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Hi Friends!

Today I am joined by Mary Davis, founder of In Good Order, and our SBO Partner in Richmond, Virginia (if you’re in the Richmond area and looking for a professional organizer, give her a call!)

On a personal level, Mary is married to her husband and together they have two boys ages 9 &12. During our conversation Mary shares her own organizing journey as a self-described “reformed packrat” whose organizing career started to form when her Dad died unexpectedly and she was left to navigate over 5000 square feet of STUFF.

I invited Mary to join me on This ORGANIZED Life to talk about Donation Etiquette…WHAT to donate, What NOT to donate, and WHEN to donate.

We break it down into several categories including:

  • Clothing
  • Small Household Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Linens/Towels/Bedding
  • Books
  • Building Supplies
  • Electronics

This episode was filled with so much useful information and resources on what and where to donate.  Make sure to check out the links below to access Mary’s donation guide and other information discussed in the show.

Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode:  1Thrive who are committed to making organizing simple, fun and stylish through their collection of command centers

Visit 1Thrive.com to find the system that works best for you. 

Make sure to use code SB10 to receive 10% off your entire order!

P.S. It’s finally here–drumroll please! The Enneagram & Clutter Course is available for pre-sale! Click HERE to learn more.

Connect with Mary

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Links Mentioned in this Episode

DONATION RESOURCE GUIDE | GIVE BACK BOX | ZAPPOS FOR GOOD


Mary’s Book Recommendations

YOU ARE A BADASS | THE ART OF TIDYING UP


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Stop feeling like a Hot Mess!

HOT MESS: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized is my witty little survival guide that helps you get to the root of your clutter. Learn about the 3 types of clutter, Physical, Emotional, and Calendar, along with how to avoid the 5 Clutter Pitfalls. 

Now is the time to reclaim time, find freedom, and feel empowered from the “stuff” that is holding you back.

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ANNOUNCER 1: Welcome to This Organized Life. If you're a mom, wife or coffee lover seeking advice on how to reduce clutter and reclaim time, look no further than your host, Laurie Palau, founder of Simply B Organized and author of Hot Mess: A Practical Guide to Getting Organized. For a lot of people, clutter is their dirty little secret, but it doesn't have to be. Each week we will share practical tips, chat with experts and provide strategies on how to keep you organized. I hope that by sharing our stories, you feel a little less alone and more empowered to tackle the areas that are holding you back. So let's get started.

LAURIE PALAU: Hi, everybody, and welcome to today's episode of This Organized Life, I'm your host, Laurie Palau, and I am super excited to talk to you about today's topic. We are talking about da-da-da! Donations. This is one of the hottest topics that I get asked all the time from people. What should I donate? Where do I donate? Who gets what? Is this something that should go in the trash? And so I decided I wanted to do a show about this. And I was chatting with one of my SPO partners, Mary Davis, who is the founder of In Good Order based in Richmond, Virginia, and we were having a conversation about this very topic and she's like, yeah, I just did a blog post all about this. And I said, awesome. We got to get you on the show. We're going to talk all about it. Joining me today, and I'm going to bring her out in a second, is Mary, like I said she's based in Richmond, Virginia, she's a professional organizer, she's a mom of two kind of middles, not little’s, not bigs, but middles, just really helping navigate life in all the craziness. And I think this is a wonderful topic, I can't think of a better person to have sitting in my copilot seat with me for this episode. So without further ado, let me welcome Mary to the show. Hi, Mary.

MARY DAVIS: Thank you, Laurie. Thanks for having me.

LAURIE PALAU: I am super excited. And I probably also should have mentioned that you were one of our panelists when we had our clutter clinic quarantine, if I can speak. So some people may recognize your voice from that, because you were super instrumental in making that happen in the height of the pandemic, one of our most popular downloaded episodes, by the way.

MARY DAVIS: Awesome. Thank you. I enjoyed it and it was an important conversation.

LAURIE PALAU: For sure. So I gave our listeners a top line overview, a very top line about who you are, but can you just, in your own words, tell everybody a little bit about who you are, what you do, all the things?

MARY DAVIS: Yep. So you covered that I'm here in Richmond, Virginia, and I do have two, I like your middles, nine and 12, both boys and an older boy, the husband. I worked a corporate career for many, many years, just kind of was at a crossroads in my career and had wanted to do professional organizing and kind of thought it was something that was a pipe dream and then just decided to go for it. So here I am.

