Home-based Business Organizing Tip #7: Recycling (How is it supposed to help me feel better about purging my things?..)

I was working with a client not too long ago and as we were going through his things, he had a hard time parting with some of the things that he clearly did not have a use for anymore.  After sharing with him some ideas of what he could do with them and the impact it could make, he began to see the idea of purging differently and was able to let go.  You see, sometimes we have a hard time with the idea that we just have to let some things go that we may not want to, no matter how much simpler it would make our lives.  We feel like there could be a “possibility” that we would need them at some point or we have some type of emotional attachment to them.  In turn, the process of purging has somewhat adopted a bad rep.  So instead of looking at it as if you are losing something, look at it for what it really is… a gain.  There’s many options besides throwing things in the trash.  But let’s face it, if you’ve been holding on to things that can realistically be replaced then it’s just time to give it up.  On the other hand, some of your items can benefit another person who could really use it as a donation.  Then there’s some items that can make an even bigger impact through recycling.  There’s many things that we use, whether it’s related to business or in our homes, that can be recycled… some of which we didn’t know could be recycled.  So in today’s tip, I’m providing a list of some of the common things I’ve found we as entrepreneurs should recycle… and even some things we should not.

Home-based Business Organizing Tip #7: Recycling

Paper (recycle)*

  • That morning paper (for those of us who still get them)
  • The continuous flow of computer, typing (for those of us who still do it), and writing paper
  • Mail fliers
  • Those old subscription magazines/catalogues
  • Still brown-bagging those lunches?  Yep, those bags should be recycled also.
  • Corrugated boxes
  • Paperboard boxes (the ones without the plastic windows)

*If you can not shred the paper items, place them in brown paper bags.  Be sure to remove staples or paper clips.  Flatten any boxes.

Paper (unrecyclable… toss it.)

  • Wrapping/tissue paper
  • Telephone books (yep, we still get those)
  • Paperboard boxes with the plastic windows

Metal (recycle)*

  • Aerosol cans
  • Aluminum foil/cans
  • Alkaline, rechargeable, watch and camera batteries

*Rinse the items clean and remove labels.  Make sure cans are completely empty and remove any caps.  Place batteries in a re-sealable bag.

Metal (unrecyclable… toss it.)

  • Paint cans
  • Clothes hangers
  • House siding, window frames and doors

Glass (recycle)*

  • Clear glass bottles/jars

*Discard the lids and rinse the items clean.  Remove the metal rings, plastic or foam labels (with the exception of paper labels)

Glass (unrecyclable… toss it.)

  • Dishes/ceramics
  • Light bulbs
  • Broken windows
  • Mirrors

Plastic (recycle)*

  • #1-7 containers (check for the symbol)
  • #2 and #4 grocery bags (check for the symbol)
  • Plastic items include such items as: milk jugs, water bottles, detergent, shampoo bottles, butter tubs, plastic yogurt cups, microwave food trays, plant flats, and flower pots

*Discard caps and rinse the items clean of food and drink residue.  Be sure that the plastic bags are dry and free of paper/receipts.

Plastic (unrecyclable… toss it.)

  • Bottles that can hazardous materials
  • Styrofoam cups, plants, peanuts, packaging, etc.
  • Garbage bags
  • Food storage bags
  • Dry cleaning bags/plastic film

So now you can feel better about parting with your items because of your contribution to preserving our resources.  You can smile now.

I hope this tip helped to motivate you to reconsider some of the things that you’ve been holding on to.  Now share it with others or feel free to share some of your recycling tips below.

Sy

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Friday’s Inspired Space (Home-based Business Organizing)

 

Happy Good Friday, guys!  Today’s post is dedicated to entrepreneurs who need ideas specifically for storing product inventory.  So this is a little something for the distributors of companies like Mary Kay, Scentsy, Thirty-One, Avon, etc. If you have a business that requires you to store product in your home office, or home in general, then this is one of the many solutions that I’m swinging your way.  This awesome space belongs to a fun-loving blogger by the name of Chelsea, owner of Two Twenty One.  She is a very talented creator of home improvement and décor projects so I’ve decided to share her home office as our inspired space for today.

