About Us

We’ve been friends for thirty years. During that time, we’ve each purchased a ton of stuff for our families and homes. We often asked each other, “what should I do with this thing,” or, “what’s the best use for these?” “Should I recycle; can I recycle?”

Our journey to “do the right thing” with our own clutter led us to compile this recycling guide. After a couple of decades of managing our families and careers—and through several household moves—we accumulated a lot. Even if we kept it all organized and boxed up, at some point, our interests and lifestyles shifted, and all of this stuff was no longer needed. The kids grew up and no longer liked Dr. Seuss books, the roller blades no longer fit, and we all were upgrading our cell phones every two years. Before we knew it, it was all too much.

We’ve both been trying to reduce consumption and simplify our lives. As we explored all of the options for passing along our “common clutter,” our research uncovered a world of possibilities for our discards.

We learned to look for the highest and best use for our clutter. We started to feel responsible for our trash!

Think Outside the Bin is filled with ideas and resource links to recycle common household items. It’s social recycling—taking your unwanted items and putting them in the best possible next set of hands! Think outside of the bin; it’s a way of life you can feel really good about. Help your neighbor; help your earth.

— Melinda L. Anderson and Tracy S. Himes


Melinda Anderson is a Certified Professional Organizer who applies the green principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle when organizing your home, office, and family. She’ll utilize the containers you already own, find great places for you to donate your unwanted stuff, recycle whenever possible, and send as little clutter to the landfill as necessary. Melinda and her family live in Atlanta, GA. Visit her website at SouthernHomeOrganizers.com .

Tracy Himes is a LEED Accredited Professional in New Construction and writes an environmental column, “In Honor of Planet Earth, or In H.O.P.E.” for Kannapolis/Concord Independent Tribune. As a developer of commercial real estate for 20 years, she has extensive knowledge of what constitutes a healthy home and environment: indoor air quality, toxins and poisons to avoid, and disposal techniques using sustainable choices. Tracy and her family live in Concord, NC.  Visit her twitter page @Verdemom or website at www.TracyHimes.com .

5 Responses to About Us

  1. Amy Birchler says:

    VERY excited to find this site. I am in the process of downsizing from a 2500 sq ft home, expecting to move to something under 1200 sq ft. I have already found some helpful information

    I am extremely passionate about “recycling” or “re purposing” items instead of adding to the landfills. I would like to share a link that I have found in my process that you may want to include in your link.


  2. karen bourque says:

    I had seen a television show about donating dentures to poor countries.Do u know anything about this?

  3. Scott James says:

    Melinda and Tracy, love your site! We’ve got a new app called Trash Backwards we’d love you to look at. It helps citizens and local businesses turn their trash back into their lives in repurposed ways. Interested in talking more? Please ping me at scott at trashbackwards dot com.

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