April 2007 Newsletter

This month’s focus: Spring cleaning                                

Tip of the Month: Decluttering the Owner’s Manuals

All those owner’s manuals and instruction sheets we get can provide a storage challenge. Here are some questions I ask to help reduce the manual madness.

  • Do you still own the product?
  • Do you need the manual in English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese? Many manuals are printed in multiple languages. I tear out all but the English version, saving LOTS of space.
  • Do you need the manual on paper? Many manuals can be found on-line, so you don’t need to keep the paper version. I just tossed the manual from my HP-12C calculator; I’ve never used that manual in the many many years I’ve owned the calculator, and I found the manual on-line just in case I ever do have a reason to use it.

Quote of the Month

I had just divorced . . . I wanted to free myself from the things that represented my past to make space for the person I wanted to become. So I resolved to go through every single thing I owned and ask one question: Does this look like it belongs to the person I want to be?

Jane, quoted by M. J Ryan in This Year I Will . . .

Organizing Event of the Month

April 15-21 is National Library Week. This would be a great time to donate books you no longer need to your local Friends of the Library, for use in the library or for part of a fund-raising book sale. You know, the books that:

  • You bought eight years ago, and now you can’t remember why
  • You started to read, but couldn’t really get into and set aside for some other time
  • You read once but would never read again since they were just OK
  • You bought because you were interested in that subject once upon a time, but you no longer are
  • Someone gave you as a gift, but that someone obviously didn’t know your taste in books

Top Ten List of the Month

UK magazine Ideal Home quotes a study by Hammonds Furniture which lists these as the Top 10 Items We Hate to Throw Away:

  • Clothes we don’t wear
  • Books we’ve read
  • Clothes that don’t fit
  • Odds and ends
  • Shoes we don’t wear
  • Clothes that have gone out of fashion
  • New clothes we’ve never worn
  • Old mobile phones
  • Sports equipment we no longer use
  • Out-of-date computers

Donation/Recycling Idea of the Month

While most women want to keep their wedding gowns, here’s an alternative if you don’t want to keep yours:¬†Donate it to Brides Against Breast Cancer.