Make the Move Wednesday, Feb 12 2014 

Plant a Pothole via Houzz.Com Sunday, Jul 8 2012 

ReUse / ReCycle in the Garden via Houzz.Com Monday, Jun 25 2012 

Deck The Halls Wednesday, Dec 7 2011 

This year I wanted a tree, yet didn’t want a tree. I love the smell of a real tree, but not the mess. I found my solution — a bunch of Curly Willow branches. I don’t get the nice tree smell, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to take. This was quick and easy to put together. I just put the branches in a vase with rocks and hung chocolate ornaments on it — you could add lights and garlands if you wanted.  At the end of the season the ornaments will have been eaten and the branches can be saved for another year, planted if they root (Willow branches are fairly easy to root in water) or composted.

 

Quick Fix Friday, Apr 29 2011 

My backyard cottage was in need of a facelift. I painted the cottage a dark blue (Benjamin Moore, Evening Sky) and broadened the white trim (Benjamin Moore, White Dove) around the door. Then I found an old window at a salvage yard and hung it like a picture.  I added a mailbox, some plants, a bench and a doormat to complete the look. The window made all the difference.

BEFORE
















AFTER

Cottage




















SIDE VIEW

Cottage Side View

Get The Mess Out! Friday, Sep 24 2010 

It happens to everyone, all of sudden you look over and you can’t see your desk anymore or your floor or the back of your closet or…  and you know it’s time to tackle the mess.

I have my own system for organizing. First of all, if you feel overwhelmed you might want to get help. The other thing to do if you feel overwhelmed is to pick a small area to focus on – instead of the bookshelf do one shelf. The process works the same whether it is one shelf or an entire house.

The Steps:

  1. Choose your area and make some space to put sorted items. Cover as large an area as you can handle.
  2. Remove items starting with one area (shelf, desktop, drawer, portion of the room, etc.).
  3. Place the items into piles: Keep, Trash, Recycling, Donate, Unsure. The reason I do an Unsure pile is to keep down the time it takes to sort the items, for many people sorting is the hardest part. If you aren’t sure if you can give the item away then just stick the item in the Unsure pile.
  4. Once everything is sorted take the items from the Keep pile and place the appropriate items back in the area you have been organizing. You may have things in your Keep pile that don’t belong in the area you’re working on and those will be placed where they belong or dealt with later.
  5. Now the trash and recycling can be put out, and the items to be donated can be bagged or boxed and given away. See my lists of local resources for donating  https://bayareaassistant.com/2010/06/25/taking-out-the-trash/ & https://bayareaassistant.com/2010/06/28/taking-out-the-trash-part-two/
  6. Take a look at your Unsure pile and ask yourself these questions: When was the last time I used this? How often do I use this? Will I use this? Is there a place to keep it? Would someone else be happy to have this? Now sort the items accordingly.
  7. Next continue to move through the rest of the clutter until you are satisfied. You can do this in small blocks of time or all at once if you are motivated. See https://bayareaassistant.com/2011/11/03/keeping-it-together/ for tips on how to store items.

Aromatherapy While You Clean Sunday, Aug 22 2010 

I’ve just started using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lemon Verbena All Purpose Cleaner. I have to tell you not only is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day biodegradable and it has a nice scent, but it also cleans really well. I have cleaned hardwood floors, slate floors and ceramic tile floors with it. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner consistently leaves the floors gleaming. I put about a 1/4 of a cup in a gallon of warm water and I don’t even need to rinse. I also use it in a spray bottle to clean counter tops, walls and cupboards. I put about four tablespoons in a large spray bottle then fill the bottle with water and it’s ready to go.

Taking Out The Trash Part Two Monday, Jun 28 2010 

You find you still have old electronics, old building materials and hazardous waste to dispose of. What do you do with it? Try these options:

  1. EWaste Collective, TV, VCR and Small Appliance Recycling [Website]
  2. Alameda County Waste Reduction & Recycling [Website]
  3. Appliance Recycling – PG&E [Website]
  4. Contra Costa County Waste Reduction & Recycling [Website]
  5. El Cerrito Recycling Center [Website]
  6. Contra Costa Electronics Recycling [Website]
  7. Marin Recycling Center & Recycling Directory [Website]
  8. Ohmega Salvage, Berkeley: Buy & Sell Architectural Salvage [Website]
  9. Urban Ore, Berkeley: Buy & Sell Used Building Materials [Website]
  10. The Away Station, Fairfax: Donate & Purchase BuildingMaterials & More [Website]
  11. San Francisco Computer Recycling Center [Website]
  12. San Francisco & South Bay Computer, Electronic Recycling, Paper Shredding & Data Destruction Services [Website]
  13. San Francisco Household Hazardous & E-Waste Facility [Website]
  14. Habitat for Humanity ReStore: building material, appliances, furniture [Website]

Taking Out The Trash Part One Friday, Jun 25 2010 

You’ve sorted, cleaned and organized and now you are left with a pile of clothes, small appliances and furniture that you no longer want. What do you do with it? There are several options, please follow the guidelines at the various places as to what they will and will not accept. Here are a few options to get you started:

  1. The Salvation Army will pick-up items or you can find a drop off location near you: [Website]
  2. Donate clothing, small appliances & furniture: [Website]
  3. Donate Business clothes: [Website]
  4. Donate prom dresses: [Website]
  5. Donate coats & warm jackets: [Website]
  6. Donate bicycles in San Francisco: [Website]
  7. Donate bicycles in Marin: The Re-Cyclery, San Rafael, San Rafael, CA, 415-458-2986
  8. Donate cell phones: Green Festival 415-255-9319; Marin Abused Women’s Service (MAWS) 415.457.2464; Oakland Zoo 510-632-9525 x124
  9. Donate blankets & towels to animal shelters and rescue organizations. See the Tips on ‘Pets’ & ‘Pet Adoption’ for the links for the various shelters
  10. Post on Craigslist Free Stuff Category [Website]
  11. Post on Freecycle: a place to match your old stuff with people [Website]
  12. Donate art supplies, textiles, teaching materials, etc. to SCRAP, San Francisco [Website]
  13. Donate art supplies, textiles, teaching materials, etc. to East Bay Depot, Oakland [Website]
  14. Donate text books [Website]

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