Recycle Your Computer at Staples

In recognition of April's Earth Day, we close out the month with another recycling option for you. The office supply store Staples has developed a program to make it easier for its customers to recycle their e-waste. Here's how it works:

Bring your old computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones to any Staples U.S. store and drop them off at the customer service desk. All brands are accepted for secure recycling regardless of where they were purchased.

A recycling fee of $10 per piece for large equipment is charged to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, speakers, and modems can be recycled at no charge.

You can use the Staples Easy Tech service on-site in all stores to transfer data from an old computer to a new one. Here are some FAQs about the Staples recycling program:

What products are not accepted?

  • Staples does not accept televisions, floor-model copiers/multi-function devices or appliances.
How does Staples keep hard drives secure?
  • Items are bagged and sealed after they are dropped off and our recycling partner uses established industry-leading standards for secure data destruction.
  • For a list of software programs available to erase your data and protect your personal information, see Staples Security.
How does the recycling process work?
  • Equipment is bagged and sealed after drop-off. The equipment is picked up and delivered to their recycling partner, Eco International, who disassembles the equipment into its component parts in the U.S. for environmentally responsible recycling.
What else can you recycle at Staples?
  • You'll receive $3 in Staples Rewards to spend on a future ink purchase for every HP, Dell, or Lexmark cartridge you recycle. Just bring them to any register at the Staples store.
  • Customers can recycle cell phones, PDAs, and rechargeable batteries at Staples every day for free. Simply drop these items off at the customer service desk.

Peter Walsh's Tips for an Organized Life

Along with 800 other professional organizers from around the world, I recently geeked out at the 20th annual National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition in Reno. While there, I had the opportunity to meet professional organizer and author, Peter Walsh. You may recognize him from his popular television show "Clean Sweep" or from his recent amazing Oprah shows where he worked with hoarding clients.

Besides being a genuinely nice and HILARIOUS person, he may be one of the most passionate advocates of organizing that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. During his keynote speech, he shared his thoughts about clutter and our overabundance of stuff. Here are a few Peter gems that I wanted to share with you guys:

  • "We need to redefine our relationship with our stuff." Be willing to let go of what is not serving you. Opening up your space opens up room for more blessings.
  • "Reevaluate your materials." People buy stuff but they are really just investing in the promise the stuff claims to bring. Homes are filled with stuff and littered with promises. More can be achieved with less.
  • "When you heal a home, you heal something deeper." Having too much stuff is often why clients call professional organizers for help. But it's not really about the stuff. It's about all of the emotions that accompany the stuff.
  • "Bring mindfulness to decisions in life." Be mindful in the moment. Ask yourself, "Does the decision (to buy or keep something) fit the vision that I have for my life?" If your vision is a space that is calm, functional and organized, will having or keeping this thing help the vision or hinder it?
  • "Organization is the path to incredible freedom." I believe with all my heart that this is true.
You can find more about Peter Walsh at his web site. And be sure to check out his new hilariously titled book, "Does this Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?"

Earth Day Opportunities in Atlanta

For my local Atlanta readers, we have a few unique recycling opportunities in celebration of Earth Day.


DeKalb County is sponsoring "Dump-It-Right Day" this Saturday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Residents will get an opportunity to get rid of items that normally require a disposal fee. All clothing will be donated to the Atlanta Alliance on Developmental Disabilities (AADD), a non-profit organization. Cartridge World, a local print supply recycling company, will be on site to collect ink and laser print cartridges. Blue Rhino, the nation's leading tank exchange company, will also collect empty propane tanks.

Addtional items collected will include scrap metal, electronics, and "junk" that are typically illegally dumped. They will also be accepting used tires with a limit of 10 tires per car load. Off-road tires will not be accepted.

Residents can also bring their used motor oil and car batteries to participating local Bridgestone/Firestone Retail and affiliate stores for proper disposal. Click here for a list of the stores that are participating. For more information on what will be accepted, call Keep DeKalb Beautiful at (404) 371-2654.


On Saturday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. until noon, Cobb County residents can go to four different senior centers to have their household documents shredded for free. The list of seniors centers may be found at

Each car will be limited to 100 pounds of documents to be shredded. People should only bring paper products. The following will not be accepted: plastics, electronics, cardboard, and large binders with metal rings/clips.


There will be an Electronic Waste Recycling Day at Turner Field (755 Hank Aaron Drive, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30315) on Saturday, April 26th from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Bring your old computers and other devices whose components make them unsuitable for standard disposal. (Don't forget to destroy those hard drives on the computers!) The first 100 cars are to receive a free gift certificate from Best Buy. Go to the Gold Lot.

Be sure to leave comments at if you hear of other recycling opportunities!

Two Weeks In a Carry-On Bag

After my last post, I received a reply from my good friend Cheryl. She has a friend who regularly travels to exotic locations for a couple of weeks at a time, and her friend agreed to share her secrets for packing two weeks of clothing into a carry-on.

The interesting thing about this list is that it encompasses clothing for multiple occasions such as a business lunch, shopping, a board meeting, and even a visit to a tribal village! It's obviously a woman's packing list, but I'm sure my male readers can adapt it for their use:

  • Black jeans (on the plane for comfort, later for hiking or outdoorsy stuff)
  • Long sleeve t-shirt weight, zip-up sweater/jacket, with pockets to hold gum, room keys, etc (wear on the plane; can be crammed into a backpack, used as a tablecloth or ground cover, or to fight off air conditioning or an evening chill). Consider two or three different colors of these which can all go with (yawn) black.
  • White t-shirt
  • Nice(r) black pants
  • Longish black skirt
  • Two coordinating tops to go with black bottoms, in addition to white t-shirt above
  • Black casual or dressy vest or jacket to go with tops and black bottoms (dressy or casual will be dictated by trip agenda)
  • Dressy tennis shoes (is there such a thing??) to wear on the plane and for future hiking
  • Black flats, semi-dressy
  • Nice coordinating pashmina or shawl for any evening that calls for dressing up
If you manage to squeeze all of your stuff into a carry on, don't forget that your liquids and gels need to be in containers no larger than 3 oz. and they must all fit into a quart size, zip-top bag. If you have had a difficult time finding these tiny refillable containers, here is a link for an affordable little carry-on kit that includes three 3 oz. bottles, four caps (two screw-on, one atomizer, and one locking pump cap) along with a quart-size zip-top bag.

Do you have more secrets for successful packing? Please share with us at