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At reSPACEd, we work with clients to help them organize their spaces, which often means bagging up unwanted items for donation. We try to donate as much of our clients’ unwanted items as possible, rather than throwing them away. But sometimes it can be really tricky to find a place to donate certain things. So here are our favorite, tried-and-true charities to donate to:

Toys, Stuffed Animals, Kids’ and Baby Clothing

NW Children’s Outreach. This non-profit works with local care providers to distribute kid items to children in need. For example, some of these donations go to foster children, who may have had to leave their families without their beloved toys or stuffed animals. Donation is kind of tricky — they are only open one or two days a week, but they have multiple locations including donation centers in Vancouver, NE Portland, Tualatin and Beaverton.

Impact Northwest. When I’m working on Portland’s East Side, I like to donate unwanted kid items to Impact Northwest, which works directly with at-risk families in Portland.

Towels, Blankets, Pillows

Oregon Humane Society. I’m told the Humane Society uses old bedding and towels to line the animals’ kennels. Just bring your clean bedding in during their regular business hours Monday-Saturday.

Books, CDs, DVDs

Multnomah County Library branches. You can donate up to two grocery bags of these materials at any branch of the library. Just drop them off at the front counter.  Books need to be in good condition (not ripped, stained or moldy). Have more than two bags’ worth? Drive them to Title Wave Books, the resale shop run by the Multnomah County Library system. Their resale shop is open to the public and housed in a century-old building, making it a fun place to browse on a rainy afternoon. They will also pick up large collection of books if you are unable to drive.

Office Supplies, Arts and Craft Supplies

Schoolhouse Supplies. This non-profit operates Oregon’s only “free” store for regional public school teachers. Teachers can collect the supplies they need for their classroom without having to use their own money. In addition to office supplies and arts and crafts items, Schoolhouse Supplies also accepts basic toiletry items (toothpaste, toothbrushes), organizing supplies like bins and plastic drawer units, and small toys, which teachers might use in a classroom prize box.

Furniture, Housewares

Community Warehouse. They will pick up your furniture for a $30 fee and place it in their “furniture bank” (a warehouse). People moving into housing from off the street can visit the warehouse with their case manager and pick out furniture they need for a flat fee of $50 (often this fee is paid for by another social agency).

High-End Women’s Professional Clothing

Dress for Success. This non-profit provides professional clothing to low-income women who need something to wear to job interviews. Their donation hours are limited to just one Saturday and one Wednesday a month, so I usually have to plan ahead to donate there.

Food, Toiletry Items, Diapers

St. Vincent dePaul. They operate a food bank out of the local Catholic Church near my neighborhood, so it makes it easy to drop off a bag or two of food during the week. The food pantry is open to anyone in need, but mostly serves the North Portland area.

When there’s a ton of stuff and I don’t want to drive

I call Pickup Please. Pickup Please is the donation arm of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and they collect items to resell to private resale shops. All proceeds go to support the mission of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Please note that they do not serve apartment buildings nor will they enter a residence, so you need to place all of your items to be donated on a covered porch or carport. The great thing about this non-profit is that they take just about everything — clothes, toys, housewares, small furniture — and they pick up for free.

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get a bid on your project here

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Have you ever moved into a new house and lived with boxes for weeks or even months afterward? All of us at reSPACEd have, and we know how depressing that is! So we provide Organized Unpacking services to our clients. Within 2 days, a team of professional organizers can get an average size house almost completely unpacked and moved in.

We focus on what we call the Big 3 first: bathrooms, kitchen and bedrooms. This is because these are the rooms that homeowners use the most, so we want to get those up and functioning for the client by the end of the day. Our organizers know exactly how to unpack and set these rooms up so they are magazine-worthy. Imagine: All of your belongings are perfectly organized from Day One!

