Louisville, KY –On New Year’s Day, media streaming service Netflix released an eight-episode series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, based on the 2014 bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. As author and series star Marie Kondo helps millions of Americans organize their homes, she may also be credited with the uptick in donations to local thrift stores.
In the series of inspiring home makeovers, world-renowned organization expert Kondo helps clients clear out clutter to achieve their ideal lifestyles. Typically, after the year-end rush of donors seeking tax deductions, Goodwill experiences a noticeable decrease in donations in January, February, and March—but so far, not this year. According to Mark Daniel, Director of Retail for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s east region, the nonprofit’s donations “popped” during the two-week period beginning 12/26/18 and ending 1/6/19, with a 29% increase over the same period last year.
Listed as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, Kondo promotes a “KonMari” approach to decluttering. Rather than cleaning out room by room, the KonMari method promotes sorting by category, and assigning a sentimentality to each item. As Kondo writes on her website, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service—then let them go.”
“January is typically a slow month for donations,” said Lennea Wooten, Director of Retail for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s west region. “This year, we have experienced a consistent flow of donors coming to our doors after the New Year with their previously-loved items. We are grateful, because donations to Goodwill support our mission to provide career services for thousands of Kentucky job seekers each year.”
Revenue from Goodwill’s 65 retail locations—which provide jobs and hands-on training—helps create paths out of poverty for Kentuckians who want a chance to improve their lives through work, including job preparation and personalized long-term career services. In 2018, Goodwill partnered with nearly 800 community employers to connect Kentucky job seekers—many of whom have a disability or other challenge to participating in the workforce—to more than 2,600 jobs. With Kondo’s influence resulting in an increase of donations early in the year, the organization may be able to serve even more Kentuckians in 2019.
Goodwill accepts a variety of goods, including gently-used clothing, accessories, books, shoes, kitchenware, décor, and other household items, which are tax deductible. Receipts are available at the time of donation. To find the nearest location, visit www.goodwillky.org.
In the 2018 fiscal year, Goodwill placed Kentuckians into more than 2,600 jobs across the state – both inside and outside of Goodwill. Goodwill’s career path programs and employment services, which serve Kentuckians who have disabilities or other challenges, are funded through a combination of grants, corporate and individual giving, and its retail stores, which sell donated clothing and household items at 65 locations across Kentucky.