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Spring Ahead!

Whether you love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time is here to stay … or at least it’s in effect in most states until Nov. 5. Bring on the warmer weather, blossoming plants and the urge to purge.
Calls to Enough Is Enough always increase as the temperature rises. Often that’s because people peer into the crowded corners of their garages and realize they can’t find their camping gear, suitcases or barbecue items. A thorough garage cleanout and reorganization returns order to your environment. And you’ll be able to fit your car in the garage again.
Below are some helpful tips on how to enjoy your child’s portfolio of artwork, where to recycle and donate a variety of items and how to spring-clean your kitchen. Feel free to share helpful advice on social media using the links below.
Have an organizing question or need a referral to a resource? I’m happy to help. Email me at junebell (at) me (dot) com or catch me on Twitter @JuneDBell.

Free Shredding, Hazardous Waste Disposal and Bulky Item Pickup

Last year was the first time my accountant didn’t send me a physical copy of my tax return. Instead, she directed me to a secure document portal, where I could view the return and, if I wished, print a copy. But because the file is so easy to access, I have yet to create a hard copy.
When it’s time to destroy old tax returns—here are IRS guidelines on how long to keep them—you can run them through a shredder or take them to a store that will destroy them for you.
If you have a sizable amount of paper with personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card information, salary details and medical records, you can have those items shredded at no charge at Foster City’s City Hall, 610 Foster City Blvd. Shredding is available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and Saturday, Sept. 9 and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26.
When you purge your garage, never discard corrosive, flammable or toxic materials. These items—such as pool chemicals, pesticides, paint thinner, solvents and items containing mercury—are considered household hazardous waste.
San Mateo County residents can drop off these items at collections sites around the county. Visit for more information. To learn more about household hazardous waste collection in your county, search your county’s name and “household hazardous waste collection.”
If your garage yields debris that is too big for your trash bins and impossible to recycle, San Mateo County residents can have them picked up at no additional charge. Broken furniture, rusted bikes and old appliances are all fair game. Call 650.595.3900 to arrange a pickup.

Pots, Pans and Plans

It’s time for a kitchen remodel, a project I’m simultaneously dreading and anticipating. In full spring-cleaning mode, I’m reviewing the contents of my cabinets and removing these items:
  • Plastic storage containers and lids that are missing their mates and anything cracked, discolored or with loose-fitting seals. I’ve replaced my mismatched items with a glass set that can go from freezer to microwave to table.
  • Spices, condiments and seasonings that are discolored, tasteless or unlikely to ever be used. I still cannot remember why I bought cumin seeds and have no idea how I ended up with two cardamoms. And where did all those ketchup packets come from?
  • Chipped serving platters and dishes.
  • Prep, baking and storage items I never use. I’ve made peace with the fact that I am unlikely to ever decorate a cake or make homemade mashed potatoes.
  • Canned goods and exotic seasonings that have been on my shelves for more than a year. What was I thinking?
  • Extras. I’m paying extra attention to the items on the highest shelves of my cabinets. The fact that I stored things far out of reach already suggests I’m unlikely to use them often. So they’re first in line to head into the donation bin.

If You Have Only 15 Minutes …

Can’t part with art? I recently admired this captivating piece of art in a very informal gallery: my friend Jenny’s kitchen. It’s a boldly colored mixed-media work evoking both contemporary and traditional masters.
You probably haven’t heard of the artist, or at least not yet: She’s Jenny’s daughter, a kindergartener named Eden.
This lovely piece of artwork was matted and framed for less than $30, and it looks like a million dollars. If you’re saving every scribble your little one produces, consider instead showcasing one or a handful of the brightest, most beautiful creations.
Young artists beam with pride when they see their works on display and treated with care. And when you highlight a piece of art, it becomes so much easier to let the many, many others go.
Your local frame shop can help you find a frame and mat that will make the artwork pop and match your décor. If you’re especially pleased with the result, photograph the framed picture and turn it into notecards to use for thank-you notes or give as a gift to grandparents.
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