My DigiFridge, a great way to preserve your pint-size Picasso’s artistic output

November 7th, 2011

You love your child’s artwork and want to celebrate their creativity, right? Of course you do! But after their latest masterpiece finds a temporary home on the front or sides of your refrigerator and eventually has to make way for your child’s newest artistic gem, then what do you do with it? It’s easy to feel totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of art your pint-size Picasso produces, but art preservation company My DigiFridge can help. By using your child’s artwork to create practical and fun gifts and keepsakes, My DigiFridge makes it possible for you to share in your child’s excitement, pay tribute to their artistic endeavors and prevent precious memories from simply cluttering up drawers, closet shelves, the space underneath beds and other storage areas. Send a clear message that you’re proud of your child by turning their artwork into puzzles, blankets, mousepads, placemats, mugs, aprons, screensavers, slides for digital frames, scrapbooks and more or simply preserve and store them on CDs or DVDs. The possibilities are endless!

 

 

The charming artwork on this blanket was done by the recipient’s grandfather to celebrate her birth.

 

 

 

 

 

This little girl’s artwork was used to create a cool puzzle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This child’s artwork was turned into a colorful and practical mousepad.

 

 

Fall Electronic Waste Recycling Days

September 15th, 2011

The electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program run by the Lower East Side Ecology Center allows New York City residents to dispose of unwanted or broken electronics in an environmentally responsible way and this September and October they will be holding 17 e-waste recycling events in all five boroughs.

They accept electronics from households, small businesses (less than 50 employees, please call ahead) and not-for-profits. A list of acceptable recycling materials can be found here, as well as answers to other e-waste FAQs. They do not accept home appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators or air conditioners.

All events will be held rain or shine and will run 10am to 4pm (with the exception of the September 20th event which will run 11am to 7pm). Directions to the locations listed below can be found here.

BRONX

September 25, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
VAN CORTLANDT PARK – Broadway between Manhattan College Parkway and Post Road

BROOKLYN

September 24, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
FORT GREENE – Habana Outpost – Fulton Street between South Portland Avenue and South Oxford Street

October 01, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
CARROLL GARDENS – Smith Street between President and Union Streets

October 01, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
WILLIAMSBURG – The New New York, N 11th Street between Kent and Wythe Avenues

October 02, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK, Pier 1, Furman Street between Old Fulton and Doughty Streets

October 15, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
PARK SLOPE – 8th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets

October 16, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
PARK SLOPE – 7th Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets

October 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
BED-STUY – Restoration Plaza, Herkimer Street entrance between New York and Brooklyn Avenues

October 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
COBBLE HILL – PS 29 Schoolyard, Baltic Street between Henry and Clinton Streets

MANHATTAN:

September 17, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
CHELSEA – Tekserve, 119 West 23rd Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)

September 18, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
LOWER EAST SIDE – Delancey Street between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets

September 20, 2011 | 11:00am – 7:00pm
UPPER EAST SIDE – Church of the Heavenly Rest, 5th Avenue and East 90th Street

October 22, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
UPPER WEST SIDE – Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Amsterdam Ave between West 96th and 97th Streets

October 23, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
STUYVESANT TOWN – 14th Street Loop, enter at 14th Street and Ave A

QUEENS

September 24, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
St. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY – parking lot, enter at Gate 4, Union Turnpike and 175th Street

September 25, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
NY HALL OF SCIENCE -  visitor parking lot, enter at 111th St. and 49th Ave.

STATEN ISLAND

October 02, 2011 | 10:00am – 4:00pm
SHOWPLACE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – 141 E Service Road, enter at Victory Boulevard and Beresford Ave

Seams split, doesn’t fit, sick of it? Recycle your clothes and help keep them out of landfills.

