Think Spring Cleaning!

Goodwill International and The Clutter Diet’s Lorie Marrero held a Twitter party this week with some fantastic tips and information to help you get organized and jumpstart your spring cleaning.  

“Spring means time to organize bathrooms and kitchens as we get ready to spend more time outdoors and cooking fresh spring produce” according to Lorie, who suggests considering Features, Function, Flow, and Frequency as you strategize the organization and placement of things in your kitchen. Frequently used items should be in the most accessible places. In another part of the house – the bedroom closet – this means placing your favorite clothing and shoes front and center while keeping the formalwear to the back and away.

Lorie shared some great links as well, one an article about how getting organized can help you get a job. The tips on organizing contacts, bills, files, your calendar and tasks, and even your first impression all make a lot of sense. She also linked a list of Donating Do’s and Don’ts, the first point encouraging you to consider whether your donated items will be used toward a cause you support, and how much of the revenue actually benefits the cause. For example, 83% of Goodwill’s collective revenue directly supports Goodwill’s mission and programs (which helped serve 1.9 million people in 2009). Some of the donation tips Goodwill International tweeted can be found near the bottom of this entry.

The Donate Movement is incredibly cool, its purpose being to help people give their gently used goods a longer life and help the community (explained more here). The Donate Movement webpage is a really useful tool. As I write, the ticker at the bottom says that Goodwill has diverted more than 2 billion pounds of useable goods from landfills since Jan 1, 2010. Two billion pounds! You can watch as the number of pounds goes up and up each second. There is also a great donation calculator that can give you a real idea of the impact your own donations have on people in Goodwill programs. Goodwill International tweeted some examples during the party:

  • Donating just 1 pair of jeans to Goodwill can give someone 11 minutes of on-the-job training.
  • Donating one lamp can provide 10 minutes of career counseling to someone who needs it.
  • Want to clear out some winter coats? Donating 2 could provide 28 minutes of financial training classes.
  • The old TV taking up space in your basement, when donated, can provide 31 minutes of career counseling.
  • Are the kids bored with their old video games? Donating 3 can provide 15 minutes of job search class.
  • If you’re cleaning out your kitchen, donating 10 plates can provide 15 minutes of financial planning class.
  • To donate an hour of career counseling, give 1 coat, 1 dress, 1 pair of shoes, 3 pairs of jeans and 2 sweaters.
  • Looking to donate something high value this year? A donated working computer can provide 5.3 hours of career counseling.

You can track your donations online with CharityDeductions or on your iPhone or iPad with iDonatedit. If you are a blogger, consider supporting the Donate Movement by joining the blogger network.

Goodwill International also tweeted these donation tips (for further information check out the Donation Acceptance Guidelines):

  • Do: always wash or dry clean clothing before you donate it.
  • Don’t: donate broken items!
  • Don’t: donate kids’ products that have been recalled. Check this site first:
  • Don’t: leave items unattended outside a collection center where they can be stolen or ruined by weather.
  • Do: Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items before you donate them.

So, where does that leave us? Organizing our homes and donating what we no longer need, of course! And we at Goodwill will turn your donations into job training, placement, and community programs – learn more about the programs in our area here.

A map of the stores and attended donation stations in Tacoma Goodwill’s section of Washington is available here. Thanks for a great Twitter party, Goodwill International, The Clutter Diet & Lorie Marrero!


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