The life-changing magic of clearing personal clutter
hasn’t hit the Tri-Cities in quite the same way its effect has been felt
Cities across the nation are citing overwhelming
donations at thrift store and reseller sites, thanks to people inspired by the
popular Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
The reality series, inspired by Kondo’s book, “The
Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” encourages people to critically survey
their clothing and personal belongings, thank them for their service, and then
only retain the items which spark joy in their lives.
“We have seen a slight increase in clothing and books —
those two items in particular are increasing here,” said Greta Dority, store
manager for Repeat Boutique at 22 W. Kennewick Ave. in Kennewick, where store
proceeds benefit Chaplaincy Health Care.
“Since the beginning of the year, after the holidays,
there’s always kind of that ‘clean out attitude’ anyway,” Dority said. “But
compared to last year, there’s been an increase. We’ve also had more ‘new with
While Dority has seen a small uptick in donations, the
region’s largest thrift stores and donation sites cannot confirm the same
Goodwill Industries of the Columbia operates five thrift
stores in the Tri-Cities, and collects donations at multiple sites, either at
manned trailers or within its stores. The nonprofit tracks donations by
counting the single donor, not the number or weight of items donated.
Goodwill officials say they’ve seen a 5 percent to 7
percent increase in donations for January 2019 compared to 2018, but saw a
similar increase year-over-year between January 2017 and January 2018. They
said they can’t directly attribute the higher number of donations to what’s
being called the “Marie Kondo effect.”
“We haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary,” said
Trevor Janin, logistics manager for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia. “We
appreciate all of our donors, but we’re not being overwhelmed. People can keep
That’s not the case in bigger metro areas. A San
Francisco TV news station reported some thrift stores in the Bay Area have had
to limit the volume of donations they will accept after being inundated with
Other sites in the Tri-Cities like St. Vincent Center,
Atomic City Thrift and New Beginnings say they haven’t noticed any change in
the number of donations. Though St. Vincent Centers recently moved to 731 N.
Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick, near Get Air Trampoline Park, and workers
say some customers or donors have had a difficult time finding them.
Resale bookstores like Bookworm and Adventures
Underground report a slight bump in the number of people bringing in books to
resell, but couldn’t directly attribute this to those using the KonMari method,
the name for the process that encourages people to tidy up based on categories,
not location, with books being the second priority category, after clothing.
This has resulted in some outcry from book lovers who think this might
discourage reading, but Kondo has emphasized only discarding items which have
outlived their purpose.
Adventures Underground has had some book donations
recently where the reseller declined to accept store credit, preferring to
simply donate without the chance to buy something else.
News stories suggesting a treasure trove of quality
cast-offs at thrift stores have been widely shared online, with many hoping to
benefit from those who have aggressively cleared their personal clutter.
“I appreciate everything she does and we’ve been trying
to figure out ways to utilize her techniques in the store,” said Dority, though
she hadn’t yet found a way to put this into action.
The manager of New Beginnings at 1016 Lee Blvd. in
Richland said he’s recently seen an increase in new customers, but couldn’t
directly attribute it to those looking to seize the potential opportunities
seen from new inventory.
Dority isn’t sure either. “I’ve seen
an increase in younger people coming in,” she said. “I don’t know if they’re
binge watching the show or what.”
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