LAURIE PALAU: And we're so glad that you did.

MARY DAVIS: Thank you.

LAURIE PALAU: And you specialize in closets. So for all my closet lovers, Mary is like, I mean, that's not all you do, I don't want to silo you, but you are like a closet Maven.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: So anybody out there listening in the Richmond, Virginia area that needs a closet, call Mary, she's your go to person.

MARY DAVIS: Thank you.

LAURIE PALAU: No, of course. So as I mentioned kind of in the very top of the episode, donations, and I'm sure this is a question that you get asked with your clients, and even just in real life with your friends, you know. I have an old piece of furniture, I've got an old TV, I've got clothes that my kids have outgrown, I've got stuff that I've outgrown, what do I do with it? Where does it go? So give us, you know, kind of the big arching overview and then we can break it down more specifically into different categories for people.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah. So yes, I get asked this question all the time, and another reason that this kind of became an area of focus for me is that I've done some volunteer work for local organizations, helping them organize, helping nonprofits organize their supply rooms, which really gave me some insight into donations and what to do and what not to do. Everybody likes to take their stuff and drop it at the goodwill because it's easy, right? We all do it, we've all done it, but there's so many other organizations that can benefit from what we don't need anymore. And anything, like you said, you've got clothes, you've got toys, you've got electronics, household items, all kinds of things and almost always there's some organization out there that can make use of the things we don't need anymore.

LAURIE PALAU: I think you bring up a really important point that, again, a lot of times, and I see this when I work with clients or even just people tell me that they're, you know, they got the urge to purge on their own, is you get in this groove and you're like, I want it out, I'm done, I want it out. And so you just kind of like figuratively or literally just dump it all in a bag and just pass it off. But that's not always the best way to approach things for the end user, you know, for where you're sending it to. Maybe what we can do is just start by breaking it down into categories for our listeners. I actually kind of jotted down some categories, and I'll share them with you guys out there. So I broke it down into clothing and shoes, as one category. Another category would be small household appliances. The third one is furniture. The fourth one is linens, towels, beddings, anything of that realm. The next one's books. The sixth one is excess building supplies, like if you've done any type of home renovation project and you've got random lumber or trim, tiles, any of those kinds of things. The last one is electronics. And I'm thinking what we could do just to kind of keep it simple, and again, for anybody that's like new to our show, don't worry about writing any of this down, we're going to have this all on the show notes, but maybe what we could do is just walk through each of those categories and talk about, I want to talk about where are some good places that we can donate these items, and also, how to determine what is worthy of actual donation and what is maybe even not even donation worthy and it needs to just go in the recycling bin, all right.

MARY DAVIS: So you said. I think you said your first category was clothing and shoes.

LAURIE PALAU: Yes.

MARY DAVIS: I think that tends to be what we have the most of for whatever reason, our kids outgrow things and we get tired of things. Obviously, thrift stores are always going to take clothes but there's some great organizations out there that help people who are looking for employment. A national organization is Dress for Success, they will take current business attire, and then check, if you want to stay local, we have a local organization here called Boots to Suits, that outfits military veterans for job interviews. So just a quick Google search, you may be able to find something local as well. When you're donating clothes, if you wouldn't wear it in public, don't send it to somebody else to wear. It should be current, it should be stain free, hole free, clean, obviously, we all know that, but, and then shoes, one national organization that will take new and used shoes is Soles for Souls. And then again, there's typically some local or may be local organizations, like we have one here called Shoed that takes running shoes and gives them to people who need shoes.

LAURIE PALAU: So you bring up an interesting point, and I actually don't know the answer to this, and I'm hoping that you do. Is there a hard and fast rule when it comes to like running shoes, like would Soles for Souls, will they resole them, like, you know how sometimes you'll have a running shoe that like is good on the top, like they're not shot, but the bottoms are shot?

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: And I just recently had somebody ask me that question, is that something that you can donate? Is there an organization that you know about? Or is it just like, again, kind of going back to your earlier point, which I love, is, if you wouldn't wear it or have your kids wear it, it's not worthy?

MARY DAVIS: Right. I don't know the answer to that. I don't think that either one of those organizations resole, I think they, something may not being a running condition, but it's still maybe wearable.

LAURIE PALAU: Okay.

