Goodwill Manasota contest to encourage 'Clean and Clear New Year'

Clearing clutter can help reduce stress while supporting mission of area nonprofit

Published Friday, December 29, 2017

Veronica Brandon Miller (left), vice president of Goodwill Manasota, with Charlotte Stewart of Organizing Homes LLCSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – The holidays are a time of plenty, with gift giving and generosity enhancing the warmth of the season. For many, however, “plenty” can turn into “too much,” as existing clutter is exacerbated by holiday shopping and the influx of presents from friends and loved ones.

To encourage a clutter-free 2018, Goodwill Manasota presents “Clean and Clear New Year,” a contest to assist someone who may have felt overwhelmed by the events of the past year. Community members are invited to write, describing challenges they've experienced: perhaps they needed to downsize, got divorced, or suffered the loss of a loved one. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to Goodwill and a one-hour in-home consultation with local professional organizer Charlotte Stewart of Organizing Homes LLC, during which they will get tips on clearing clutter and strategies for organizing their home. (Winner must live in the Sarasota/Manatee area.)

“I am looking forward to helping a deserving member of the community to take the stress out of their life by getting rid of things they don’t use often,” said Stewart. “Removing the excess from your home and your life gives you a sense of freedom and control.”  

The need to declutter is a common concern for many – this is one reason the National Association of Professional Organizers worked to name January as "Get Organized Month." The organization has attempted to increase public awareness of the importance of being organized: research shows that people waste as much as an hour a day (equaling an average of one year of their life over the course of their lifetime) looking for things they've misplaced.

“Unwanted household items can turn into opportunity for members of our community with barriers to employment,” added Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “Studies have shown that getting rid of excess clutter eliminates as much as 40 percent of housework in the average home. By clearing out the clutter from your home and donating unwanted items to Goodwill Manasota, you can help fund job training programs and services right here in our local community.”

To participate, community members should submit a paragraph and photo to or to the organization’s Facebook page ( Deadline for submissions is January 19, 2018. For more about Goodwill, go to


PHOTO ID: Veronica Brandon Miller (left), vice president of Goodwill Manasota, with Charlotte Stewart of Organizing Homes LLC

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 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 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