How To Declutter Food And Composting…. UPDATE….2nd Update…Worst Idea Ever!


composting foodHow to declutter food, PROPERLY.

Farming. It’s in my DNA. The problem is, I don’t live on a farm so I pretend and that is what started the problem.

Who out there doesn’t hate throwing out food? Such a shame and what a waste is what comes to mind when I have to toss food that is no longer edible. If I keep it and it decomposes then it becomes good fertilizer for my garden.

With that in mind I started to throw food down the little hill in my backyard. Choosing an area away from the house was the smart thing to do because I knew it would attract lots of flies. I started to notice more and more squirrels around the back along with more flies and a strong smell of rot and ferment.

Then one night the dogs started to go wild. Barking was sure to wake up the neighbors so we quickly ran out there to grab them. They had cornered a “pig possum”. That is the only way to describe this creature. It wasn’t a normal possum but something out of a horror movie. We had never seen anything like it before. That thing, was after all that rotting food in my compost pile.

Clearly the way I was composting for my area was incorrect. That is when I purchased a composter. The picture on back of the instructions showed nice dark dirt coming out the bottom. So far that hasn’t happened. composting box

It has a long way to go before the thing is full but for now it does feel nice to be able to through out old food with the exceptions of meat, fat, and dairy. I’ll do an update in a few months and let you know how it worked out.


The whole family got involved but we never had that rich brown dirt as a result of our effort.


We had more squirrels and raccoons and finally the decision was made to end our composting. Some was buried into ground and some went into the trash.

This container is now being used in the chicken area. I’ll be back soon to let you know how it works for my girls.


Composting was a disaster for me! Worst idea ever. All it really did was feed the rats and those rats told all of the other rats and we had a serious problem.

It didn’t work out for the chickens. They were not interested in the plastic box.

Although the idea is terrific, I have yet to meet someone who was truly successful and didn’t attract rats and flies and raccoons.

I won’t do this again.

As far as decluttering food….throw it out and let the trash company do their job.

What To Do With Homemade Binaculars?

My grandson made these and we did actually play with them for a couple of days. Think of all of the homemade gifts you will receive during your lifetime from kids and grandkids. Keeping everything would be a recipe for insanity. There is no shame in using things for a season or for a couple of days and then trashing or recycling.

Homemade Binaculars

Before And After Bookcase

Bookcase Before


This last weekend a friend and I were busy organizing. The catch all area for them was their bookcase. They estimated  the mess in their office has caused them to spend hours looking for the documents needed for a tax return.

Frustration and blame does not make for a happy home. The only way there would be success was for them to accept they needed to declutter.

The big problem for students and teachers is they may again use one of those books for reference. Getting rid of a book doesn’t mean it goes out of existence.

Donate to the library!

Let the library store it for you. If you can’t find that lost book then the library can check out other libraries and have it sent to yours.

We started by taking everything out and giving it a good clean. Then one by one, only putting back the books they needed and used. We also did the rest of the office. Lots of paper, junk mail, souvenirs, and everything in between.

Like items with like items. This will save you hours of searching.

Bookcase After

What To Do With Cloth Napkins

green cloth napkinsPainful, isn’t it?  Finding something you paid good money for, only to have never used them. Sandy was clearing out her drawers of table cloths and napkins and saw that a whole pack of napkins costing $32.00 were not even opened. What’s worse, they’ve been there for years. Why oh why did I buy them? She remembers that they were on sale, so the tag of $32.00 was most likely the full price. Even getting 50% off would not have been worth it.

It’s hard to let go of expensive things. We pride ourselves in finding those great deals out there. This is when we acknowledge that it really wasn’t a good deal after all.

Next time she will think twice before buying impulsively. No one likes to feel taken, however that is how she felt.

Ouch, it does hurt but there is no need to lose sleep over this bad deal. Live and learn and move on.

Impulsive buying is almost always a mistake. Sometimes we get lucky but usually it goes the other way.

“Indecision is the graveyard of good intentions”

Not sure who said this one, but isn’t it true? When it comes to making a decision about stuff, (keep or not keep) the indecision is a problem. There are many sayings about good intentions, like….

Good intentions and 50 cents will only buy you a cup of coffee at your local gas station. Or, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The other day I was in an office that had all sorts of magazines. Every headline that caught my eye were headlines of how to better yourself. As I sat there and read I realized these articles were trying hard to inspire me, to lose weight, get organized and take on all sorts of challenges. This is when I began to imagine all of the things I needed to do, like exercise, buy healthier food, get more organized.

I truly had the best of intentions but by the time I got home I was distracted and never accomplished those wonderful things.

One little step at a time.

There was one article that promoted THE CHALLENGE. I can’t remember the magazine but one challenge on organizing was the, get rid of one thing every day challenge I like that one!

Whatever works, WORKS. Try it. If you can’t do everyday then try once a week.

There is no shame in trying.

