Simply Put Organizing

Where Can I Donate My….?

I really like to donate. For those of you who have received my newsletters in the past, you have heard me say over and over to always have a donation bag handy. But what about those items you just don’t want to bring to a generic donation center? It is very important to plan where to donate before you start decluttering. It gives you the peace of mind needed to decide what to let go of and when. Here is a list of some of my favorites. All serve our communities in wonderful ways.

Project Smile collects stuffed animals for emergency responders to distribute to frightened children after fires, accidents and natural disasters.

Cell phones for Soldiers collects old and broken cell phones and sells them to a company that recycles them and uses the money to buy calling cards to give to soldiers stationed abroad so that they can call home for free. Go to to print a free prepaid shipping label.

Onesight accepts prescription glasses, bifocals and nonprescription sunglasses at Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Target Optical and Sears optical nationwide. Just look for the marked bin. The Organization provides used glasses as well as free eye-exams to those who can’t afford them.

Computer equipment The National Christina Foundation will match your used tech equipment,computer, printer, software, fax machine, monitor, mouse , or any other parts-with and organization near you that needs it. Many are nonprofits that provide training for at risk student or people with disabilities.

Furniture The National Furniture Bank Association will pick up and distribute your furniture to families in need. Most accept beds, dressers, nightstands, tables, chairs, sofas and lamps.

Medications lets you search by zip code for local pharmacies that have take-back programs to help keep potentially harmful pharmaceutical waste and personal -care chemicals out of the environment.

Paint, Tools and Building Supplies Drop them off at your local Habitat for Humanity Restore. Each Restore is different so contact them to find our what they take

Sports equipment Gently used sports equipment can help underprivileged children enjoy the fun of sports. Sports gift will refurbish your items and send them to needy children in the United States and abroad.

Shoes Soles 4 Souls provides shoes for those in need around the world. Visit and enter your zip code to find a donation site near you

Need extra cash? Here are great ways to lighten your load and fatten your bank account. buys china, crystal and silver in more than 360,000 patterns. buys a wide aray of electronics. from cell phones to Blu ray players.. Simply visit the site to see how much your item is worth and request a prepaid mailing box. Super easy!!

Media exchange 123 buys blu ray discs, CDs, DVDs and video games Simply enter the UPC number to see how much they’ll pay.

Recycling Visit to find recycling centers near you.

Clutter Control

Clutter has a funny way of expanding to fit any undefined spaces in your home. For that reason, it is very important to assign a purpose for each room, cabinet and closet you have. Once spaces are assigned a definite purpose you can go about the job of relocating items in your home to the places they belong and remove the excess as you go. I once had a boss who taught his employees to never walk anywhere in the restaurant empty handed. He knew there was always something to be relocated and put away. He didn’t know it then,but he helped me develop a lifelong habit that has helped me save time in everything I do. Below you’ll find more useful tips and inspiration to help you clear the clutter everyday and reclaim your spaces.
Food for thought

Determine your priorities in life: It is impossible to know what you don’t need if you haven’t determined what you do need. For example, I need more time. I had to take a look at my time wasting habits. I have decided that I don’t need to tear out and save pages of things I want to buy from magazines anymore. If I tear something out of a newspaper or magazine it becomes a to-do. I don’t need anything else to do. And if I really need that thing so badly then I won’t forget to get it. It has been so liberating to flip through a magazine and enjoy it without feeling the need to tear and manage all that paper and to make a trip to the mall to get the thing I thought I had to have in the magazine. This small tweak in my habits has saved precious time, mental energy, and, most likely, a lot of money.

Determine your priorities and what you are willing to spend time on and what you’re willing to give space to in your home.

Clutter is a delayed decision: Take a look at any cluttered areas in your home and you will see that each item there is really a delayed decision. Maybe you just didn’t decide where the item should be located in your home or maybe you haven’t decided if you will ever wear something again or use something so it has been relegated to a spare closet until a decision can be made. Make decisions on the things in your home right away. Choose if it stays or goes and, if it stays where will it ‘live’. If you have given thought to what you really need to support your values and priorities this becomes very easy.
Make a Plan

Choose a charity: For many of us, it is easier to let things go if we think it is going somewhere where it will be appreciated and put to good use. However, sometimes finding the right place can be paralyzing so you stay stuck in your stuff. can help you find a charity in your area you can to be good stewards of your things. Set up a donation receptacle to make it easy to unclutter your home on a daily basis.

Schedule regular decluttering sessions: whether you are drowning in clutter or just a little it is important to assign a time each day or week that you will devote time to relocating items and clearing clutter. It could be 10 minutes a day or 1 hour each weekend. Whichever works for you, it is important to be consistent with the commitment.

Create a landing spot: Organization is about everything having a place. A landing spot is the place where you unload things as you come in the door. Clutter happens when we put things down in random places and then become too busy to go back and put them away. Your landing spot should be located near the entrance you most often use. It needs a designated place for mail, purse, wallet, keys and an area for any shopping bags or other things you may not have time to put away at the moment. In having it all in one spot-it is easier to go back and clear it as time permits. Caution: don’t fill up your landing spot and then make a new one. Take time each day to process what has accumulated there.
New Habits
Set goals; Daniel Hommer M.D., is an expert on brain imaging and motivation. He shared in Real Simple magazine that there is a phenomenon called delayed discounting. If it takes a long time to reach a goal we value that goal less then one we can reach quickly making it harder to get started at all. The solution is to make projects small and rewards immediate. For example, if you clear off a surface, dress if up with something you love keeping in mind that eventually your entire home will be that orderly and beautiful.

Don’t bring it home: Walk away from bargains. Just because you can buy three for the price of one doesn’t mean you should. Ask yourself: Where will I store it? Will it expire? If you find yourself accepting a freebie there’s nothing wrong with putting it in the donation bag straight away.

Put it away immediately: We all have good intentions to do things later. The problem arises when “later” creates piles all over our home. Put things away right away or, at least, the same day. Remember it’s all contained in your landing spot.

Give yourself time: If organizing doesn’t come naturally to you putting things back where they belong is not going to happen overnight. According to Charles Duhigg New York Times reporter and author of the book ‘The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business’, habits are hardwired into our brains. They are our brains way of simplifying our lives, saving us stress and energy. The trick is not to focus on undoing the habit but to replace the bad behavior with a better one. If each time you walk in your kitchen you drop everything you are holding on the counter think of the better habit of putting things away where they belong or using your landing spot to hold them until they can be put away. The reward: clear kitchen countertops.

One of my favorite products

I am here in New York, working with a client to settle him into his new apartment. This is an amazing apartment but has a typical tiny closet in the kid’s room. We need to stretch the space and create more horizontal surface area. For this, I am using one of my favorite products, the melamine shoe shelf. I buy these at Target and install them on closet shelves to make extra space for shoes, purses, folded sweaters, kids board games, the list goes on and on. Products are an integral part of The Organizing Triangle ™ and necessary to create defined homes. For more info on the triangle you can purchase my book by visiting the store at

Hissyfits Hullabaloo

have told all of you about my favorite consignment boutique, Hissyfits. Well, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out mark your calendar for Sunday November 8th and visit the Hissyfits Hullaballoo, an amazing array of local crafters. Shop for the holidays and consign your kids clothes at the same time!!

Hissyfits is located in Phoenix on 7th Street just north of Glendale Avenue.

I’ll be there, hope you will be too!

Repurpose. Replenish. Renew. Restore. Relax.