America, it is time to get rid of it for good! Clutter: we all live with it, and most of us would love to get rid of it, if only we had a little nudge in the right direction. This year, the editors at O, The Oprah Magazine will collaborate with organizing genius Peter Walsh by challenging America to get rid of excess things for good, permanently purge unwanted possessions, and pass it along to someone who needs it. “Not everyone can afford to write a check to charity,” says Walsh, “but everyone has clutter.” Do you want to transform your life and that of others, just by offloading your excess? “When you purge unnecessary possessions and open up your space, you feel more energized, focused, and motivated,” explains Walsh. “Every time I help someone de-clutter, they say, ‘This has transformed my life.” And what if you transformed the lives of others in the process?
A couple of years ago, Walsh received an incredible e-mail from Jane Hofmann, 49, of Ashburn, Va. To help a local boy, Ryan, who was beaten outside of a convenience store and struggling to pay his medical bills, Hofmann spoke to a friend, who spoke to a few other friends, and soon they’d organized a massive yard sale of their town’s clutter, from clothing to toys to exercise equipment, furniture, and appliances—all to raise money for Ryan’s treatment.
Walsh got involved when Hofmann, who had seen his show, Enough Already! (now called Extreme Clutter), on OWN, e-mailed him to request a signed copy of one of his books for a raffle prize. After hearing about Hofmann’s project, Walsh was so inspired that instead, he flew to Virginia to help. “It was like a well-organized military campaign,” he recalls. “They’d thought of everything.” Strapping young men from the local high school were moving boxes, community members were selling baked goods, and a “boutique” area showcased higher-priced designer items. Hundreds of shoppers ultimately helped raise $30,000 for the Diviney family. (Last fall, the women reprised the event, raising another $22,000.)
How to enter: Drawing inspiration from Hoffman’s story, readers submit innovative event ideas by March 18 to oprah.com/declutterforacause, and one ambitious and inspiring local declutter-athon will be chosen by the editors of O to be featured in a future issue of the magazine—with Walsh personally ensuring its success.
“You know, I never thought I would say this,” says Walsh, “but sometimes, a little clutter can be a good thing.”
For more on this story and other tips on how to “get rid of it for good,” pick up the March issue of O,The Oprah Magazine on newsstands now.