Sunday, February 24, 2019

Eyeglass Holders Give Your Glasses a Home



I take my glasses off when I come home, and I always place them in one of two spots — so lost eyeglasses aren’t a problem for me. If you’d like to develop a similar habit, it might help to use an eyeglass holder which serves as a visual “home” for the glasses. And there are many styles to choose from.

The Sacco glasses holder from tät-tat is a weighted fleece storage pouch, also available from the Guggenheim Store (two color options) and Ameico (six color choices).




If you’re into cute handmade items, GreyMatterGifts on Etsy has a number of animal-themed eyeglass holders.




For a totally different kind of eyeglasses stand, take a look at the 3D-printed ones from GeekTastic55, also on Etsy.




Another option is an eyeglass tray. This one comes from Michael Devine; it’s a laminated fabric tray using a Michael Devine fabric.




Docky provides yet another approach, allowing you to hang your glasses on a bookcase, a computer monitor, etc. Docky attaches with a strong adhesive tape; the website has a lot of information about how to install and remove a Docky. It’s available from Amazon as well as the Docky website.




What if you need a solution for your car? In an old blog post I mentioned the STOWnSee, but another option is the Bobino glasses clip, available from Bobino or Amazon.

Want even more ideas? See my eyeglasses organizing post on the Core77 website (although a few of those products are no longer available).

And if you can’t seem to put your eyeglasses away in a designated spot, check out the eyeglass tracking devices that organizer Julie Bestry wrote about. They won’t work with all frames (including the metal frames I have) but they just might work for you.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

How Many Towels Do You Need?

dog wrapped up in a turquoise towel, so you just see the dog's face
Photo by Daniel M. Hendricks, found on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

This week a friend did some decluttering and cleared out two-thirds of her overstuffed linen closet. And also this week, I saw a Twitter discussion about towels — specifically, how many you “should” have.

Someone on Twitter asked: “what is the correct amount of towels to own?” And Yashar Ali replied:
As a couple you should own a minimum of the following

10 Bath Sheets
10 Bath Towels
10 Hand Towels
20 Wash Cloths

Preferably more
This sparked a lot of jokes, but also some thoughtful comments about how people’s towel needs differ.

There was a lot of discussion about the need for dog towels. As Kurako Sekiko noted, “Also dog towels. Lots of dog towels. Or dog sheets, whatever.” People with cats, goats and other animals also chimed in. Many noted that these use-with-the-animals towels are usually just old human-use towels.

Others, like Deb, mentioned the need (in some locations) for beach towels:
As a Floridian you should own a minimum of the following

19 beach towels
5 pool towels
3 car towels
6 dog towels
1 Marco Rubio Sweating towel

Preferably more
And Dr. Jennifer Gunter mentioned another kind of need:
Does that include navy blue sex towels? Because I recommend 3 of those for anyone who menstruates or partners with anyone who menstruates. Bath sheet size is best. Makes period sex clean up way easier.
Some people brought up the subject of storage space, and whether or not you have convenient laundry facilities. As one person wrote:
I’m looking at all the towel talk and we have like 6 bath towels and 2 hand towels and a bunch of washcloths and it’s just fine. We also live in an apartment with limited storage space and somewhat expensive shared laundry
Ultimately, as with almost everything we own, you need to make your own determination of what’s right for you. If having more towels would make your life easier, you might want to add to your stash. Or if you have a bunch of old towels you never use, you might consider donating them to your local animal shelter.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

12 Places to Donate a Wedding Gown


Photo by Viktor-G entitled Hochzeit in Hamburg. Found on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

So here’s my advice. Elope, but if you have to have a traditional wedding get the dress you want and then SELL IT IMMEDIATELY after you get married and buy Apple stock. — Dr. Jen Gumter

Dr. Jen didn’t follow her advice, and eventually wound up dying her gown, turning it into a Cinderella dress for Halloween. But her point is good; it’s much easier to sell or donate a relatively new dress than an older one.

But you can find places to donate gowns of varying ages. While this list is limited to places in the U.S., there are certainly places in other countries: The Brides’ Project in Canada, for example. And places that don’t focus on wedding gowns, such as Goodwill, are always an alternative.


Places to donate relatively new gowns:

1. Brides Against Breast Cancer
Criteria: Gown must be less than two years old — up to four years old if it’s a classic “couture” dress with no yellowing. Original retail price must be greater than $999. Gowns from David’s Bridal or BHLDN are not accepted (unless it's a designer brand). Must be in excellent condition. Prefers gown to be cleaned but that’s not required; if it’s not cleaned, you may choose to donate $50 to cover cleaning.

2. Wish Upon a Wedding
Criteria: Gown must be less than three years old, professionally cleaned. Luxury designers preferred; gowns from David’s Bridal not accepted.

3. Adorned in Grace
Criteria: Gown must be five years old or newer. Much appreciated if the gown is cleaned — or if a check for $50 or more is included with the donation, to cover cleaning costs.

4. Brides for a Cause
Criteria: Gown must be no more than five years old. (Vintage dresses not being accepted at this time.) Appreciates gowns being clean, but can take care of it if they are not.

5. The Bridal Garden
Criteria: Gown must have been purchased within the last five years; must be in fairly clean, sellable condition.


Places to donate both new and vintage gowns:

6. Gowns for a Cause
Criteria: Gown must be three years old or newer; slightly worn and in near-perfect condition. Also takes vintage gowns, 20 years old or older.

7. Brides Across America
Criteria: Gown must be less than five years old; in good condition. May not be able to accept a gown if they already have enough in that size and style. May also be able to take your vintage gown.

8. Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring
Criteria: Gown must be five years old or less. Must arrive clean, or with payment of $100 to cover cleaning costs. Might possibly take a vintage gown, if it’s one a bride today might like.


Places to donate older gowns:

9. Cherie Amour
Criteria: Gowns must be less than 10 years old. No cleaning necessary.

10. St. Anthony’s Bridal
Criteria: Any age OK, as long as the gown has been well preserved, hasn’t significantly yellowed, and hasn’t been moth-eaten or pest-eaten. If in doubt about the cleanliness, include a check for $50 to cover cleaning.


Places to donate gowns to be re-purposed:

These are places that take wedding gowns and turn them into burial gowns for babies who have died. While I’m listing two such programs, you can easily find others with an online search.

11. NICU Helping Hands — Angel Gowns program
Criteria: All gowns OK if they are clean and in good condition. Gowns should be cleaned if they have any odor. If the gown is heavily stained or unevenly yellowed with age, it might not be usable. Gowns should come from smoke-free homes. Note: Gowns are accepted on an as-needed basis. You fill out the form and get placed on a waiting list.

12. Phoenix Leadership Center — West Coast Angel Gowns
Criteria: Gowns should be gently used.


Places not currently accepting gowns due to overstock:

I’m noting these because they may open for donations again in the future.

Every Girls Dream
Mary Madeline Project (an angel-gown type of organization)



Friday, January 11, 2019

Decluttering Happens When You're Ready


Self Storage Units, Danbury, CT. by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. Found on Flickr; licensed under Creative Commons. Not the storage unit referred to in the following story.

Have you struggled to deal with a deceased parent’s possessions? Have you ever kept things in storage for far longer than originally planned? Then you might resonate with the following story I read on a mailing list a few days ago (and which was later expanded upon in a private email); I’m sharing it here with the author’s permission. 

I've had numerous clients who went through similar experiences, and I thought it might help others dealing with these challenges to know they are not alone.

After my mother died seven years ago, I put a bunch of furniture into storage with the intention of getting it reupholstered or otherwise using it “within two years.” Two years passed quickly, followed by some other events that delayed action — a move, multiple renovations, surgeries, etc. — and for the next five years, I “visited” the storage once or twice a year to check on things, but immediately got overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with it all and walked away without doing anything.

Then, in November, I got a notice that the monthly storage fee would be jumping from $110/month to $250/month, so I knew I had to act. I put “figure out storage” on my action list and, since that is a terrible, unfocused, non-action Next Action, I did nothing for two months.

So I changed my next action to “Visit storage to make an inventory,” the first step toward making a plan of action. I wasn’t busy yesterday, so I drove out to the storage place with the intention of just inventorying — I told myself I didn’t have to “do” anything beyond that.

Visiting storage with that small goal in mind took so much pressure off that I was able to view the situation much more clearly. I was soon sorting out things I decided to donate, and within a couple of hours, I’d loaded up the car twice and made two runs to Salvation Army. Then I went back and got a load to bring home with me.

Now, I have a plan. It will take a few more visits — and a session with a rental van to move the big stuff — but I have some clarity on what I’m doing. Weather permitting, I should have it all done by the end of the month.

I realize now that I’m in a different place emotionally than I was seven years ago — or even one year ago. When I rolled open the storage door yesterday, I didn’t have the emotionally charged or sentimental reaction I’ve had before. Where I once saw my mother’s things that I felt responsible to maintain, now, I just see “stuff” that I want to get squared away.

Seven years is a long time to pay for storage, but before I kick myself too hard for wasting money, I’m trying to keep in mind that I was going through something, not just being lazy. Expediting that process would have been helpful (and saved a lot), but that’s not how it went. Time to move on.

The funny thing is now that I’ve made some progress, I want to get it all done as fast as possible. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am that a snowstorm predicted for this weekend is going to slow my roll for a few days. I don’t want to lose my momentum on this!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cool Clothes Hangers: The Practical and the Fanciful




Do you struggle with using hangers? Organizers often recommend using hooks, since they are easier to use than hangers. But here are two types of hangers that might appeal even to the hanger-averse —and everyone else, as well.

The Jean Hanger makes it super-simple to hang up a pair of jeans. There are no clamps or clips; you just take the belt loops and hook them over the hanger. You can look at the video from the Kickstarter campaign of a few years ago to get more of a feel as to how these hangers work.




Holding Hangers, designed for skirts and slacks, are another way to make hanging your clothes extremely easy.  (They also work for strapless dresses and off-the-shoulder blouses.) Again, there are no clamps or clips — the hangers go inside the waistband. The company founder, C. Lee Crawley, says these hangers are widely used in boutiques in Europe, and she’s now made them available to those of us in the U.S.




OK, let’s move on to the fanciful. The hangers from Stupell Industries feature mostly dogs and cats, but there are other animals, too. Stupell promotes them as gift items, which sounds good to me — I think they’re a gift that would be likely to get used rather than one that becomes someone else’s clutter. They might also encourage some reluctant hanger-users to be more diligent, just because the hangers are so darn cute. (I don’t see using them for all of someone’s clothes, but rather for a few select items such as a jacket or two.)

For many more interesting hanger possibilities, you can look at the posts I wrote for Core77:
Hanger Design, Beyond the Basics
Not Your Ordinary Clothes Hangers

And if you just want recommendations for good basic hangers, given the huge number of options, this prior post points you to recommendations from The Container Store, Wirecutter, and others.