Thank you to all of my amazing readers for sending in your questions! It is really fun getting them and then answering them for everyone. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that I have received:

Q: What can I do with empty chocolate box inserts? You know the kind with all the little compartments.

A: Hope you enjoyed all the chocolates guilt free! Those inserts are so handy in office desk drawers for paper clips, tacks, and any other small items. They are also great in your bedroom drawer for housing earrings, rings and small jewelry items. If your kids are old enough put them in their playroom for all the really small Lego pieces.

Q: Rowena, do you have a handy use for the plastic clips that come on my loaves of bread?

OrganizerA: You will love this one. Check out the photo. Use one clip per electrical cord. They make great labels. What do you think?

Q: I live in a 2 story home. What is your best tip for helping me keep organized?

A: Have a basket at the bottom of the stairs. Put any items in the basket that need to go upstairs. Never go up stairs empty handed. Take the basket with you. Put the items away and return the basket to the bottom step. Get your family involved in this action as well.

Q: I love cutting out decorating ideas. What should I do with all the magazine cutouts?

A: Are you decorating right now or will you be decorating in the next 3-6 months? If so keep decorating ideas in a file. Store the file in your desk or file cabinet. If you are not decorating right now but “one day” would like to, then wait until closer to that time to start cutting out and saving ideas. I know what you are thinking. Ya but I like this idea right now. I know, but taste and style change with seasons and each year.

Q: What should I do with all my empty CD cases?

A: Where are the CD’s? I am going to assume they are in a CD binder. Donate the cases.

Q: I recycle, compost and I am very mindful of packaging however I still seem to have lots of garbage. How can I cut back on my garbage?

A: Great question, as I know we are all trying very hard to cut back on our garbage. Metro Vancouver produces nearly a million tons of garbage a year! Garbage from homes, condos and apartments makes up nearly a third of the regions waste. 

When possible, buy in bulk. This will reduce the amount of packaging.

Use your cloth shopping bags even if you are going clothes shopping. Use a stainless steel water bottle and fill it up from the tap. I like to keep one on my desk, one in my car and a couple for the gym. Reduce the amount of things you print off your computer. Use both sides of the paper. Take your own coffee cup to business meetings, social meetings and coffee shops. Shop at consignment stores. Especially for kids toys. This will really cut back on packaging. Together we can all make a difference.

Q: My kids played every sport known to man. They have grown out of most of the sporting equipment. What can I do with it all? Some of the soccer shoes are still in great shape. The hockey sticks are like new and we seem to have an overflow of bikes, rackets and balls.

A: By now most of you know my theory. “Nothing takes on value unless it is being used”. Please pass things on as soon as you are done with them so someone else can take pleasure in those items.

You can sell some of these items on CraigsList or Kijiji. Check for a local used sports store. Vancouver has a great one called “Sports Junkie.”  Go to your local baseball/soccer field and speak to the moms on the sideline. Donate to your local school or church.

Q: I am getting ready to downsize. HELP!! I have my late parent’s photo albums. What should I do with all these photos? I do not know who is in the pictures and I am not sure where the pictures were taken. Many of them are of their vacations.

A: Most of us have a hard enough time keeping track of our own photos let alone our parents. In the end, these photos were your parent’s memories and treasures. It is time for them to go. You might want to do a quick check and see if there are one or two very special family photos that you would like to keep.

Q: I’ve been wearing prescription glasses for over ten years. Each year or two I get a new pair. What can I do with all my outdated eyeglasses?

A: I drop all my glasses off at Bonsor recreation centre in Burnaby. They send all prescription glasses to third world countries. Check with your local optical store. I’ll bet they have the same program.

Q: I have all my old calendars/datebooks. I’ve been saving them for years. What shall I do with them?

A: TOSS!  Unless there is a purpose for keeping them than toss. Ask yourself “what is the reason for keeping these?” Do you ever look back on these calendars to see what you did five years ago? Most people do not have that kind of time or interest. They are busy with TODAY.

Have you taken advantage of your FREE phone consultation? If not, be sure to contact me TODAY. We will discuss your personal needs, questions and concerns. I’ll give you tips on downsizing and how to move forward with clearing the clutter.