The "Marie Kondo Effect" is giving local thrift stores so much business that some of them can’t keep up with donations.
Most of you have probably come across Marie Kondo already, but for those who haven’t, a brief primer. Marie Kondo is the tiny, peppy Japanese woman who has somehow formed a media empire out of cleaning out your garbage.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix on January first and features Kondo and her interpreter shuffling over to various people’s houses to clean things up. Some of those families look like they were cast offs from the set of Hoarders, but regardless of the amount of clutter, Kondo’s patented “KonMari” method of tidying up works miracles.
The KonMari method is simple: gather up all your stuff, put it in a big pile, and then sort it by keeping only the items that “spark joy” (a now-famous Kondo-ism). Everything else you throw away. What’s left is then neatly organized into whatever container would be appropriate.
Rather than toss the rejects into a landfill, Kondo recommends donating your castoffs to local thrift stores. And people are doing that. Big time.
Thrift stores all across the country are seeing a huge influx in donations with many people quoting Kondo as their inspiration. From San Francisco to Chicago to Boston, organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army can hardly keep up with the piles of donations they keep getting.
And it’s not just the big thrift stores too. Used bookstores are also reporting an influx in donations, with Ravenswood Used Books of Chicago noting in a recent Facebook post they received a month’s worth of books in 2 days last January.
In Des Moines, Iowa, Dress for Success (an organization that accepts professional clothing donations for impoverished women) received double their normal amount of donations in January. Goodwill of Central Iowa quantified their increase at 63% compared to the same time last year.
According to CBS San Francisco, Bay Area thrift stores are absolutely flooded with donations as people adopt a tidier lifestyle.
So far, Netflix hasn’t confirmed anything about a second season of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, but if people keep donating all their old junk at current rates, we might not even need a second season.