[Guest Post] Creating a Clean and Orderly Home: Decluttering the Eco-Friendly Way

If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t quite get your home clean, you could be overlooking a problem that’s right in front of you — and all around you. It’s called clutter. People who live amid clutter sometimes get used to living that way. That may work for some, but it gets in the way of the down-and-dirty cleaning that’s necessary to get a home truly clean. Getting rid of clutter means a cleaner home, and if you’re devoted to preserving the natural environment, the good news is you can declutter your home without adding clutter to the environment.

Cleaning Tools

Of course, once you’ve decluttered the eco-friendly way, make sure you have the tools you need to keep your nice, orderly home clean. Make sure you have a good vacuum cleaner, one that’s lightweight and has plenty of attachments so you can reach easily into corners.

Dump the Dump

We’re all paying the price for generations of dumping old and unwanted items like mattresses, couches, and electrical appliances. Landfills are overflowing with such items, and more space is needed to accommodate more. Rather than burdening the environment with refuse, you can recycle it by taking your clutter to facilities that accept electronics and bedding items like mattresses. If that old dryer is still functional, why not drop it off at a local charity? Appliances can often be rehabbed and made useful again at homeless centers.

Digitize

It’s nice to have photo albums that the family can leaf through on special occasions and reminisce about the past. But photos can quickly become a clutter nuisance, especially if someone in the family is a notorious shutterbug. Rather than allowing them to pile up, take advantage of digital technology by scanning those old pictures and storing them in “the cloud.”

Clothing

Go ahead and admit it — you’re hanging onto pants that fit you three years ago, but which couldn’t possibly fit today. It’s natural to believe you’re just one diet away from having a 32-inch waist again and to hang onto old clothing for that reason. But if you look around the house with an objective eye, you’ll see accumulated clothing items, many of which you probably don’t even remember buying. That makes clothing a major contributor to clutter. Local charities would be glad to take it all off your hands. If your clothing items are in good condition, consider taking them to a consignment store or selling them in a garage or yard sale. It’s a responsible and eco-friendly thing to do, because cast-off clothing is a major problem in landfills.

“Green” Grocery Bags

Most of us take for granted that groceries come home in small plastic bags. They’re convenient, easy to carry, and make handy lunch bags, but they represent a tremendous threat to wildlife and they’re a major source of pollution. Break the plastic bag habit by switching to reusable grocery bags, made of eco-friendly cloth material. While you’re at it, ask someone at your local grocery if they have a place where you can dispose of plastic bags, which can be recycled.

Bathroom Clutter

Half-empty shampoo bottles, old hair brushes, and small mounds of disposable razors create a lot of clutter in the bathroom and add tremendously to landfill waste. Try switching to a reusable razor, and keep your shampoo in refillable containers so old bottles can be recycled.

Decluttering is a good way to protect and preserve your personal environment. Doing it in an eco-friendly manner is an excellent way to do your part in conserving our natural environment.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Guest Author: Alice Robertson

Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.

 

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American Riviera Design Conference 2018

After the success of last year’s first American Riviera Design Conference, ASID Los Angeles Chapter once again held the event in beautiful Santa Barbara, California this year.
The weather was perfect. The format followed last year’s event with an improved scheduling and more presentations. It was great to spend time with friends I already knew and made new friends. It was a tremendous effort of the organizers, sponsors, presenters and the attendees to made the two-day conference go smoothly.
Another mission of this year’s conference was to support the local communities that have been severely impacted by fire and flood. ASID LA held a raffle with 75% of the proceeds benefiting the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigate.
Below is the event timeline. I have added links for quick access.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Kick off Lunch
Riviera Ballroom at The Canary Hotel
11:15 am – Speaker: Ed Paulsen and Lisa Masino, Kravet Fabrics
            “Modern Tailor”
12:15 pm – Speakers: Shannon Ratcliffe and Venessa Kogevinas, LUXE Interiors + Design
            “Mad for Marketing”
My takeaway from the LUXE presentation was sending follow-up emails to new contacts right after the events no matter how tired you are. I always thought it was best to wait until the next business day, and I almost always got so busy and procrastinated until it didn’t make sense to email those people. 
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Tour Kogevina’s Luxury Properties Landmark Estate, “Robledal”, situated in the most exclusive part of Hope Ranch
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Tour of Armstrong Associates Arlington Village Santa Barbara, a mixed-use residential and commercial development
Architects: Peikert +RRM Design Group
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Luxe Interiors + Design Reception  
Champagne Reception and hors d’oeuvres
Speaker/CEU: Julie Arcelay, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove
        “Luxury Outdoor Kitchens”

Ready for another day of fun!

Friday, June 8th, 2018
9:00am – 10:30am – Breakfast and Presentation 
Presentation: Raina Cox & Eric Runner, Farrow & Ball Inc.
11:00am – 1:00pm – Lunch & CEU’S
Pullman Room at The LARK
11:15am- 12:00pm Speaker/CEU: Barry Cik, Naturepedic
“Flame Retardant in Home Furnishings”
12:00pm-12:45Pm Speaker/CEU: Guy Elston, Morris Tait Associates
“Disguise and Hide- Designing for Technology”
1:30 – 3:30pm – Montecito
William Laman, Furniture Garden Antiques
Elizabeth Ribons- Walking Antique Tour in Montecito
        The list of shops curated by Elizabeth Ribons can be download from http://www.mentormeresource.com/ when you provide your name and email.
4:00pm – 7:30pm – Tour of SBIFF The Riviera Theatre, and Movie
4:30 Speaker/: Shelby Fowler, Sherwin Williams
4:45 Speaker/: Leslie Delli-Venneri, Victoria + Albert
5:00 pm -7:30 Movie: RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

[Ask Michelle] Renovation Project Mistakes

What’s the Most Common Mistake People Make with Renovation Projects? 
Definitely not budgeting enough time and/or money. It always takes longer and cost more.
It’s best to start interviewing design professionals as soon as you are considering a project. Experienced design professionals and help you with determining the budget and time line. Even for a DIY project, paying for a consultation session with a professional can save you time and money.
When it comes to money, I suggest setting aside additional 5% – 10% of your project budget as the “emergency fund”. Almost always, “unforeseen circumstances” occur during the construction process. If it turns out the extra money was not used, it’s yours to keep!
For best results, you should allow a minimum of 2 – 3 months for planning and designing for a small project. Large projects require more time for designing. No matter how experience the designer is, each project is unique and require time for study and research. You also want to explore different options and make the educated decisions.

[Ask Michelle] I can’t Afford a Designer!

Designers are expensive. My project is small and I am planning to do part of work myself. My contractor said he had done many similar projects and would help me with selecting products materials.
The truth is you can’t afford not having a designer. Designers are more than having fancy styles and good taste and know how to shop. In order to be professional designers, one has invested years of hard work to gain knowledge, skills, and experience. A good designer guides you through options, organizes the information, and prevents mistakes. Without a designer, you are risking spending more money and time and settling for a less-satisfactory result. You should figure 10% – 15% of your budget for design. You don’t always need a full-service package. Even small projects can use design input. If you can’t afford hiring a designer, you can’t afford the project.
Contractors are not designers. They may be design enthusiasts like yourself, but there is a reason they didn’t choose to work as designers. (Some firms do offer design and build services. In such case, you should check their qualifications for designing and building.) On the other hand, ask questions if a designers offers to act as a general contractor.

[Survey] Help Designers Improve

I often wonder, as a designer, if I am offering what people want/need. I am certain there are many things I can improve or change but people are not telling me. I can easily find reasons why people should hire designers. But I can’t find why people prefer not to work with designers.

What if residential designers can learn what homeowners, industry partners and contractors want? Sure this won’t bring world peace. But it will minimize unnecessary frustrations of all parties involved in a design project. We will make the profession better. Please help and fill out the survey to share your opinions. You have the option to be anonymous. After I have collected enough responses and organized them, I will share the results in a blog article. Please share this SURVEY with those who may be interested in contributing.

Thank you in advance for helping out!