Can You Help The Wardrobe Clothe Afghan Refugees?

I have always loved fashion.  As a young teenager growing up in Northern England, I would save all my hard-earned cash from my waitressing jobs, buy a train ticket, and pop down to London to buy the latest styles on Oxford Street. Strutting around my hometown in my new togs (threads) filled me with excitement and increased my self-confidence. Since then, I have understood the effect clothing can have on our psyche and self-assurance.

In July, I had the honor of joining the board of The Wardrobe (formerly Career Wardrobe) a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate clothing insecurity. The Wardrobe provides a stable source of well-maintained and displayed clothing that is suitable for any need, from casual to workwear. While the clothing is available for sale, it is also free to anyone referred. Each year, 5,000 people leave The Wardrobe with the clothing and self-confidence they need to successfully move forward on their path to independence. With the arrival of several thousand Afghan refugees to our area, The Wardrobe has been contacted by local agencies to help provide clothing.

 As professional organizers, we spend significant time helping our clients declutter their clothing. Getting involved with this worthwhile organization is a (no pun intended) perfect fit and our team is truly excited to be involved.
For the past three years, The Wardrobe has hosted their annual ‘Fundracer’ The Fashion Dash.  Our goal at The Organizing Professionals is to raise $1,000 by the end of October. Due to COVID, there is no 5K for us to run so here’s how we are hoping to raise funds:

  1. Grab a large trash bag, gather up at least one bag’s worth of clean, unstained clothing for men or women. (Modest clothing is preferred at this time but The Wardrobe will accept all styles).
  2. Email us at and we will schedule a time to pick up your clothing donations.
  3. Click here to give a small (or large monetary donation) 
  4. Already cleaned out your closet and would just like the opportunity to give a monetary gift? Click the link above.

Thank you so much for your participation and please remember, our clothing pickup offer is only till October 31st, 2021. You must live within 20 miles of Wayne, PA to be eligible for our pickup service.

Click here to watch The Wardrobe’s Executive Director, Sheri Cole, talk about the Clothing needs for Afghan Refugees. 

Want to drop off clothing yourself? Donations are accepted at The Wardrobe’s stores in Philadelphia (413 N 4th St.) and Lansdowne (62 W. Marshall Rd.). Preferred clothing donation times are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11-5 pm. 

The Wardrobe’s partner agency, Wings for Success in Chester County, will also accept donations at their locations Monday through Friday 9am-1pm: 490 Lancaster Ave, Malvern, PA 19355 and 325 Scarlet Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Full clothing donation guidelines:

Thank you so much for your participation in this worthwhile cause!

Check Out Janet’s Tips with Staples

Make it someone’s job.

If keeping the company supply closet tidy is everyone’s responsibility, no one will do it, warns Janet Bernstein, founder of The Organizing Professionals.

Measure it.

You need to know exactly how much space your closet has. “If you have a small closet with room for two cases of paper, you shouldn’t order six,” says Susie Hayman, founder of In Your Business, a professional organizing and productivity service, and president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

Check Out Janet’s advice in Glenna Stone!

When you think of your dream version of home, it looks like different things for different people.  However, if you close your eyes and picture it, it’s probably beautiful and tidy.  One of the core tenets of our designs is function, because your home should work for you.  Nicole sat down with Janet Bernstein, founder of The Organizing Professionals, to talk about design and organizing as well as how they work together to create that ideal home.

Vacation Packing Tips for the Rusty

focus woman packing suitcase on bed

Last weekend I blew the dust off my suitcase for a two-night getaway in Washington DC to celebrate my daughter’s law school graduation.  It was our first trip anywhere since last fall and I admit it took me longer than usual to pack. I love traveling but I’m not so keen on packing.  Over the years I’ve developed several strategies to make this necessary chore less stressful.  Here are some of my favorite vacation packing hacks: 

