Jessica Duneman, the director of retail at The Resale Shop, a St. Louis thrift store operated by the National Council of Jewish Women, felt the same. “Our regulars donated and strangers donated,” Ms. Duneman said. "People were looking for a place to dump." At one point, she recalled, the store's parking lot had 11 storage units to handle the overflow – dishes, kitchen utensils "and clothing galore".
The quality of resale items rose with quantity, allowing consignment stores like One More Time (clothing) and One More Time Etc (furniture) in Columbus, Ohio to be more selective, said Chris Swanson, the store's owner. It was a similar story with donations to The Thrift Store in Rapid City, S.D. "They are much better than what we normally see," said Jeanni Gossard, the manager of the store, which also benefits the Club for Boys in Rapid City. "During the pandemic, people had more time to pay attention to what they were giving us."
Those who initially had humble clearing out plans – perhaps tidying up a single closet or the kitchen garbage drawer – were soon bewitched.
"I really got into it," said Andrea Burnett, 58, a bookseller who lives with her family in a three-bedroom house in Richmond, California. "Because there was nothing else to do, I saw 'The Home Edit,'" Ms. Burnett said, referring to the Netflix series "Get Organized with the Home Edit." what I could see on this topic became my declutter porn. "
"Do I need this?" became the question Ms. Burnett was mentally asking about almost everything in the house. Few objects could justify their presence. Clothing, appliances, china, lamps, furniture, and art supplies were donated to the Humane Society and a local women's shelter. "The only things that were certain," said Ms. Burnett, "were the French press and my bed."