September 9th, 2011

GrowNYC is a 40+ year old, hands-on non-profit that works to improve New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs. You’ve experienced GrowNYC in action if you have ever attended a NYC Greenmarket or one of the many community gardens sprinkled throughout the City that they have built or rejuvenated. Besides these two wonderful programs, however, they have another laudable, eco-friendly initiative that I want to urge you to take advantage of – keeping clothing and textiles out of landfills. Here’s information from their website on the what, when, where and how of it:

The average New Yorker tosses 46 pounds of clothing and textiles in the trash each year, totaling 6% of our entire residential waste stream.  But with your help, landfills are going on a diet. More than 51,000 New Yorkers have helped NYC lose 1 million pounds by recycling unwanted clothing, linens, paired shoes, bags and more through GrowNYC’s textile recycling initiative.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why a textile recycling program?

5.7% of NYCs residential waste stream consists of textiles like clothing and towels. All told, New Yorkers discard 193,000 tons of textiles every year in NYC, at a cost to taxpayers and our environment.

Where and when can I recycle my textiles?

Textiles can be dropped off weekly at 8 select Greenmarkets: 97th Street, Union Square (Mon and Sat only), Grand Army Plaza, Fort Greene, McCarren Park, Inwood, Tompkins Square and Jackson Heights.

What items are accepted?

Our collections accept clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, bedding, linens, hats, handbags, belts, fabric scraps 36″ x 36″ or larger and other textiles.  We do not accept rugs or carpeting.

What happens to materials donated?

Materials are sorted into different grades including usable/non-usable, cotton scrap, cotton blend scrap and synthetics. These commodities are then sold for reuse as clothing, linens, etc or to recycling markets that turn materials into wiping rags, fiber for car seats and insulation.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes! Your contribution to the program directly benefits Council on the Environment, Inc. d/b/a GrowNYC.

What if I can’t make it to these collections?

If you are unable to attend our weekly collections, contact Wearable Collections at 646-515-4387 or info@wearablecollections.com to see if you are eligible for a home pick up. Better yet, visit www.WearableCollections.com to find out how to set up a textile recycling program in your apartment building!

Can my business bring items to the drop-off sites?

NYC law requires businesses to recycle textiles if they comprise more than 10% of the company’s total waste stream. Visit NYCWasteLess to find a vendor.

ONE-DAY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

MANHATTAN

Saturday, September 10, 12pm-4pm
Tucker Square Greenmarket
Columbus Ave at 66th St

Saturdays, September 17 & 24, 11am-4pm
Tribeca Greenmarket
Greenwich St b/t Chambers & Duane

Saturday, October 15, 11am-4pm
Abingdon Square Greenmarket
Hudson St & West 12th St

BRONX

Friday, October 28, 9am-2pm
Parkchester Greenmarket

Westchester Ave & White Plains Rd

Wednesday, November 2, 9am-3pm
New York Botanical Gardens Greenmarket

Mosholu Gate on Southern Blvd b/t Mosholu Pkwy & Bedford Pk Blvd

ONGOING WEEKLY COLLECTIONS

FRIDAYS

97th Street Greenmarket, 8am-2pm
W 97th & Columbus

SATURDAYS

Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Union Square Park, North Plaza (17th St.)

Inwood Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Isham St b/t Seaman & Cooper

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
NW Entrance to Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Fort Greene Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Washington Park at DeKalb

McCarren Park Greenmarket, 8am-2pm
Union b/t Driggs & N12th St, Greenpoint

SUNDAYS

Tompkins Square Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
E 7th & Avenue A

Jackson Heights Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
34th Ave b/t 77th & 78th Sts

MONDAYS

Union Square Greenmarket
, 8am-6pm

Union Square Park, North Plaza (17th St.)

NOTE: Ask a market manager if you cannot locate the clothing drop-off.  All collections are year round but may be suspended due to major holidays or extremely inclement weather. Please call or visit our website for updated information.

Check the expiration dates on your emergency supply of canned goods at least once a year.

September 5th, 2011

As Hurricane Irene was making its way up the East Coast to NYC last weekend, I received emails from Brooklyn and Queens clients trying to get organized for the oncoming storm who wondered if I knew how long canned goods were safe to ingest. Apparently, both of these clients had an emergency supply they had bought so long ago in anticipation of weather events that might cause power outages that they couldn’t remember how long it had been. Just to be on the safe side – though I assumed they already had – I replied that most canned goods had expiration dates on them so they should check the label, the lid or the bottom of the can. If the cans didn’t have an expiration date, I suggested that they contact the manufacturer of the food for information or look on the company’s website. I also suggested that they check out StillTasty, a shelf life guide where you can find out how long your favorite food or beverage will stay safe and tasty and what’s the best way to store it. Additionally, I recommended that they check the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website. Because time was of the essence, I emphasized that, if they couldn’t get the information they needed quickly and easily, common sense should prevail and they should toss or set aside to investigate later items they were unsure of and get fresh supplies in the meantime.

