Contributing Editors

Upcycling to Clean Out Your Clutter and Help the Environment

by Winnie Hsiu September 30, 2010 11:47 PM
Got an old sweater that is too stretched out to wear? Make it into a sofa pillow, or use the arms to make child-size leggings, and the body to make a child-size winter skirt. Several old Gore-Tex jackets? Sew them together to make a beautiful and mold-resistant shower curtain. How about some plain white china plates? Paint or draw on them and sell the resulting work at a craft fair.

While many people are focused on finding ways to reuse or recycle things they can no longer use, others are finding creative ways to reuse stuff (clothing, dishes, you name it) by making something new out of something old -- turning storage problems into craft projects. While the practice is really just a new way to reuse or recycle things, it has generated its own word: upcycling. If your closets, kitchen cupboards, garage, basement, attic, or self storage unit is crammed to the gills or overstuffed with...stuff, then upcycling is the new green alternative to throwing things out. [More]

NAPO to Give Organizing Excellence Award to Waste Not Center

by Winnie Hsiu March 19, 2010 5:35 PM
The National Organization of Professional Organizers has decided to grant its 2010 Organizing Excellence Award to the Waste Not Center of Columbus, Ohio. The award will be presented by Sheila Delson, NAPO’s Awards Committee Chair, at NAPO’s 22nd Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition. The Conference will be held in Columbus from April 21 to 24.

The Waste Not Center is a center dedicated to storing, organizing, and recycling supplies that would otherwise be thrown away. It receives donations of art and office supplies from businesses and individuals, organizes them with its other donations, and stores them. The donations accepted by the Waste Not Center include paper, pads, notebooks, paint, brushes, glue, fabric, pens, markers, foam core, vases, silk flowers, books, videos, folders, envelopes, pencils, and containers. It makes these materials available to artists, teachers, and community organizations for no cost other than a small annual membership fee. On an average day, the Waste Not Center provides about 1500 pounds of material and supplies to between 30 and 40 clients. If its members were to buy the same supplies and materials commercially, they would, collectively, spend an estimated $4,500 each week, or about $250,000 each year. In many cases, therefore, the Waste Not Center gives its members supplies that they could not otherwise afford. [More]