Tidying up this spring? Make sure your items spark joy for others before donating

Donations to Goodwill in overdrive

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Spring is less than a week away, which means people might be getting a head start on some cleaning. Or, they may have been inspired by Netflix’s series ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.’

But just because something is no longer needed, doesn’t always mean someone else will want it.

The Goodwill on 1st Ave said the popular Netflix show has been inspiring people to donate more. In fact, they saw their highest numbers for donations in January, the same month the series was released.

Can they directly relate it to the series? Director of Marketing Judith Roman Bucasas said not completely, but several people claimed they were getting rid of things that no longer "sparked joy."

Figuring out if something “sparks joy” is a big part of the The KonMari Method™, founded by Kondo. It encourages people to tidy by category and then keep only the things that speak to the heart. The person cleaning then thanks them for their service, then let them go. (Learn more about KonMari here: https://konmari.com/pages/about)

Now, two months later, the craze is continuing. Hector Valdez is one of the latest people to get in on the Tidying Up fun. He brought a few boxes to the Goodwill on 1st Ave, ready to give away things he no longer needed.

"Old clothes, kitchen items, things we don’t use anymore. Just a whole bunch of household items that didn’t spark joy anymore.”

He’s letting go of what he no longer needs, but still hoping it gets a second chance at life. "It served the purpose of what it did for me at the time when I actually used it and hopefully it doesn’t end up in a landfill somewhere else.” said Valdez.

All of Valdez's items were accepted, but that's not always the case.

Sometimes when it comes to the donations, quantity trumps quality. Meaning that trash, isn’t always someone else’s treasure.

“If it’s broken, soiled, or wet, I mean that stuff we can’t really do anything with so that does end up getting thrown away.” said Bucasas.

And if what you donate doesn't end up being sold at the store, their outlet, boutique, or online, it can end up costing them money.

"We incur the cost of taking it, you know getting it to the landfill which otherwise we could have used those dollars to invest in our programs.”

But don’t get them wrong, Goodwill loves the donations. Bucasas said the influx of donations has been amazing and that it has really helped out their many programs. It also allows them to store some items for the slower donation season to keep their shelves stocked.

So is Goodwill trying to keep anyone from donating items? Absolutely not. They just want to make sure that before tidying up, everyone takes into account what they plan to drop off.

“When someone considers donating to Goodwill I want them to think if that item is something they think someone will buy.” said Bucasas. Once the person determines their items are in good enough shape to donate, they should make sure they’re taking the proper safety precautions. "Sharps, like knives or things like that. Keep in mind we do have employees that go into the boxes to sort so if you could wrap those up.”

Here’s a list of things Goodwill CANNOT accept:

  • CRT TVs
  • CRT Computer Monitors
  • Cribs
  • No household chemical products such as pesticides, paint, paint thinner, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, aerosols and other environmentally-unfriendly waste products.
  • No automotive hazardous waste such as tires, lead acid batteries, additives, gasoline, oils, antifreeze, etc.
  • No large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, stoves/ovens, washers/dryers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, furnaces, microwaves, trash compactors, water heaters, large console stereos, freon-based appliances, etc.
  • No personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner, nail polish remover, shaving cream, hairsprays, shavers, curling irons
  • No fragrance items
  • No mattresses/box springs, including waterbed mattresses and waterbed frames
  • No carpet or carpet padding
  • No plumbing fixtures or building materials
  • No traditional recyclables such as glass, newsprint, office paper, cardboard, plastics, magazines, junk mail, etc.
  • No weapons such as guns, bows and arrows, ammunition, hunting knives, etc.
  • No cribs, car seats, walkers or other products that do not meet the current safety standards of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, including recalled items.

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