Lost? Stuck? Overwhelmed? Want to be more organized, productive, confident and relaxed?

Organized living involves a toolkit.

Here are some suggestions for stocking yours.


Ann Arbor District Library
Donations of books, CDs, and DVDs may be brought to the back of the Downtown Library during library business hours for re-sale in the Friends of the Library bookstore; see their website for more details.

Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop
A local nonprofit organization supporting Ann Arbor public school students through the resale of unique and gently used community donations.

Ann Arbor Thrift Shop
A local nonprofit accepting small household goods, jewelry, antiques, clothing, toys, and books.

Dress for Success Michigan
An international organization – with a local branch in Ypsilanti – committed to empowering women to achieve economic independence. They accept high quality, interview-appropriate clothing.

Food Gatherers
As the food rescue and food bank program serving Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community. Call or visit their website for food and personal care item donation guidelines.

Freecycle is a grassroots, nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. You can post your give-away items to the website and, who knows, your trash might become someone else’s treasure.

Friends In Deed
Your donation helps Friends In Deed provide free, good-condition furniture and cars to the needy of Washtenaw County.

Goodwill of Southeastern Michigan
Your donation helps Goodwill pursue its mission of providing evaluation, training, employment and job-placement services for people with disabilities. They accept household items, small appliances, furniture, clothing, and toys

Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The Habitat ReStore is a home improvement warehouse that sells new and gently used building materials, furniture, appliances, and all of the products that one needs to update, maintain, and furnish their space.

House by the Side of the Road
For over 40 years, House by the Side of the Road has collected used clothing and small household items and given them away, free of charge, to people in need.

Humane Society of Huron Valley
The Humane Society accepts towels, pet articles, dog collars and leashes, and more. Check out the”Wish List” on their “Ways To Help” page.

Jackets for Jobs
An organization in Detroit committed to providing career skills training, employment etiquette and professional clothing to job seekers. They accept high quality, interview-appropriate clothing.

Kiwanis Thrift Sale
The Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor’s Thrift Sale funds a wide variety of charities and social agencies in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County through the sale of donated items.

Military Order of the Purple Heart
Accepts clothing, household items, TVs, and small working appliances. Call to schedule a free pickup.

Recycle Ann Arbor – ReUse Center
Your donation of household or building materials helps to conserve resources and energy, while reducing waste in our community.

Salvation Army
Your donation supports a broad array of social services. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK to schedule a pickup, or call the Ann Arbor Salvation Army thrift store at (734) 332-3474 for information about drop-offs.

The Brides Project
The Brides Project is an Ann Arbor bridal boutique that accepts donations of new and used wedding dresses. Money raised from the sale of gowns supports families touched by cancer through the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

The Scrap Box
The Scrap Box is nonprofit organization in Ann Arbor that collects and sells all sorts of household items that can be used in creative ways for arts & crafts projects.

The Sharehouse
The ShareHouse is a project of the Christian Montessori School of Ann Arbor. All proceeds support the school, outreach, and people in need. They accept donations of “anything and everything you can imagine.”

Consignment & Resale

Books By Chance
A consignment book seller; they call themselves the “Best Place to Sell Used Books in Ann Arbor.”

Children’s Orchard
A re-sale shop in Ann Arbor that buys top-quality, name brand, gently used kids clothing, toys and accessories.

Encore Online Resale
A consignment shop in Ann Arbor which helps sellers find new homes for antiques, collectibles, electronics (iPods, cameras, computers, etc.), high-end housewares, designer clothing, shoes and accessories, jewelry and watches, entertainment memorabilia, musical instruments, sports equipment, event tickets, and more.

Grow With Me
A locally owned and operated children’s resale boutique selling both gently-used and new children’s clothing, equipment, toys and accessories in Ann Arbor.

Once Upon A Child
A re-sale shop which buys and sells used, good-condition children’s clothing, toys, furniture, and equipment.

Plato’s Closet
A re-sale shop in Ann Arbor that pays cash for gently used name brand clothing and accessories for teens and young adults.

Play It Again Sports
A store which buys, sells, and trades used sporting goods and sporting equipment.

The ReSale Boutique
Located in Saline, Michigan, this consignment shop carries upscale women’s clothing and accessories.

Top Drawer Women’s Designer Apparel on Consignment
A consignment shop in Ann Arbor accepting higher-end women’s clothing, purses, shoes, and accessories.

Treasure Mart
A consignment shop in Kerrytown with a large inventory of antiques, furniture, nostalgic collectibles, and a wide variety of household items.

Westside Furniture Consignment Emporium
A consignment shop on Zeeb Road that specializes in the resale of upscale quality used furniture, home décor, antiques, collectibles, silver, porcelain and nostalgia.

Waste Disposal

Chuck It Junk Removal
A Michigan-based company offering junk removal services across the southeast portion of the state.