Who Says Bigger Is Better?

How did this happen? Being tricked into thinking that bigger homes were better and somehow believing it would make us happy, simply wasn’t true.

The last time I walked through a big model home I started to think… WOW, I could be happy living here. Why? Because it wasn’t cluttered, everything was new and the “fake family” that lived there was sooooo HAPPY.  You could see it in their faces from the photos strategically placed around the house.

In no way am I saying, sell everything, give to the poor and live like you are homeless. I’m way more practical than that.


Could living with less make your life less stressful?

Is clutter weighing you down?

Be generous today and donate something not being used.

Bigger is not necessarily better.




What To Do With Umbrellas

umbrellasIn Southern California we occasionally have STORM WATCH. This typically means there are a few clouds in the distance and we  hope against all odds that it might rain. We get out the umbrellas and yet again are disappointed with a little sprinkle.

Don’t get me wrong. It does actually rain here but just not a lot. The truth is, when we don’t have sun for one day, many of us panic.

These things were an absolute necessity when I lived in England.

But what do you do with them if they are broken? It wasn’t uncommon for kids to use as swords or for a big wind to come along and turn one inside out.

Getting poked in the eye by one of the metal sticks that holds it together, is not fun. The safe thing to do – get rid of broken umbrellas.

Using for shade is another use but I rarely see that and I live where it’s sunny most of the time.

If you are creative you could pull it apart and use the metal sticks in the garden or……you could simply recycle.

Apart from shelter from rain, using to shelter you or the food on your picnic table from the sun, there isn’t much more we can do with umbrellas.

Do you use it?

TIP – Keep what you use and get rid of what you don’t use. That includes umbrellas.



What To Do With Mugs

world's best boss mugDo you have a full set of mugs that are routinely used?  Or a collection of chipped mismatched mugs that are not being used?

Thinking about what to buy for my husband when we were dating wasn’t easy until I found out that he collected mugs. Then it got easy!

Easy for the buyer but eventually overwhelming for the receiver.


These mugs have other uses besides holding tea and coffee. In many houses and offices across the world, it isn’t uncommon to see them holding pens and pencils. Makeup or shaving soap, anything that needs a holder.

Re-gift with something fun inside. Candy comes to mind.

If you are done re-gifting and don’t have any more pens or pencils to hold then think about donating.

Organizing is code for decluttering. To be successful you need to get rid of things you no longer use.

Make life simple and you will begin to feel more organized.




What To Do With Clocks

clocksClocks and watches have a way of hanging around the house, even if they are broken. broken watchMaybe it’s a simple dead battery or you have put in the garage to make room for an up to date prettier clock. Bottom line is that you have lots and lots of clocks and watches not being used.

If you have read other articles on this site then you know the recommended routine.

Organizing is code for decluttering.

A trip to the goodwill, or anywhere that will take second hand items, is in order.

There is always the option of selling or giving away to a friend or family member.

My family had our famous cuckoo clock that ended up with my sister. A couple of decades ago my 4 year old pulled on the chain and it broke leaving little medal pieces all over the floor. He gathered and hid them and then let us know that a monster broke the clock.

The forgiveness process:

He lied and denied and then blamed it on the monster. The guilt got to him so he then confessed and with some encouragement, asked my sister to forgive him and she did.

Are clocks cluttering your walls?

How many broken watches are in your jewelry box and drawers?

Experience living with less! Get rid of broken clocks and watches!






“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”

This is a quote from A. A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh (1882-1956)

I suppose this is one way to look at it. Are there any other advantages to living in a cluttered house or having a cluttered desk? My answer would be NO, but then there are recent studies that show an upside to clutter.

A messy desk can actually lead people towards  clearer thinking, say researchers from Germany.

The researchers found in a series of linked  studies – using a messy desk and a messy shop front – that people actually  thought more clearly when all around was chaos, as they sought to simplify the  tasks at hand.
Read more:

Another study; Clean desk or messy desk? Both have benefits, study finds….

People in tidy work  environments show more generosity and healthier food choices, while those in  messy environments are more willing to be creative and take risks, according to  a University of Minnesota study.

Read more:

For me personally, if it is a choice between creativity or sanity, I choose SANITY. There are incredibly productive people that have messy desks, many of us work with those people. So unless they ask for help in organizing their work space it is better to not get involved and expect Creativity.

Warning. This again is a good lesson in how hard it is to organize other peoples stuff, especially if they are not there when it’s being done. People who have messy desks with lots of papers sometimes remember where those little critical notes are located in their pile. Unless you are an administrative assistant to that person it is hard to know what’s important and what can be tossed.

There are more studies on the negative effects of hoarding. Including the impact not only on the individual but the family. In conclusion, although it might be fun to constantly be making new discoveries in your disorderly clutter, there is a possibility that it is hurting you and those around you.

It’s your choice until authorities step in and say otherwise.