Tidying Up With Kondo? Use Your Junk for Good

Trapped indoors due to a Polar Vortex?  Thanks to some inspiration from Netflix and Marie Kondo, you and your family may finally find the time to really assess your possessions and discover what you use, what “sparks joy” and what no longer serves your needs.  An added benefit of all this purging across the nation may be providing people in need with warm clothing, bedding, shoes, boots and even furniture. 

While making your piles of what may be garbage and what is headed to be donated, consider who in your own neighborhood could most benefit from a gently used winter coat or insulated boots.  According to the National Council on Aging, more than 25 million Americans over the age of 60 are living below the federal poverty level.  These seniors struggle to find affordable housing and face rising health care expenses, food insecurity and lack of access to transportation. 

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the number of homeless older persons between the ages of 50 and 64 who do not qualify for old age governmental benefits, is growing.  Older homeless people are more likely to suffer from physical and cognitive impairments, social isolation and depression.  The first step in addressing homelessness among the older population is to work toward creating permanent affordable housing and healthcare.  In addition to donating warm clothes and blankets this time of year, charitable organizations that collect furniture and other household goods can help older adults find housing and live a more secure and healthy life. 

In North America, Furniture Bank collects gently used furniture and household furnishings and provides them to families and individuals in need including the previously homeless, unemployed and working poor. The Salvation Army and Goodwill collect donations and re-sell clothes and household items at modest prices or you can drop off gently worn items at a local homeless shelter.  Socks, blankets, hats, gloves and coats are all greatly needed this winter, which has been particularly harsh in many parts of Canada and the United States. 

You can learn more about the KonMari method, the Netflix show and how to start tidying up and enjoying your life more by following this link to the KonMari website.