Post-Holiday How-To

recycle-crystal-earth As exciting as it is to head into the new year, sometimes it feels like leftovers from the winter holidays are dragging right along with us—Pig Pen-style. This Metro article and KATU 2 video clip can help you figure out how to dispose of holiday decorations and packaging, including trees, wreaths, and swags; wrapping papers of various kinds; and packing peanuts and Styrofoam inserts, etc. (Since many items are not recyclable or compostable, reviewing this information could help you plan ahead for next year’s decor and gift choices, too.) Here’s to starting 2016 with a clean slate!

How to Say Goodbye to Books

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This year, National Friends of Libraries Week falls on October 18–24, which makes this great month to clear out books for donation to Friends of the Multnomah County Library. But how do you decide which titles to part with and which to keep? A post from Root Simple describes a method of triage that may work…

The book was released to the universe if:

  • I had read it and absorbed the information
  • The library has a copy
  • It does not give me joy
  • I don’t think I’ll ever read it
  • My interests have changed
  • I read part but don’t think I’ll read the rest

I kept the book if:

  • It’s a volume I refer to for reference on a regular basis
  • It gives me joy
  • It’s especially beautiful as an object (only one or two books actually ended up in this category–I’m not a book collector)
  • I really intend to read it
  • I want to re-read it

Once you’ve freed up all that space, it’s time to… hit the Fall Used Book Sale?!

Getting Started with Pinterest

In our last monthly letter, we promised a post about Pinterest but never published it. Whoops! 

pinterest-tutorial
We recently wrote to our clients and friends about how to use Pinterest for home renovation or construction projects—because it’s a great way to discover, collect, and save information about fixtures, colors, furnishings, etc.—but we know that not everyone uses this social network. Here are a few how-tos for newbies: Continue reading

So Fresh, So Clean

When the weather is super hot, cleaning is probably the very last thing anyone wants to do, but reading about cleaning won’t make you break a sweat. This article from Houzz talks about how to clean glass shower doors effectively:

 

And over at Remodelista, they have a newish series called Domestic Science Tips, which you can file away for a nice cool day:

How to Keep Your Cool

This month’s letter just went out, and it was all about preparing your home for hot weather. After our suddenly-summer Monday (90 degrees?!), it seems like a good time to double up on advice about cooling your home.

Irrigating by the Drop, Not the Bucket

 

Although there is a chance that a wet spring will bring our regional water levels up to normal, we are currently lagging behind. Perhaps now is the time to switch to a drip irrigation system for coming growing season? Continue reading

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Looks like our blog posting hit some snags in the new year, so here’s a quick post while we hit the reset button!

Public Alerts logoA recent mailing from the Portland Water Bureau addressed issues related to emergency preparedness, a topic we’ll probably address more than once this year. New to us is the Public Alerts service, available for several cities and counties in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.

A visit to the website shows past notifications, but you can sign up to receive future alerts as calls to your landline or cell phone, text messages, or e-mail messages (or whatever combination you specify). Once you submit the form, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail from the Public Alerts system.

The site is also a good one-stop-shop for information about roads, transit, hospitals, public safety, utilities, and more in the Portland metro area. Check it out.

Making Fall Leaves Work for You

Our Portland foliage is not quite at peak autumn color — in fact, as of today, The Weather Channel’s foliage map puts us squarely at “patchy” — but the deciduous leaves will all be on the ground soon enough. And then what? Houzz has some suggestions…