NAPO Michigan Blog / Media Center

The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers invites you to explore this blog so you can be informed of the latest news, events and trends in the organizing industry.

April 15, 2011

Does your home need gastric bypass?

If your house was a person, how would you rank it?

A.) Slim & Trim
B.) Needs to lose a few pounds
C.) Gastric bypass is the only answer
Now consider that an average 3 bedroom home in the U. S. (that would be B. in the list above) has 350,000 items in it. If we put that into pounds would you be surprised to know that the belongings from an average 4 bedroom home weigh 8,000 – 9,000 lbs.? If you’re an over-consumer that scale easily tops 11,000 lbs and that’s five and a half tons of stuff!

Fortunately there are less painful ways to whip your home into shape than gastric bypass. The National Association of Professional Organizers, Southeast Michigan Chapter (NAPO-MI) wants to help you get your house in shape. Follow these steps:

1. Exercise – Do a little research on the donation venues available in your area. Did you know old electronics can be recycled at no charge at your local Best Buy store? This often includes items like vacuum cleaners and fans. If you have large items like furniture and good working appliances, charities such as the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer pick up services.

2. Shed some pounds – Have anything you want to give away for free? List it on, an organization dedicated to reducing landfill waste, and someone is sure to pick it up. Old newspapers, magazines and paper can be taken to any school with a green & yellow Paper Retriever dumpster in their parking lot.

3. Reduce your intake – The next time you’re in the store contemplating a purchase, ask yourself: where will this live when I get it home? Who will care for it? How will I use it? If you don’t have a clear answer for at least two of these questions walk away and reconsider the purchase later. Nine times out of ten, you won’t go back.

4. Change your habits – Make a permanent spot for a donation box or bin in your home. Let every family member know where it is. When you come across an item you could donate put it in the bin and take it to your favorite charity when the bin is full. And by the way, take your kids with you and let them see you lead by example.

Getting your home in shape is easier than you think! For more organizing & donation tips, visit

Article submitted by Chapter member and Director of Administration, Cynthia Gentit.

1 American Demographic Society as reported in Vital Michigan Magazine. April. 2008
2 National Moving Companies – 2008