Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live

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Spring Cleaning: Great Places to Donate Unused Items in Greater Vancouver

Spring officially starts on March 20, and many people have already begun, or are at least thinking about beginning, spring cleaning. While it’s not exactly the most fun part of spring, it does feel good to shed clutter and get organized.


Go from cluttered to organized

Tailored Living is all about helping people get organized and STAY organized with personalized systems that are tailored to the individual, family or home. We’ve done a lot of blogging about getting organized. What we haven’t talked much about is what to do with all of that STUFF that you don’t need anymore once you’ve taken the time to re-organize. We thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with a list of places and resources in Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley that accept recyclable household items. We know that once you spring clean, you’ll have things to get rid of. Making the effort to properly dispose of these things benefits the planet and sometimes it even benefits local charities and organizations in the way of cash donations.

Where to Donate or Recycle Clothing & Textiles

Value Village – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor, books and furniture in usable condition.

Salvation Army Thrift Store – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor and furniture in usable condition.

There are hundreds of other thrift stores throughout the lower mainland which are typically operated by community-based charities. Chances are good that there is at least one in your area, and many of them accept all of the things already mentioned.

Trans-Continental Textile Recycling Ltd. : Located in Surrey, this innovative company collects donated clothing, both wearable and unwearable. Nothing goes to waste, and a wide variety of charities benefit. All clothing is sorted into different categories. Wearable clothing in good condition is shipped to developing countries and distributed to people who need it. Clothing that is not in wearable condition is processed, usually according to the type of material it’s made of, and is sold to manufacturers who make it into new goods. The business employs 90-100 people and profits benefit numerous local charities, including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society, the BC Centre for Ability and the Deaf Children’s Society of BC. Donate your old clothing and textiles by dropping it into one of Trans-Continental’s donation boxes (various locations throughout Greater Vancouver) or by contacting Trans-Continental directly.

canuck place bank

One of Trans-Continental’s many donation banks


Where to Recycle Used Motor Oil & Automotive Fluids

The BC Used Oil Management Association is a non-profit society that facilitates and encourages the recycling of used motor oil. It partners with businesses throughout Greater Vancouver who establish drop-off points for used motor oil in their shops. For a list of places to recycle motor oil near your own home, visit http://bcusedoil.com/.

Where to Recycle Batteries

Call 2 Recycle is BC’s official battery stewardship program. Visit www.call2recycle.ca/british-columbia/ to find out where in your area you can drop off any kind of household battery (no automotive batteries). Many automotive battery retailers and automotive shops accept used automotive batteries for recycling. You can also visit http://www.rcbc.ca/ and use the generator to find out where you can recycle automotive batteries in your area.

Where to Recycle Almost Anything

Regional Recycling Vancouver – Billed as your “one stop recycling shop.” Located in Vancouver, it accepts beverage containers, paper products & packaging, appliances, tools, equipment, scrap metal, paint, pesticides, fuel and most types of light bulbs (an official Light Recycle BC partner). For a comprehensive and detailed list of acceptable goods, visit the Regional Recycling Vancouver website.


Regional Recycling offers household pick-up services

For a comprehensive list of recyclers of all types of products close to your home, visit http://www.regeneration.ca/ or http://www.rcbc.ca/.  You’ll find a handy little generator on the right of each of these sites’ home pages. Simply choose the kind of item you want to recycle from the drop-down menu and the city in which you live. You will be given a list of places near your home that accept the particular item you need to recycle. This includes all of the items already mentioned as well as items like appliances, old computers and electronics, paint, tires, building materials, thermostats, hazardous items, furniture and even vehicles.

What NOT to Recycle

Waste facilities in Greater Vancouver will not accept any items that are able to be recycled. This list grows and changes regularly as new recycling facilities are opened. If you have items that you’re not sure whether you can legally dispose of, visit http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/solid-waste/bylaws-regulations/banned-materials/Pages/default.aspx for a list of materials that are banned from local landfills. This list is updated whenever there are changes to regulations. If something is on this list, then there is a facility (or facilities) where it can be recycled.


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A Five-Room Spring Cleaning Checklist

The experts at Tailored Living corporate recently published a helpful spring cleaning checklist for some of our favorite rooms in the house. Now that spring has truly descended upon the lower mainland, we thought our followers might be able to make use of these insightful tips. They cover some areas that people don’t always think of when they do day-to-day cleaning. We’ll share a brief summary here, but you can get more in-depth info by visiting http://lms.dbmgroup.com/Email/TailoredLivingCorporate/J117857/J117857.asp?EmailAddr=rhelferty@tailoredliving.com&LogID=6921&ID=73712304&EID=NzM3MTIzMDQ=

The Closet (Bedrooms, Hallways, Coat Closets, etc.)

A woman organizes clothing by type in her Tailored Living closet

1) Sort through clothing.

2) Pack away seasonal clothing if space is an issue to make room for spring/summer wardrobe.

3) Remove items that you no longer wear and donate them to a local charity.

4) If you store non-clothing items in your closet, this is a good time to go through those items too. Decide whether they’re worth the space they take up. If not, re-home them or give them to charity.

The Pantry

Baskets like the ones pictured here by Tailored Living store smaller pantry items.

1) Empty cabinets and remove items from shelves.

2) Dust or wash down surfaces.

3) Check expiry dates on food products and throw out any outdated food.

4) If you have food items you aren’t likely to use, donate them to a local food bank.

The Laundry Room

Laundry room with custom cabinets, shelving and work table

1) Sort through laundry and cleaning supplies.

2) Get rid of anything you don’t or won’t use.

3) Give your lint trap a good cleaning, either with water or with a strong blast of air to loosen trapped particles.

The Home Office


Desk in Office in Candlelight finish with crown molding in Recessed Panel Premier profile

1) Clean computer screens.

2) Dust surfaces like your hard drive, printer and any shelving. This is a good time to check your computer or hard-drive’s exhaust screen which is prone to collecting dust and clogging, which can lead to overheating.

3) Polish mirrors.

The Garage

 "Traditional" Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

1) Remove black tire marks from the garage floor with a gentle cleaner diluted with water or a citrus degreaser.

2) Sweep garage floor.

3) Take time to put away loose tools and other items.

On another note, thanks to everyone who stopped by the Tailored Living booth at the Ridge Meadows Home Show a couple of weekends ago. Mike & Laura Pachal enjoyed chatting with many people from all over the lower mainland and are looking forward to some upcoming renos in the Coquitlam/Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area. Be sure to visit http://www.tailoredliving.com to book your free, no-obligation consultation.