Where to learn more about hoarding


Where to learn more about hoarding:


Emily Farber, a social worker case manager with Avenidas Care Partners, will facilitate a "Clutter Busters" workshop on Mondays, Sept. 8 and 22 and Oct. 6 and 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. at 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto. Described as a peer support group for managing clutter, the workshop will cover strategies, tools and techniques to "get organized, stay focused and access community resources," according to the flier. The group is limited to 12 people. The cost is $60, and registration is required. Information is available by calling 650-289-5400, visiting or stopping by the front desk at Avenidas.


The 16th Annual International Conference on Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District from Nov. 6-7. Hosted by the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, the forum brings together individuals, service providers, housing providers and researchers to address hoarding and cluttering disorders. Information is posted at

Support groups

Clutterers Anonymous is an organization for people who struggle with clutter in their lives. Locally, a group meets every Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at All Saints Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Information: 408-384-9344 or

A Weekly Drop-In Support Group meets Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 142 Stambaugh St., Redwood City; $20 fee. Contact Dana Girard at 650-241-3778 or visit

Where to get rid of things


Friends of the Palo Alto Library accepts donations of fiction and nonfiction books, textbooks and computer books, software and manuals, records, CDs, maps, sheet music, as well as puzzles, games and toys. These can be dropped off at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, FOPAL Main Sale Room (rear of campus, north entrance) Monday-Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. and on monthly sale days (second Saturday and Sunday of every month).

Up to one bag or box may be dropped off at any Palo Alto Library branch except College Terrace and Rinconada (during renovation). Large donations can be picked up by volunteers by calling 650-308-4933. Information is posted at fopal/org.


Steve Staiger, Palo Alto's history librarian, is seeking old photographs from different eras in Palo Alto. Before tossing old family pictures away, he suggests showing them to him. He's also interested in old printed material dealing with this region, including newsletters, directories and yearbooks.

"Photos are a terrific historical resource. I hate to see them go to the dump. I would welcome any/all photos with the intent that those not of Palo Alto and have some possible historic value I would attempt to pass along to an appropriate agency," he wrote in an email. He can be contacted at


The SMaRT Station, 301 Carl Road, Sunnyvale offers free personal-document shredding on Saturdays, Aug. 23 and Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon. Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale residents (with proof of residency and picture ID) may bring up to five banker-sized boxes (18" x 12" x 10") or paper bags. No need to remove paper clips, staples, spiral notebooks or rubber bands. Information is posted at by searching for "shredding."

ShredEx, at 2625 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, will accept up to four boxes of checks, CDs, DVDs, files, confidential medical records, as well as computer components. Price is $13 per box, up to 35 pounds. ShredEx offers a pickup shredding service for five to 15 boxes at $95 and a mobile shredding service for 16 or more boxes at $145. Information is available at

Furniture and more

Goodwill Industries, at 4085 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, takes donations of items in working order (with all their pieces and parts), including clothing without stains and rips. They will not accept any items that have been recalled, banned or do not meet current safety standards. Nearby drop-off locations are also at Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, and 711 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. Information is available by calling 650-494-1416 or visiting

ReStore, at 1411 Industrial Road, San Carlos, accepts donations of surplus building materials, tools, gently used furniture, salvaged cabinets, doors, windows, household items and more. Information about what the store will take (and possibly pick up) is available at and 650-847-4000.

Professional organizers

Professional organizers will come to a home and help a person sort through their belongings, deciding what to save, toss, recycle or store in a more useful fashion. To locate an organizer, visit the National Association of Professional Organizers at or

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Like this comment
Posted by Enid Davis
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

This is the second piece of writing I have seen lately about how to discard unwanted materials in your home. Ms. Blitzer's informative article on where to get help for your hoarding problem and how to find places to take your unwanted stuff was interesting and informative. The first piece of writing I came across and highly recommend is an e-book written by a local librarian, Diane Claerbout and is available from Amazon for 99 cents. Entitled Overbooked: Taming Your Out-of-Control Book Collection, this brief work will help book enthusiasts to weed their home collections by revealing how to evaluate each book and how to dispose of a runaway collection.

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