll be nearby to a drop-off point. I find writing a little reminder on my shopping list to be a great way to systemise this when the container is ready to be emptied.
  • Dispose of harmful items in the appropriate way. See this great website for more information
  • Wherever possible, avoid buying items with lots of plastic/excess packaging that you can see will end up at the tip
  • Utilise your council’s resources such as recycling centres and hard rubbish collections. Most offer at least one free collection each year. Some are on set dates, others you need to call and request a pick-up.

 

All these resources and more can be found on the little miss sorted Resources page on the website. We are constantly updating our Resources Lists so check back regularly.

Tomorrow we tackle the kitchen so look out for lots of hints, tips and resources and remember you can drop your unwanted items from the list mentioned in my post on Sunday to me any day during National Organising Week. Tomorrow you will find me here:

Pinewood Nursery (Carpark)
478 Blackburn Rd, Glen Waverley
3:15-3:45pm

I’d love to know if you’d heard of REDcycling before now and if you participate or if we’ve been living under the same rock! Leave me a comment.

Happy Sustainable Decluttering! The planet thanks you.

Can you take a hint? Ready, Set…

NOW 2018 image

Today is Clean Up Australia Day. Tomorrow is the start of National Organising Week.

I think the Universe is trying to tell us something.

And when she talks, we should listen. So here’s what’s happening… Each day for the next 7 days I’ll be popping up at a different location somewhere in the South-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne to take your unwanted clutter* off your hands and sustainably dispose of it on your behalf at absolutely no cost to you. That’s right, totally FREE.

Don’t live in Melbourne or can’t get to me? Don’t worry. I’ll also be providing lots of resources for future reference of organisations locally, nationally and sometimes even globally that will accept your excess clutter and keep it out of landfill.

Not sure where to start? No problem, I’ve got it sorted. Each day I’ll be posting some helpful tips on how to declutter a different zone of your home so we can work through it methodically and without getting overwhelmed. It’s just for 1 week… I know you can do it!

So really, what have you got to lose, except some clutter? I’m making myself available all week to answer your organising questions, help you get sorted and encourage you to find your Organised Sweet Spot and live life there. So please join in the daily challenges and help others you know who might also benefit from some free Professional Organising advice by sharing this post and the upcoming daily blogs with them.

I’d love to hear about your progress, see your before and after photos and meet you (and your clutter) at the various locations listed below. (Click here to see who you’re looking for!) If you do join in, by the end of the week I promise you will have more space and a clean conscience to boot.

*Items I will be accepting are:

Expired medicines
Unopened toiletries including hotel-sizes
Clean towels and blankets
Household batteries
Plastic shopping bags
Unused nappies (opened packets & no packets are also acceptable)
Unwanted craft items
Kids’ books in good condition
Non-perishable pantry items (in date)
Magazines
Old reading glasses
Used stamps
Old mobile phones & their accessories
Ink cartridges
Bras
Women’s corporate clothing & accessories
Handbags

So have a think about the space invaders in your house and start gathering them in an “OUT” bag near the door. And yes, that includes all the stuff you’ve been meaning to sell for the last 3 years and haven’t.

Take a look at my schedule below and decide where you can meet me and stay tuned throughout this week to find out where your items will be going!

  • Please note – I can only accept normal household quantities & any sorting you can do to keep categories of items separate & contained would be much appreciated.
  • I will provide additional resources and information on my website on how you can dispose of items not listed above.

Where to find me – this week only:

Mon 5th March
(Outside) Seaford Kindergym 
3/10 Rutherford Rd, Seaford
11:45-12:30pm
Tue 6th March
Pinewood Nursery (Carpark)
478 Blackburn Rd, Glen Waverley
3:15-3:45pm
Wed 7th March
Doncaster Officeworks (Carpark)
602-630 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster
1:30-2pm
Thu 8th March
Mums Supporting Families In Need (Warehouse)
2/7 Sir Laurence Drive, Seaford
12-1pm
 Fri 9th March
The Garden – Frankston (Reception)
4 Ross Smith Ave W, Frankston
11-11:30am
Sat 10th March
IKEA Springvale (Near Entrance)
917 Princes Hwy, Springvale
CANCELLED
Sun 11th March
Sandbox CafĂ© – Sandhurst Golf Club
75 Sandhurst Blvd, Sandhurst
10-11am
  • Please note: Sometimes unexpected things happen. Keep an eye on my website & Facebook page in the unlikely event I need to make a last minute update to times and locations.

View the above locations on Google Maps

In the meantime, if you’re ready to get started N.O.W. why don’t you head on over to the Clean Up Australia Day website and find a site near you where you can pitch in to help clean up. Or if you can’t attend, perhaps you’d consider making a donation here. I was surprised to learn that Clean Up Australia does not receive government funding and relies on private and corporate donations to keep their campaigns running and to provide supplies like gloves, tools and rubbish bags for volunteers. All donations above $2 are tax deductible for Australian taxpayers.

Enjoy your Sunday and I’ll see you tomorrow for our first N.O.W. organising challenge!