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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Clean together as a family

It should go without saying, but keeping a clean house is a major step toward keeping your family safe. Clutter can collect dirt, provide a hiding spot for pests, and can cause trips or falls.

By working together, you can ensure that your home is a safe, happy and healthy place where you and your family can spend time together.

Here are five important benefits that you and your family can enjoy if you clean together and become more organized as a family unit:


1. It’s a great opportunity to bond.

With a hectic schedule during the week, most of us forget to squeeze in some quality time with our loved ones. A thorough house cleaning is the perfect project to work on together as a family unit; you can reconnect, tell stories, play games…the list can go on and on!


2. It’s a chance to get creative.

Let’s be serious…who doesn’t love a DIY project? Cleaning your home from top to bottom will force you and your family to come up with creative ideas in order to store and organize your household belongings. Before you know it, you will have a clean home that everyone is proud of.


3. In the long run, it will save everyone time.

With a clean house, you will be able to maneuver and find items quickly and easily. But the best part of all? Simple daily tasks like sweeping, doing the dishes, and making your bed will make your house instantly look clean and picture-perfect – no additional work required!


4. It will improve everyone’s physical and mental health.

Did you know that headaches, fatigue, and sinus problems can be related to the amount of clutter in your household? Cleaning your home is the best way to reduce dust and other irritants and allergens within your home. It’s also important to keep in mind that your living space has the power to affect your mood and state of mind: the more cluttered the space, the more negative you may feel.  Your home should be a safe haven where you can forget the stress and hard work of the day. It should never do the opposite!


5. Your home will look refreshed – and everyone will feel refreshed, too.

Let’s face it: there’s nothing better than walking into a house that is clean and organized. A clean house can make all the difference from the moment you walk through the door.  By transforming your home into a tidy, well organized living space, everyone can be proud.


So what are you waiting for? Gather your entire family and get started right now! Before you know it, you will be well on your way to having a clutter-free home with far less junk to worry about.


Have a comment? Leave it here!


Creative ways of reusing old electronics!

Just because you have old electronics collecting dust, doesn’t mean you should simply recycle them by dropping them off at the recycling center. If you’re proficient in electrical work, you can wire old electronics together in a very creative way. You can literally make your electronic junk sing for you!


Star wars’ Imperial March played by old floppy drives:

Eye of the tiger

Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know

The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

But if you lack the necessary skills to replicate the above, you can always do what I do and use your old computer as a door stop. Just kidding!


A resolution to de-clutter

Are you looking to clean up your act this year? The running joke about New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t last. In fact, most people seem to forget about them after just a few months. The resolutions we make at the beginning of the year are often unrealistic or unachievable, so why not resolve to make a change that is easy, manageable, and full of benefits you can reap all year long?

A new year means a chance to start over. If you haven’t already added de-cluttering to your list of resolutions, don’t worry, because it’s never too late to start!

The best part about a de-cluttering resolution is that you’ll be able to immediately see results. Your living space will look better and bigger, and you’ll feel so good you might even take on some other challenges that have been waiting in the wings.


Why is de-cluttering a good resolution?

There are numerous benefits to de-cluttering. Here are our top five:

1. More space.  To put it simply, less stuff equals more space. Think of it this way: there’s no reason to be surrounded by things that don’t work, that you don’t need, or that you don’t even like. By getting rid of clutter, it will allow you to have more space in your home that you can enjoy.

2. More time.  Having more time is one of the most important benefits of de-cluttering. Just think of the free time you’ll have, now that you aren’t organizing and maintaining your unnecessary stuff.  Spend that time on something you love instead!

3. More freedom.  Having less clutter in your home will allow you to clean more quickly and with ease. De-cluttering will also reduce dust collection, making it easier to reach all those hidden areas while you’re cleaning.

4. More productivity.  The positive energy you’ll gain with a clutter-free home will give you one less thing to worry about and allow you to focus on your everyday tasks. Your living space reflects your state of mind: the more cluttered the space, the more cluttered your thoughts may be.

5. More gratitude.  Owning less stuff will make you appreciate and value what you already have.


How do I start?

We recommend tackling one room at a time. As soon as you enter a room, take a quick look around and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does the room look at first glance?  Can you open drawers, closets, etc. and easily find the items you are looking for?
  • Do you waste time looking for things, or buy items you already have because you can’t find what you were looking for?
  • Do you think you need a bigger room because you are running out of space?
  • Are there any items that you haven’t used in the last year? Or worse…several years?

If you answered “yes” to at least one of the questions above, then it’s time to reclaim the square footage in your home and de-clutter!

How to make your resolution stick

Clutter is stubborn, and here’s a warning: it can easily sneak back into your life! In order to make your resolution stick, it’s important to always keep de-cluttering top of mind; never let clutter pile up, and as soon as you see something that is ‘out of place’ be sure to act quickly!

The first three or four weeks might be a little difficult, but after the first month, you’ll be over the hump. De-cluttering shouldn’t take over your life, but junk shouldn’t either. The sooner you start, the better.

Good luck!


Fun recycled Christmas tree ornaments

We know you love recycling. We know you love the holiday season. With North Americans producing more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of year, why not combine the two? Learn how to make some tree ornaments yourself while also reducing waste!


Why throw away old puzzles when you could turn them into whimsical decorations? All you need is a glue gun, a ribbon and some paint (acrylic or spray) and you’ll be decking the halls before you know it.


What was once a burnt-out lightbulb is now a penguin, snowman or Santa (they’re perfectly shaped for ‘jolly’ things, aren’t they?). Put on your creativity hat and bring out your paintbrush, string, glue and other decorations–you’ll have a (literally) well-rounded group to hang on the tree!


Has your plant outgrown its pot? Make these great bell ornaments by painting old clay pots and knotting wire or ribbon through the bottom. Try gluing decorative holly to the top as a finishing touch.


Lightbulbs really make great recycled ornaments, don’t they? You can paint these old Christmas lightbulbs or use colored ones. Googly eyes + pipe cleaners + pom poms = so easy.


These beautiful creations from Martha Stewart (instructions ) are made from old greeting cards. They were too beautiful to toss when they were sent to you, so repurpose them into tree ornaments and you can continue to enjoy them year after year.


Glue old corks together into a seasonal shape and affix a ribbon with a tack or push pin.


Happy holidays!

Read more Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! articles

About the Author

Yoree Grozenok owns and operates 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in Kelowna, part of world's largest junk removal company. Years of operating this great business gave him wealth of knowledge and experience in recycling.

While other companies think of recycling as "nice thing to do", Yoree Grozenok built his business with recycling in mind from the very beginning. Not only every effort is made to recycle obvious items like scrap metal or cardboard, but the goal is set to recycle up to 80% of items that they pick up. They also recycle through donating items to charities or Kelowna Food Bank. All recycling efforts are tracked and publicly available for greater accountability.

Yoree Grozenok also started an annual eWaste recycling event that takes place in April in effort to divert electronic waste going to the landfill and give residents a chance to recycle their TV's, computers, and other electronic junk the right way.

1-800-GOT-JUNK? was nominated for Green Business award through SIFE Okanagan for their recycling efforts.

Contact: [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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