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Spring Cleaning with a Purpose, Part One – Tips by The Zen Organizer

Every so often I run across a client who has a lot of clothing she is willing to part with but hesitates because she fears the good folks at the local charity will keep it for themselves. My personal feeling is that you need the space in your closet; you get the tax deduction no matter who ultimately wears the garment and why be concerned with the new owner’s identity?

But for those who have a need to know where their possessions are headed, I’ve compiled a few charitable choices for you to consider.  Spring is a time of renewal.  Why not make room for new treasures and give the garments you no longer enjoy to someone else? Later this month I’ll share some wonderful charities that will help you productively off load your passé electronic treasures. These tidbits come from the Resource section of my new book The 8 Minute Organizer: Easy solutions to simplify your life in your spare time.  It’s due out May 1st. Order your copy today at Amazon.

No need to suit up?

If you’ve left corporate America, why let your suits languish in the closet? Dress for Success is a great organization that gives women without business clothing the tools to show up looking great at an interview.  Wouldn’t you like to be a part of changing a disadvantaged woman’s life? Check out And now there’s an organization that helps men re-enter the work force looking like a million bucks at their interviews. Check out  See if any of the men in your life have any business attire they could donate.

 Baby, it’s cold outside!

Every year the wonderful New York City charity New York Cares has a coat drive.  If you live in the metropolitan area check them out and start collecting your coats for the next drive. Of course you can send them your coats even if you don’t live in the city. I sent two coats to them last October.  They were still in my closet because they were beautiful.  Now they are keeping someone warm and that’s more important than my personal visual. How about you? You can also check out for more options.

The Charity Near You

Driving around Los Angeles I see drop off spots for Goodwill Industries in just about every community. I really appreciate them because they have folks on staff who can repair items and prep them for resale.  They are my go to charity but you may prefer a charity that you can personally relate to like the Viet Nam Veterans ( or The Salvation Army (  Another great way to make direct contact with a family in need is to inquire at your house of worship. Churches, synagogues and temples very often have outreach programs that directly help members of their community. Make a call today.  If there is no program in place perhaps you have the drive to create one?

Be Prepared!

While I hope this blog post inspires you, I don’t want you to approach this task solely with your emotions.  You need to make a plan and that includes scheduling time to go through your closets and drawers and scheduling the time to make your drop off or have the charity make a pick up. You don’t want to toss a pile of clothing on your bed if you only have a few minutes to spare.  You’ll wind up with a pile of wrinkled clothing and no way to get into bed tonight.  And you really don’t want a stack of boxes or bags full of clothing to be donated languishing in your closet or entry hall.  This kind of drama leads people to believe that getting organized isn’t for them.  Have a plan and then you can fully enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Regina Leeds
‘The Zen Organizer’


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