Marie Kondo-ing: What items not to donate to charity

Summer is often the time Kiwis declutter their homes, but this year a hit Netflix show has helped second-hand stores receive mountains of donated goods.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo teaches people to get rid of excess household items that don't "spark joy", meaning they often get donated charity.

But many of the items don't spark joy for charities, either.

Red Cross Regional Retail Manager Taina O'Leary says a lot of items they're getting they have to dispose of.

"Our disposal costs are increasing year-on-year and it can be very disheartening for our volunteers to spend time going through other people's rubbish," she said.

"This is a time of year when people have time at home and want to have a clear-out, so we do get a lot of donations at this time of year.

"We get a lot of unwanted gifts and people decluttering. Marie Kondo has been mentioned a few times, with her techniques. What I'd like to encourage people to do is be deliberate and mindful in what they donate."

Ms O'Leary said it's "sad' when charities get items they can't sell and have to throw out. She reckons Tidying Up with Marie Kondo could go an extra step and tell viewers what to do with their unwanted items.

What charities don't want:

  • Lots of children's toys - especially plastic ones
  • Printers and other electronic items where the working order is difficult to ascertain
  • Clothing in a poor condition

What they do want:

  • Lots of good quality, good condition, clothing
  • Homewares
  • Furniture

And your larger items that are of a good condition, they'll even save you a trip.

"If you're downsizing, we'd love to help you out. We've got trucks on the road that are available to come and pick up your goods - you just need to ring one of our local stores to see if they're available in your area."

More information on how to donate to the Red Cross is available on its website.