What To Do With Bird Feeders And Bird Houses

bird house bird feederYou know I love the outdoors. To be outside and hear the sounds of birds chirping is relaxing. But what do you do when you have too many bird houses and bird feeders?

The short answer is get rid of the ones that are broken or simply ugly. Although some of those homemade ones can be sentimental.

Several were in my backyard. Most of them were gifts except for the hummingbird feeder. As you can see that feeder was missing a few of the little yellow things.

Although it looked pretty when it was full of the bright red sugary stuff, it was still broken.

Here are the 3 big questions.

Were they being used?

Were they being enjoyed? 

Were they needed?

No, no and no.

In fact, my beautiful garden was looking somewhat cluttered. So here we go again. Just when I think there is no more to get rid of.

Another question when it comes to birds is what to do when they make nests around your house. I grew up hearing a story about a bird that picked up a cigarette, brought it back to it’s nest against the house. Then the house catches fire and is completely destroyed. Is that an urban myth story? Don’t know. But they say that birds carry up to 60 diseases. Who wants that around their house?

Bird houses, sentimental or not, all but 2 are in the trash.

Declutter those bird houses!


What To Do With Old Roller Skates

RollerskatesGoing to the roller-rink in Junior High School was the highlight of the week. All the cute boys plus a chance to show off how great I was at the sport was a thrill.

Twirling and smiling at the same time was sure to put me into the Roller Skating Olympics. Well, it never happened and my days of being a roller-rink champ are definitely over.

I don’t see many kids these days roller skating at all. At least not in the street and the old roller-rink shut down years ago. Yes, many of us have these old skates in the closet or high up in the garage somewhere.

Unless you plan to make some kind of statue or art display then maybe it’s time to give away to charity. Someone out there may enjoy them for awhile.

There are many memories I have of spending time with my great grandma. We had 2 favorite programs we watched. Soul Train and Roller Derby.

WOW! Those girls were good!

Do you use your roller skates?

Do you enjoy them?

Do you need them?

Charity is a good thing!


What To Do With Kids Sleeping Bags

kids sleeping bagsThe average family with kids at one point will need a sleeping bag. Church, school or family camping is when they are used the most.

These things can last a long time. They are washable and roll up neatly, where they stay on top of the closet year after year.

When was the last time you used a sleeping bag?

I didn’t have that many but there was this one that I had kept, because it was kind of fun.

It was never used on any camping trip but was used occasionally in the living room when making forts on Saturday mornings.

In an effort to simplify things around the house I am now looking at things like this sleeping bag and asking if this adds enough value to our lives to keep.

It’s clean, cute and does serve a purpose but truth be told it wasn’t worth keeping. Why? It was only used a couple times a year and that was because I felt obligated to use it.

Someone out there could make better use of it. What I learn from things like this is just because it’s a good deal in the store doesn’t mean it will make my life better or more meaningful.

Think of all of things in your house that you have purchased over the years that had a purpose. From kitchen gadgets that chopped things in record time to cute little sleeping bags. How often did you really use them?

Think twice before buying these things. Marketing people know how to make you think you can’t live without it.

Trust me. You can live without it!




Perfectionism Is The Enemy Of Progress

TulipsI heard this phrase on the radio today.

From Wikipedia;

The perfect is the enemy of good is an aphorism or proverb meaning that insisting on perfection  often results in no improvement at all. The phrase is commonly attributed to Voltaire…..

The first story that came to mind was a family I knew that lived out of boxes for years and could never make a decision. When asked why they had not hung pictures or put things away they said it was because they wanted things to look just right and therefore could not bring themselves to make the final decision.

Sometimes you just have to plow ahead and accept that you might make a decision that you regret. This is when we ask ourselves…what’s the worst that could happen? If you are stressing over hanging the picture on the wall then the worse that could happen is you would have a little nail hole eventually above the picture. So what! Fill it with fill or toothpaste, take a q-tip and dab some paint on there. So what!

The same goes with organizing which can’t happen unless you declutter.


It’s not alive! It doesn’t require a funeral or a memorial service. It’s not going to Heaven or Hell, it’s just going to someone else that could use it. That’s all.

It’s simple.

Stop stressing and relax, it’s just stuff.

