Spring cleaning is a great time to sort out the clutter, but it can also be an overwhelming chore that intimidates us out of even getting started. Goodwill Industries International offers these five expert tips to help you not only start, but also conquer, spring cleaning and develop new habits to keep you organized all year long.

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Lorie Marrero is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Woman’s Day contributing editor and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life and The Home Office Handbook. She also created and is a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International. We asked Lorie for her top five spring cleaning tips:


  1. Have a plan. You don’t want unwanted items cluttering up your home any longer than necessary, so plan to spring clean and take items to Goodwill® on the same day.
  2. Start with success. For the first room or space to tackle, choose the one that will give you the biggest bang for your buck—one that will provide immediate daily benefits in efficiency and reduced stress. Is it your home office? Does your car not fit in the garage? Do you struggle to find anything in your closet in the mornings? Zero in on those areas so that when you succeed, you’ll be motivated to tackle another space!
  3. Clean slate. Once you’ve chosen your project, clear it out as much as possible and start from scratch. By stripping your shelves bare and restocking them only with items that make you smile, your whole house will become a happy and inspiring place. By donating your unwanted items to Goodwill, you help people find jobs and build their careers.
  4. Make it fun! Shake up your spring-cleaning routine with a peppy playlist: after a song finishes playing, move on to the next area of the room. Create a fun contest for the family: challenge everyone to find 10 items to put away and 10 items to donate to Goodwill. This can become a race, with the prize of a traveling trophy (or a hot fudge sundae, if you don’t want any more clutter!) and you can repeat it once a week for the entire month of March. Share your family’s success story with the hashtag #CleanSweep.
  5. Be brave. Inherited items may come with guilt and obligation. Are you keeping things you don’t want or need? Instead of keeping the items, take an artistic photograph of them, frame it and display it in your home. Then take the items to any of Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries’ donation centers in Austintown, Boardman, Calcutta, Hermitage, Liberty, New Castle, Salem or Warren to help you let go and move on. Wouldn’t you rather the items do good by helping people build their employment skills than take up space in your home?


Revenue from the sale of items that are donated to Goodwill are used to fund job training and employment services for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment.


For more information about what you can donate to Goodwill, and how donated goods and store purchases support the local community, click here.