When food is involved, the wise thing to do to protect yourself and your loved ones is either use up your emergency supply cans BEFORE they expire or give them away or donate them well in advance of their expiration dates and replace them with new ones. To avoid the potential unwelcome surprise of emergency food cans past their expiration dates, review your stash of supplies at least once a year. Put a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget or tie your review in with a yearly event or ritual like New Year’s or turning your clocks backward or forward. It’s also a good time to review/update other in-case-of-emergency items like your insurance policies, emergency contact list, evacuation plans and the contents of your Go (emergency) Bag.

Many of us prefer not to think about bad things happening, but major weather events like Hurricane Irene can and do occur. No one is immune. It could happen to you, so be prepared.

Hate to file? Where’s your file cabinet located?

August 30th, 2011

 

At home or at work, a simple, easy-to-use filing system is the best way to keep track of all the paper you accumulate. Unfortunately, even when people have a good filing system in place, filing is often a dreaded task. In one online poll about which office chore people hated the most, filing was the winner, hands-down!

Since good paper management requires filing your papers on a regular basis, if you hate to file, you need to figure out why and what to do about it. A good place to start your diagnosis is with the LOCATION OF YOUR FILE CABINET. A file cabinet situated in an unpleasant, out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach spot in your home is unlikely to be used as often as it should be. That can lead to papers not being filed in a timely way and you not being able to find items you need when you need them as a result, to say nothing of the clutter that piles of unfiled paper can create.

Place your file cabinet in a convenient locale where you can easily take advantage of its storage capabilities and, who knows, you may actually learn to love filing!

New York Public Library Clutter Support Group

August 22nd, 2011

Do you feel overwhelmed by the possessions, paper and piles that have taken over your life and space? Don’t know how or where to start to make changes? You’re not alone.

Facilitated by organizing expert A. J. Miller of MILLER ORGANIZING, The New York Public Library Clutter Support Group is FREE and open to people of all ages with any degree of disorganization. Whether you’ve had a life long struggle with being organized or your problem is more recent; whether you’re just a little overloaded, a hoarder, have ADHD or are living with someone who is one of these, please join us at the Kips Bay Branch (446 Third Avenue @ 31st Street) of The New York Public Library. The group meets on an ongoing basis to address clutter related issues and offer support, information, tips and techniques to combat clutter and become better organized.

For more information, please call the Library at (212) 683-2520 or click here.

Spring cleaning & organizing: Best practices for storing your off-season clothing

April 12th, 2011

Although April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, all they are bringing, at the moment, is soggy feet or you being cooped up inside. Don’t let it get you down, though. Embrace being trapped indoors by the less-than-lovely weather outside and Spring clean, declutter, edit and organize your clothes closets. Look over your winter clothing before you pack it away. Decide which items are keepers for next year and which aren’t. Try on your shorts and swimsuits and dream about the nice weather ahead. Make a list of items you might need to fill in the gaps.

When packing away out-of-season items, keep in mind these storage tips to help preserve items made with quality fabrics, leather or fur.

- Remember that ventilation is important when storing natural fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, linen, suede and leather.

- Do not use plastic bags (including vacuum-seal bags) because they can permanently crush fabrics and furs. In addition, the airtight seals can cause mildew and mold growth.

- If you’re hanging garments, use non-rusting hangers and white, muslin garment covers. Allow sufficient space between items for good air circulation.

-  When storing garments in boxes or bins, use sheets of acid-free, white tissue to separate items and line the containers.

- Save space by utilizing unused suitcases to store items made of fabrics that can be folded and stacked safely. Place the heaviest items at the bottom of the pile. Stack items loosely.

