Friday, June 25, 2010

How to donate old appliances

Do you have old appliances that are sitting around, monopolizing valuable space in your home or garage? Or are you about to upgrade your appliances, yet you are unsure what to do with the ones you currently have?

Below is a list of organizations that take donated appliances. Not only will you be clearing your clutter, but you will be helping out someone in need.

The Salvation Army
With thrift stores located throughout North America, The Salvation Army can schedule a pickup from the thrift store nearest you. Check with your local Salvation Army office to see if they accept appliance donations in your area. Learn more at

St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul is a national organization with thrift stores throughout the country. Contact your local chapter to arrange for a pick-up or drop-off. The number will be listed in the Social Service Organizations section of your local yellow pages. Learn more at

American Council of the Blind
American Council of the Blind has thrift stores in a number of major metropolitan areas. You can call them at 1-800-866-3242 or visit

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat ReStores are retail outlets where quality used and surplus building materials are sold at a fraction of normal prices. For more information, call 1-800-HABITAT or visit

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keeping Summer Organized

Summer can be an unstructured and relaxing time, but that can also lead to more disorganization. Here are some tips for keeping things running smoothly:

• Keep travel-sized sunscreen and bug sprays in your car. That way you never are without it.
• Buy a mesh laundry bag at the dollar store. This is a great bag to tote beach gear/toys around in. Not only will it keep all your beach toys in one place, it is easy for transport and the mesh material allows sand to be shaken out at the beach (not inside your car).
• If you are out of school and at home with the kids for the summer, keep a schedule anyway. Pick a certain time each week for cleaning, one for errands, etc. Let the kids know that despite the laid back feel of summer, things still need to get done and post your schedule.
• Another idea is to post a list of jobs that need to be done and assign prices to them. Allow the kids to earn extra money throughout the week and then make time for a trip to the store to spend their earnings. This is a great thing to send the kids to when they whine about being bored.
• Right now is a great time to do a check of all summer equipment. Take a half hour to check all your equipment to make sure it is in good, safe, operating order. If it is not, get it fixed right away so that when you are ready for fun, your stuff is ready to go too.
• Set up a box in your garage or extra space. Make this your “donate/sell” box. As you go through summer, put anything that no longer fits, works or is used in that box. At the end of the season, take any summer items not used and include them in the box. If you didn’t use it this year, you most likely won’t next summer either. Lighten your load.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at