MARY DAVIS: I mean, if you're a serious runner, you need the support of a running shoe, but if your sneaker is going to somebody who's not going to run, it still may function for someone else. So I think talk to the organization or look up on their website.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, I think that's really important. And again, yes, I love Dress for Success, I think it's great and, and Boots for Suits, or Boots to Suits sounds amazing. And I'm sure that there are, again, I think a lot of times national organizations are great, but we all want to try to support our own local communities. So again, for any of these categories, I encourage everybody to just, again, quick Google searches of donation places for, fill in the blank, near me. Let's talk about small household appliances, because I see this a lot, and this could be anything from I had an extra blender or I went through a juicing phase and now I'm not and you know.

MARY DAVIS: Like an air fryer, I never used it, yeah, I get it. I get it.

LAURIE PALAU: Yes. So, we've all been there. Is there anything, any place specific that you recommend or any charities specifically for those types of products?

MARY DAVIS: Yeah, so one of my favorite places to donate any household goods is Habitat Restore. It's a thrift store that's run by Habitat for Humanity, and they use the sales from those proceeds to support building houses, building the houses that they built. So they will take small household appliances. And then, of course, you know, as long as it's in working condition, thrift stores will take those as well.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, and I know also what we're talking about, and the Restore is awesome, I always think, I have this one girlfriend that loved doing stuff, and I don't want to jump ahead to our small, our excess building supplies, but that's also a great place for a restore too, and she would get these great finds, she would always go to the restore and she'd be like, look at what I just got, I'm doing, you know, I'm updating my bathroom and I just got these great fixtures from the restore, and it's awesome. And a lot of times, this stuff is new, it's just overflow. It's great. I love the Restore. I know, by us, there's some, there's local charities that maybe support women that are coming out of like domestic violence that are trying to get, you know, a fresh start. And so again, check your local listings, because a lot of these women are trying to kind of build, literally build a life from scratch. So anything, whether it's excess, like, plates and dishes and cups, to, like you said, a blender or whatever, like these things are, especially if they're in working condition, you just bought them and you're like, I don't use it, or I got a new set of dishes and now I have an extra pair or an extra set, these are great, great, great things that can help people.

MARY DAVIS: Yes, absolutely. You bring up a great point. Check with shelters, check with YWCA, you know, any of your local organizations who are trying to set up people who are kind of starting over, whether it be from homelessness or abuse or whatever the case may be.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. What about bigger furniture, like sofas, and that's, I always find that's a tougher one.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: You know, and I see this a lot, people will ask me questions, especially if like, say their parents are downsizing and they're like, my parents had this dining room set from, you know, 1955, where can i donate it?

MARY DAVIS: Yeah. So same thing, Habitat takes furniture, or at least our location does. We have an organization that works with homeless folks who are starting over and they have what they call a furniture bank, where people can donate furniture, so people can kind of shop from there, the same type of thing. And the one positive thing about donating furniture is if you, a lot of times people will come and pick it up, organizations will come and pick it up for you.

LAURIE PALAU: That was my question, right? And that's like, we can kind of dive into that too. I don't want to be like all over the place, but again, there's certain things, you could throw a bag of clothes in the trunk of your car, it's very different than saying I'm hauling a sectional somewhere.

MARY DAVIS: Right.

LAURIE PALAU: Do you know, does the restore do pickup or are they-

MARY DAVIS: I'm not sure if restore does, I know Salvation Army does and I know several of our local thrifts will do that.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, yeah, we've got some local ones that do that as well. So again, I always want to tell, I always try to tell people when you're going through this, you want to, you don't want to make it another item on your to do list, right? You want to make the process simple. So finding organizations that will take the ease of you having to take that extra step, is awesome too. So and there are a bunch of organizations that will, I mean, we had a local organization, I'm not sure if they're still around or not, I haven't used them in a while, but they would actually come into your house, like you didn't even have to have it at the curb. Like they would actually, you just told them where it was, so if you had big furniture, they would come in and they would take it from your basement, your attic, whatever, it was awesome. That was Impact Thrifts, I don't know if they're still around. What about linens, towels, bedding. That's another big category.

MARY DAVIS: Yes. So if you have nice bed linens, a lot of thrift stores will accept those, but if you have towels and sheets and things that typically don't have filling in them, pet shelters are a great place. They use those to line kennels and make beds for the pets in shelters.

