My daughter and I recently made a trip to our favorite consignment shop. It had been a while since we’d been there. We’d taken a break since I started holiday shopping, and we were both dying to get our thrift on.
I’ve learned as a mom to three teens how luxurious it is to have a daughter who doesn’t only want new designer clothes and is open to secondhand goodies. And now that we wear the same size, my clothing options have doubled. If she finds something she’s in love with and I love it too, I’ll snag it because I know her finicky teenage self might be over it in a week. If I can take it for a couple of spins too, everyone is winning.
That day as we were walking in, she immediately spotted five things in the first room she had to have: a camo jacket that looked brand new, a cute t-shirt with the tags still on, two pristine long sleeve shirts in her favorite shade of teal, and an army green jacket.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a brand new cashmere sweater — the same sweater I’d spend $70 on in my favorite store. And I can’t even begin to talk about the piles of jewelry sparkling before our eyes — everything from Pandora to cocktail rings to delicate necklaces with animal pendants.
While she was trying on some Levis and I was slipping on shoes, I couldn’t help but think, Damn, we are really scoring today.
Turns out there was a reason, and that reason is a woman named Marie Kondo. In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, she’s the “does it spark joy” organizing professional who is tempting everyone in the land to give things away unless it makes them feel light, fluffy, and sparkly in all the right places.
First, her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out in 2014 and taught us how to throw our clothes in a pile on the bed — which allows us to see how much shit we actually have — then you take one item at a time, look at it, and decide if it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, then you get it out of your life by donating it or tossing it.
After that craze settled down a bit and people started spending money on things that only made them kind of happy instead of all the way happy, the hit show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo made its way into our lives. It’s a viral sensation persuading everyone to purge yet again.
Something about seeing a woman walk into a home and help others decide what’s good enough to keep, how unnecessary it is to have 4 white t-shirts, and how much peace they will feel with space between their possessions has made people get rid of their stuff by the boat load.
Even Natalie Morales is getting rid of some gems — can we get the name of the second-hand shops she’s dropping her things off at, please?
Obviously the purchases my daughter and I were so greedily clutching that day were bringing us more joy then we’d felt since, well, Christmas morning so we are actually doing the Marie Kondo thing right.
Today talked with Amy Lyons who is the spokesperson for Goodwill Industries of Monocracy Valley and says there has been a “42% increase in donations since Jan 1st.” That means, your chances of finding that leopard bag, or luscious leather jacket, or perfectly distressed denim shirt are 42% better than they were last year.
I spoke with Lauren, the owner of my favorite consignment shop, Estilo, who told me she’s seen a huge increase in donations this past month. Not only that, but people are putting a lot more thought onto their purchases and only taking home things that “spark joy.”
Goody! More for me and my daughter. And hello supple, leather Frye boots at a fraction of their retail price.
It’s great to clean things out and get rid of unwanted clutter. It’s been know to decrease stress and anxiety for many.
But you know what else is great? Scoring amazing items you normally wouldn’t have been able to buy because so many have gone all Marie Kondo and now feel shame for wanting more than one pair of black leggings.
I mean, to each her own, but I’ll take a few extra fine quality items at a discount price, please. They’ll spark way more joy than the damn sweatshirt I keep looking for after I read The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up and gave it away because I had no idea how lost I’d be without it.