Trash, keep or donate
In helping Boys & Girls Club, experts share organizing ideas that also work at home
By Terry Oparka
Posted April 5, 2017
METRO DETROIT — Nicole Parlor, program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, couldn’t remember the last time a large Christmas wreath, stowed in the storage area, had been used.
Since it had been at least two years, volunteers from the National Association of Professional Organizers, Michigan Chapter — who donated their time, expertise and sweat equity to organize the storage area at the club March 28 — put it onto the donate pile.
Jo Golda, owner of Jo’s Cleaning and Organizing, based in the Detroit metro area and a member of NAPO, knew a member on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Troy and asked NAPO volunteers to help the organization get the items in the upstairs storage area sorted out.
She explained that members of the business community and residents donate items to the Boys & Girls Club, which aren’t always used, and which all end up in the upstairs storage area. Items used for golf outings, the Taste of Troy fundraiser, the summer carnival, as well as office supplies, holiday decorations and maintenance items, are all stored upstairs.
A couple of weeks ago, NAPO volunteers walked through the storage area with Parlor tagging items to trash, keep and organize, or donate. And on March 28, about a dozen volunteers, some coming from as far as Jackson and Grand Rapids, formed a human chain along with College Hunks Hauling Junk to move things along. Nancy Negoshian, of HMS, based in Troy, provided clear storage containers that her company manufactures, and NAPO volunteers affixed labels, such as “holiday” and “maintenance,” to the containers.
Golda said it’s helpful for homeowners who feel overwhelmed when trying to organize their stuff or downsize to enlist professional organizers. And if you haven’t used something in two years, trash or donate it.
Tagging items first speeds up the organizing effort, said NAPO member Susan Thomas, of Movers and Shakers LLC, based in metro Detroit.
Leigh MacCready, president of the NAPO Michigan Chapter, said the organization participates in volunteer events a couple of times a year. Earlier this year, the group organized perishable peppers for Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor.
“The events allow us to network with each other and do something for the community,” she said.
For homeowners who want to tackle a big organizing project/cleanout, MacCready — whose company, Re-Nest, is based in Jackson — said to plan a pizza party. She suggested hiring a professional organizer to lead it.
She said 60 percent of her business is helping older adults to downsize.
“Make it sound like fun,” she said of organizing a cleanout. “Assign everyone a category, such as holiday decorations, etc.”
MacCready said that a professional organizer can help keep everyone focused and on track, “be the team leader, and set the ground rules.” Also, if you don’t have as much storage space as you would like, “use vertical space. I recommend going up,” she said.
Jim Adams, club director for the Boys & Girls Club of Troy, said the club was happy when Golda, who supports the Taste of Troy fundraiser, approached them with the plan to help them organize their storage area. “We don’t have staff resources for this,” he said. “It is a great group turnout and a huge help.”
For more information on NAPO, visit napo michigan.com. For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of Troy summer program, stop by the club, call (248) 689-1687 or visit bgtroy.org.
The Boys & Girls Club of Troy is located at 3670 John R Road.
About the author
Staff Writer Terry Oparka covers Troy and the Troy School District for the Troy Times. Oparka has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2000 and attended Oakland University and Macomb Community College. Oparka has won an award from the Michigan Press Association and four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit Chapter.
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