MM Parrish Blog

Organizing your home, Step One: Get Rid of Stuff! … and a list of where to donate in Gainesville!


Posted: January 17, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Kathryn Pizzurro

Organization. An ongoing struggle for many, we strive for organization in our lives, our workplace and even our car. It’s a common goal for the coming year and much like everything else worth doing – organization begins at home. 

But all too frequently, home organization leads many Gainesville homeowners to create nice neat piles in the corners of rooms; jam-packed front hall closets that upon opening might take out a small toddler; or multiple plastic bins filled with items to be donated, or repurposed, that will sit quite nicely until next year when you decide again, it’s really time to organize your home.

So perhaps it’s not the actual organization of our homes that is the challenge. Perhaps it is the very first step in home organization that is the hardest. 

Yes, I’ll say it. You have to get rid of stuff. Not repurpose, not refurbish, not shift. Get. Rid. Of. It.

So, in the true Gator spirit, let’s just meet the issues head-on with all the truthfulness and strength we can muster.

No, there is really no logical reason to have 53 juice glasses (or 53 of anything for that matter).

You will never find the lids to the seven unmatched Tupperware containers. 

When was the last time you needed the 37 heavy duty coat hangers? Expecting a dinner party during a blizzard? In Gainesville?

You replaced the light fixture in the guest bath four years ago, why are you still holding onto the chrome-plated one? 

Sure, you could argue that someday you will make a Bundt cake, but three of them? At the same time?

It is time to be honest with yourself. Declutter, and get rid of all those extra things that simply take up space in your beautiful home. You’ll most likely be surprised at how much living and storage space you really have and if selling your home in the next year or two is in the plans, your home will be that much more attractive to potential buyers. 

Still need motivation? Consider others who actually could truly use your items and perhaps that may get you going. 

ReStore (Click Here to Visit)

Alachua County’s Habitat for Humanity has built over 117 homes in the Gainesville community. ReStore, located on SW 13th Street, is Habitat’s local thrift store stocked with items from building supplies to household items to provide help to individuals upgrading their homes. ReStore accepts donations of working appliances, home furnishings and books, as well as doors, windows and cabinets from homeowners who have recently refurbished their own homes. ReStore also provides convenient pick up services when scheduled in advanced and can be reached at (352) 373-5728. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Friends of the Library of Alachua County (Click Here to Visit)

In anticipation of their spring sale (April 22 – 26, 2017) the Friends of the Library accepts donations of books, art work, CDs, audio and video tapes as well as computer software. Items may be donated at the Book House, located on 430-B N. Main Street in Gainesville during normal business hours of Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9 am until noon. Two drop boxes are also located outside the Book House for after-hours donations.

Local Animal Shelter or Veterinarian

Older towels and used stuffed animals are great comforts for our furry friends in need and can be donated to any of Gainesville’s pet rescue organizations or shelters. Even your own local veterinarian may welcome the towels!

Goodwill Industries International (Click Here to Visit - Jax Website includes Gainesville Locations)

According to Goodwill, 312,000 people in the US and Canada were employed in 2015 because of household donations to local, community Goodwill sites. Gently used clothing or household items may fill a need for not only one who purchases the item, but provides a paying job for individuals throughout our community. The Gainesville area has three Goodwill locations. One is found on West Newberry Road, just west of Tioga Town Center, and two located within Gainesville on SW 34th Street, just south or Archer Road and one on NW 23rd Avenue.

Child Advocacy Center (Click Here to Visit)

Have some preteens in the house who are slowly (or too quickly) growing out of their toys and art supplies? The Child Advocacy Center could be a new home for your gently used toys, coloring books, construction paper, play-doh, glue sticks and all of those stickers! Located at 901 NW 8th Avenue in Gainesville, The Child Advocacy Center provides a safe place for abused and neglected children in our community. Dress-up clothes and school supplies are always welcome too.

So, ready to start organizing? Now that you have a place for those items outside your home there is really no reason not to start. Load up the car or call for pick up. You and home won’t regret it.

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