Batteries, candles and light bulbs: the best way to store them

One side effect of getting your life organized is the feeling of freedom and success. As things become more organized, there is more space in your home and in your life. But there are those few things that no matter how you try to reduce clutter, they seem to be scattered. Batteries, candles and light bulbs have one thing in common, most people keep an assortment of them for different uses.

Do you have a spot where you put all batteries of every size and shape? Or, are they all over the place? Toothbrush, flashlight and remote batteries are found in various spots around the house. Toy batteries might end up somewhere else entirely.

Candles can be strewn throughout your home. Decorative, utilitarian and religious candles might be kept in different locations because they have different uses.

Then there are light bulbs. They come in different sizes, wattages and shapes. Stashed in cubbies and shelves all over, they never seem to be in the right spot when you need them.

Is there a good way to store these items in one central location? Of course there is! There are plastic chests with clear drawers that are great for organizing small items. Long fluorescent tubes may have to be stashed next to the chest, but everything else will fit inside.

Recycling is not just for paper, plastic and aluminum. Batteries can be recycled. It is not good to send them to the landfill. The only downside to recycling them is that they are not picked up from your house. You have to take them somewhere to dump them. Several retailers such as Staples, Home Depot, RadioShack, Target and Sears will take batteries for recycling. Most stores that accept recyclable items will have drop-off bins located at the entrance of the store. You might want to call them ahead of time to see if your local store collects them. The Eastern Sanitary Landfill, 6259 Days Cove Rd., White Marsh, MD 21162, collects batteries.

Saving used batteries in a container near where the fresh batteries are is a good idea. Just make sure to identify the dead batteries by placing a big X on them or keeping them in a different drawer or container from the new ones. You might want to keep a battery tester nearby.

Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and should not go in your regular trash. BGE has a web page devoted to fluorescent bulb recycling. They can also go to the Eastern Sanitary Landfill.

Part of getting organized is finding the perfect spot for everything in your home. Little objects need to be close at hand and yet out of the way at the same time. Creating a convenient place for batteries, candles and light bulbs is a great start on reducing the clutter in your life.

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