LAURIE PALAU: 100%. Preach, preach, preach. If you have a local SPCA, or anything, definitely. And even check your local police or fire departments, because sometimes with blankets, if they have foster kids, like domestic disputes and they have to take kids, having like a stash of blankets and cozies to be able to give to kids is something that sometimes not all Police and Fire Rescue will have, but a lot of them will take that. There is a use for that.

MARY DAVIS: And shelters too, for the blankets.

LAURIE PALAU: Yes. Totally.

MARY DAVIS: Absolutely.

LAURIE PALAU: Absolutely. I love the next category. And this is like a, this is a big emotional thing for a lot of people, which is the donation of books.

MARY DAVIS: Yes, I find books to be a little harder, like not many national organizations take them I think because the shipping, it costs too much to ship books anywhere. But local libraries will often take donations of books. Also, again, shelters, local schools sometimes take books, and we have a children's museum here in Richmond, and they have a book bank to collect books for underprivileged kids.

LAURIE PALAU: That's awesome. I love that. We have a children's museum here too.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah, I love it.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, and I always tell parents also if they're like, in it, like with their kids, and this is something that they're going through, even with children's books, to have them, if they have like a preschool that their kids went to, because I think whenever you can connect the dots of who you're donating to, it makes it more impactful. Not that it has to, that you have to do this, but if you're getting your kids on board, I remember when my kids were little and they would outgrow things and I was like, well, let's drop these books off at Holy Nativity, which was their preschool, shout out Holy Nativity. But they loved it, they loved the fact that they could be like offering that up. So obviously you want to check and make sure that your local preschool or your church or organization or whatever accepts that. But it's a great way to get the kids like jazzed up about doing it.

MARY DAVIS: Yes.

LAURIE PALAU: Touched on this very briefly, but excess building supplies. Like, we've all done home renovation projects, and have those odds and ends of things that accumulate in the garage or the shed or wherever.

MARY DAVIS: So that's one of the things, we've talked about Restore several times already, that makes them unique, is they do take tile, fixtures, lighting, you know, sinks, all the things that they can sometimes use or resell to support their house building.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Because I know a lot of times people will hold on to things and they'll be like, I redid my bathroom eight years ago, and I get it, you might have a tile that needs replacing, but you don't need to hold on to like everything.

MARY DAVIS: Correct, and you don't need to hold on to enough to redo the whole bathroom again.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, totally. We actually just did a project not too long ago on our outdoor space and we had stone and I had excess stone and I was talking to my contractor and he's like, keep like and he literally put aside like and he goes keep this amount in case a stone cracks or breaks and you have to replace it, and the rest of it. And I actually had enough that I was able to give it, I just gave it to a friend of mine who was going to be doing like a little mini project. We had enough for him to do that, so I just gave it to him. But if he didn't want it, I would have just donated it to Restore because, again, I was like, okay, there's no other projects that I'm doing with this, I don't want to hold on to it just because.

MARY DAVIS: Right.

LAURIE PALAU: The last category, again, I think is a hot button for a lot of people and they really don't know what to do with it, and that is electronics.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah. So there is a national organization called Computers with Causes that will take donations of used electronics. And then, again, check locally, we have one here called Tech for Troops that not only donates usable electronics to military veterans, or the military, but also recycles electronics-

LAURIE PALAU: Well that's awesome.

MARY DAVIS: To keep it out of the landfills, which is great. And I always recommend, if something's not donatable, try to recycle before you put it in the dump.

LAURIE PALAU: Absolutely. We're going to take a quick break, we're going to come back because I want to unpack that a little bit further because I think that's a really big hot button for people. So we'll be right back.

LAURIE PALAU: So right before we get to break, you mentioned about avoiding putting stuff in landfills, and I think most of the people that I talk to, and I don't know if you feel the same with your clients, most of the people are very socially and environmentally conscious. People don't want to be part of the problem or contribute to the problem. But there are some things that people will look to donate, especially when it comes to like electronics or things that are very dated, that are just hard to donate, like an old TV that has, you know, the big tube in the back. What's your advice? How do you, what's the conversation that you have with clients when it comes to some of those topics that aren't as cut and dry as shoes, or clothes your kids out grow?

