Celebrate Earth Day This Week and Every Week

Earth Day 2021 is not just a day — it’s a three-day event. Arranged around the theme “Restore Our Earth,” the observance will offer thousands of affiliated events worldwide to increase awareness of climate change and other environmental issues.

Scheduled this week are a global youth and education summits, a virtual “We Shall Breathe” summit from the Hip Hop Caucus, and a live event with workshops, panel discussions and performances on official Earth Day itself, Thursday, April 22.

Global summits will be held virtually, making it easy to join even if pandemic restrictions are in place. Fans of the planet are invited to participate in cleanups, tree plantings, teach-ins and other activities nearby; locate one near you on this map.

You can make every day Earth Day by volunteering with, donating to and advocating on behalf of environmentally friendly organizations. But perhaps the best way to help the earth is to modify your behavior in order to shrink your impact on the environment.

If you can’t go totally vegan to reduce factory farming, for example, you could at least observe Meatless Mondays. You can pick up litter when you’re out for a walk. You can calculate your own carbon footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it.

Reusable shopping bags and bottles can cut your use of single-use plastics. Plastic waste has infiltrated every part of the earth’s ecosphere, and humans and animals are suffering ill effects from ingesting the chemicals they release.

The more that can be reused without going into landfills, streams and oceans, the better. That’s another good reason to #donate your used clothing (a major source of plastics in the water supply, by the way) and household items to ClothingDonations.org.

#Donated items can have a second life with new owners, not only saving on waste, but also eliminating an equivalent amount of new goods needing to be manufactured. Plus, the proceeds from resale go toward helping veterans nationwide.

The Organizing Blog encourages you to get involved in efforts to clean up and protect the environment in ways large and small this Earth Day and every other day of the year. The saying may be hackneyed, but it’s true: We only have one earth — let’s protect it.

Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Keeping the Spring Travel Bug at Bay

It has now been a full year since #lockdowns against the novel #coronavirus went into effect worldwide, shutting down in-person gatherings such as concerts, conventions, school and sporting events. People canceled their trips due to travel restrictions, and most haven’t boarded a plane since.

A year later, the prospect of taking a pleasure trip has improved. With three COVID-19 vaccines being administered nationwide, many of the most vulnerable segments of the population are starting to get some protection against the disease. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and you may still want to hold off on planning that jaunt.

Spring fever, of course, is an affliction that worsens with the rising temperatures. You probably want to go out and do something — anything — that involves fresh air, sun, scenery and social interactions. For the next few months, however, the safest bet is to get creative while breaking the routine.

One safe way to shake up the routine is to take a “staycation,” Everyday Health says. Just set aside time to create your own spa experience, meditate or explore parts of your own hometown on foot. You can also try bring one of your dream destinations home for a night; if you can’t go to Italy, for example, make some fresh pasta and cue up a Fellini film.

If you absolutely must get out of town to preserve your sanity, consider taking a camping trip with the people in your family or “pod,” says the Washington Post. If you observe masking and social distancing rules with anyone unfamiliar, camping is one of the safest ways to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the spread of the virus.

One thing the Organizing Blog advises doing in the spring is a thorough #cleaning and #decluttering. Throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air as you scour; once you sort out extra stuff you don’t need and #donate it to ClothingDonations.org, your home will be much more livable.

One more way to keep the travel bug at bay is to plan your dream trip(s) for the future. Experts say that domestic travel could return to normal once most people are vaccinated, and that is currently targeted to happen by the start of summer. International travel may have to wait a while longer, depending on the destination.

When you decide to travel again, you’ll have that much more pent-up anticipation for your trip — and maybe enjoy it more thoroughly as a result. But wherever you go, stay safe: Wear a mask, wash your hands and observe social distancing. Travel is fantastic food for the soul, but you don’t want to gamble with your health.

The Difference Between Decluttering and Storage

#Decluttering isn’t easy. Even when you find the time to do it and prepare yourself to keep, donate or trash all of the clothes that don’t fit, tchotchkes and other #junk, you can quickly get bogged down in the decision-making.

Many of your possessions will carry memories that make you linger over the decision or leave it for another day. After a few of these quandaries, you may just throw in the towel, shove a bunch of random items in a box and “store” it out of sight.

That is not decluttering — nor is it storage. It’s simply putting off the inevitable.

Storage is for things you use. You may use such things infrequently but regularly, like holiday decorations. You can keep these things from adding to #clutter by sorting it into dedicated, labeled bins and putting the bins in a predictable out-of-the way location.

You also have things you use frequently that need to be stored. Think of your kitchen cabinets and closets; they already hold any number of items that you’ll usse this week, maybe multiple times.

When you have #stuff that doesn’t have a “home,” however (meaning its own drawer, shelf, bin, box or display), you have #clutter. And as a result, any serious decluttering is going to involve a lot of #organizing.

So your goal in decluttering is really twofold: to weed out anything that you don’t use, and to make sure that anything you do use has a place. This is a tall order, the Organizing Blog is well aware.

Start small with a single closet, kitchen cabinet or desk drawer. Figure out what kinds of things should “live” there, and separate out anything that’s broken, disused or just in the wrong place. You can toss, donate, and relocate or store these items, respectively.

Leave only what you know you use frequently in immediate-access locations — and if you don’t use something frequently in its current location, find a place where it can stay until you need it. Otherwise, it will just get in the way.

Once you’ve organized and/or stored the #stuff you use, contact ClothingDonations.org for a free, contactless #donation #pickup if — er, when — you want to get rid of the lightly used clothing and household items you don’t. We’ll help find them new homes, and help veterans at the same time.

So You Shopped the President’s Day Sales

Happy President’s Day!

We at the Organizing Blog know that we’re a little late in telling you this, but since retailers were trotting out the deals over the long weekend, you may have celebrated your day off shopping for mattresses, furniture or other household goods.

Having recently moved in to a new home, we did the same. And some of the discounts were incredible! But that doesn’t mean we bought a lot — some things weren’t that great a deal, most we didn’t need, and many would have created more problems than they solved.

Unless you’re starting over, any decorative item or piece of furniture you buy is likely redundant. If you’re short on space, you need to make sure whatever you buy actually replaces an existing item, or you’ll wind up surrounding yourself with #clutter.

You can buy things and still avoid this problem. Is your living room already crowded with furniture and knickknacks? One new couch might be able to do the work of two old loveseats, or a new wall unit could help you make sense of what’s on display.

Some furniture — like beds frames with storage underneath — can actually create space by offering a place to store some of your stuff out of sight. But you’ll need to observe a strict out-with-the-old policy to avoid #clutter.

With large items like beds, mattresses and couches, the ultraminimalist one in/two out rule doesn’t always apply. But be sure to get rid of the one old thing as quickly as you find its replacement, and donate it to ClothingDonations.org if it has some life left in it.

For smaller stuff, make an attempt to find two items in the same category to get rid of as soon as something else enters the inventory. This will preserve the thrill of the shopping “hunt” while slowly downsizing your possessions — or at least keeping them in check.

Observe this simple #decluttering rule, and before you know it, any new stuff you find at the weekend sales will help your home look brand new, stylish and spotless, and the old stuff that survives will consist only of things you truly cherish.

You don’t necessarily have to stop shopping to keep the #clutter at bay!