Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning Tips

March is practically here – how are your New Year’s resolutions going? Is it time for spring cleaning? Well, we are in luck if we need more fuel for our motivational fire. The March issue of O – The Oprah Magazine is all about De-Cluttering Your Life and getting organized – this month we can say that the O stands for Organization!

She has articles by Nate Berkus, Suze Orman and Peter Walsh to name a few. The main content section titled, “Our Stuff, Ourselves” starts on page 154 leading off with Nate Burkus’ article, “The House Whisperer” that “tells about his design for living.” This is followed by a feature article about New York designer Peri Wolfman’s well organized loft showing some of her organization solutions; an article about turning your photo clutter into wall art; an article by Peter Walsh about “cleaning out the ultimate junk drawer” - the Garage; an article about the psychology of clutter and how to let go of “heavies” that “weigh on your heart” and a few pages of short ideas on where to donate items that still have some use called, “Who Wants My…?”

A few donation sites that we have not talked about yet are mentioned in this last article. Of course, the Vietnam Veterans of America will take clothing, but did you know you don’t have to wait for the bags to show up in your mailbox - you can schedule a pick-up at your home at An organization called SAFE ( donates gently used stuffed animals to homeless shelters, hospitals and emergency aid workers; wood planks and construction materials can be donated for eco-friendly construction projects through; Brides Against Breast Cancer sells new and used wedding gowns to help fund the wishes of breast cancer patients (; Clean the World ( sends your unwanted toiletries, including the thousands of hotel shampoos and soaps you have collected, to areas around the world where hand-washing will help stop the spread of disease; and you can Google “Creative Reuse Centers” and find places that will take art materials or as O says – “things you never knew were art materials.” The following are some other useful sites for organizations who will connect your unwanted goods with deserving recipients: will take children’s DVDs you no longer want; Habitat for Humanity will turn your unwanted vehicle (or practically anything with a motor) into cash for building materials and sends you a receipt for tax deduction purposes ( or 877-277-4344); will take any old “technotrash” such as old PC Cables, CD-ROMS, computer devices, CDs, DVDs, VHS and cassette tapes, and other such items; will help connect you with schools in your area that could really use your old office supplies; will take gently used children’s and young adult books (as will the library); will take shoes; and you can send old blue jeans that are finally too old to wear to who will transform old denim into cutting-edge eco-friendly insulation for communities in need like those still recovering from Katrina.

There are several other ideas that are good to know that we can discuss at our next meeting. I will bring this issue to our upcoming De-Clutter Club meeting on March 3, 2011 in our new craft room – Program Room 1A/1B to the right past the Check-Out desk in the South Brunswick Public Library. Hope to see you all there and don’t forget to save the date of Tuesday, May 17, 2011 to see Jamie Novak and hear all of her latest advice on “Bite-Sized Living.”