I volunteer at Old School by Steeple People, a non-profit thrift store at 1901 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis. Ever since Tidying Up with Marie Kondo aired on Netflix, we’ve been swamped with donations. Mostly clothing. We’re anticipating a surge in book donations as people work through KonMari’s preferred order of tidying: clothing, books, papers, komono (misc), sentimental items.
Thank you. Donations are our lifeblood. We sort, tag, price, display, sell. Then we donate all of our profits to local charitable organizations.
But here’s the deal. We have to sell stuff in order to generate revenue. So you’re gonna have to commit to the other side of the KonMari equation: get yourself some gently used joy! You ditched your chipped, faded pasta bowl b/c it brought you no joy? Awesome! We have MANY suitable bowl-like joyful objects. Personally, by the time January rolls around, none of my sweaters brings me any joy whatsoever. I took myself to my favorite thrift store (that would be Old School) and purchased a lovely burnished bronze cashmere/silk cardigan for $6. It brings me joy. And warmth. My moose-child is growing at a remarkable rate. He outgrew his puffy feather coat. I perused Old School and found several options that wouldn’t appeal to a teenager. So I visited our colleagues at ARC’s Value Village. Pro-tip: scan both the men’s and women’s departments if you’re looking for a specific item. I found a perfect men’s puffy coat tucked into the women’s section.
Amazon might bring you exactly what you think you want within 48 hours of your insistent demand. Immediate gratification isn’t synonymous with Kondo’s “joy.” To assess whether an item brings joy, you must hold it in your hands and sometimes even talk to it. A thrift store is the perfect environment in which to anthropomorphize. No one will bat an eye if you stand in the book section with Nicholas Sparks’ Nights in Rodanthe, wondering aloud, “Do you bring me joy?”
So, by all means pile all your crap on your bed. Pick up each item. Determine what sparks joy. Go in order, please. Marie has her reasons. We’re happy to donate the proceeds from the sale of your pristine vintage olive green fondue pot to worthy charities.
But for goodness sake, get into our store and make a purchase or two, preferably a clothing purchase. Or books. Or komono. Man, do we have a lot of komono. I guarantee, we can find at least one item that sparks joy just for you.
Get thee to a thrift store!
Old School by Steeple People (Sat/Sun 12-6; Wed-Fri 11-5; closed Mon/Tues)
1901 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Musical Moment (swears alert)