7 Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Old Furniture

woman working on laptop
by Victoria Hill

Air pollution, deforestation and excess fossil fuel usage has become a normal occurrence in today’s world. People throw out items that are usable, causing more and more waste.

We all know that even just one piece of trash can be harmful to an environment. Recycling, therefore, is one of the most important ways you can be environmentally friendly. Many environmentally aware people recycle their glass, paper, and metal but forget about the importance of furniture recycling.

While making a single sofa requires about 32 board feet of wood, 48 pounds of foam and 70 yards of fabric, an article from Planet Save reported that furniture was the least recycled item in households.

This is not only an issue in a household. Most of the time, corporate or office waste are also discussed in the sense of using less paper and less electricity. When in reality, it’s as important that we discuss corporate furniture waste and how to manage it.

More than 8.5 million ton of office waste ends up in US landfills annually. Business owners and entrepreneurs who want to be more environmentally friendly should be more aware of this and consider how to get rid of old furniture and unwanted desks in their offices in an eco-friendly way.

So, here are some ideas about how to get rid of unwanted furniture and ways to recycle the furniture. Whether you’re a business owner looking for ways to get rid of unwanted office desks or a homeowner looking for ways to get rid of your old couch at home, one of the following ways might be helpful.

1. Donate second-hand shops

Thrift shops and secondhand stores may be the best way to get rid of old furniture as many use the profit made from the sale to support charitable organizations. The donation has value to the one giving the gift too because the retail value of the item at the time of the donation is tax deductible. Do not bring the item to the shop without asking first because these types of retail shops often have limited sale and storage space.

2. Donate to a furniture re-use network

Re-use groups are another option to help get rid of used furniture, but they operate differently than charity or thrift shops. Reuse networks accept the furnishings, make any repairs and updates and give the item to a third-party charitable group so it can go to a person in need. Networks work with reuse charities in various areas around the country, so the items can go where they are needed the most.

3. Give furniture directly to someone else who needs it

It is not always necessary to take furnishings to a shop to find someone that wants the item for their own use. Ask friends, family, and co-workers if they want the furniture for free. Advertise on social media sites or place a classified ad online for the free item. A clear photograph and willingness to deliver can often make the item much more desirable to people.

4. Upcycle old furniture

There are so many ways and so many things you can do to upcycle these furniture. You can check out sites like Pinterest for informative tutorials and how-to guides. If the furniture don’t fit in your home anymore, you can recycle the furniture and use them outdoors.

Consider powder coating metal outdoor furniture. Powder coated paint is used with metal furnishings and is typically sprayed onto the metal and cured under a heat source to strengthen the paint. Coating your furniture enables patio furnishings to withstand the UV rays of the sun and exposure to rain.

Powder coated finishes can be in any colour and can give new life to old furniture. The option enables people to freshen up their outdoor decor for themselves or to boost its resale value, without having to throw your old items away.

5. Sell furniture in good condition

Furniture that is still attractive and usable can be sold as well as donated. Advertise the sale with the same methods used to give away furnishings or add the pieces to a yard sale. Review other online offers or completed sales on auction sites to determine a fair price.

6. Try to trade in your old furniture

Not every furniture shop will accept trade-ins, but it is worth the effort to ask. Choose a replacement item from the showroom first. Ask the manager if they are willing to accept the unwanted furnishings for a credit towards the new purchase.

7. Give furniture to a local theatre group

Theatre groups have an ongoing need for furnishings for their stage sets. Most of these groups have a very small operational budget and will appreciate the donation. Theatre groups are a great option for outdated furniture that other people may find desirable. Many stage performances are set in different eras, so the groups need items from almost every decade.

The reuse of older items reduces the amount of trash hauled to landfills and avoids the need for wasted raw materials. The time and effort involved to find a new owner for used furniture are often minimal. As important as it is to know how to get rid of old furniture, it is also important to remember when to let it go too. Try to find a new home for furniture before a new model arrives to avoid the temptation to throw out the old items.

About the Author: Victoria Hill has been writing as a ghostwriter ever since she was in college. Her favorite topics are human development, business communication, modern and pop art, minimalism, and self-development.

What’s your system?

woman working at laptop
by Chris Atley

Here are a few calendaring & system tips to make your life and business run more smoothly :-)

1. Batch together all like tasks - i.e. if you’re getting dressed-up for a meeting, look at what other tasks you need to be dressed-up for and do them the same day, i.e. filming a video, hosting a webinar, etc.

