Wake up from your winter hibernation, because spring cleaning is coming early this year. The new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has people across the country in a cleaning frenzy. For those of you living under a pile of clutter, Kondo is a Japanese professional organizer and author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her method is simple: If an object doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. Sounds easy enough, but what do you do with all the joyless junk that gets accumulated in the process? Luckily, Phoenix has plenty of options when it comes to donating gently used items.
For Clothes: Buffalo Exchange
Ah, clothing. You have too much of it, but at the same time, you can never have enough. Whether you buy a new wardrobe every season or keep timeless pieces for years, there comes a time in every garment's life where it needs to go. At Buffalo Exchange, which has locations in Phoenix at 3450 North Seventh Avenue and Tempe at 227 West University Drive, you can trade in your clothes for either store credit or straight-up cash. Throughout the year, the chain also runs charity events so you can feel confident your clothes are making a difference. Visit buffaloexchange.com for more details.
Not quite sure how to resell your clothes? Learn how here.
For Books: Phoenix Public Library
Books are something that can sneakily creep up on you. You start with a couple and the next thing you know your living space is full of them. There's even a Japanese word, tsundoku, that describes a stack of unread books. But when it comes time to clean, it just feels wrong throwing them away. But thanks to the fine folks at the Phoenix Public Library, your books can continue to spread their knowledge and joy to others. Your donated books will either be added to the collection or sold by Friends of the Phoenix Public Library. Proceeds go directly back to the library. For more info, and to find your local branch, visit phoenixpubliclibrary.org.
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For Household Items: Maggie’s Place
So, your kids have all outgrown their clothes but for some reason you can’t seem to let the items go. Try not to confuse the item as sparking joy now just because it used to bring joy. As Kondo would say, it’s time to thank the clothing item for bringing joy when they were being worn and let them go. Donations to Maggie’s Place benefit homeless expectant and parenting mothers in the Valley, so you can spark joy in others by the very act of giving your things away. Their storefront, Maggie's Thrift at 1517 East McDowell Road, accepts donations of furniture and housewares, clothing for women and children, and working appliances. To learn more, call 602-252-1178 visit maggiesplace.org.
For Used Electronics: Phoenix Zoo
Nothing seems to age faster than a cellphone. Almost as soon as you buy the latest gadget, the next one comes out. This can leave you with a drawer full of lifeless electronics that only add more clutter to your home. The Phoenix Zoo, 455 North Galvin Parkway, has partnered with ECO CELL, a cell phone recycling company, to recycle those old electronics. It’s not just limited to cellphones: The zoo will also accept other electronics, from digital cameras to handheld gaming devices. Get more info at phoenixzoo.org or by calling 602-286-3800.
For Everything Else: Goodwill
If you’re looking for a place to quickly get rid of almost anything, Goodwill's got you covered. The national thrift store chain with dozens of locations in the Valley accepts a wide variety of items, from that lovely holiday sweater your aunt gifted you to your trashy sofa that just needs to go. The best part? Each sale goes back into the community and helps create more job opportunities. Find your nearest location at goodwill.org.