Clothe someone in need

Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM’s) is my favorite place to drop off a client’s or my own clothing and linen donations.  There are many worthy donation centers in the Madison/Middleton, WI area, but MOM’s is a bit unique.

20140616_151301_resizeIt’s unique because, all the items at MOM’s are FREE for the clients they serve. That’s right, FREE.  MOM’s mission is preventing homelessness and ending hunger through their food pantry, clothing closet and a multitude of other services.


Neat and tidy racks of adult clothing, in all sizes


Infants section

I’m crazy about volunteering in the MOM’s clothing closet because my volunteer duties include sorting and hanging clothing donations. This is right up my alley as an organizer!

I love seeing clients “shop” in the closet.   One client even stated, “I had to become poor to get clothing this nice!”  Even though most clients are under a lot of stress due to their circumstances, they are usually smiling as they “shop.”


Sorting area for volunteers.

There are a few organizations, in just about any large community, that provide free clothing to the needy. They need your donations.  Consider taking a look in your closets today.  What can you donate that will bring a smile to someone in need?


My daughter has returned…..

I am very pleased our daughter is back home for the summer.  If you have kids in college, you can relate to all the S.T.U.F.F. that needs to be moved in and out of their temporary college dwelling each year.  We are lucky it all fit into our SUV!


 The photo represents about two-thirds of her stuff.

Our daughter was beat after packing and taking final exams.  When she arrived home last night, she said, “Mom, I’ll unpack and organize it tomorrow.” Maybe she was worried the organizer in me would be a little anxious about stuff.

It didn’t seem to overwhelm her one bit.

Today she took some time, after writing and emailing her last final exam paper, to do laundry and unpack.  Little by little, the boxes are being taken care of. A few naps were sprinkled in between sorting and finding homes for things. Did I mention she is exhausted?

Summer is going to fly by. Before I know it, we will be sending her off once again and trying not to cry—I can’t help it, I miss her!


Organize with Command Hooks



Do you use command hooks?  If you haven’t discovered command hooks, you may be missing out on a tool that will allow you to use your walls and doors to become more organized.  No damaging nail holes!

Command hooks are a 3M product and available in different sizes, colors and strengths.  They stick to most surfaces and remove without damaging the surface.  This is what 3M claims and I haven’t had any issues with them.

I put them to use recently to hold my strainers on a cabinet door.  The strainers were taking up a considerable amount of cabinet floor space before I hung them on the doors.

The possibilities are endless!

  • Christmas decorations
  • Pot holders
  • Robes
  • Purses, backpacks and more
  • Belts, hats
  • Dorm rooms, bathrooms, mudrooms.

How have you used Command Hooks?

If you are new to Command Hooks, here is some inspiration to help you get started.


Perfect, Clutter-Free Mom’s Day Gifts

Mother and Daughter Holding a Bouquet of Flowers

If you want to honor your mom, grandmother or someone who has been “like a mom” to you, there are some wonderful, meaningful options that will not add clutter to their lives.

First of all, consider the following:

Has she dropped gift hints?  If so, then at least you know she wants the gift and will use it.

What hobbies does she enjoy?

Now for some options:

  • If she enjoys reading she might like a gift card to a local book store, or I-tunes for book downloads.
  • If she gardens give her a potted outdoor plant, gift card to a nursery, or offer to help plant her garden.
  • Is she a bird lover? Present her with seed for her bird feeder.
  • Does she love to cook?  A gift card to a store that specializes in spices, oils or vinegar may be nice.
  • Has she been asking you to teach her a skill you excel at?  Spend time teaching her to knit, paint, cook, play golf, tennis, garden, play the piano or organize.
  • Is she in need of some pampering?  A gift card for a massage, pedicure or manicure may be perfect.
  • Do you enjoy each other’s company? Take her out to lunch, dinner, to a movie, or a concert.
  • If she is sentimental a handwritten note telling her how special she is would be lovely.

Make this mother’s day a clutter-free day!  Leave a comment with your clutter-free gift ideas.

The gift of organization is clutter-free!  Contact Jill if you are interested in learning about her gift certificates. 608-575-7467




15 Minutes to a De-Cluttered Home

the buck garden in new jersay

Spring is the time of year where I really get in the mood to lighten up and let go of the clutter.  How about you?  Are you ready for a change?

If are ready to kick out the clutter, join my 30 Day Spring De-Cluttering Challenge.  Receive support, motivation, and daily organizing tasks.  It begins on Monday, April 1st, 2013.  Here are all the glorious details:)

Is your collection meaningful or a burden?