Once we have unpacked and placed everything inside drawers, cabinets and onto shelves, we Post-It Note the heck out of it, just like what Maia did for this homeowner’s closet in the picture above. This is so homeowners can find all of their things. We find that by the time the sticky notes fall off after a couple of weeks, the homeowner has all of the new locations of their items memorized anyway.

At the end of our organized unpacking session, we always break down all of the cardboard boxes and take everything out to recycling. Maia and I like to race each other to see who can break down the most boxes the fastest. I’m embarrassed to say she always beats me! She once broke down a stack of boxes the height and width of a smart car in under 4 minutes. Whew!

If you would like to use reSPACEd for an upcoming unpacking job, or if you want to make a house-warming gift of unpacking services, please reach out to us here, email me at info@respacedpdx.com or call me at 971-226-6055. We LOVE to unpack and set up people’s homes, and you will love how it feels to live in a perfectly organized house!

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get a bid on your project here

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I recently did a home organizing job out in Hillsboro. The client wanted me to reorganize the kitchen, specifically: The Gladware! Some call it Tupperware, some call it leftover containers. But we all have those little plastic tubs with the myriad lids, and for most of us, they are stashed in a jumbled drawer somewhere.

So this is how I like to organize clients’ Gladware. I separate the Gladware out by shape and nest square containers with square containers, circular containers with circular containers, etc. Then I store lids separately from the containers (with the exception of the little tiny ones that can get lost in a bin). And just like with the containers, I groups lids by shape too.

The result? This client can easily grab the leftover container AND the lid she is looking for quite easily.

One more hint: It’s easiest to store leftover containers that are all of the same brand, because they are meant to nest together that way. So if you are struggling to get everything to fit in a cupboard or drawer, start by discarding/repurposing elsewhere all the one-off containers.

Happy Organizing!

Like this post? Then like our Facebook page. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get a bid on your project here

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Repurposing a kid’s chalkboard for family communication

August 7, 2017

I’m a professional organizer, but I’m also a mom, and my son is my guinea pig for all of my home organizing ideas. As my son has gotten older (he’s 11 now), I’ve tried to walk back my role as the Summertime Entertainment Director in order to get him to take more responsibility for his […]

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Keep your open shelves from getting cluttered with these 5 tips

July 10, 2017

Open shelving — that is, shelves that hold your collection out in the open instead of hiding it behind cabinet doors — is a SUPER popular look right now in home design, but it can be difficult to pull off. The tendency is for people to cram too much stuff on the shelves, which turns […]

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Paper/plastic bag storage solutions for the kitchen

July 5, 2017

While doing a kitchen organizing job out in Beaverton last week, I got asked about storing bags, particularly the bags that come home from stores like paper bags and plastic bags. I get asked about this a lot actually, so here’s a picture of how I store them in my house: Yep, that’s my 1990s […]

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An organizer’s system for getting laundry done

June 12, 2017

Do you struggle with managing laundry in your house? I have worked with many organizing clients, who struggle to stay on top of laundry. Here are two things I have found to be true after 9 years of working as a professional organizer with hundreds of people: The more clothing you own, the less frequently you […]

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Get unpacked after a move within a day!

June 5, 2017

Did you know we offer unpacking services? We recently helped a client out in Beaverton, Oregon get her condo set up and unpacked after her move. The movers came in first, dropping off all of the boxes and placing the big pieces of furniture. Then we got to work! We always like to set up […]

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Look for the SIGN, Mom and Dad!

May 22, 2017

I’m a big believer in the power of SIGNS. When you are constantly losing something or forgetting to do something, a big, bright, in-your-face strategically placed sign can help you remember. The signs pictured above are for clients who have a hard time corralling all the kids’ paperwork and artwork. They were missing important notices […]

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The perfect gift for a pro organizer

May 19, 2017

What do you get the professional organizer who has doesn’t want anything? (I realize I tend to be very hard to shop for!) How about custom-made bookshelves? That’s what my sweet husband Chad (pictured) made for me recently. Chad designed these shelves, prepared the wood, and did all of the metal work himself. The wood […]

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