Author: Gabrielle Watters-SmithRecyling

Spring Into Action – the 411 on Recycling and Disposal

Most of us want to waste less and recycle more in an effort to take care of Planet Earth. However, the “who, what, when, where and how” can be confusing and foil our best intentions. This causes clutter in our homes and a pang of guilt in our minds.

With Earth Day approaching, let’s make the effort to shred our papers, recycle outdated electronics, and collect and properly dispose of no longer needed or expired hazardous household products and prescriptions. Below are many useful links to spring you into action:

Check counties below for local recycling information and upcoming hazardous waste and shredding events in your area:

Unused Medication:

Electronic Recycling:

Community Shredding Events:

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections provides information and resources for Recycling & Disposal Programs in our area. Tips for handling composting, motor oil, tires, electronics, waste reduction, drug take-back programs, and household hazardous waste are also offered.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling website will answer most of your recycling questions. Find out what upcoming events are happening in your area by clicking on “Your County’s Recycling” page.

Unused Medications:


The Delaware Solid Waste Authority covers all of your recycling and disposal questions in their handy and easy to follow website. You will want to bookmark this one!

Unused Medications:

The benefits of recycling help your environment, your community, your home and you!

“Recycling turns things into other things. Which is like MAGIC!”
-Author Unknown

Author: Gabrielle Watters-SmithGeneral Goal Setting Holidays Project Management Seasonal Shopping

The Holiday Time Puzzle

Keep Calm & Twinkle On

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The grocery store revealed the first clue that something was happening. There — I was greeted with remnants of goblins and candy, cranberries and stuffing, tinsel and gift wrap galore – ALL AT ONCE.

Immediately, my mind tallied the numerous tasks that needed to be accomplished in the next few weeks. By the time I made my way to the check-out line, I’m fairly certain that my frazzled expression and my declaration that the “holiday season has arrived” caused the cashier concern.

I really do enjoy the holidays, but sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around the extra seasonal tasks and obligations that need to fit into my already busy 24 hours. It’s a time puzzle indeed!

With these five simple strategies below, you — and I — will have time to enjoy this season.

Take a few minutes and “Brain Dump.” Do NOT keep your holiday to-dos in your head! One of my favorite everyday organizational tools is workflowy. It’s a great way to organize your projects and tasks on your computer, smart phone, or tablet. For those who like to write, a notebook works just as well, but have it with you everywhere you go.

Focus on what’s important. Pause and really think about what makes your holiday season special to you and your family. Are there traditions and events that you look forward to or approach with less than a little enthusiasm? For example, if the thought of baking 12 dozen cookies does not fill you with the holiday spirit, take it off your list or delegate it!

Calendar your important holiday projects and tasks first. You will be more productive knowing that you are planning for and doing what brings you joy during the holidays. Then fill in with the less significant tasks.  Be at peace, if you cannot accomplish it all.

Set time limits to these tasks. Parkinson’s Law states that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ You will be amazed how quickly you are able to make a decision with a time limit. Go ahead, limit time spent gift shopping at the store or online.

Delegate, delegate, delegate. If you are entertaining during the holiday season, allow others to help you. This can mean a guest bringing a dish to contribute to your festive meal, someone setting the table, or helping with the mega dish clean-up. This year, I recognized that hosting the Thanksgiving meal was more than I could take on. After discussing alternatives with my family, we agreed that getting together was very important. Our solution — to meet at a centrally located restaurant for a leisurely family dinner. Less time shopping, cooking, cleaning, traveling and MORE time being together. I am grateful!

Feel free to share with us how you are planning to ease the stress of your holiday season.

Author: Gabrielle Watters-SmithHolidays

Holiday Organizing Tips

Brought to you by the Professional Organizers of NAPO-GPC

  1. Have a plan to get you through the season.  At least four weeks prior to the holiday,  schedule a few tasks to be completed each week on your calendar.  For instance: week 1 – interior/exterior decorating, week 2 and 3 – shopping, week 3 – sending greeting cards, week 4 – baking and wrapping.  A few days in advance of the holiday, shop for the holiday meal.
  2. Keep a holiday notebook to write down gifts as they are purchased throughout the year.  Include where you have stashed them for safekeeping, and have an envelope for holding the receipts.  Create a gift-giving budget, and use the notebook to keep track of your expenses.
  3. Label all your room decorations with the location – such as “kitchen window sill” for a candle or “front door” for a wreath on the back or bottom, where they can’t be seen.
  4. After you have all your holiday decorations out take a picture of each section and store it with your decorations. It will be even easier to decorate next year and others can help!
  5. Use command strips and hooks for all kinds of decorations from wreaths to inside lights. They don’t damage walls or paint so you can put decorations in unlikely places.
  6. If you mail out holiday cards, keep the addresses on your computer and print out sheets of labels.  Be sure to stop by the post office for stamps or order them online.
  7. For holiday photo cards, use pictures that you have taken during the year to make a card.  Enlist the help of family to sign, address and stamp the cards in one night.
  8. Once you have finished setting out your decorations, consider donating the rest to a thrift shop so that needy families can benefit from your surplus.
  9. For holiday entertaining, keep your beverage and food menu simple.   Pull out the serving dishes and utensils that you will need and label what food will be placed in it.
  10. If an old tradition isn’t working for you, start a new one.  For example, instead of letting the number of gifts escalate each year, set a limit on the number.
  11. Try to do your shopping during the non-peak hours or try shopping online.
  12. Photo albums that you can create on-line make great gifts for grandparents or relatives out of town. You can share all your family’s special moments throughout the year in one 20 page book for about $30.
  13. Write yourself a list of what changes you want to make next holiday season. Put it with decorations, card list or have it remind you electronically next Thanksgiving.
  14. Plan your holiday wardrobe for everyone in your household.  Determine if you need to purchase items, etc.
  15. Be kind to yourself.  Schedule downtime to relax and enjoy the holiday.
  16. Delegate tasks where you can.

(NAPO-GPC) is the resource for organizing professionals in Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Central and Southern New Jersey. Visit our website at and use the online “Find an Organizer” search tool to find a Professional Organizer in your area.