Don’t get me wrong. I love Marie Kondo. I had both of her books before most people did and I actually read them, cover to cover. I even critiqued them, and I agreed with most of what she wrote. I still don’t agree with her philosophy of how you store socks, but that is for another post, on another day.
But, I think everyone has gone a bit KONDO nuts! Sorry folks, but you have. Throwing out your socks and underwear because they no longer spark joy? Going commando and barefoot when it’s 20 below is just plain dangerous and crazy to boot. Besides, thrift shops are overrun with stuff that people are getting rid of by the bag and boxfuls since watching her show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. There is no more room in the thrift stores, a lot of second hand shops are also overrun, and because of the economic situation right now people are not spending money and things are getting dumped in landfills. What started out as a great idea to declutter is becoming an environmental nightmare!
I feel very strongly about downsizing, giving away and repurposing, but I think you need to do this with a little bit more forethought. It means taking time to figure out who and where these items are going. Is there someone specific who can actually use and wants the items and somewhere specific he or she can find them?
Maybe you have a friend or family member who can use these used items. For instance, used baby clothes can be given to a friend or relative who is having or has just had a baby. And if you have children’s clothing and you have gone through the sizes with your own kids why not pass them down to a relative, friend, neighbor or a charitable organization that can make wonderful use of them? Or what about a clothing swap? A friend may be trying to get rid of something that you have been searching for and this is a perfect way that each of you gets what you want without having to make a financial outlay or to add to the stuff issue. Have the conversation beforehand with your intended recipient and everyone will end up with a gift. You with more space, and the one receiving with something really useful and needed.
Old Prom dresses and tuxes can be given to organizations that donate to kids who cannot afford but would like to participate in such a special event. A wonderful organization that started in Florida but now has chapters all over the US is Becca’s Closet. It not only takes used prom dresses and tuxes but it also has expanded to provide funding for educational scholarships for students. Go on the site to read about the amazing young woman who started it all.
There are also organizations around the country that will take used books, cds, videos, and records. One place that comes to mind is Books for America. They take your items and then resell for a very low price and the profits go to libraries across the country.
If you are determined to make some cash while finding joy on your journey, make sure that you connect with a resale company that wants gently used items and is ready to buy your clothing, jewelry, furniture, household items. That way you know that the items will get sold and won’t go to waste.
There are a number of second hand clothing and jewelry/accessory stores available all around the US, as well as stores that specialize in entertainment like records, books, art, furniture, etc, BUT you must take the time to do some online research. Get reviews of their work with clients and how they pay and respond to clients. That way you know how your items will be treated and whether you will actually get something for that old brooch of Grandma’s. If you have valuable jewelry, Circa is a very reputable company to work with but they are very picky in what they will take so be prepared. High end clothing, shoes and accessories can be sold at the Real Real, clothes that may not have designer labels but will still fetch a return can be placed on sites like Poshmark, Net-a-Porter, and JJs House.
Furniture can be listed on Craigslist, Etsy, Ebay, Route 66, and local furniture resale shops in your area. Just be careful when listing on Craigslist about safety issues when offering pick up options. A company that will come and literally inventory everything that you would like to sell in your home for a fee, put it in an auction format, and then pay you for what is sold is called MaxSold. At the end of the day, you clear out what you don’t want, and if you are proactive you actually make money from the transaction. They have an online video that explains the process and they have received a lot of good reviews from people who have used their services.
If you need help with any of this sorting and planning you can always call or email us at the Organizer and we will be happy to help you on the phone, online or in person sort through your items for donating, selling but we will remind you to keep your socks on. It’s cold out there.