2. Block out time chunks to work on your business and then focus on two to three strategies within that time frame until they’re seen to fruition i.e. a talk, workshop, Instagram lives, referrals, speaking, reach outs etc. You can keep an ongoing list of other ideas so that you don’t lose sight of them. This will take care of bright-red-shiny-object syndrome :-)

3. You can create other blocks of time for your business as well - look at the top 5 tasks you do, i.e. sales conversations, email, social media, follow-up, team meetings, etc.

4. Look at your top values, i.e. freedom, fun, financial security, family, etc. and make sure there is time for all of it on your calendar. This will help you to prioritize what is important to you, and say no to what isn’t guilt-free.

5. Schedule in time for self-care, success practices and anything that is important to you. It’s the only way it will happen. You can still stay flexible within that time frame and tune into what you’re heart is drawn too, but at least create the time and space in your calendar for it :-)

6. Create systems wherever you can in your business and life. For example, doing laundry on certain nights only unless there’s an emergency of course, having an email system in place to make checking email more efficient, and creating a follow-up system that ensures you stay on top of leads.

7. Make all of these time blocks recur monthly, i.e. every Tuesday from 9-11 am is business-building time, and mornings from 6-7 am are self-care time. Then schedule in time weekly to review and adjust your calendar. It’s important to stay flexible and shift things around depending on the week and what you have scheduled, i.e. you may have a new meeting or talk and need to shuffle some other things around to ensure they still get done.

8. You may also want to put in specific reminders right on your calendar for the date you need to follow up with someone to ensure you don’t miss it. This is where an empowered follow-up system is also important :-)

9. Above all else, choose a calendaring system that works for you. Some people love to keep it old school and use a handwritten calendar. I love using multiple Google calendars with fun colours for all areas of life – work (shared with my assistant), personal, kids, marketing, etc. We also just got a huge paper calendar for our family so that we can all actually SEE where everyone is or what we have going on at any given time. Colour coded to make it fun of course ;-)

Have fun getting organized and systematized!!

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

8 Benefits of OCR Technology for Your Business

woman working on laptop
by Yazi

Paperwork is a necessary evil that all businesses have to deal with. With every business day comes a series of hard files that need to be digitized –every line filled and ever character copied.

This can be time-consuming, tiring, not to mention, it makes for a dull work environment. But what if there was a way to simplify the data entry industry? Well, there is, thanks to the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

What Does OCR Software Do?

This technology allows you to convert paper documents, including printed paper, PDF files, images, and contacts, into editable digital documents that can be searched electronically. The limitless benefits of OCR have made it an indispensable part of business operations.

Advantages of OCR

1. Easy Accessibility and Recovery of Data

Storing data can be quite challenging, especially for many files. Important folders can get misplaced or accidentally deleted. But, OCR has the ability to centralize and organize your storage space so you can access data with ease whenever you need it. Digital data is easily searchable, which ensures employees find specific documents faster without wasting time. If data is lost after a disaster, OCR enables fast data retrieval, allowing your business to resume work fast.

2. Cloud Storage

This technology allows for cloud storage rather than physical data storage. Many businesses are currently mobilizing their documents to the cloud as it allows employees to access company information from any smart device anywhere, anytime. This ensures easy coordination among employees, and it can be very beneficial to employees who are on the go. In addition, the cloud keeps files secure and encrypted so they can't be accessed by someone outside the business.

3. Saves Time and Money

Every business strives to optimize time and minimize costs. And, given that most businesses still work with tons of data in paper form, OCR can help reduce the amount of time and money spent on manual data entry. For instance, coders utilizes OCR technology to transform those codes into digital output that helps corporations and SMEs in data processing.

Processing paper documents can be time-consuming, not to mention the time it takes to locate, retrieve, scan, and re-file documents can be used on something more productive. When you eliminate the manual process, your business doesn't have to spend on printing, paper, ink, storage space, copying, filing, shipping, or even the costs of retrieving lost or misplaced data.

4. Efficiency in Management

Everything is automated with the OCR technology, which means managing data is much easier and effortless. Confidential documents can be sorted and stored effectively. When data management is done seamlessly, it boosts productivity and business growth.

5. Reduces Human Error

We all make mistakes, but with this technology, you can rest assured that incorrect data or any misprints will be detected and corrected proactively. Plus, you'll never have to deal with lost or misplaced data again.