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah. Again, just five minutes of Google research, and you, a lot of times, there are a lot of recyclers out there that will take things like Nike takes used shoes and recycles them. Mac takes old makeup containers and recycles them. Best Buy will accept a lot of electronics recycling. So there are plenty of places out there that will recycle, and things you would never imagine. Teracycle is an organization that recycle, we could probably do a whole nother show on this, but recycles a ton of stuff. Hasbro toys, K cups, instant pasta packets. I mean, it's crazy how much stuff they cover. So just do a quick five minute Google search for what you're looking for and I think you'll be surprised what you might find.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it. And again, for parents out there, this is a great project to get your kids involved. Again, like you said, you must have said, you know, like Google search 50,000 times, all of our kids know how to do that. So even at a young age, getting them involved in this process, because, you know, you think about it, we all are busy, and we're all trying to do everything that we can do and if you can say here, go, I want you to go in and do, you know, research places that we could donate these five things, you know, and even if you gave your kid like a couple dollars to do it, you know what I mean? Like, here's how you can earn a couple of extra dollars to help me with this. And it gets them, not only does it take it off your plate, but it gets them, you know, thinking about how they should be able to pay it forward with their own stuff and be responsible. So I think that this is something that it's, people, if they're out there listening, going great, now I got to go Google search this. Well no, there are other, you know, you can easily delegate that.

MARY DAVIS: Yes.

LAURIE PALAU: So speaking of which, I want to kind of just let's talk about you and your kids, because you're a mom and like you said you have what, nine and 12? Is that what you said?

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: The boys are? How did you begin the conversation in your own home about donation and recycling and all of that and what did that look like?

MARY DAVIS: So I tried to get them both as involved with getting rid of things, because that's where it all starts is you've got to be willing to get rid of this stuff, when they were toddlers. And interestingly, they were receptive to it at very different ages. My older one was receptive to it much sooner than my younger one. So I think you kind of have to, you don't want to force it, because then it feels like a punishment for them, to get rid of things, but just going through and figuring out if it had all the pieces and talking to them about you don't enjoy this anymore but there's somebody out there that could enjoy this. And I think that makes it a little easier for them to kind of let go. And like I said, I don't force them to get rid of things, but just like my organizing clients, I will ask them questions that kind of help them make those decisions and what kind of condition is it, do you use it, those kinds of questions.

LAURIE PALAU: I agree. And I've said this before, but I even when, you know, sometimes when my kids were younger, it was like, no, I really do play with this, meanwhile, I haven't seen them play with that in like six months, but they're like, no, I love it, I need to keep it. And I go okay, and then I would, depending on the item, I would say okay, well, we're going to keep it out, but if I didn't see you playing with it, the next round, in the next month or three months, or whenever we were doing it, then it was going.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: Or on the flip side, if they didn't notice something and I was like, they might want it to come back into rotation, sometimes I'd just pull it out and I had like this temporary like staging area in our like, boiler room area, that was out of the way, and before I officially cut the cord, I would just remove it. And if they didn't ask for it in like three months, then I knew it was like okay, gone, because they haven't asked for it. So just little kind of tips. But I think the key is really to get your kids involved in it, not have it go away in the dark of night, because I think ultimately that'll come back and bite you.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah, absolutely.

LAURIE PALAU: And plus, we're not teaching them.

MARY DAVIS: Because they remember things you think they'll never remember, and I think it's important to make them understand what happens to it after you get rid of it. You know, can it go, can somebody else enjoy it? Or is it going to end up in the dump?

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah, no, absolutely, exactly. There are certain times a year that our places become inundated. And, you know, we've talked about this with other things like food pantries, you know, there's certain times a year where they seem to be fully stocked and other times where they're really scrounging and I think it goes true for a lot of these different donation organizations. Are there patterns that you, in your research of, you know, the best times to donate, are there better times to donate than others?

MARY DAVIS: I don't think there are better times. Needs vary from organization to organization, but also within an organization their needs may vary throughout the year. Of course, during the holiday season, everybody is in giving mode, so I think a lot of organizations get inundated with donations during the holiday season, which can really kind of overflow their store, you know, they're going to have limited storage for things so and they may not be getting the things they need. So I always tell people, if you do want to donate, check the website to see what they need, a lot of places have Amazon wish lists which give a more kind of current snapshot of what they need at that moment, or even give them a call, because I think something that we don't think about is that when we give to an organization, and we give them something that they cannot use, we're putting the burden of getting rid of that item on to that organization when their resources are much better used in other places.