Most of us have collected one thing or another during our lives.  Our collection grows, sometimes out of control, once we tell someone about our collection.  We receive pieces to add to our as gifts than we may have intended to collect.

What do you collect?

I was a collector, until I outgrew my collections.  I started out collecting soap from hotels when my dad traveled for business.  He was very frugal and convinced me, rather easily, that the hotel soap he presented to me upon his return, was actually a great souvenir! My collection grew until it filled  a large box that resided under my bed.  When my sister did a semester abroad, she brought home soap from other countries.  I was thrilled!  This collection brought me joy, believe it or not.  Friends had to look at it and smell the soap when they visited.  Weird, huh!

During one period of my life, I was an avid figure skater.  Because of this skating obsession, my mom began giving me skating ornaments.  This was a wonderful collection because I had something to put on my tree when I married.  I looked forward to trimming the tree with my skaters.  I have since out grown this obsession and given most of the skaters away to charity.

So what is the point of my sharing my collection’s story?

I would like you to think about your current collections.  Do they continue to bring you joy?  Are they a burden because you feel guilty when they no longer bring you pleasure?  Do you continue to receive pieces for you collection as gifts and you have run out of space?  Does your collection require space you no longer want to devote to the collection?  Think about it.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it may be time to part ways with your collection.

What is the worst thing that would happen if you donated or sold your collection?

Strategies for Success


How can you achieve success?

What are some tips for success?

What is your definition of success?

I’m a guest blogger this month on the topic of Success at the Organized Assistant Blog Carnival!  Specifically on overcoming overwhelm and moving forward.

Other guest bloggers covered different angles of success.  From helping ADHD students achieve to failure equaling success.

Click here and become inspired to succeed!

De-clutter your way to organization

too much stuff

De-cluttering your home will result in a more organized home.  We all have too much stuff.  Even the professional organizer has too much stuff!  I’m constantly de-cluttering and putting things back where they belong to maintain an organized home.

Just imagine if we pared down our belongings by a third!

  1. We will have less to maintain.
  2. We will have more freedom.
  3. We will have empty spaces thus more storage.
  4. We will be able to find things.
  5. We will love coming home to a clutter and chaos free space.

Grab a couple containers and choose one room to de-clutter today.  It doesn’t matter what room you choose just make a decision.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and quickly go through the room looking for items to donate and trash.  If the room has drawers, shelves, or a closet, check those areas also.

I bet you will fill at least one container in 30 minutes.  Don’t agonize over your decisions, do it quickly.

Put the donation containers in your car and drop them off next time you are near your favorite charity.

How many containers did you fill?  Congratulations!!


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.  May your day be filled with family, food, and gratitude.

A few organizing tips for the season.

Pare down your Thanksgiving and fall decorations before storing them.  Especially if you didn’t use all of them or no longer like some of them.

Store large platters, gravy boat, and any special Thanksgiving dishes in your basement or a closet if you are short on space in your kitchen.

If your family is together at Thanksgiving, suggest choosing names out of a hat for your Christmas gift exchange instead of buying gifts for everyone.

What is one task or one event you can give up this holiday season to make the season more joy filled instead of stressful?  Maybe it’s Christmas cards, making a dozen different cookies, or attending every party you are invited to.

Thank you for reading!

A client makes an unconventional decision

Deferred decisions or the lack of decisions tend to cause disorganization, clutter and chaos!  Think about it, if you don’t make a decision about whether to keep something, decide where to put things, decide on commitments/activities to participate in, decide to maintain organization, or decide to ask for help you aren’t going to change your circumstances.

I’d like to share a client story with you about decisions.  This client was a virtual client of mine which means I coached her over the phone.  She’s a lovely client, she took my advice and also thought of her own solutions.

Let’s call this client Laverne.  Laverne had piles and piles of dirty dishes so I suggested she tackle them 10 minutes each day until she was caught up.  We can do anything for 10 minutes, right?

During our next phone coaching session I asked Laverne about her dishes and her progress.  She said, “Jill they are gone!”  I told Laverne that I was so happy and proud of her and asked how she did it.  Her response……”I threw them out!”

Wow, what a decision!  Unconventional isn’t it?  You know what, she made a decision and moved on.  Now Laverne has one plate, one glass, and a couple spoons, knives and forks from Goodwill.  Laverne decided to keep it simple and never face a pile of dirty dishes again.

Way to go Laverne!  This solution isn’t for everyone but bottom line, she made a decision and moved on.

What are going to decide to do today?  Please comment.  If you decided to ask for help I’d love to have a conversation with you.  608-575-7467