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Tidying Wave Boon to Local Thrift Shops

Lifestyle consultant Marie Kondo has become a bona fide sensation. Through her 2011 bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her recently debuted Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, she promotes a method of simplicity through reducing unnecessary clutter, earning praise—and revenue—from millions of devoted fans.

But Kondo is getting appreciation from another source – thrift stores receiving a bonanza of unwanted goods. Over a recent weekend, the staff of Ravenswood Used Books in Chicago was overwhelmed with 30 boxes of donated books. Their usual haul? Five or six.

Not only was the quantity unusual, but customers’ attitude was a surprise as well. According to one employee named Barbara, people usually only donate under financial duress. “People are not [normally] cheerful,” Barbara said. “I swear…people [over the weekend] were joyful.”

A major tenet of the Kon Mari method (named after its founder) is laying your belongings in a giant pile and examining which ones spark a sense of joy. Chicago resident Bridget Melton has firsthand knowledge of how Kondo’s method can transform. “[It] releases your attachment from things,” Melton said. “My closet has been reduced by 75 percent. When you see what you own in a pile, you go, ‘I didn’t realize the abundance of riches.'”

Apparently those riches are going to good causes. Even the Salvation Army is feeling the so-called ‘Kondo effect.’ “I really think 2019 is going to be the year of conscientiousness,” said John Aren, a local administrator. “The pursuit of minimalism is alive and very well and it does benefit the Salvation Army.”

Potential preaching angles:

When we are free from the burden of accumulating things, we are free to bless others around us. Our truest joy is sparked not by possessions, but by the richness of relationships and the love for those around us.


Patty Wetli, “Marie Kondo Has Everyone ‘Tidying Up,’ And Chicago’s Thrift Stores Are Reaping the Rewards,” Block Club Chicago (1-11-19)

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