LAURIE PALAU: I legitimately had this conversation with somebody just the other day, where I was helping them get rid of stuff that they've had for years and it was stuff that she had inherited from her mom and she'd finally kind of hit her breaking point. It's a friend of mine, and she'd asked, you know, me to help and so I was helping her and she was like, just donate it, just donate it. And I was like, I love that you want to give it away, like, and not waste it, but like some of the stuff that you want to donate, it's not worthy. It's like goes back to your earlier point of like, this is like not something that's donation worthy. I'm like you're making more work for the organization, like you're making it hard on them. I always just talking about, you know, kind of passing the clutter baton.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: You know, you're taking your clutter and you're trying to absolve your own feelings of like guilt or anxiety or overwhelm, and you're just putting it inadvertently on somebody else.

MARY DAVIS: Absolutely. And don't get me wrong, these places appreciate every single thing that comes through the door, but when they can't use it, just like you said it, then it's just become their clutter. And I think a good way to look at it, instead of I'm getting rid of stuff, is what value can I pass on to someone else? And that kind of puts a different lens on it.

LAURIE PALAU: I love that. I'm writing that down. And if we do have, obviously we're talking about reducing the volume of stuff, we're a show about clutter or reducing clutter and organization. So you know, getting rid of unwanted things is great, but I'm also a show about philanthropy, and that's obviously a big part of like, kind of who I am as a person.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: So I know that you would talk in your, in the blog that you did and some of the work that you did, about really also asking or looking at monetary ways that you can support some of these charities and organizations.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: Can you expand on that a little bit?

MARY DAVIS: Absolutely. I was one of the people who hated giving money, and I don't know why. You know, you want to see exactly where your money's going, or you just want the fun part of the shopping. But really, money is the best donation you can give. And that's not to say that they don't want your donations of other items, but when you give money, it benefits in several ways. They can get what they need, when they need it. Like I said earlier, their needs are going to vary. An organization's needs are going to vary throughout the year. And the second thing is a lot of times they can make our money go further, because they'll get wholesale deals from vendors if they purchase a certain type of supplies, so they can buy twice as much for the same amount of money.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it. And I actually, I have a friend of mine that has a nonprofit where they do emergency care packs for kids that are taken out of the home and put into foster care. And so they have these backpacks, because normally kids get literally like throw whatever you have in a trash bag and then that's what you take with you. And so they started a nonprofit that helps to provide age appropriate backpacks with like anything from like some hygiene stuff with toothbrushes and toothpaste to shampoo, as well as like a sweatshirt and some other clothes. And it's great because they love, I mean, again, like you said they appreciate everything, but they love being able to just get cash donations, because then they know, oh, we really have a shortage of like girl two T to four T, So we can go out and buy those clothes as opposed to be inundated with, you know, boys, eight to 10's, and we have a lot of that.

MARY DAVIS: Right.

LAURIE PALAU: So really, from their perspective, and like you, when you look behind the curtain, like I've been to their facility, I've seen what their back operating, you know, situation is in terms of storage and process. It really does, it's eye opening for, you know, these to really see where the stuff is going and how it has to get inventoried. And you know, all of the moving parts.

MARY DAVIS: Yes, the accountability and it's amazing to me how I never realized how much work is involved in making care packages or distributing items for other folks. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work.

LAURIE PALAU: Yeah. I mean, and you've compiled an amazing list, which I want you, I think there is a perfect time, and again, we'll have links in our show notes to connect up, but can you just let our listeners know, if they want to find your list, which is pretty comprehensive of different places, where can they go to find that?

MARY DAVIS: Yep, and I do have national and local Richmond organizations on my list. You can find it on our website at www.ingoodorderllc.com, and also on Instagram, linked in the bio.

LAURIE PALAU: Awesome.

MARY DAVIS: In Good Order LLC.

LAURIE PALAU: Yep. And again, there's so many great organizations that do so many amazing things, especially at different times of the year. I know, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, they do a lot with, you know, getting school supplies, and there's other organizations that do different things, you know, around the holidays, there's so many different things. So there's a million ways to be charitable and I think that's really, that's really the crux of it, is we've got, whether it's our stuff, whether it's our time, whether it's financial resources, whatever we do, I think we all have gifts that we can share with those who are less fortunate. And I'm so appreciative for you to come on and talk about this important topic.

MARY DAVIS: Well, I appreciate you having me and that's one of the things I love about you is your philanthropic nature.