College Hunks Hauling Junk
A friendly team of college students will remove junk quickly from anywhere within your commercial or residential property. A portion of revenues from each job are donated to local college scholarship programs.

Habitat for Humanity of Michigan ReStores
Electronics Recycling: Habitat for Humanity of Michigan ReStores and Vintage Tech Recyclers have joined forces to provide many Michigan communities with on-going electronics recycling programs, free of charge. They accept all types of computers, computer accessories and components, computer monitors, MP3’s, iPods, cell phones, printers, printers/copiers/scanners/faxes, televisions, and video game consoles. Check the link above for more information, including what they cannot accept.

Michigan Recycling Coalition
The Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) represents recycling and composting interests statewide. They are a great resource if you’re trying to find a recycling provider or figure out how to recycle something unusual.

Recycle Ann Arbor – Drop Off Station
The Drop-Off Station is Washtenaw County’s most comprehensive recycling drop-off center, and is open to the general public. They accept appliances, computers, TVs, and most electronics; some fees may apply. $3.00 entry fee.

Washtenaw County – Recycling, Home Toxics & Solid Waste
The Washtenaw County website has lots of information about where & how to properly dispose of waste items in the county.

1 800 GOT JUNK
A national, full-service junk removal company.


Accushred is based out of Toledo, Ohio and offers a full array of shredding and document destruction services.

Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain is a national company that provides both on and off-site secure shredding services for commercial and residential clients. They also offer data backup & recovery, document imaging & management, and records management & storage among their services.

Off-Site, LLC is a local, full service document destruction, secure shredding, records retention and retrieval company based in Ann Arbor.

Recycle Ann Arbor
Recycle Ann Arbor offers secure document destruction at their locations on Jackson Road and Ellsworth. Check the website for more details.

Shred-it is a national company with more than 140 franchises across the country. They offer a full array of shredding services, and also hard drive and media destruction.

Shred Legal
Shred Legal is a Michigan-based company which provides on-site document destruction and data wiping services.

University of Michigan Credit Union
The U of M Credit Union has historically offered two free shredding events per year to members and non-members alike. For information about their upcoming free shred events, contact the Credit Union.

NOTE:  Office supply stores such as Staples and OfficeMax also offer shredding services. Check with your local store for information on pricing and options.

Moving / Storage

Climate Control Indoor Storage
The largest all indoor climate controlled storage facility in Ann Arbor with 70,000 square feet of temperature and humidity controlled storage space in a variety of storage configurations for your residential, commercial, or student storage needs.

A national company offering household, business, and vehicle storage services.

Frisbie Moving & Storage
From residential and commercial to local and specialized moving, this Michigan moving company can help you get from point A to point B. They have been in business since 1930 and have perfected the art of relocation.

National Association of Senior Move Managers
NASMM is an association of professionals who specialize in helping older adults and their families with the oftentimes daunting process of downsizing and moving to a new residence.

Men on the Move
This company offers full-service moves, both locally and nationally. They also offer college moves, single item moves,and piano moves.

A national company offering pod storage at your location or at a PODS facility. Pod transport is available for local and national moves.

Stevens Worldwide Van Lines
Stevens is a Michigan-based company that was started in Saginaw over 100 years ago. Still family owned today, they offer professional storage and moving services for local, national, and international moves.

Two Men and A Truck
A national company with many offices in Michigan, Two Men and A Truck handles local, national, and international moves.

Other Resources

Association of Personal Photo Organizers
APPO members bring cherished memories back into their clients’ lives through images, words, and creatively designed photo books, scrapbooks, and more.

Elite Inventory, LLC
A local certified, bonded, and insured inventory provider serving clients across southeast Michigan. This company can inventory the entire contents of your home or small business and provide you with both print and digital copies of the inventory for your insurance, estate planning, moving, prenuptial agreement, divorce, tax, or other needs.

The Container Store
The Container Store offers a massive selection of tools and products for organizing just about any space in your home or office.

ADD / ADHD Resources

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) provides education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADD/ADHD.

The Professional Association of ADHD Coaches is a great place to find an ADHD coach.  PAAC offers ADHD coaching certification and accreditation programs. They also advocate for coaches and the profession of ADHD coaching.

Hoarding Disorder Resources

American Psychiatric Association
Hoarding is a mental health disorder. The American Psychiatric Association has an explanation of the disorder on its website with links to further resources.

Children of Hoarders
Children of Hoarders, Inc. works to improve the lives of children who grow up in hoarded homes by: raising awareness of the impact of hoarding on children, families and communities; providing educational materials and programs for children of hoarders, families and the community; increasing access to practical support; advocating for public policies that effectively address the needs of children of hoarders; and building reciprocal relationships with clinicians and key professionals.

