Janine with donation box

Donation Challenge – Part 1

donationsA client of mine hosts an annual yard sale fundraiser for the H.O.P.E. Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.  She asks for donations from all her neighbors, friends, and family, and 100% of the proceeds support this program.  In the past I’ve given her items that I’ve collected from my clients.  This year I had my car packed with items ready to bring to her, and suddenly thought, what could I donate?  Me?  Personally?  Not things from the house or my husbands stuff, although I must admit, it was easy to think of items that belonged to him that I wanted to remove from the house.  You will probably agree, it’s much easier to get rid of someone else’s belongings than your own.  So, I challenged myself to find 10 items that belonged to me, to donate to this worthy cause.
My list of donated items is printed below. It may prompt you to think of items that you have in your household that you could donate.  If that is the case, please share those items with me.

List of Donations:
Items 1 & 2 =  two used camera parts that I was given, but never used
Items 3 & 4 =  two picture frames, one empty for three or more years,
the second emptied to move photo to scrapbook
Item 5 =  one computer chair, decided 3 is too many to have for 2 people
Items 6 & 7 =  two clip boards – decided 4 is too many to have for 2 people
Item 8 =  new Calphalon potato masher received as grab bag gift, never
used, like the one I have
Items 9 & 10 =  two water bottles received as gift more than 5 years ago,
used once, but didn’t like

© May 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO


Yard Sale Details:  Saturday, June 22, 2013, 8:00AM to 2:00PM
North Attleboro, MA 02670
All Proceeds go to H.O.P.E Program at Boston Children’s Hospital

The Reach Ability Factor


book caseIn organizing, just like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.  Where we permanently and temporarily place our belongings, papers, projects, and information, is important because it helps us find what we want when we need it.  The Reach Ability Factor is a system that helps us decide the best location for things based on how frequently we use them.

We have 4 sections.


Section A:  Items in this section are things we use daily, like our toothbrush, our favorite coffee mug, and underclothes.  Everything in section A is easy to reach, all we have to do is reach out an grab it.
Section B:  Items in this section are things we use weekly but not necessarily daily, like our workout clothes, and specific utensils or dishes.  Everything in section B requires us to move a little, but still within comfortable reach.
Section C:  Items in this section are things we use occasionally, like suitcases,  a food processor, and extra blankets.  Everything in section C requires us to exert more effort to reach, like bending down or using a step stool.
Section D:  Items in this section are things we use once a year, like holiday decorations, or things you can’t part with like our wedding gown.  Everything in section D would be in a remote storage area like the basement, attic, or a cabinet that is more difficult to reach.

The Reach Ability Factor is meant as a guide to help individuals evaluate the best location for their belongings.  What is a perfect spot for one person is not the best spot for another.  Organizing is personal.
Please note that it’s important to concentrate efforts on one’s current lifestyle and reevaluate the placement of items once a year.

©May 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®  All Rights Reserved


Proud member of NAPO

Reducing Mail

mailboxI was at the National Association of Professional Organizers Conference for 5 days and guess how many pieces of mail I received?  Only 9!  In addition, I did receive one local newspaper and one packet of flyers. Out of those nine pieces of mail, two were really good, a check and a copy of the news article in which I was quoted.  Not bad, right?  Would you  like to know the secret of how you can receive less mail?  Below are my top 3 tips on how to reduce the amount of mail you receive:

Tip #1.  Get your name removed from mailing lists for newspapers, magazines, catalogs and solicitations.  Please note it can take up to 6 months to be removed from a mailing list.  Some websites to try:
Tip #2.  Go paperless with monthly statements, bills, and newsletters.
Tip #3.  Go high tech and use nooks, kindles and phone apps for newspapers, magazines, etc.

© April 2013, Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer® All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO

smile bucket

Spring Cleaning

smile bucketBy combining efforts of organizing and spring cleaning the benefits will be twofold. Here are four ways you can combine your efforts.

1. While you’re getting out your spring and summer clothes purge those items that you didn’t wear last year and any items that are a bit too snug.  Donate to a local charity or look into a consignment shop.
2. While getting out your grilling tools and uncovering your grill,  weed out and pare down your recipes and cookbooks.   Pick a number and only save that many, and make a vow not to print any more from the internet.
3. While tackling your spring yard work, sort through your lawn and garden tools. Get rid of rusty tools and duplicates. Keep only the ones that you really use.
4. While airing out the house, sort through your linens. You only need three sets of sheets per bed and three sets of towels per person. Donate any extra to an animal shelter.

© March 2013 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®.  All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO