Spring Cleaning Guide: Tips for an Organized Home Plus Where to Donate Unwanted Items

Organizing a room, let alone an entire house, can be a daunting task. But, organizing and freshening up your space can help breathe new life into it. So, seize this opportunity for some last-minute spring cleaning and read these tips from the pros on getting organized plus where to donate what you don’t need.

Follow Marie Kondo’s Lead — Tidy Up, But Don’t Sweat the Mess

Marie Kondo: How to Change Your Life Through Tidying

When Marie Kondo, introduced the world to her KonMari method of tidying up, she inspired a movement towards tidier homes with less clutter.

Clutter can be directly tied to stress. A study in the New York Times found that too much unorganized stuff can trigger stress hormones and can contribute to procrastination. It can even impacts one’s level of life satisfaction (or the lack thereof).

But, before you let your own disorganization stress you further, know that even Marie Kondo sometimes finds herself in a losing battle against the mess. 

Kondo told The Washington Post that following the birth of her third child, she has “kind of given up” on keeping her home perfectly tidy. Instead, Kondo says what brings her joy now is different from before.

“My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life,” Kondo said. Her priorities have shifted towards spending quality time with her family rather than maintaining a meticulously clean home.

Where to Donate Your Stuff

Bernie's Book Bank

Ready to get organized and rid your home of the clutter? Whether you’re cleaning out your closet or bookshelf or updating your furniture, don’t just toss those items — donate them and make a difference to one of the many local organizations in need. Here’s our guide to where to donate throughout the North Shore and Chicago.

Where to Donate Unwanted or Unused Beauty Products

We all have that drawer in our bathroom — the one overflowing with unused, half-used and basically empty beauty products. No? Just us? Well, even if you’ve mastered that life-changing art of tidying up and never fall prey to clutter, you still get to the bottom of those bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and reach that frustrating end of your favorite blush or lipstick. If you’ve been sending those containers straight to the landfill — an astonishing one-third of landfill waste is made up of personal care and beauty products — step away from the trash can! There are women in need who could seriously benefit from your unused and gently used products, and there are super easy ways to recycle those empty containers. Find out where to donate yours. 

Neat Method: 5 Tips for an Organized Home

Neat Method: Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves

Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves whip your house into organizational shape so you can focus on the more important things: peace, calm, and being with your family.

7 Drama-Free Strategies for Getting Kids to Do Chores

7 Drama-Free Strategies for Getting Kids to Do Chores

For a household to function, there are chores that need to be done. But trying to get your kids to help you accomplish them can be a losing battle. We asked parenting experts to share their foolproof strategies for getting kids to pitch in — without a fight.

10 Organizing Secrets Pros Don’t Usually Share for Free

10 Organizing Secrets Pros Don’t Usually Share for Free

Want to stick to your resolution to get organized? We’ve called in professional organizers for back-up, and they’ve shared some lesser-known organizing secrets that they don’t usually shell out for free.

Declutter and ‘Rightsize’ Your Life in 5 Easy Steps

Declutter and ‘Rightsize’ Your Life in 5 Easy Steps

Whether we call it decluttering, organizing, or downsizing, it feels wonderful to get rid of “stuff.” One drawer at a time, Lauren Chesley found a system that actually works.

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