Shelving is everything when it comes to product storage, the more the merrier, in my opinion.  As long as your products are organized and contained well, you can expect to have a smooth transition throughout your workday.  I love how Chelsea utilized a number of creative storage methods within her shelving to not only keep it neat looking but she also incorporated her own personal style touches into the space.  Shelving is great to display your products for easy access and inventory management purposes.  But sometimes the pretty packaging of the products are just not enough for you to put it all out there.  Storage boxes and magazine file boxes would be a handsome solution for entrepreneurs who don’t want to necessarily display their inventory for the sake of compromising the look of their room décor or may be you’d just rather keep the product tucked away.  Floating shelves are another great solution for additional storage of products or supplies for your business (pictured to the left of Chelsea’s shelving unit).  Just group your products by category, label the boxes, and your set.

Well, here’s to a great three-day weekend, an amazingly Good Friday, and a beautiful Resurrection Sunday!  Enjoy it all and if you have an inspiring space that you’d like to share with us, feel free to comment below or visit the About page to contact me.  Why not inspire others to get organized and showcase your home-based business space?!

– Sy

Home-based Moving/Relocation series (Pt.5): To Shred or not to Shred…THAT is the question! (Paper Clutter)

To finally cap off this series of tips on moving/relocation, I’ve decided to touch on a common problem we all have… paper clutter.  I know what you’re saying… “Yeah, I know I need to do something about all of this paper but how do I know if I get rid of it that one day I may need it for something… how do I know what I’m supposed to get rid of?”  Well let’s put an end to that right nowSmile.  Here’s a list of the most common things that not only you should part from (worry-free) but they should be shredded in order to prevent clutter and incidences of identity theft – a major issue that we face today when it comes to our private information.

Papers to Shred

  • Any documents containing you, your family, or business information such as social security numbers, names, birth dates, etc.
  • Pins/password information
  • Purchase receipts/invoices, especially those with credit/banking information on them (unless required for tax purposes then consult your accountant/attorney first)
  • Credit cards or bank cards that are expired or no longer in use (yes, even if the account is closed, shred it!)
  • Credit/bank account statements or any financial records no longer needed (such as loan/credit applications)
  • Tax documents that are seven years or older (consult your accountant/attorney… you may be able to dispose of them a little sooner.)
  • Old business documents no longer needed
  • Old customer/client forms that are no longer needed (you want to go the extra mile to protect them as well)
  • ATM receipts no longer needed (unless required for tax purposes then consult your accountant/attorney first)
  • Checks that are voided or no longer in use (again, even if the account is closed, shred it!)
  • Personal/business bills that are already paid or no longer needed (including medical bills)
  • Insurance documents no longer needed
  • Personal/business legal documentation no longer needed
  • Expired identification (such as an old state i.d., driver’s license, employee i.d., passport, etc.)

Once you’ve freed yourself of these things then you’ll find that there’s a lot less to fuss over on a daily basis.  Then take a little time out of your schedule to swap out any new documents like bills or business-related forms that come in so that you don’t have to be overwhelmed with a pile or more all over again.  Keep those desk trays as light as possible.  Once you see a pile begin to form, that is your cue to jump in and determine if you need to keep those papers and if you do put them where they belong.  Those trays are TEMPORARY storage, guys.

Well I hope this series was helpful to you all.  Remember, feel free to comment below and share these tips so that we can empower other entrepreneurs to get organized and stay organized.

– Sy

Friday’s Inspired Space (Home-based Business Organizing)

TheIdeaRoom.netTheIdeaRoom.netTheIdeaRoom.net

Guys, today I am highlighting a space that inspired me this week from a fellow blogger over at TheIdeaRoom.net.  Amy Huntley, the owner and super-mom of five, unveiled her newly organized and decorated home office/craft space and I must say the pics that I’m sharing does it no justice.  When you have a moment definitely head on over to her blog and check out the rest of her gorgeous pics and also enjoy her many other creative projects.  She converted a room that was originally in need of some serious TLC into an amazing workspace for herself.  It took her some time but she is completely happy with how it all turned out (as she should have).

Organizing your home-based business space does not have to be an overnight success, just like your business may not be.  It’s about taking the time to sit down, evaluate what your needs are, and actually execute everything that needs to be done.  Tackle one area at a time and then when it’s all done, let it be motivation to not be put back into the same overwhelming situation again.  Realize that no one is perfect and that you may have tiny encounters with stacks of paper, inventory products, or the occasional stuffed animal that your two-year-old insists on leaving on the floor… but as long as you take a little time every day or at least a few times a week to put everything where it needs to be then you’re goldenSmile

Getting your home business space organized and keeping it that way can take your business a loooong way.  It never hurt anyone.

