Monday, April 11, 2011

Helping Older People Get Organized

Recently, I offered to help my dad clear out his attic, which had housed treasures and stash for almost 50 years. He agreed, although I am sure he was ambivalent about it. I had offered help on previous occasions and he wasn't ready, yet.

In my mind, I established 3 goals of the project. The first was to begin. Yes, I said, simply to begin. I knew that it was an overwhelming task and one that was sure to bring up many memories and feelings. If he could simply begin the task of clearing out, that would be huge. The second goal was for Dad to feel good while he was doing it. I wanted this to be as positive as possible. I did not want to race through and force him to purge. I had waited a long time for him to be open to the idea and I wanted him to feel good about it so he would want to keep going. The third goal was for it to be a family effort (kids and grandkids) so Dad would feel supported and we would all be connected through the experience. I shared these goals with the family at the beginning of the project.

I am happy to say, that after about 4 hours, we met all three goals. We emptied nearly 2/3 of the attic; an awesome start. Dad's energy level and enthusiasm amazed me. Several times I asked him if he wanted to stop and he didn't even though I warned him that his muscles were going to hurt the next day (and I was right-- they did!). My third goal of family involvement was also met. It gave me great satisfaction to see my older daughter taking care of the younger two so we could work and to see my 16 year old son and 80ish Dad working side by side up in the attic. An huge airplane that my Dad had made around Matthew's age was uncovered, badly in need of repairs and lovingly passed on to Matthew for the job.

The airplane Dad made as a young man.
My approach when working with clients is basically the same.

1. Help them to begin.
2. Help them to feel good about the process.
3. Engage them in the process and support them along the way.

Of course, I apply organizing skills and principles during each session and if the three above goals are met, the whole project goes smoothly.

For help with any organizing project, Simply E-mail or Call Linda! 716-631-5619

Buffalo, NY, E-Waste Collection Event: 4/16/11


On Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm, Buffalo ReUSE will offer an opportunity to safely dispose of old TVs, computers, and other electronics at our retail store, located at 298 Northampton St. This event is held in honor of Earth Day and in partnership with Sunnking, a local electronics recycler.
In addition to reusable building materials and unwanted household items, Buffalo ReUSE will accept the following e-waste on April 16th:

  • Computers & Laptops
  • Printers
  • Keyboards & Mice
  • Monitors (CRTs) all sizes
  • Televisions
  • Microwave Ovens (non PCB)
  • Copiers
  • Typewriters
  • Fax Machines
  • Cellular Phones & Pagers
  • Audio & Video Equipment
  • Telephone Equipment
  • Laboratory & Test Equipment
  • Circuit Boards (any kind)
  • Cables/Wire
  • Any item with a circuit board
  • Batteries (charges may apply)
  • Most home appliances (NO REFRIGERANTS)
  • Refrigerators
  • Household Hazardous Waste Materials
  • Liquids
  • Yard Equipment
  • Small Gas Powered Equipment
  • Mercury containing devices
  • Items leaking fluid
  • Radioactive materials
  • PCB containing materials
Additional E-Waste Day activities include building material recycling, worm composting, Tool Library tours, and Patchwork Garden sign up. Raised Garden Bed materials & Rain Barrels will be available for purchase.
Buffalo ReUSE is a 501©(3), non-profit organization working to keep valuable building materials from our landfill. Buffalo ReUse operates a building material resale store – open to the public six days a week – Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12–4pm. The Buffalo ReUSE store is fully stocked with doors, windows, plumbing, tubs, tile, cabinets, furniture, fixtures, and more. Buffalo ReUse accepts unwanted and reusable building material donations at the 298 Northampton St location. All donations are tax-deductible. Pickups can be scheduled by calling (716) 882–2800. Sorry, pick-ups not available for e-waste event.
For more information, please call Buffalo ReUSE at (716) 882–2800 or email at .


National Medication Take Back Day: 4/30/2011

Unused and unwanted medication (prescription and over the counter) pollutes our water stream when flushed down the toilet or improperly disposed of in the trash.

Also, an equally big concern is that each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. In an effort to address this problem, DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States are holding National Take Back Days to provide a venue for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

The next National Collection Day is April 30, 2011

Click here to access sites near you, using your zip code

Click here to access sites near the 14221 zip code