Tidying up? How an Edmonton initiative gives your clutter a cause

Click to play video: 'Declutter Movement helps ‘Find Edmonton’'
Declutter Movement helps ‘Find Edmonton’
WATCH: General manager David Lopez talks about Find Edmonton, an organization that helps Edmontonians with the items they need to transition out of homelessness – Jan 20, 2019

The popularity of Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has inspired people around the world to downsize and declutter. Now, there’s an Edmonton option for things that no longer “spark joy” — one that beats the landfill.

Find Edmonton is a furniture bank that gives free furniture to people moving out of homelessness or the Housing First program.

General manager David Lopez told 630 CHED the transition to more secure housing can be difficult.

“One of the big barriers of homelessness is when they get housing, they must have furniture in that home,” Lopez said.

LISTEN BELOW: How a “tidying” show has led to record amounts of thrift store donations

The organization is anticipating the declutter movement might help stock the shelves.

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“We’re hoping because of [Kondo’s] popularity we will get even more stuff and we can help even more people,” Lopez said. “We are starting to see an increase in donations following the declutter movement.”

The company has been busy — last year was the company’s best, furnishing more than 1,400 homes.

“Right now, we are booking one week in advance. We furnish six to eight homes a day,” Lopez said.

The company’s parent organization Homeward Trust gets clients housing, then contacts Find Edmonton to help furnish the space.

“When I first started working with Find, a gentleman who picked out his own chair told me, ‘This is my first chair in over ten years,’” Lopez said.

During a volunteer event, Lopez heard another story of Find’s impact.

“This person told me, ‘I picked out items at Find Edmonton and when I got settled on my feet, I started donating back to Find,’” said Lopez. “That’s how I know this program is working. It’s helping people when they need help and then they are helping back.”

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Lopez admitted he’s been doing his own decluttering at home.

“I love it. We’re in the process of donating a bunch of furniture to Find right now and Bissell Centre and other partners,” said Lopez. “Then you can come to our store and find new things that bring you joy.”

Find Edmonton is looking for larger items like sofas or dining room tables, but it also accepts smaller items like pots and pans, shelving, home decor, books and media.

If you would like to donate, call 780-988-1717 to schedule an appointment for a free pick-up service.


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