Enjoy the weekend, guys!  Really enjoy it… Lord willing, the business can stand to do without you until Monday.  Weekends are made for rest.

– Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.4): Cord Organization…don’t get it twisted. They can be a pain.

How many times have we run across the ever-so frustrating act of trying to pack for a move, or just to travel, and encounter the daunting task of unplugging, detangling, and wrapping cords from a dozen different devices/machines?  Oh, no… that’s just the beginning!  Then when it’s time to unpack them we have to remember what they belonged to?.. Is the location of the cord (once it’s hooked up) within reach of an outlet?.. Are there too many cords over here?… Where’s that cord?!  Uuuuggghhh!

Yeees!  We know it all too well.  It’s enough to drive you crazy!  This is how chaotic and crafty that elephant can be when you let it take control.  But there is good news… there are ways of eliminating, even avoiding, that intertwining mess no matter what your particular situation.

May be it’s not an issue of the number of cords but organizing or storing them in a way that they don’t become a major eye-sore.  Although I just moved, I’ve found that I have to get a little creative with the cords around my work area.

I finally got the room organized the way I wanted, everything in its perfect place but now I have this unsightly view near my desk and it’s driving me CRAZY!  So instead of just hiding it behind my shredder (because even though it’s all somewhat hidden, it still bothers me with a passion), I’ve decided to embrace the challenge of finding the perfect solution to clear it up.

“SO… I’LL SEE YOUR CORD CLUTTER, “ELEPHANT”, AND RAISE YOU A COUPLE MORE CORDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY DESK!.. On to one of my favorite things… shopping!

More on what I’ve done to my cord clutter on another post… in the meantime, here’s some tips on how you can escape the web of cords in your home workspace during a move:

  • First thing’s first, when removing your cords from your devices/machines, be sure to label each one according to what they belong to.  You can use a label maker or special tag to do this.  There are a number of different products out there that you can use to label cords.  Find the one that works best for you.
  • If you have a drawer full of extra cords, wrap them individually with something such as a rubber band and label them as well.  So the next time you need a spare cord, you’ll know what they belong to without having to shuffle through a bunch of cords to find what you need.  TAKE IT UP A NOTCH: if you have a number of cords that need to be stored away, create an organized drawer system specifically for them where you can label the front of the drawers according to the type of devices/machines.  You’d still be labeling the cords as well but by labeling the drawers, in addition, you can get to what you specifically need even quicker.  This is also a big help to business owners who have a shared space with a business partner or team members/employees.  You have to think of everyone who works in that same space.
  • When packing your cords, try to store your cords in the same box/bin as their devices/machines.  If you have a number of extra cords, pack all like cords together.  So if you have more than a couple of the same type of laptop cords, label them and put them all in the same box/bin.  By taking this approach, when you unpack, it will just be a matter of storing them away.
  • Once you’ve moved into or arrived at your final destination, store your cords in the room where they will be used.  Trust me, it’s no fun trying to remember where you put a cord when you’re short on time or battery power.
  • Inspect all your cords to be sure that they are in good condition.  If you notice signs of wear-and-tear, such as exposed wires, consider the cord dangerous then discard and replace it.  SIDE NOTE: Cords such as USB cables can be a headache after a while of continued use.  If you’ve noticed that your devices are not charging as they should from the connection of your laptop or computer, check the drive that your USB cable is connected to.  The cable could in fact be the problem.  You can either try another drive on your laptop or computer or you may have to just replace the USB cable.
  • Once you get situated, Invest into some handy cord organizers to help you keep those cords easily accessible and neat behind or beside your work area.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you.  Feel free to share any ideas you’d like to add below in the comments and, hey, help some other home-based business owners, too, by sharing these posts with them also.