- Not all clothes should be folded and stacked. Fur must be hung from the shoulders. To avoid crushing fur, do not put it in a plastic bag or pack it in between hung items. For best results, fur should be stored in professional cold storage.

- Use cedar blocks, etc. to control pests. Because they are toxic, avoid using mothballs if children might have access to them.

- The glue in dresser drawers or trunks that are lined with wallpaper or adhesive liner paper can attract pests so avoid storing clothing in them. The same holds true for glued boxes.

- Do not use starch or fabric finish on any garments that are going to be stored.

Start working on your off-season storage project now and, with any luck, you’ll be done in time to go outside and enjoy the Spring flowers that arrive in May!

 

Get cash for your stash.

April 8th, 2011

Got a stash of old cellphones, video game players, cameras, e-Readers, laptops or other electronic devices cluttering up your space? If you do, then now is a great time to do some Spring cleaning & decluttering and get cash for your stash at the same time. Online companies like NextWorth and Gazelle make it easy and convenient for you to get additional value out of your used electronics equipment, while being environmentally responsible by keeping them out of the landfills.

Here’s how it works. Go to the website, list what you have to sell and receive back an offer. If you like the price you’re offered and accept it, you’ll receive a check, a Pay Pal credit card or a gift card and your electronics will be refurbished and resold or recycled. Warning: remove all of your personal data from any devices you sell before sending them on their way to new users.

For the technologically challenged in your life

April 2nd, 2011

Do you have family members, friends or other loved ones who are technologically challenged? Are you their one-man (or woman) tech support team? Now there’s a way to help them get their tech groove on. A website created by Google to Teach Parents Tech (so you don’t have to!) – TeachParentsTech.org – offers more than 50 2-minute videos with step-by-step instructions on topics such as how to send emails, cut and paste copy, change wallpapers, make text bigger or smaller, create a blog and take screenshots, among other things.

So, the next time you’re asked to lend a technological hand, let Teach Parents Tech help you empower those in need to become more technologically self-sufficient. Think of it as the tech version of Jesus teaching a man to fish instead of just giving him one! Giving a man a fish feeds him for one meal. Teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime! If recipients get the idea, you may be off the technological hook (pun intended!) forever!

11 great reasons to get organized

March 21st, 2011

Getting – and staying – organized don’t happen overnight and they aren’t always easy to achieve, but they can be well worth the effort. Almost everyone has his or her own reasons for wanting or needing to get organized. If, however, you fail to see why getting organized is so important, perhaps one, some or all(!) of the reasons on this list will enlighten, inspire and motivate you to bring more order and organization to your life.

11 GREAT REASONS TO GET ORGANIZED

  • Reduce stress – A clean, clutter-free, organized space helps to lower stress and generally improve your health.
  • Save time – You won’t waste valuable minutes or hours searching for lost or misplaced items. You’ll have more time to spend with loved ones or doing things you really want to do.
  • Save money – No more late payment fees. No more purchasing duplicates of items you know you have but can’t locate.
  • Regain your energy – Clutter is a drain on you physically, mentally and emotionally. Clearing it out helps you to regain your vitality and enthusiasm.
  • Increase productivity and efficiency – You’ll meet deadlines, keep appointments and be able to devote more time, attention and energy to the things you really need or want to do.
  • Make money – Sell your clutter and turn it into cash. Save or spend it on something you truly want or need. At work, you’ll do your job better if you’re organized and will be more likely to get a promotion.
  • Be a good influence – Children learn what they live. Set a positive example by modeling good organization for them and you’ll impart a valuable life skill.
  • Be proud – A clutter-free space is something to be proud of so invite people over. Share it with them and enjoy!
  • Increase your self-confidence – You’ll feel better about yourself because you’re able to function at a high level.
  • Eat better – Planning meals and grocery shopping are easier when you’re organized. Cooking is more enjoyable – and more likely to happen – in an organized kitchen.
  • Safety – Removing unneeded and potentially dangerous items will help to create a safer environment for everyone using the space: yourself, a child or other loved ones, a person of limited mobility, a pet or a co-worker.

As you can see, the benefits of living an orderly life are many. Get organized now and experience them for yourself!