You’ve Tidied Up Thanks to Marie Kondo — Now Your Stuff Can Bring Someone Joy

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Marie Kondo
Photo courtesy Flickr/Emily May

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to announce that Nancy Peham, a certified Certified Professional Organizer® with more than 15 years of experience under her belt has joined us as a contributor and columnist. For her first installment, we tasked her with helping us address all that stuff that didn’t bring us joy when we got our Kon Mari on.

By Nancy Peham
Special Contributor

Have you heard of Marie Kondo, the current rage in organizing gurus?  If not you’re probably living under a rock! The petite Japanese queen of “tidying up” has been the talk of the media recently due to her current Netflix mini-series.

She’s the author of “The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up,” and “Spark Joy.”

In a nutshell, her philosophy states that if your possessions don’t spark joy in your life then you should get rid of them.

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Among other things, Marie Kondo advocates thanking each item as you let it go.  I agree that we should all be grateful for everything we have, especially since there are so many people less fortunate right here in Dallas.  The Kon Mari method may not be for everyone, but if you’re ready to part with piles of clothing, household items, or furniture, then check out the information below.  

Here’s a list of some lesser-known, Dallas-area charities that would love to take your gently used items and help those in need.  Each one has a special mission and purpose, so choose the one that speaks to you and “spark joy” in those less fortunate.

Attitudes & Attire

Attitudes & Attire® is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting personal growth for women seeking self-sufficiency. Their program provides the tools that raise self-esteem, promote ethics and build the confidence necessary to develop successful life skills. Their vision is to build confidence and change lives of the women they serve.

What they need: High-quality professional women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and new hosiery.  They also accept donations of cell phones. See the website for clothing guidelines and wish list.

How to get it there: Drop off at any Bibbentuckers dry cleaners or at the Attitudes & Attire office.  See website for details.

Austin Street Center

Austin Street Center provides safe shelter and meets the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless.

Founded in 1983, Austin Street Center is an emergency shelter that serves men, ages 45 and older, and women, ages 18 and older. Each person who finds shelter with them is provided a safe place to sleep, showers, clothing, and meals.

Once their basic needs are met, they can begin working on other aspects of their lives that will help them transition out of homelessness.  See the website to learn more about their programs and services.

What they need: Clothing — clean and in good condition.  See website for wish list and exclusions.

How to get it there: You may drop off your donations at their site.  See website for hours and location.

Catholic Charities of Dallas

Catholic Charities of Dallas serves, advocates for, and empowers people in need regardless of race, religion, age, gender, or national origin and calls the community to action.  Search “services” on their website to learn about all the ways they help.

What they need: Gently used clothing, home furnishings, various household items such as dishes, utensils, pots, pans, home decor, and linens.

How to get it there: Drop off at their office or request pickup online.  See website for details.

Dallas Furniture Bank

Dallas Furniture Bank provides furniture to families transitioning from homelessness to normalcy and independence.

DFB collects basic household furniture from private households and businesses and stores them in a warehouse for future distribution.  They coordinate the transfer of unwanted, usable furniture from people that wish to dispose of it, to those who desperately need it. Working with social service agencies that refer clients to them, DFB provides this basic furniture to previously homeless families and others in need.

What they need: Gently or lightly used basic household furnishing and accessories.  See website for an extensive list of items that are and are not accepted.

How to get it there: Schedule a pickup online.  There is a charge of $19.99 which can be paid by phone.

Dwell With Dignity

Dwell with Dignity’s mission is to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design.  They design and install complete home interiors for families in need. The families are nominated by existing social service organizations that have programs in place to help struggling families attain self-sufficiency.

What they need: Gently used furniture and home decor.  See website for items they can accept.

How to get it there: Request pickup online.

The Family Place

The Family Place empowers victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling, and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence.  Services are free of charge.

What they need: Clothing and home goods.  

How to get it there: Drop off your donations at the Family Place Resale Shop in Dallas or The Family Place Resale Boutique in McKinney.  See website for addresses and hours of operation.

Genesis Women’s Shelter

The mission of Genesis Women’s Shelter is to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact.  Because their location cannot be disclosed all donations go to their store. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the store go directly toward providing services at no cost to recipients.

What they need: Gently used items including men’s and women’s clothing, furniture, housewares, and more.  

How to get it there: You may drop off your donations at the Benefit Thrift Store in Dallas. For furniture and other items, there is limited pickup depending on your location.

Habitat For Humanity

Their vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

What they need: Habitat accepts furniture, decor, household goods and a wide variety of home building supplies.  From windows to flooring to hardware and more. Check the website for an extensive list.

How to get it there: They have a simple donation process.  “You call, we haul.” Items are sold in one of their four area Restores. See website for locations.

Soul’s Harbor

Soul’s Harbor is a 501(c)3 member organization committed to helping men help themselves, and breaking the cycle of homelessness. Soul’s Harbor offers the men of their shelter a program that provides the basic tools that will help facilitate their reintegration back into society.

What they need: Clothing, furniture, appliances, toys, books, miscellaneous.  Contact Soul’s Harbor regarding furniture donations to be sure they meet the guidelines.

How to get it there: Request pickup online.  The donation form asks how many boxes/bags you have in each category, so you may want to estimate ahead of time.

St. Vincent de Paul

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocesan Council of Dallas is a nonprofit Catholic lay organization that provides temporary assistance for basic needs as well as educational, advocacy and referral support to promote self-sufficiency.  The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores work with the Society providing vouchers to those in need so that they can shop for clothing, furniture or household goods. All proceeds from the thrift stores go back into the Society to fund programs and services. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul assists those in need regardless of race, creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political affiliations.

What they need: Gently used clothing, furniture, and household goods.  See website for guidelines and exclusions.

How to get it there: There are several thrift stores in Dallas and surrounding areas, plus scattered donation bins where you can personally drop off your donations.  Check online for locations and hours. You may also schedule a pickup online if your donation includes furniture items.

Nancy Peham, a Certified Professional Organizer® and member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, is celebrating 17 years as an organizer and owner of Helping Hands Personal Services. She can be reached through her website, or at

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