As Marie Kondo’s Netflix series inspires people to purge, we’re gathering a list of spots to send each of her four categories of clutter.
by Ayn-Monique Klahre
Our office is abuzz with talk about Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the new series on Netflix featuring the bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which many of us read with fervor when it came out five years ago. (At least, I know I did, and about once a year I pull it back up on my Kindle for a refresher course. The biggest compliment you can give me is mentioning how little clutter we have!) The new series has people all over the US purging like crazy, and the N&O reported that Triangle-area charities in particular ave noticed a surge in donations since the series dropped on January 1. And that’s good, since it’s both mentally easier and better for the environment to donate than to throw stuff away!
Viewers will know that Kondo recommends going through your contents by category, and in a particular order, so here’s our running list of the best places to donate or dispose of your clutter. If you don’t see your favorite organization here, shoot us a message @waltermagazine and we’ll add it to the list!
Kondo tackles clothing first: It’s easiest to part with, and the shock value of seeing that mound of clothing can help us all resolve to live with less. A few places that want your old clothes:
Dress for Success
This organization gathers work-appropriate women’s clothing like suits, blazers and dresses, to help women achieve economic independence. Visit dressforsuccess.org for more information.
Note in the Pocket
For kids’ clothing, consider this organization that provides clothing to homeless and impoverished schoolchildren in Wake County. Visit noteinthepocket.org for more information.
For clothing that is worn or stained, fill a bag from Simple Recycling and leave it on your curb on your regular recycling pickup day. You can leave any kind of textiles in there, including bedding, shoes and jackets. Visit simplerecycling.com for more information.
Books can be hard to part with, but if you’ve already read something, have switched to an e-reader or are never going to get to it, pass the book along!
Wake Up & Read
Now through February 12, Wake County is doing a book drive to collect books for children ages birth-12. You can drop these off at your neighborhood elementary school or various donation centers throughout the Triangle. Visit wakeupandread.org for locations.
Wake County Libraries
Your local library can take donations, which they either load into the stacks or sell online to raise money for the library system. If you have lots of books, they request that you take them to the Library Administration Building. Visit wakegove.com/libraries for more information.
The Japanese word for “miscellaneous” items applies to just about every type of household junk we hold on to: Kitchen gadgets, bathroom stuff, furniture you’re storing in your basement in case your grown children want it, etc. But if you’re not using something useful, maybe someone else can! Consider these:
The Green Chair Project
This organization helps individuals and families furnish their homes as they get back on their feet. They’re constantly on the hunt for gently-used home goods like couches, chairs, tables, linens, dishware, cookware and more, and they’ll pick up heavier items. Visit thegreenchair.org for more information.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
As you purge the garage, this is the spot to drop off leftover building materials, furniture, cabinetry–just about anything you’d use in your house. Visit wakerestore.org for locations.
Unopened pantry items, cleaning products, and bath products—plus items like clothing, household goods, and the like—can go to the Food Pantry or Shop at Dorcas. Visit dorcascary.org for more information.
Scroll down to the bottom of the News & Observer article for a list of more local thrift stores.
Old diaries, letters, kids’ art and photos—these are the hardest to part with, not just because they mean a lot to us, but because there’s not a great way to repurpose them. Keep only the few items that truly mean a lot to you, thank the rest, and put it in the garbage.