Declutter--and donate!

At St. Vincent de Paul Appleton, when you donate quality items to our store, you know you’re making a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing poverty.  All of our store sales support programming that is designed to address the root causes of poverty so that we can move toward systemic change. 

Plus, when we have high-quality items in the store, individuals experiencing poverty have access to the comforts of home that we all deserve.  Can you imagine how unstable or insecure you would feel in a home without a table for family meals or smaller details, like a coffee table with board games or books? 

Donating your items can also enhance your family’s life. 

According to Jennifer Strachan of In Its Place Organizing Services in Neenah, healthy routines start with sorting, purging, decluttering, and donating. 

“Before the actual physical changes take place, the harder work needs to be done. That means that similar items need to be gathered and stored together as much as possible.  This will help thin out unneeded and worn out items and create space.  Going through this process allows time to contemplate how the space needs to work for a family.   Many times, my clients contact me because they skipped the thinning out steps and jumped to buying organizational tools in the form of shelving, containers, etc.  Sometimes, this can be quite costly such as in when they have closet companies alter closet/areas.  When the sorting and thinning out doesn’t happen first the new closet systems and containers may not be effective enough.”

“After the hard work is done and they have new systems in place, maintenance becomes so important.  It should be easier to maintain if they really worked at the thinning out and assessing what is needed to support their family.  I believe that maintaining a space is 80% of being organized.” 

“Remember, the 5 seconds it takes to put something away is a lot better than the 5-10 minutes looking for it.”

Cindy Wendzicki from Daily Details Concierge offers some additional tips. 

“Rooms should be decluttered, sorted and organized, clear open spaces, have a drawer or basket to give your child for a quick pick up that they need to empty when there is free time, this will help with distractions when getting ready for school and for bed. Have your kids help with the process that will help them feel responsible to keep it kept clean.”

“Donate often, have a tub in the basement or garage for easy access to throw items in that are too small or that you don’t like anymore. Make it as easy as you can to let kids know it is ok to let go of items they no longer need and it will make someone else happy and feel special.”

Perhaps most importantly, heed these words from Stacy Hove—owner of Conquer Your Clutter Organizing, LLC: "The best things in life aren't things."

With that in mind, take the time to rid yourself of items that might save space in your life while adding value to another person’s world. 

“Bedrooms should be kept simplified. Less is more in a person’s sleeping space adult or child. Create a nightly routine with this as well. Have the child/adult select clothing to be worn the next day and have it placed in the same place for easy finding.”

“Keeping your home clutter-free and controlling what you allow to come into your home is vital to a healthier, happier, less stressful environment. Less is more. Having things in place at home helps carry a person to other areas of their life as well.”