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    Decluttering the Goodwill® Way

    With the recent wave of interest about decluttering and purging going on across America, and like many of you, I am SO HERE for it. 

    While decluttering our home is so satisfying in so many ways, I feel like we’re in a unique cultural moment where donating and shopping are intersecting in so many positive ways with people. 

    Yes, you can declutter and donate your stuff. AWESOME!

    Yes, you can make your life better, and in the process, help Goodwill improve the lives of others in your community at the same time. AMAZING!

    But what I think is often overlooked that now is also PRIME time to not just drop-off all your items at Goodwill, but POP-IN to the Goodwill near you to see how you can make all that decluttering work you’ve done really take hold and last.

    I’ve been making weekly donation trips in the last few months and it feels SO good, but this week all that decluttering karma came back to me ten-fold.

    Like a lot of parents, my kid’s rooms are often a vortex of clutter that seems impossible to keep in check. The shelf currently in use in their room had also been a Goodwill find years ago, but it was bringing me happiness long before I had kids and a house full of tiny bedrooms. So after culling some clothing, books, and toys from their room and donating them at my local Goodwill this week, I drove around front and popped in to see if anything got me excited.

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    When I spotted two tall red bookshelves being set out on the sales floor, my heart went ZING! This was the PERFECT piece to replace the ill-fitting shelving unit in their space, it matched the room’s decor, and would allow them to see their books much easier when picking our bedtime stories each night. I had made do with our old shelf for years until I found the perfect solution, and today was the day it appeared before me.

    Just $8 each!

    I couldn’t grab them fast enough. With one hand I carried them to the front, hardly believing my luck. Between the back of the store and checkout, at least two other shoppers congratulated me on my find. It felt like walking forward on stage after winning a beauty pageant.

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    Now came the tricky part. Pushing them into my car proved much more challenging than I hoped. Luckily after years of having a small car with two large car seats, I’m used to getting creative.

    One of the reasons I love thrift stores so much is the sense of camaraderie among shoppers– something you just don’t get anywhere else. So in true thrift form, another shopper came out and seeing my conundrum, offered some advice on creative angles to try and squish it in. When it proved ineffective, she quickly went to her car and dug up a bungee cord to give me. It wasn’t the perfect solution, but it got me and my shelves home.

    Success!

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    Here is the result of my  Goodwill find, complete with de-cluttered space. SO MUCH ZING!

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    So when your friend mention they’re decluterring their homes, don’t forget to remind them that donating does so much more than get their unwanted items new homes, it also gives people in our communities a hand up, and perhaps something they donate will end up in YOUR cart the next time you go in.

    Jenna Pfueller
    Jenna is a design junkie, lifelong thrifter, and founder of All Thrifty States (allthriftystates.com), a documentary project about thrift culture across America. She writes about sustainable style, unique decor ideas, and upcycling tips for secondhand stuff.
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