Understanding the difference between giving and throwing away
The Marie Kondo phenomenon is sweeping the globe, leaving a trail of ‘sparked joy’ in its wake.
If you’ve somehow missed it, Marie Kondo is a guru of ‘the life-changing magic of tidying’. So big has she become, her name is now a verb. Have you Marie Kondo’d your house yet?
For charities with op shops like Save the Children (find your nearest store here!) the Kondo craze delivers good news and bad.
The good news is our shops have received some awesome donations over the holiday period as people embrace the art of declutterage. So there’s plenty of high quality bargains for the snaffling.
On the flipside, there are some folk who appear to be confusing ‘donating valuable items’ with ‘offloading useless junk while nobody is watching’.
Dumping useless or broken goods outside charity op shops is costing valuable time and millions of dollars.
How to know where it should go
The distinction is clear. If you are considering donating your ‘joyless’ goods to an op shop, the questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Does anybody really want this?
- Would I give this to a friend?
- Do I really expect somebody to pay real money for it?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘probably not’ then it’s likely an op shop doesn’t want it either. And it shouldn’t be up to our amazing volunteers
to have to dispose of what is essentially waste.
According to the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations, Charities in Australia spend $13 million on waste management each year, sending 60,000 tonnes of unusable donations as waste to landfill.
We do our best. Finding alternatives to the last resort of landfill in all sorts of weird and whacky ways. But is can get overwhelming, especially when the donations are just too second-hand to sell.
Please don’t get the wrong idea! Our shops will happily take your pre-loved treasures – we want them, we need them, provided they have some value. (And only during opening hours, please). By donating to and shopping at - a Save the Children store, you really are making an amazing contribution to the lives of children and families who need your support.
Recycle, repurpose, reuse
There are also some amazing ideas out there for how to repurpose your old bits’n’bobs. Old bookshelves can become plant boxes. Old pianos can become bookshelves! A bit of lateral thinking can metamorphose your belongings and give them a whole new life. And what fun!
Listen to your heart
According to Kondo, we should only ‘keep those things that speak to our heart’. Which is fine. But that’s a lot of stuff we should be letting go. Which is also fine. Just so long as we listen to our heart when deciding where it is that stuff should go.
Happy Kondo’ing and thanks so much for your contributions to Save the Children op shops. They couldn’t exist without you!