Goodwill encourages spring cleaning with #CleanSweep campaign

Five tips from a professional organizer to help families get out from under the clutter

Published Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring CleaningSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL — Spring cleaning is a great time to sort out the clutter but it can also be an overwhelming chore that intimidates people from even getting started. Goodwill offers these five expert tips to help community members not just to start, but to conquer spring cleaning and develop new habits to keep them organized all year long.

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. She also created and is a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International. Marrero has offered 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. Then, by donating your unwanted items to Goodwill, you help people find jobs, build their careers and move toward self-sufficiency.
  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 until the decluttering has been conquered.
  1. 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 a Goodwill Manasota attended donation center to help you let go and move on. Wouldn’t you rather the items do good by helping people build their employment skills than taking up space in your home?

“Decluttering your home in the spring provides a fresh start for both the donor and people who receive training and mentorship, and a wide variety of employment services in our community,” said Veronica Brandon Miller, Goodwill Manasota Foundation vice president. “We hope tips like these will make spring cleaning more fun for families as well as more fruitful for Goodwill, which means we can keep providing critical programs and services in our community.”

Items donated to Goodwill are sold in its retail stores, with the proceeds staying local to fund job training and vital community services, such as computer classes, financial literacy education, a wide variety of free career services programs, and more. Goodwill is noted for its advocacy for and employment of individuals with disabilities, and its work to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. Last year, Goodwill Manasota helped nearly 23,000 people throughout its service area of Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and Desoto counties.

Community members are invited to share their spring cleaning success stories – and photos – on the Goodwill Manasota Facebook page, with the hashtag #CleanSweep.

For more information about what you can donate to Goodwill, and how donated goods and store purchases support Goodwill’s efforts in the local community, visit its website at

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network

of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit