Goodwill: Get organized and help create jobs by donating items


Special to the Recorder

Was one of your new year’s resolutions to declutter? Start 2017 off right with a solution that will help you – and your neighbors, too. Collect the items you no longer need and donate them to Goodwill of North Florida. In doing so, you will help fund job placement, training and community-based services right here in our area.

“With the holidays over, it is time to examine your home and remove items that you no longer need,” said Lorie Marrero, founder of the Clutter Diet® and Goodwill’s national spokesperson. “It’s also a time of year when many people set out to find new jobs or plan their careers. Thanks to Goodwill, many people are employed and caring for their families as a result of your donations.”

A good place to start is the closet. Two ways to get honest about what should stay and what should go are the six-month and daily reject rules.

First, go through the closet and pull anything you have not worn in six months. This won’t be easy. It is in our nature to get attached to our things. Once you have made this initial sweep, turn all of the hangers backwards. When you put back washed clothes, hang them the correct way. In June, pull anything on a hanger that is still backwards.

Marrero also recommends making sure everything in your closet fits and flatters you today. Take note of the clothes that you put on then take off because you don’t like the way it fits or looks. Don’t put it back.

“If it doesn’t work for you, donate it to Goodwill so someone else can get use out of it, and it brings jobs to the community,” she said.

In 2016, Goodwill provided more than 104,000 services and placed 15,011 individuals into employment right here in Northeast Florida.

Goodwill also accepts household items, so divide the house into zones. This could be the entire kitchen, living room, bathroom, attic or garage, or it could be as simple as one drawer. Tackle each zone one at a time. Once you have started a zone, challenge yourself to keep going until you are finished. Take before and after photos to stay motivated.

Stay organized throughout the year by creating a “donation station” – a paper bag or reusable bin to toss anything unwanted into until your next trip to a Goodwill donation center.

“Your donations to Goodwill have a direct, positive impact on the lives of people in our community,” said Goodwill CEO Bob Thayer. “A job offers the independence that comes with a paycheck, increases one’s self-esteem and helps break the cycle of poverty.”

Tracy Collins is vice president of marketing and public relations for Goodwill Industries of North Florida. Visit to find your nearest Goodwill donation center.