Archive for the 'Charitable Donations' Category

Clean Out Your Closet for a Good Cause!

Let it Go! Bring Your Goodwill Donations to Gap and Get 30% Off Your Entire Gap Purchase!

Pulling out your summer clothes? Kids and young adults moving in and moving out for the summer? Packing up, packing away, and sorting through those piles of clothes?

It is the perfect time to clear out your closets. While your clearing out, take note of any needs you may have for the upcoming season. Then, it’s time to go shopping! Gap has partnered with Goodwill, and between May 19 and May 29, 2011,  if you bring old clothing to your local Gap (to be donated to Goodwill), you will receive a coupon good for 30% off your purchase of both sale and non-sale items. What a great deal! It’s definitely a win-win situation!

It’s all part of The Donate Movement. Gap Inc. and Goodwill® are encouraging consumers to clean out their closets for a cause. From May 19-29, Gap stores in the United States and Canada will accept clothing donations in support of the Donate Movement. The clothing donations will be given to Goodwill Industries® and then sold in Goodwill’s more than 2,500 stores.

Happy Clearing (& Happy Shopping!)


“The Revolving Door”

Getting (and Staying!) Organized During the College Years

Graduations, another year of college completed, mission trips, summer camp, a new job, a new town, …………each resulting in “The Revolving Door”, as young adults move in and out of our homes.

The Revolving Door:  “characterized by a frequent succession or a cycle of leaving and returning.” Merriam Webster Dictionary

As in college students returning home for the summer!

Moving Day......Simplify the Process!

College students often return home for the summer with more stuff than could have possibly fit into their little dorm room or apartment! Their last days at school are consumed with finals, friends, and hopefully, a little fun, and they usually aren’t too concerned with neatly packing their belongings for the summer. Oftentimes, their belongings are shoved into bags, bins, and crates in a hit or miss manner (and that’s on a good day!). So, how do you keep it (your home, your life, your car) organized in the midst of the revolving door?

Don’t allow them to dump! Gently remind them that this is your home, not a storage facility. Then, offer simple, easy, and effective solutions to storing away their college gear until the next semester.

Dorm and Apartment Supplies, School Supplies and Gear

Pack away these supplies in clearly labeled, clear plastic bins. Sort like with like. Only then, can they see what they have, and decide what to keep. Next, ask a few questions about each item, before packing it away:

  • Did you use this item last semester?
  • Do you foresee a need for it next semester?
  • Where would you like to donate items that aren’t needed/used?
  • This is the perfect opportunity to assess any needs for next semester.

College Textbooks

  • If they won’t be needed in the future, require them to sell back their textbooks. This will result in less clutter, and can be a deposit for next semester’s books.
  • If you missed selling textbooks back to the college bookstore, check out these easy solutions.

Unopened Foods, Any Toiletries, Cleaning Supplies, and Laundry Detergent

Incorporate all foods (opened and unopened), any toiletries, cleaning supplies and laundry detergents into your household. Then they can start new and fresh next semester.


Encourage them to take a few extra minutes to sort and purge before they unpack and/or pack away their clothes. Begin by taking a hard look at the clothes they did not bring to college. Generally, these are clothes they don’t like or don’t wear as often, and it just may be time to donate. Next sort like with like. Then ask the following questions to help your student sort and purge before storing away:

  • Did you wear it this semester/year/season? If you didn’t wear it last semester or season, you probably won’t wear it during the next semester or season!
  • Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of your current size?
  • Do you love it? Is it still in style? Is it YOUR style?
  • Is the item in good condition? Does it have stains or tears or is it too worn?
  • Does it need mending? If so, will it realistically be mended?
  • How many do you currently own of this type of item? How many do you realistically wear or need?
  • Where would you like to donate the clothes you haven’t worn? Carroll County friends, check out this Renew, Reuse, Recycle link to some local possibilities.

Before storing away clothes, be sure to take the 3 simple steps of clothing storage, Clean, Contain, and Repel to protect them. Read more at a previous blog post,  “The Great Exchange”.

Linens and Bedding

Use the same 3 simple steps of clothing storage; Clean, Contain, and Repel, and store linens to be used next semester in a clearly labeled container. Incorporate any other linens into your household, or donate to a worthy cause.

Microwave and Refrigerator

Clean out the microwave and refrigerator, and any other appliances, before storing them away for next semester.

Before packing away the crates and bins of clothing and supplies, be sure that everything is clearly labeled.  I love, love Post-it and 3M removable and self adhesive labels . They allow you to quickly and easily label boxes and bins, while giving you the flexibility to change labels often. They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Not only will you be taking steps to keep your home organized, just as important, you will be helping your student(s) learn and practice organizational skills, that they will use for a lifetime.

