Secondhand stores are experiencing a tsunami of donations thanks to a new Netflix series.
“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” debuted on Netflix on New Year’s Day. In the first week after the show’s debut, donations at Omaha-area Goodwill stores spiked 40 percent over the same period last year.
“Many of our donation attendants have heard directly from customers that their donations are due to watching the show,” said Ann Woodford, a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries.
The show features Marie Kondo, best-selling author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” On each episode, she helps everyday people clear out clutter using her KonMari Method, which asks people to hold their possessions and keep only those that spark joy.
Since the show’s debut, Kondo’s Instagram following has nearly tripled from about 700,000 followers on Dec. 31 to more than 1.9 million now. Around the country, people are getting rid of their clutter, flooding thrift stores.
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Omaha Salvation Army stores typically pick up donations within about 24 hours. But two weeks after the show’s debut, spokesperson Susan Eustice said the Salvation Army’s delivery drivers were backed up two weeks.
“Some donors are not too happy with having to wait two weeks to be picked up,” said warehouse foreman Ryan Zajic.
The Salvation Army has added hours to the work schedules of its drivers. Goodwill has adjusted its staffing hours, too, but isn’t experiencing any significant delays as donations continue to pour in.
Kondo fan Jessica Schultze of Plattsmouth binge-watched the Netflix series in a day when it came out. Then she went to work tidying up with her 6- and 4-year-olds, who cleaned out their rooms and found items that didn’t spark joy.
Laura Pryor of Bellevue hasn’t read Kondo’s book, but went through her house top to bottom after watching the show. Before her reorganization marathon, her husband hung his clothes in a basement closet. Now they share their bedroom’s walk-in closet.
“I took over three of those super big black trash bags to the Goodwill and then another container full of odds and ends,” she said.
Kondo’s show hasn’t only influenced donors. As it turns out, some shoppers are also inspired by Kondo’s methods.
People are buying more organizational tools than before, Woodford said, including totes and bins that Kondo uses on the show to help people organize.
More donations means a larger supply and range of items available to shoppers. Some of those customers may find an item that produces a new spark of joy. Others, perhaps, may be adding to a collection in need of a little tidying up.