Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’ might be behind wave of South Island thrift store donations

Salvation Army sees 25 per cent increase in January donations this year

South Island Salvation Army thrift stores have seen more January donations this year than last – and it might have something to do with Netflix show Tidying Up.

Hosted by author and professional organizer Marie Kondo, the show follows Kondo as she teaches different families the value of “tidying up” and holding onto items only if they are useful or “spark joy,” while ridding spaces of items that don’t.

The show was an instant hit, inspiring viewers to declutter and evaluate their possessions.

South Vancouver Island may be on the “tidying up” train too.

Patricia Mamic of the B.C. Salvation Army’s public relations office said January donations are up 25 per cent compared to what is normally received this time of year – and a lot of the donations are household items.

Mamic told Black Press she spoke with one woman who said Marie Kondo had inspired her to donate nine bags of items.

“The process is a positive one for us as humans from start to finish because we get to declutter and offload those items and be able to function better and then at the end of the day it helps somebody who is in need or provides a service to our community,” Mamic said. “The whole process is actually very healthy and very giving.”

Household and clothing donations to the Salvation Army are resold or donated to those in need. Families or individuals in need are given vouchers to shop at the store, and much of the money taken in from regular sales is used for social services programs.

“Everything that comes through those doors is helping someone, whether it’s going to be an actual item or the money it brings in that helps them,” she said. “If you think it’s outdated, don’t worry – bring it in [because] it might appeal to someone else.”

Mamic asks that donations be brought in while there is someone in the store, rather than dumping them outside. Donated items should be in a good enough condition that you would wear them yourself, she added.

Value Village experienced a spike in donations too.

Jeff Smail, VP of operations for Value Village Canada, said an increase in donations this time of year is not unusual.

“While Value Village typically sees an increase in activity this time of year, we have experienced a rise in donations during the first few weeks of 2019,” he said. “It’s great, there is enthusiasm to declutter inspired by Marie Kondo, and we encourage people to pass along items that no longer spark joy, to others.”

“Donating … is a great way to ensure unwanted items end up in the re-use stream, rather than contributing to the 12 million tons of textiles that North Americans send to the landfill each year.”

nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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Japanese organizational expert Marie Kondo folds an item of clothing as she introduces her new line of storage boxes during a media event in New York on July 11, 2018. A decluttering craze fuelled by Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show is sparking joy for adherents, but also highlighting the hurdles and unspoken practices of what it takes to live with less. There is a dark side to a minimalist movement in which a good chunk of unwanted belongings ends up in the trash despite good intentions, say garbage, recycling and donation collectors who are ramping up publicity efforts to make sure useful items don’t end up in landfill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Seth Wenig

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