Thrift stores see spike in donations after release of 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo'

Credit: Michael Loccisano

Credit: Michael Loccisano

Thrift stores across the country are seeing an increase in donations, which some are attributing to Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo and her recently released hit Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

The eight-episode series, which premiered Jan. 1 on Netflix, follows Kondo as she introduces people to her “KonMari” decluttering method. The method, first popularized by Kondo’s 2014 book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” involves people examining items in their homes to determine whether the items bring them happiness. If they don’t, Kondo recommends thanking the items and discarding them.

Chef and author Gaby Dalkin told NBC's "Today" show that she donated eight "giant trash bags" filled with clothes to a Goodwill after watching "Tidying Up."

"I love the 'joy' part of (the Marie Kondo philosophy)," Dalkin told the "Today" show. "If something doesn't give me joy, why do I still have it?"

Rachel Syme, a magazine columnist for the New Yorker, told NPR that she asked several people gathered outside of a Brooklyn second-hand store earlier this month to make donations whether they were motivated by Kondo's show.

"I went down the line of people and just asked them, are you here because of the show?" she told NPR. "Nine out of 10 of them were. They had seen the show and immediately felt moved to get rid of their belongings."

Employees of Goodwill stores across the country have told several news outlets in recent weeks that they've seen an increase in donations, but Goodwill's public relations and multimedia manager Malini Wilkes told CNN that the uptick might not be entirely related to Kondo's show.

“Activity (at our stores) is often strong the first week of January anyway,” Wilkes said. “People have New Year’s resolutions, people have time to get their boxes together, that kind of thing.”

Brendan Hurley, a spokesman for Goodwill of Greater Washington, told "Today" that donations have skyrocketed at stores across the area, but he said it was impossible to say whether Kondo's show was related to the spike.

But not all retailers were uncertain. In Chicago, used bookseller Ravenswood Books said in a Facebook post that the store “took in a month’s worth of books in (two) days” after “Tidying Up” hit Netflix.

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