Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Autumnal and Indoorsy

by Katy on November 17, 2011 · 9 comments

When I clean house, I like to have a noticeable return in exchange for my efforts. Here is my cold air return before I "decluttered" and vacuumed it out.


Cold air return -- after. Now THAT'S what I call a noticeable difference!


I may not live in New England, but the fall leaves in Portland are still pretty spectacular. Here I filled three vintage canning jars with leaves from my neighbor's tree. Can you see how the jars say "Economy" on them?


I recently decluttered and organized my bathroom supply basket and came across eleven miscellaneous toothbrushes, almost all of which were from my kids' dental appointments. We use a Sonicare system at home, so these brushes were only used once. Sure I like to keep a couple extra toothbrushes for cleaning the nooks and crannies of my filthy abode, but this is ridiculous! From now on, we'll bring our own toothbrushes with us when we go to the dentist.


Ginger Snaps, or as my husband calls them, "Heroin Cookies." Portland, Oregon is cold, wet and rainy this time of year, which somehow lends itself to all kinds of delicious baking. I may be spending all my time indoors, but I will make it smell better than a newborn baby's head.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dogs or Dollars November 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

*Snerk* Heroine Cookies. We have quite a Ginger Snap habit around here too.

We’ve also recently started declining the free tooth brush at the dentists, and the floss. Do you know how many little containers of floss I have floating around my medicine cabinet?


Barb November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

Hi Katy,
All of those toothbrushes made me think of “Preserve”, which is a company that is a manufacturer of 100% recycled consumer household goods. You can send them to: Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte. 13, Cortland, New York, 13045. This is were I send my used up
Brita filters (dry), which are #5 plastic. I just ship them via USPS flat rate boxes.
I got the info on the toothbrushes from a free publication called
“Grid” and looked on line to see if I could find the little article. It looks as if they are still migrating some of their articles to the archive. It will be in March 2011 sometime, I guess.
Grid Magazine:
I have enjoyed reading your blog and it’s interesting, thought provoking content. Thanks!


Megyn @Minimalist Mommi November 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

It doesn’t say exactly what they take, other than anything with a #5 on it. Toothbrushes generally don’t have that. Do you know for certain that they take them? Our city recycles #5’s, but I always wonder about this sort of stuff–things that contain some plastic, but other material too!


Thrifty Household November 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Free tooth brushes from the dentist!?


Katy November 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm

The dental assistants always open up a new toothbrush to have the kids demonstrate their brushing technique.



Elaine November 18, 2011 at 6:41 am

I get free toothbrushes from the dentist, too. My church donates personal care items to the local shelters, so my extras don’t never are wasted!

My cold air return is in the ceiling and has a permanent washable filter. It’s jammed in there and I can’t get it out. I’m going to work on it this weekend and try to free it, so I can clean it. There’s always something…


Miss Roman Apartment November 19, 2011 at 4:01 am

Next time you go to the dentist, stash the little toothpaste and the brush in your glove compartment. I keep a stash of new dental supplies in my car (that I get from my dentist or “buy” with a rebate for free). When homeless people ask me for money, I offer them a new toothbrush and toothpaste instead. Since there’s no dental care on the street, this always goes over really well. Ditto with all those random toiletries you get from hotels.


Jan December 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I ask my dentist not to open the toothbrush. I take it (and whatever else I get from him) to the shelter. I have been told that toothbrushes are one of the most requested things (along with the small tooth pastes). Soldiers serving overseas also like them.


Katy December 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Don’t our tax dollars pay for soldiers to get toothbrushes?!



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