– Sy

Friday’s Inspired Space (Home-based Business Organizing)

HouseofDots.com

While we are on the topic of moving, let’s take today’s inspired space to the Netherlands.  Marielle, co-owner of HouseofDots.com, is a stay/work-from-home mom.  Her retail business specializes in women’s apparel so you can imagine the inventory and supplies she needs in order to carry out her day-to-day responsibilities.  Check out her amazingly organized space.  She has created a simple system of organization for all of her items in one zone while taking full advantage of her vertical space (floor-to-ceiling) for storage.  She has a separate work area as well as a sewing station that she managed to locate next to her shelving.  By putting her sewing station near the shelving, it definitely makes it easier to grab what she needs and place it back.  She utilized a wall in a neutral area to be able to see what she needs to display from every area she is working in.  If that wasn’t enough, she cleverly leveraged her storage boxes to display one of her design pieces… um, yeeess!

So for you retail entrepreneurs out there, take notes from Marielle’s space.  She’s proven that you can make the best out of any size space for your home business.

Enjoy the weekend, guys!  More tips on the way…

Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.3): Are cardboard boxes really as good for moving and storage as we’ve made them to be?

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

We recently had another round of rain and ice in the area but not as bad as the weather from the previous weeks.  Interesting enough the schools we’re eventually closed for the day; in all fairness, the bridges and bypasses were covered in ice and causing major problems for drivers on the road.  Let’s just say even salt trucks ended up on their sides… yeah.

On a positive note, the scenery has been looking pretty nice as a result…

TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net

As much as I love winter, I am kind of glad to see it go for one reason – ice.  How can something we so commonly see and use regularly (… not to mention, beautiful) be associated with damage?  But that’s just the reality of it.

So what does this have to do with cardboard boxes?  Well, I had this same question regarding boxes as I was organizing my storage unit a couple of years ago.  How is it that something we commonly use be associated with damage?  However, we continue to use them in spite of that fact.  Think about it… we assemble the boxes, line them with tape, and then pack and cram them with a bunch of stuff, some items of which carry a good deal of weight so that we end up dropping or spilling all of the contents inside them.  Then, we lift those same boxes, taking a risk of either pulling or causing serious injury to ourselves.  If we’re storing things in the boxes in places like the basement, attic, or a self-storage unit, we throw those same packed boxes on top of each other, causing them to become damaged or overused, and they’re never replaced in order to protect your precious valuables.  Not to mention the little critters that like to feast or hide in the boxes, especially in non-climate-controlled environments.  DAMAGE!

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

Now with all that said, my suggestion is one of two things… when moving or even just storing your items, consider more sturdy, reliable forms of containment such as plastic bins with lids.  Plastic bins are a great solution because they are durable and they protect your items from water damage and bugs/rodents.  However, if you must use the cardboard boxes, keep these handy tips in mind in order to get the most use out of them and to preserve the items in them:

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

  • Be sure to use boxes that are in the best condition possible.  You can usually call your local grocer or department store to request some of their used boxes in order to save you a few dollars, in comparison to purchasing them.
  • Replace boxes you may have that are showing clear signs of damage, like holes, tearing, or crushing.
  • Do not over-pack the boxes.  Leave plenty of room to close the boxes completely and comfortably packed enough to lift without risking damage to yourself (be sure to lift with your knees…ALWAYS!).
  • Be mindful of items that require proper temperature-control and store them accordingly, especially your PRODUCT INVENTORY.
  • When sealing your boxes, use at least three layers of tape to secure the bottom of the box in order to prevent items from falling out.
  • When stacking, store heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top.
  • Use the handy label tape that identifies what boxes go in what room or write directly onto the boxes with a bold magic marker.  Be sure to write the room name on the top and side of the box so that you can identify the boxes at two different angles.
  • Package like items together or items that you typically use together in the same box.
  • Boxes with handles are very convenient for moving. (Just so you know…)
  • In the process of preparing to move, store all boxes that need to be loaded onto the moving truck close to the door for easier access.
  • For those who plan to keep their current property or frequently visit, despite their relocation, separate boxes that will be loaded on the truck for moving to your new home from boxes that will remain for storage in your current home. This will prevent confusion and mingling of the boxes when the movers arrive.

So there you have it.  Just some of the great tips to consider when utilizing boxes for your move or storage.  To continue this series on moving/relocation tips, we’ll touch on cord organization and storage.  How often do we become frustrated by the constant tangling of cords under, behind, or on the desk?  Or how can we conveniently package, store, and recover our cords in the process of a move?

Oh trust me… I gotcha’…

– Sy