6. Secure Storage

All business data must remain secure at all times. Any security breaches could undermine your business' reputation and result in lost investors and customers. Paper data can be misplaced, lost, stolen, or even destroyed by natural elements. On the other hand, digital data remains safe in the storage space. Sensitive information is password protected, limiting access to avoid mishandling. Backups can also be encrypted to prevent theft or misuse.

7. Customizable

Every business is different in its own way. Luckily, there are different types of OCR to choose from depending on your requirements. Other uses of OCR include personalizing and customizing documents, including fonts, layout, and formatting, to fit your business' needs. Additionally, this technology can read different numerical texts, images, and languages, and convert them without losing any data.

8. Save the Environment

Businesses have a social responsibility to maintain sustainability, not to mention eco-friendliness is valued by customers. Less paper use equals less environmental impact. Plus, digital documents can be emailed rather than faxed, which reduces carbon print.

Investing in this technology is a proactive way to respond to digital trends. Furthermore, OCR seems like the future of document storage. The earlier your business makes this transition, the more competitive advantage you'll get over your less progressive competitors.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women's lifestyle.

How to Get Bonded Despite Having Bad Credit

Eric Weisbrot photo
by Eric Weisbrot

Having a surety bond is a requirement in many states for several different types of professions. From licensed construction contractors and tradesmen to mortgage brokers and freight brokers, a surety bond helps protect customers against fraudulent or incomplete work.

Financial losses are covered under a surety bond, and the surety agency backing the bond pays the customer for a successful claim. However, the individual owner of the bond repays the claim amount over time. For this reason, having a solid track record of responsible financial management is a must.

Surety agencies want to feel confident that you pay your bills on time, and the best representation of this important information is your credit history and score. When you have a low credit score or a negative credit history, you may think getting a surety bond is out of your reach. The good news is that could not be further from the truth; however, you need to know what it takes to get bonded despite having bad credit. Here are proven tips to help you through the process.

Know Where You Stand

If you haven’t checked your credit in a while but you’re in need of a surety bond for your business, getting an updated credit report is the first step in the process. Many people bury their head in the sand when they have credit blunders on their report, but knowing is half the battle. You can check your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – once each year, for free. Getting these  details allows you to know where you stand so you can move forward in the bonding process effectively.

Work to Fix the Negatives

One of the reasons for gathering your credit reports is to uncover any negative items or errors that may be dragging your score down. Negatives may include missed payments on loans or credit cards, bankruptcies, civil judgments, or liens against you or your business. While these play a big part in a low credit score, you may not be able to expedite their removal. However, errors can also drag down your score, including incorrect account details. These can be fixed with a little know-how.

You can use the dispute process through each of the credit bureaus to have errors removed, or you can work with a professional to do so. Either way, getting inaccurate negative marks off your credit will help boost your financial profile before applying for a new bond.

Establish Good Financial Habits

If you have some time before you need to get your surety bond, working on improving your credit history and score is your next best move. This can be done by keeping your financial house in order. On the personal financial front, take care to pay your bills on time each month, and avoid using too much of your available credit when possible. From a business perspective, be sure to have accurate and organized records ready to present to your surety agency. These small steps can go a long way in helping you get a surety bond with bad credit.

Consider Financing

If you don’t have time on your side when it comes to your surety bond, consider your options for financing its purchase. Surety bonds are priced as a percentage of the total bond amount requested. For those with bad credit, this percentage is far higher than those who have a clean bill of financial health. Some surety agencies offer financing for a larger surety bond price. You can also look to outside financing sources, like a loan, line of credit, or credit card for temporary help. If financing is the strategy you take, be sure to read the fine print, taking a close look at the fees associated with stretching out your surety bond premium.

Work with the Right Surety Agency

Finally, working with the right surety agency is a key factor in securing an affordable bond for your business activities. Surety agencies that work with several different bonding partners offer the most flexibility for those who have bad credit. Additionally, the right surety agency will work to understand your circumstances and budget to help you find the best solution available. A good surety company also helps if a claim is made against your bond in the future, which can save you time and money.

Getting a surety bond with bad credit may seem like an impossible task, but you are not completely out of luck. Start by knowing where you stand with your financial history, and take the time to clean up your credit before applying for a new bond. Build up good financial habits when possible, but also consider your options for financing your bond premium if the cost is still too high. Always be sure to work with a surety agency that understands that bad credit happens to get the best bond possible.

About the Author: Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.