Institute for Challenging Disorganization
ICD is a group dedicated to providing education, research, and strategies to benefit people challenged by chronic disorganization, including hoarding disorder. The Clutter–Hoarding Scale™ is an assessment measurement tool, developed by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, to give professional organizers and related professionals definitive parameters related to health and safety.

ServiceMaster Restore and Clutter Cleaner
ServiceMaster Restore (a national cleaning company that provides disaster response to flood, fire, and smoke damage) has teamed up with Matt Paxton, founder of Clutter Cleaner (a nationally recognized extreme cleaning company), to offer individuals and families help with resolving hoarding situations and cleaning hoarded homes.

The Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County
The Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County is a partnership of public and private agencies which seek to raise awareness about hoarding and to preserve safe and appropriate housing. The task force helps coordinate hoarding assessments, agency referrals, workshops, and professional training. Inquiries can be made by phone at (734) 340-5813 or by email at hoarding@htfwashtenaw.org.

The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding
The Shulman Center – based in Franklin, Michigan – provides “professional, confidential, comprehensive, and effective treatment for compulsive stealing, spending, and hoarding disorders.” The center serves individuals, couples, families, companies, and the community through education, assessment, & treatment.


Organizing Products

Tomato Timer
An online timer to help you use the Pomodoro Technique (working for 25 minute blocks followed by 5 or 10 minute breaks).

Time Timer
For anyone who wants to measure and manage time more effectively, Time Timer® is an innovative visual timer designed to “show” the passage of time through the use of a patented red disk that disappears as time elapses.

Heavy Duty Shredder
If you’re investing in a shredder and you’d like it to last for a while, I’d suggest a heavy-duty model such as this one.

If you’re thinking of buying a labeler, I’d suggest a model which can accommodate tapes up to 1″ wide, such as this one.

File Box
If you’re looking to store files in something other than a file cabinet, I’d suggest a box such as this one. This box has 4 features that I like: it’s plastic (more durable than cardboard / protects against water / stacks well with like boxes); it’s clear (making it easier to see what’s inside); it has a latch-top lid (prevents the lid from popping off); it has built in rails that hold your hanging file folders.

Recommended Reading


Becker, J. (2014) Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking, Discover New Habits, Free Your Home
Glovinsky, C. (2002) Making Peace with the Things in Your Life
Kolberg, J. (1998) Conquering Chronic Disorganization
Kondo, M. (2014) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Lehmkukl, D. and Cotter Lamping, D. (1993) Organizing for the Creative Person
Morgenstern, J. (1998) Organizing from the Inside Out
Pedersen, S. (2013) Learn to Organize
Sanders, D. (2011) Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff
Smallin, D. (2002) Organizing Plain & Simple
Smallin, D. (2004) The One Minute Organizer


Allen, D. (2015) Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Burka, J. & Yuen, L. (1983) Procrastination
Morgenstern, J. (2004) Time Management from the Inside Out
Pychyl, T. (2010) Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change
Tracy, B. (2006) Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time


Acuff, J. (2017) Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
Brown, B. (2010) The Gifts of Imperfection
Byrne, H. (2016) The Here and Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and For All
Duhigg, C. (2012) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business
Dweck, C. (2006) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Ellis, K. (1996) The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Setting Goals
Goldsmith, M. (2015) Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be
Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2010) Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
Kegan, R. & Laskow, L. (2009) Immunity to Change: How to Overcome it & Unlock the Potential in Yourself & Your Organization
Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2015) The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain
Matthews, W. (2017) You’ve Got This!  The 5 Self-Coaching Keys You Need to Live Boldly & Accomplish Anything
McGonigal, K. (2012) The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works
Tolin, D., et al. (2007) Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
Weinzweig, A. (2014) The Power of Personal Visioning


Brown, T. (2005) Attention Deficit Disorder
Hallowell, E. (1994, 2011) Driven To Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood
Kelly, K. & Ramundo, P. (2006) You Mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!
Kolberg, J. and Nadeau, K. (2002) ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
Ratey, N. (2008) The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks & Talents
Rotz, R. & Wright, S. (2005) Fidget to Focus: Outwit Your Boredom – Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD
Solden, S. (2005) Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life
Tuckman, A. (2009) More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD

Please Note: I don’t represent the entities listed above. I share this list for its informational value and for your independent review.

“Nia is a terrific, sensitive and astute listener and communicator. Partnering with her has paid dividends for our family’s sanity and happiness.”

~ Anna

“Nia is a terrific, sensitive and astute listener and communicator. Partnering with her has paid dividends for our family’s sanity and happiness.”

~ Anna

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Nia Spongberg, CPO®, COC®, ACC  |  (734) 531-9024  |  nia@niaspongberg.com  |  PO Box 3044, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Nia Spongberg, CPO®, COC®, ACC
(734) 531-9024
PO Box 3044, Ann Arbor, MI 48106