Yes, this hits close to our home! We had 3 college students move in within a 2 day period last week, and 2 will be heading out for the summer next week. It truly is a revolving door!

Happy (and Organized) Living and Moving!


“The Revolving Door” was originally posted in May 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving


I am thankful for a week at the beach with my husband and 4 kids, 3 of whom live away at college. What a tremendous blessing it is to be together!

I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to work with such awesome people on a daily basis, including clients, fellow organizers , NAPO board members, and local business colleagues.

I am thankful for the opportunity to do work that I absolutely love!

I am thankful for my clients, who allow me into their homes and lives.

I am thankful to be able to bring simplicity and order into lives that are often times crowded and stressed.


It is through giving that we receive.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to give through In Order for Life.

I am thankful that In Order for Life is able to provide help and hope to a young man, Cadeiado, through Food for The Hungry sponsorship and their excellent work in Mozambique, Africa.

I am thankful for clients, who consistently give of their overflow. They receive the satisfaction that their, once loved, possessions are going to help others. After client appointments, it is not uncommon to see me driving through Goodwill, or up to a Little Love Barn with a car full of donations.

We have gone to Appalachia to serve the people. Meet a Little Love Barn and Appalachia Ministries, through Uniontown Bible Church. I am consistently able to bring slightly used, very loved, possessions to be donated to the Appalachia Project. These items will eventually make their way to Appalachia, where the local people will sell them, and the proceeds used for local programs, by the local people. Helping people to help themselves and others.

We have gone to the proms. Meet The Priceless Gown Project.  $1,000’s worth of one client’s beautiful gowns were donated to this effort. The Priceless Gown Projects provides gowns and accessories to local young women, who may otherwise not be able to attend their prom, a special ending to their high school years. They recieve the dresses of their dreams and memories to last a life time.

We have gone to the dogs! One client, who consistently and tirelessly, works with animal rescue and care, was able to donate a full truckload of linens, blankets, and towels to a local animal rescue project. Items that are always needed at animal care and rescue facilities.

Truckload of Donations

We have gone to the dogs (and cats)!

We have gone to the schools. After organizing a craft room, a local craftswoman and Stampin Up representative, donated several boxes filled with art and craft supplies to a local Elementary School. These included items that could be used for arts and crafts, as well as items that could be used as teacher prizes. Both teachers and the administration were thrilled with her generous donation.

Donations to a local school

We have gone into to the schools.

With Much Thanksgiving,




Got Jeans?? Habitat for Humanity Could Use Them!

Next Wednesday, April 21st, I will be heading to Columbus, OH for the 22nd, annual National Association of Professional Organizers Conference and Organizing Exposition, and I would like to arrive with a car FULL of jeans!

Got Jeans? Build a House!

Scott Roewer, of Solutions by Scott, has arranged to have a ‘denim drop box’ at the NAPO conference all week. Scott is seeking to collect 500 pairs of jeans, which is the number of jeans that it takes to insulate one Habitat for Humanity house.

It is spring and the weather is changing (for the better – I’m definitely a summer girl!), and it is time, once again, to do the “great exchange”. It’s time to pack away those winter duds, in exchange  for your spring and summer clothes. Most of us have way too many clothes. And most of us are much more likely to let go of some of our clothes if we know they are going to a worthy cause. Who knew there was such a worthy and practical use for your old, tattered, out of style jeans?

All the jeans collected will be shipped to California where they begin their transformation into Cotton Fiber Insulation. California-based Allen Company donates their resources to bale the denim. Next, the material is sent to JBM Fibers in Texas. JBM converts the denim back into cotton fiber. Finally, the cotton fiber will be sent to Arizona, where Bonded Logic Inc. makes it into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation. It’s a lot of work for a cool product, which Habitat for Humanity will use in a new house built in New Orleans and the Gulf region.

Read more about this fascinating process and a denim drive organized last summer, right here in Montgomery County, MD, “Denim Donation Drive to Help Insulate Habitat for Humanity”.

So, my Westminster and Carroll County friends, call me, email me, swing by my house, and bring me those jeans! Or, we can arrange to meet at a convenient location.

Cheryl Osterhouse – – 410.259.1466

Let’s fill up my car, help Scott collect 500 pairs of jeans, and insulate one Habitat of Humanity house with your old jeans!

Watch for “The Great Exchange” Blog Post, in the next few days, to help you in the process of purging the old, organizing the present, and making room for the future.

Happy (and Organized) Days!


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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email

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