How to Avoid Burnout in Small Business

Whether you’re an entrepreneur trying to get your idea funded or you’re running a small family shop that was passed down to you, it’s easy to feel burned out by your business. Given that we still haven’t achieved pay equality, women have to work especially hard at our trades just to keep up.

Burnout has negative impacts on our health, happiness, and relationships. That’s why it’s so important to recognize potential signs of early burnout and stop it before it takes hold. 1 in 10 businesses fail because of lack of passion, and it’s estimated that negativity costs businesses $300 billion per year.

This infographic from Fundera identifies ways to help you avoid burnout at every stage of your business: funding, marketing, building a team, feeling overwhelmed, and finding a sense of direction. A few simple tips will keep you motivated and excited about your business, ultimately leading to a healthier and happier life.


Graphic by Fundera.com

How She Does It: Trudie German, Founder of Body Envy

Trudie GermanTrudie German fell in love with the idea of fitness after seeing Angela Bassett’s arms in the 1993
film, “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”

However, the more time she invested, the more she learned about the amazing health and wellness benefits associated with an active lifestyle.

This led to her founding, Body Envy, an in home personal training business in the Greater Toronto area. Body Envy serves a wide range of clients, offering in home and mobile personal training services across the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

They specialize in various forms of high intensity interval training (HIIT), which focuses on the intensity of your workout, as opposed to the length.

Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Trudie. So, how did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Trudie German: Great to be here, Deb. I was in the corporate world and I was unhappy there as I felt unfulfilled. I didn't feel as if I was a contributing factor in making a positive difference in the lives of others. I loved training myself and my manager and a few friends of mine suggested that I pursue a career in personal training. At first, I thought it was absurd, but then the more I thought about it, the more natural it seemed.

Deb: Who are your ideal clients?

Trudie: Busy, professional women over 30, and women who want to be physically fit but are pressed for time in their busy lives.

Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?

Trudie: One of my biggest success is the fact that I'll be part of a panel a Harvard University in February 2019, discussing my entrepreneurial journey. One of the biggest challenges is the mental and emotional aspect of being an entrepreneur. There are days I experience amazing highs and lows in the same hour!

Deb: I'm sure most entrepreneurs can identify with those experiences! What inspires you to do the work you do?

Trudie: Most women, give to everyone else (their family, spouse, career) that they neglect their own needs. I want women to MAKE time for themselves to take care of themselves. They need to understand the importance of their health because without their health they can't take care of the things and people they care about. I want women to not feel guilty about taking time to care of themselves.

Deb: What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Trudie: Have a plan. Make sure in that plan you include a community that includes an amazing network and support system because when the time, gets rough, they'll be your rock.

Deb: What is your favorite activity to relax and unwind?

Trudie: Eat pop-corn and drink Moscatto wine.

Deb: That sounds like a fun combination. What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Trudie: Be kinder, gentler and nicer to yourself and everyone else. The world isn't as hard and mean as you think.

Trudie German

Deb: One last question, what do you think are the top 3 traits an entrepreneur must have?

Trudie: Perseverance, Tenacity, Resilience
Without these traits, their entrepreneurial journey will be short lived.

Deb: Thanks for stopping by, Trudie. Please share website and social media URLs

Trudie: It was fun, Deb. Here are the URLs.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bodyenvy1/
LinkedIn: https://www.facebook.com/trudie.german
Facebook: http://www.linkedin.com/in/trudiegerman


"Why Great Customer Service is a Must for Your Business" with Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Show #479

Kerry Heaps returns as co-host for this conversation about customer service essentials for your business.

We discuss:

  • Steps from sales to customer service
  • Getting referrals from current clients
  • How to give great customer service
  • Tips on customizing the experience for your clients

A seasoned Entrepreneur of 14 years, Kerry Heaps is the Publisher of Pageant Platform Magazine and the Host of Pageant Platform Podcast.  She is also the Founder of Pitch like a B*tch Media, an online resource for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners that want to gain more media exposure and Book.Speak.Repeat. a speaker submission service.

She is the Author of Pitch like a B*tch, Top 10 tips to pitch like a Pro (December 2018) and the Create your own Media series for Podcasting, Publishing and Publicity.  Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work, and an experienced judge on the beauty pageant circuit.

Pitch Like a B*tch Media: www.pitchlikeabitchmedia.com
Pageant Training:  www.kerrysstudio.com 
Pageant Platform Magazine:  www.pageantplatformmag.com 

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