LAURIE PALAU: Oh, you're so sweet, making me blush. We're going to take one more quick break, and then I'm going to put you in the hot seat. We're going to do just our quick wrap up questions, so sit tight.

LAURIE PALAU: Hi, guys, Laurie here, hopping in for a quick minute to tell you about my new favorite company called 1THRIVE. 1THRIVE makes stylish and functional command centers for your home or office. I'm sure you've heard me talk about the importance of command centers to help keep everyone's activities, appointments and schedules in one central place, but finding the right system, that has both style and function, can be hard to do. What I love about 1THRIVE is that they have this rustic Chip and Joanna Gaines feel to their design, which makes it look like part of your decor rather than just another office tool. They offer nine different styles to choose from, based on your needs and the size of your space. I have the Susan which happens to be one of their most popular options and I can totally see why. There's plenty of room to see everything, quick glance without getting overwhelmed. It has a whiteboard, a chalkboard, an inbox, hooks for your keys, you name it. I love the flexibility of being able to add or change components based on my family's needs. Unlike other command centers, 1THRIVE offers you an over the door attachment as an alternative to mounting on the wall, which is great if you live in a rental or a dorm and don't want to put holes in the wall. To learn more, visit 1thrive.com. That's the number one, thrive, today to check out their entire collection. And if you enter the promo code SB10, that's S like simply, B like boy, 10, at checkout, you'll receive 10% off your entire order. Now back to our show.

LAURIE PALAU: Alright, Mary, I know you're no stranger to the show. Because our show is all about honesty and authenticity, we know you're a professional organizer, so you probably don't have that many areas that you're feeling disorganized, but everybody has their hot mess moments. So I'm going to ask you first, actually, I want to ask you the question that we've started asking our guests, which is what books or podcasts have you listened to or read that have inspired you? It could be anything recent, it could be going back, but something that you could maybe just pass on to our listeners?

MARY DAVIS: Just a couple of books I'll throw out there. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It kind of covers a little bit of everything, which is why I like it, really motivating and kind of gives you some good insight on getting your stuff together. And then, so kind of what got me really on this path to an organizing career was Marie Kondo's book. Her approach, although I think as with any self-help you buy into the pieces of it that work for you, you don't have to buy into things wholesale, but it really kind of helped me get my own home in order and made me understand more how I could help other folks.

LAURIE PALAU: Love it. I love it. It's true. And I love that, it doesn't have to be all of it. You don't have to buy the whole thing.

MARY DAVIS: Right.

LAURIE PALAU: But if something has enough of an impact to influence in a positive way, how you see life or do life, there's value in that.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: And then we'll come to our infamous, where do you feel like the most organized and where do you feel, in this particular season, of a little bit of a hot mess?

MARY DAVIS: I think the most organized part of my home, my home is pretty organized, but the pantry stays organized for whatever reason. I feel in the home area, pretty organized. Unorganized, probably my office, which is crazy because that's where I am the most, but that's probably also why it's the most unorganized, because it's the hub for everything, whether it's business or paying bills, or whatever that case may be.

LAURIE PALAU: Or hiding from the family because everybody's home all the time.

MARY DAVIS: Oh, no, I don't do that. What are you talking about? And then my brain is probably also the most unorganized thing.

LAURIE PALAU: I love it. I love it. I think we all can relate to that.

MARY DAVIS: Yeah.

LAURIE PALAU: On some level. Well, Mary, again, it was such a pleasure. I'm so grateful that you are part of the SBO community. For all of you out there, I encourage you to go check out Mary on Instagram, definitely go to her website and get the download of her resources and we'll have the full list of everything that we talked about in our show notes, so make sure you check that out. If this is your first time tuning in, welcome to our show, and I hope you click the subscribe button. We have new episodes that get dropped each and every week. We are also on Facebook. We have a Facebook group called This Organized Life podcast. You can post your comments, questions, topic ideas, you name it. And we're all over Instagram at Simply B Organized. I am Laurie Palau, until next week, peace out.

LAURIE PALAU: Thanks for tuning in. If you liked this episode, make sure to click the subscribe button wherever you are listening, so that you never miss an episode. And while you're there, go ahead and leave us a review. A special shout out to our amazingly talented Podcast Producer Don Jackson of the Raven Media Group, for all of his hard work. And finally, if you want to connect with me, visit simplyborganized.com, or find me all over social media at Simply B Organized. I'll see you next week for another episode of This Organized Life.