Earth-Friendly Home Organization – Mom in Music City
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Earth-Friendly Home Organization

  • March 17, 2015
  • By Sabine

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Here in Nashville, it seems it went from winter to spring almost overnight. Daylight savings time has returned, giving us more time after work to be outside. And temperatures are edging up, most welcome here were we got pounded with negative 12 for a few days.

Now that snow and ice are gone, spring cleaning and organization are on my mind. A lot of my favorite tools for cleaning and organizing are items I have lying around the house, which is a great way to recycle and reuse.


The first thing I did was add some storage containers for my office. I have my kid’s school papers, magazines, forms, scissors, pens, pencils, etc. all over that room. I found a way to organize almost anything using cereal boxes, cans, and leftover wall paper. This project is just a little cutting, gluing, and folding. It is cheap, easy, earth-friendly, and frees up a wee bit of our landfills, which always makes me happy. Here’s how I did it.


You start with large cardboard cereal boxes – or really any cardboard boxes that fit your desired length and width specs. For a straight edge, simply start at your height and draw a line across.


I even cut up an old pasta box to hold smaller things like my envelopes.


I covered my cardboard boxes with leftover wall paper I scored at ZeroLandfill which is an upcycling program that supports the supply needs of local artists and educators while reducing pressure on local landfill capacity. You can also use scrapbook paper, sturdy wrapping paper or even fabric. I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the box and laid my wall paper on top of the glue. Less is more, by the way. The thinner the layer of Mod Podge, the better. If you add too much, your paper will wrinkle.

Mod Podge has a little give at first, so you will be able to move the paper around before the glue sets. I glued the entire page down, let it set, and then cut my border. Cut the paper around your box, leaving at least 1/2 inch around on all sides. To fold the corners simply use your scissors to cut a slit right at the corner and fold both pieces in. Mod Podge all the edges as you fold them in. Cover your entire magazine holder with another layer of Mod Podge. It is not only glue but also a sealer. It looks a little lumpy at first, but it should not dry this way.


For my pencil holders, I used old cans.


I spray painted the tops white.


One other thing I always do in spring is change the batteries in my smoke detectors.


For that I was happy to use the new Energizer EcoAdvanced Batteries.  Why? This is the world’s first battery made with recycled batteries. Now how about that? Surely, this is a fantastic step towards reducing the amount of toxic waste in our environment. I love it when companies take something old and make it new. It sure frees up our landfills.

Energizer17Our local Walmart carries the batteries. They are easy to find in the Battery Center near the check out stands. Energizer28Energizer27Energizer25

These batteries hold up to 12 years in storage. That’s a long time. Let me see, my youngest will be out of college by then.

Seriously, there are plenty of batteries out there that do get thrown out once folks are done with them so I am thrilled that Energizer found a way to reduce electronic waste. Hopefully this initiative will be able to see a boom in the market for other recycled materials.

Next up on my agenda is giving my house exterior a power wash with an eco-friendly product I am hoping to find.

Do you have a spring cleaning/organizing to-do-list? I’d love to hear about it.

By Sabine, March 17, 2015
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Mom in Music City is a lifestyle blog, written by Sabine Schmidt, celebrating a simple and practical approach to home improvement, decor, beauty, food, parenting, and much more.

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