South End Goodwill sees spike in donations inspired by joy of 'Tidying Up'

BOSTON — Imagine a life that’s lighter.

Your home is free of clutter, there’s no battling a Tupperware avalanche, your kids don’t create a tornado every time they pull a sweater from a stack, and every single thing hanging in your closet is something you love to wear.

Scroll through Facebook and you’ll find friends who swear it’s an attainable fantasy.

Needham's Corinne Morahan is one of them. She's a devotee of a woman named Marie Kondo -- and a little Kondo crazy.


Kondo is an unlikely person to be helping us tidy up the American dream.

For starters, the 4-foot-7-inch Tokyo resident doesn’t speak English.

Her Netflix show, "Tidying Up," which debuted in January, relies on subtitles (Kondo's interpreter, Marie Iida, helps live translate on the show) and she has a habit of speaking to objects -- mainly to thank them.

"It’s kind of quirky, but it really kind of worked as I was going around my house and looking at all my different possessions," Morahan explained. "It really helped me figure out what to keep and what to let go of.”

The idea is to hold on to things that "spark joy." If something doesn’t, thank the item for its service and let it go.

And here’s the thing, people are letting go of their stuff -- a lot of people.

"We definitely started hearing sometime after early January, we definitely started hearing from donors that they'd seen the show," said James Harder, of Goodwill Industries on Harrison Avenue in Boston.

Harder says the organization has seen a bump in donations since the show began.

"This gentleman from Peabody, he came to our attendant and he said I’ve just been watching this show with my wife and we’ve really become obsessed with it and now we’re bringing things here all the time," he told Boston 25 News. "We hear stories like that over and over again.”

That’s good news for Goodwill, which sells the donated items to fund their charitable programs.

"It really is a win/win for everyone, you’re donating, you’re cleaning out your closet," Harder said. "It’s good for the landfill and you’re also helping people who have barriers to employment."

And it's not the only sign that a Kondo conversion is underway. Netflix is notoriously secretive when it comes to how many people watch their programs. But just before "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” debuted, its star had about 200,000 followers on Twitter. After about a month, she now has well over a million.

It makes sense to Morahan.

"I think people have an awareness now of how much our stuff weighs us down," she said. "I feel so much lighter."

She adds she's also living with much more joy.

>> Donate Prom Dresses Through March 30th

Comments on this article