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Spring Clean to Help Others Succeed

This weekend's warm weather breathed a little spring freshness into our home in Moorhead and I can feel the buzz of new energy that the anticipation of this season always gives me! After the long months of winter I just can't resist the urge to clean out the closets, clear off the counters, and rearrange that living room furniture - just one more time!

One of my goals this spring is to give my bedroom closet a major overhaul. When we moved into our new home last fall (and had a baby twelve days later - who planned that anyway?! Oh yeah... me), our bedroom closet ended up at the very end of the "needs to get organized" list. Front runners were the kitchen, living room, baby's room, big brother's room, and bathroom. Now that we've had a few months to settle into those places (and yes - rearrange them all several times), the master bedroom will finally take its turn!

When I tackle a closet, I like to take absolutely everything out of it first so I have a completely blank canvass to start with. This way, I can clean the corners with no problem and I'm sure to only put back in the closet what I actually want to keep.

But what do with the pile that's left?

In the case of my own closet, I know there will be several collared shirts, a sports coat, and a jeans jacket in the donate pile that are still in good condition but are just never worn. I'll also throw in a pair of dress shoes I've been holding on to for a few years that are too small - I guess I was hoping my feet would suddenly shrink and I'd wake up one morning and be able to wear them. Well - here's to spring, organization, and realistic thinking - toss!

There are all kinds of places you can donate unwanted clothes that are still in good, wearable condition. Dress For Success is a nonprofit with locations in 73 US cities that accepts donations of women's suits, shoes, and briefcases. These items are then passed on to economically disadvantaged women entering the professional world. You can check out their website and see if there is a location near you at For those of us in the Red River Valley, there is a location in Hawley (421 5th St. S, Hawley, MN, (218)-483-3145).

Another place for Fargo-Moorhead locals is the Self Sufficiency Center (201 11th Street North Fargo, ND, (701) 237-6355). Partnering with the Fargo Housing & Redevelopment Authority, the Self Sufficiency Center strives to empower individuals to become economically self-sufficient. If you have both men's and women's clothing to donate, this would be a great place to go. Check out

I still love those cute little shoes that I just can't quite squeeze my post-pregnancy feet into anymore, but knowing that they may be the missing piece to helping someone land a job and earn a living wage makes it much easier to part with them.

To simple, green living,

Carrie Brusven

Changing the world, one home and office at a time.

Carrie Brusven is an Independent Green Irene Eco-Consultant based out of Moorhead, MN and her website can be found at Carrie offers Green Home Makeovers, "Go Green" Workshops/Parties, and Green Business Makeovers with Green Business Bureau Certification. Contact Carrie to book a workshop or a makeover for your home or small business:

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