Thrift store managers: We’ll take castoffs

Published 1:02 am Friday, February 22, 2019

Thrift store managers across the nation have reported large influxes of donated goods, thanks in part to the Marie Kondo tidying craze that exploded when the Japanese organization guru released a Netflix series earlier this year.

Local thrift store managers say they have not been overwhelmed by donations, but encourage anyone who is cleaning out to donate items to the local causes.

Most organizational experts advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, but Kondo’s  KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category, not by location, beginning with  clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items and, finally, sentimental items. Kondo encourages her clients to discard items that no longer spark joy. She advises clients to thank those items for their service, and then let them go.

Meredith’s Miracles Thrift Shop manager Toni Douglas said the shop has received significantly fewer donations after changing their donation process.

“In October or November we decided to not take any more donations in the back of the store,” Douglas said. “People were dropping off stuff in the rain and it would take us a long time to actually sift through the stuff and see what was salvageable. Now we only take donations through the front door.”

Douglas said that this craze could be a great way to receive more donations.

“We certainly need a lot more donations,” Douglas said. “And that would be a good way to look at it if you are cleaning your house. We would be a perfect place to bring those items.”

She said that in society, some people always have more than they need and others don’t have enough at all, which is why donating to a thrift store is important.

“I think the more we give, the more we receive,” Douglas said. “We always have people donate brand new things, but I know that God is definitely involved with a lot of the stuff that we get. Meredith’s Miracles is dedicated to helping children that are sick, but with this thrift store we are able to help people who wouldn’t be able to afford clothes or things like that.”

Pam Scofield, who manages the local Goodwill, said that they are usually busiest during the winter and spring.

“The past two to three months donations have been good,” Scofield said. “We get wrapped up right before Christmas and right after. People always start cleaning out and donating.”

Right now, Scofield said that donations are a little slower.

“With the weather the way it has been, donations tend to be a little slower,” Scofield said. “But I expect things to pick back up again around Easter.”

Leroy Cole, director of the Christian Service Center, said that they are usually busy all year around.

The Christian Service Center is the only thrift store in Andalusia with a loading dock so people can donate at any time they like.

“The strength of our donations come in different periods,” Cole said. “We are always constant through out the year. We have gotten a little more donations in the past couple months than usual. Furniture has been a big donation item lately.”

Cole said that spring-cleaning is a perfect time to donate to the service center.

“We definitely get more during the spring time because of spring cleaning,” Cole said. “But we honestly never know when it is going to get busy.”

The Christian Service Center provides funding for several different ministries across Andalusia and provides food for people in need, which is why Cole said that it is the best place to donate.

“We provided 404,000 pounds of food for people in need last year,” Cole said. “And all of that funding comes from the service center. We are a non-profit and we fund things such as disaster relief ministries, counselors that we subsidize from our office, mission scholarships for students and about seven to eight different ministries across Andalusia.”