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Are Thrift Stores Really Getting More Donations Because of Marie Kondo?

Elika Roohi

Whether you’re an avid convert to the KonMari method or you’re guarding your possessions from anyone who happens to utter the words “tidying up,” everyone has an opinion about Marie Kondo’s trend.

Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was released in 2011. It was a best-seller in Europe and Japan, her home. It was published in the United States in 2014, around the time minimalism was starting to take off as a trend.

Today, Kondo has to her name a Netflix special, a book that spent 65 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, a spot on Time’s “100 most influential people” list in 2015 and a net worth of $8 million.

As with any trend, there have been memes and backlash and think pieces, but this one has had an extra effect: an increase of donations to thrift stores. As reported by BuzzFeed, some organizations have seen an uptick in donations that seem to correspond with the release of Kondo’s show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said that the shops generally see an increase in donations at this time of year—coinciding with the end of the holidays and everyone’s New Year’s resolutions—but this year it’s more than usual.

One second-hand store in London is reporting receiving double the amount of donations this month than they usually would, according to the BBC.

Whether or not this can be directly linked to Kondo’s show has yet to be definitively proven – though many are linking it to her philosophy of discarding an item if it does not “spark joy,” others are disregarding her influence.

“Activity [at our stores] is often strong the first week of January anyway,” said Malini Wilkes, the public relations manager for Goodwill to CNN. “People have New Year’s resolutions, people have time to get their boxes together, that kind of thing.”

One thing is for certain, however: All the reporting on thrift stores suggest that they are quite well stocked at the moment. If you’re looking to pass on some joyless items or you’re seeking out some new joyful ones, your local Value Village might be worth a visit.

See also: How to Decorate Your Dorm on a Budget

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