  • Lay out clothing a couple of days in advance. I find the most time-consuming part of packing is deciding what to wear. I plan my outfits several days in advance, including all accessories.  This gives me time to do laundry and purchase something I may need.
  • Purchase a luggage rack  Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a chore like packing a little easier. The luggage rack saves my back and preserves my bedspread from any schmutz from my suitcase. Get yours here!
  • Create a personalized digital packing list. My digital packing list has saved me hours of packing time and ensures I never forget anything. It doesn’t have to be digital but if you create one in an app such as Notes or Evernote it’s preserved in the cloud and readily accessible. Mine has a check box next to each item. I digitally check the item once packed, then uncheck each item for my next trip.  Create several packing lists if you are packing for other family members and for different kinds of trips.
  • Purchase toiletry bags to suit your needs.  Many of us settle for toiletry bags that come with a cosmetic purchase.  Several years ago, I decided to revamp my travel toiletry bags and never looked back. I purchased several clear vinyl cases like these. I divided my toiletries into categories such as hair, skincare, makeup, and dental.  Each category has its own small case. The clear vinyl makes the contents visible without emptying the entire bag. Dividing the items into categories also makes packing easier as I can stuff the small cases into empty areas around my suitcase.
  • Create a travel container for all travel supplies.  Depending on how much you travel, purchase one or two clear containers (such as these clear shoe boxes) to store all your travel supplies. This is where you keep travel-sized items such as toothpaste and small bottles of shampoo. These containers do not travel with you. They are your permanent at-home repository for all things travel-related. I also keep foreign currency and travel adapters in our container. There’s nothing worse than frantically searching for some travel-specific item that you haven’t seen since your last trip. Corralling all your travel items into one or two containers eliminates huge amounts of travel-packing stress.
  • Pack clothes on hangers. This trick is a huge time-saver when arriving at your destination and makes it possible to unpack a suitcase in minutes with less wrinkled clothes. It also eliminates the need to ‘live out of your suitcase’ even for a couple of nights.

Wherever your plans take you this summer, have a wonderful trip and happy packing!

Janet Bernstein

Seven Must-Do Steps for an Organized Move

The Organizing Professionals

Moving is life’s third most stressful event.  Whether you are moving across the country or across the street, moving consists of making thousands of decisions, typically within a short amount of time.  Throw in various personalities of your family members along with the physical exhaustion of packing and unpacking and it’s easy to understand why moving produces so much stress and anxiety.  Follow these seven steps to alleviate some of the stress:

  1. Create a Moving Timeline. Whether you have three months or three years a moving timeline keeps you on track, accountable, motivated! First make a list of all the items that need to be accomplished, then schedule a “To be completed by” date for each item on the timeline. 
  2. Begin a ruthless declutter. Begin in the least trafficked rooms and work your way around the room. Only keep the items you love, need, and use. Keep a donation bag on each floor of your home and arrange for frequent donation pickups. (If you live in Center City, make arrangements for frequent donation drop-offs).
  3. Start packing little-used items. If your realtor requires your home to look more minimal, or if you want to get a head start on packing, start packing items you may be able to live without for several months. Label all boxes on two sides plus the top so it’s easier to identify the contents.
  4. Contact Your Moving Company. As soon as you know your moving date, contact your selected moving company and ask for a morning start. (Some movers books two moves a day. You want your moving guys to be at their peak energy level).
  5. Go to to change your address online.
  6. Pace Yourself. If you are packing yourself, begin at least 4-6 weeks prior to your move. Begin with all wall art and other items you can live without, then progress to more used rooms and items. Pack up the kitchen last and unpack the kitchen first.
  7. Don’t have the time, patience, or energy for a DIY move? Contact us and experience the best move of your life!

Finding it challenging to let things go?  Read our previous articles, “To Keep or Not to Keep? That is the Question and How Much is Enough?
Click the links below for our recommended must-have packing supplies:

  • Moving Boxes: Uhaul get 5 stars from us for quality of their small and medium boxes.  They also have holes in the side to facilitate easier grip and carry.
  • Packing Paper: Uhaul also make good quality packing paper.
  • Packing Tape: No other packing tape comes even close to Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging tape (and we have tried everything!)
  • Bubble Wrap: The Home Depot make our favorite bubble wrap. It’s 24” wide with large bubbles and 100% recyclable.