Pretty Flowers, Be Patient

blooming sunflowerOrganizing your stuff is a process and if you want to be successful you will have to get rid of what you don’t wear or use or even need (which for most of us, is a lot of stuff)

Parting with expensive stuff is painfully hard. A harsh reminder of money not well spent. Ouch. Maybe the one good thing to come from parting with something expensive is next time around you won’t be lured into buying it in the first place.

Parting with sentimental stuff can be just as hard. There are ways to safely let go and at the same time keep the memory.

No matter what method you use you need to remember to be patient with yourself.

If you follow through and begin to declutter you will eventually see something pretty in the simplicity of life.

Be patient.





What To Do With Leftover Dye

Blue Rit DyeWho likes waste? No one I know. There are ways to use some of these products that we buy only to use a little. Even if you have used 3/4 of the bottle, there is enough in the bottle that you don’t want to throw away, but how long is too long to keep?

The brand that I had in the cabinets up above the washing machine was RIT DYE. I bought a long time ago to use in the wash with Jeans to get some color back into the material. It never worked the way I wanted it to, so up in the cupboard it went and that is where it stayed, until now.

Looking for creative things to do in the garden is my thing. I started to look for colored sand and was not able to find in my area. That is when I thought about using this old leftover dye.

Others had tried and retried so there was good direction on the internet. It did work. White Play Sand with water and dye. It was that simple. In fact it was so much fun to make I looked up in the other cabinets to see if there was food coloring. Sure enough, I had that too and it has been awhile since I made anything needing food coloring. This comes with a word of warning. Let the sand dry and don’t use too much coloring or you may have stained hands or feet in my case because I often walk around the garden with out shoes.

 The short answer to many of these questions of WHAT TO DO WITH….is always to throw out, give away or sell if you haven’t used in a year but I do understand the need to get the most out of things you have bought.

 Be Creative!

What Will You Leave Behind

The WakeWill you leave memories of doing fun things with grand-kids or will you leave things like this?pig with lipstick

The broken garden pig with lipstick. I finally threw it away!

Yes, one day someone will be going through your stuff. Please do them a favor by going through it first.

Keeping that in mind might prompt you to get rid of things you would have normally kept.

If you are not using it and you don’t need it and in fact you don’t even enjoy it, then what are you waiting for?

Organize by decluttering today!



What To Do With Old Ski Outfits

Jim_Kathy4If they are too tight and you don’t wear them anymore then it is time to give to someone else.

Our ski outfits really did last a long time. They may be a little outdated but they still do the job.

The bigger decision is what to do with all of the gloves that are missing a mate and dozens of hats and scarves for our once a year snow trip.

If you live in an area that gets snow then it would make more sense to have more hats, scarves and gloves.

We will ask the same 3 questions.

Do I use it?

Do I need it?

Do I enjoy it?

If your outfits are ripped or won’t zip anymore then maybe it is time to get rid them. If you have a missing glove then get rid of the other one.

How many scarves do you need? Probably not as many as you have.

If you have a second hand sporting good store near by check to see if they’ll take your ski stuff on consignment. If you want to save money, buying a second hand ski outfit is the way to go.

Simplify your ski stuff before winter!



Hoarding Awareness Week

WOW!   composting food

I just found out that this is Hoarding Awareness Week. This is now getting lots of attention. More and more studies along with more publicity not to mention the TV shows. Over the years I have met a few serious hoarders but most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

In fact most people would simply say… “I would like to be more organized”

Organization means being productive and happy. If you are finding it hard to get organized you might want to consider the possibility that you have too much stuff.

If the key to happiness is being organized then what is the key to being organized?

Get rid of things that you don’t use!

That includes;

Clothes you don’t wear.

Broken things in the garage.

Gadgets in the kitchen that you have never used.

Towels and sheets that haven’t been used in 5 years, 1 year for the brave.

It’s a start.sunflower

Give yourself permission to NOT be a hoarder.





Lighter fluid BBQ Starters

lighter fluid

I don’t ever remember buying any of these. We have a self lighting grill outside and matches if we need them, so there didn’t seem to be a need to have these around the house. One of my sons may have used for a beach barbeque but those don’t happen often.

Getting rid of these in the trash just didn’t seem safe. I looked online,

“How to get rid of lighter fluid”

Here is a sample of the list;

Burn it
Put in your car
Dump it
Flush down the toilet
Use as a firecracker

One story was that of a kid who burnt down half of a school.


Safest thing to do is use it. Have more beach BBQ’s.

What did I do? I gave them away to friends and family.

It’s fire season here in California.