Getting organized (Oct. 16)

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

Today I bring you one of my latest retirement adventures. No I’m not traveling the world, I’m not ziplining and/or jumping out of planes, I’m living my life and doing things that interest me.

Let me first say that I am NOT a hoarder but I do like stuff and I save a lot of things that are special to me. Many of the things I like to save are books, photographs and papers. I have almost every paper that I was featured in and lots of photographs. I also have the cassette tapes of my talk show and yes, I do plan to write a book very soon. As a matter of fact, there are several books in my future.

A few weeks ago I saw an ad either on Facebook or in an email that was a seminar for organizers. The event was only $20 and it was on a Thursday morning so it fit into my schedule. The organizing seminar was last Thursday in the South Hills and I went. I learned so much and when I learn something I like to pass it along to my readers. The speaker was Justin Stockdale, PRC Western Regional Director. (PRC is Pennsylvania’s oldest grassroots environmental organization.) He spoke primarily on recycling and yes, it was interesting. The title of his speech was, “Release & Renew.” I had no idea that we ship a lot of our “trash” or things that are considered recyclables overseas. If you recycle in your neighborhood then you probably know that you can no longer put glass jars or plastic bags in the recycle bin. So Stockdale explained where our stuff goes and also said we have to consider what we purchase and that we are not going to “ban our way out of this.” By saying “ban our way out” he meant banning plastic straws, banning Styrofoam containers at fast food restaurants and more. So when we buy things that we think are easy to recycle, often those things cannot be recycled at all. So maybe buying that 24-pack of water isn’t the best idea; buy a large bottle and a reusable container for your water.

A lot of people that were there wanted to talk about their parents’ stuff and what they should do with it. I’ve been there, done that, but I learned so much that will help me and perhaps you also. The most important thing that I learned was don’t try and do it all in one day, work on small areas at a time. If you want to clean out the garage, don’t try and do it all in one day—work on small areas at a time. There were also great vendors there, places that will help with photo storage and auctioning your items. It was a great day.

Interested in coverage for an event? Send me an email when you have secured a date. Please enter “request for coverage” in the subject line. It’s just that easy.

(Email Debbie at


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