Decluttering craze puts charities under pressure

Items dumped outside a Vinnies charity bin in Sydney (ABC News/Penny Timms)

While January is traditionally the biggest material donation month for charities, the Marie Kondo “Tidying Up” craze is putting charities under extra pressure. Source: Pro Bono News.

On top of the usual spike in post-Christmas donations, Stephanie Ziersch, acting-CEO of Sustainability Victoria, said Marie Kondo’s Netflix documentary series had sparked masses of people trying to declutter their homes, and charities would soon be facing the brunt of their clearouts.

“Marie Kondo’s Netflix sensation, combined with Christmas excess, New Year’s resolutions for minimalism and the fact that many op shops are still closed for the holidays, mean we’re facing the perfect storm when it comes to waste,” Ms Ziersch said.

While Kondo encourages the public to “spark joy” in decluttering, Ms Ziersch said it was just as important for those inspired by the series to find the joy in rehoming unwanted items thoughtfully.

“Remember the clutter does not just disappear once you’ve given it a kiss and thanked it for its service,” she said.

Jacquie Dropulic, St Vincent De Paul NSW retail development manager, said despite being prepared for the busy Christmas clear-out season, and making messaging clear about its pick-up service for donations, donating during business hours and coming back if a bin looks full, dumping was still happening.

“People unfortunately do tend to leave their donations, and it’s a shame because the weather gets into it and then donations are spoiled, in many cases we can’t use them and we are forced to get rid of them ourselves,” Ms Dropulic said.

While Ms Dropulic said the bins were effective for St Vincent De Paul in some locations like schools or churches, there were consistent problems with them.

“The problems happen when people can see the bin’s full but they still leave their donation because they don’t know what else to do with it,” she said.

“We do ask people to always ask at the shop or ring one of our central numbers to see what our donating options are rather than just leaving it next to the bin.”


Netflix cleaning craze puts charities under pressure (Pro Bono Australia)


Donating goods to Vinnies (Vinnies)

Marie Kondo decluttering craze spells op shop bonanza - but there's a downside (Sydney Morning Herald)

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