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Don’t let the unwanted stuff in your closet become, well — a skeleton in your closet.

That’s one piece of spring cleaning advice from Erin Hendrickson, a Nashville dietitian and blogger with a less-is-more philosophy on life and a passion for helping people simplify their lives and get organized.

“A closet cleanout is where a lot of people like to start their spring cleaning, and for good reason,” Hendrickson said. “Whenever you have a more organized closet, it makes your life easier, from the first decisions you make every morning about what to wear to your whole wardrobe.”

Through her blog, MinimalistRD.com, and her social media accounts, Hendrickson demonstrates ways people can make their lives more satisfying through reducing clutter, decreasing waste through sustainable practices, thrifty fashion, mindful eating and other topics. Donating to Goodwill, and shopping there as well, frequently figure into that lifestyle.

“It’s all about the idea that experiences are more valuable than things, and the more things our life contains, the less time we have to focus on what we’re really passionate about,” she explained.

She notes that numerous studies show keeping a tidy home is connected with reductions in stress and anxiety and even improved fitness and concentration.

Hendrickson said getting organized is something that did not always come naturally to her — she had to work at it. She said developing a system of regular decluttering made it easier to maintain a clean home.

She offered these three tips to make spring cleaning easier:

  • To avoid becoming overwhelmed, start out by cleaning one room at a time. Or, break your organizing sessions down into even smaller increments, such as setting aside 15 minutes a day.


  • Stick to the “one-in, one-out” rule. Anytime you purchase something new for your home or wardrobe, get rid of something similar so as to avoid clutter.


  • Learn let go of unnecessary items you may associate with fond memories. Keep only the most meaningful pieces, and consider taking digital photos of other sentimental objects or documents before letting them go.


  • Donate frequently to Goodwill. It’s convenient, tax-deductible, and the items you donate not only can be enjoyed by someone else rather than going to landfills, they fund Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment.  


Hendrickson encourages others to shop at Goodwill for the same reasons they might donate to the nonprofit organization.

“When you shop Goodwill, you are saving money, giving useful products new life, supporting jobs for other people and helping the environment,” she said. “To me, it’s all part of a sustainable lifestyle.

Learn more about all the ways you can donate to Goodwill through our many services

Goodwill of Middle Tennessee as over 70 donation locations. Find a donation center near you:

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