At the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Everett, Inga Paige shows a wide range of merchandise, bargain furniture to clothing and holiday decor. The store sees an increase in donations of used goods after the holidays. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

At the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Everett, Inga Paige shows a wide range of merchandise, bargain furniture to clothing and holiday decor. The store sees an increase in donations of used goods after the holidays. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Too much stuff? Yours can help others through thrift shops

After the December holidays, nonprofits that operate retail outlets see big increases in donations.

They don’t want your old mattress, bed pillow or outdated refrigerator. And find someplace else to take that leftover paint. But thrift shops run by charitable organizations are otherwise glad to help with a common New Year’s resolution: cleaning out closets and clearing clutter.

At Everett’s St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, donations of used goods are definitely up as the season of celebration comes to a close.

“On the Monday after Christmas, before the day was over, we had 50 cars here,” all bringing donations, said Inga Paige, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul’s North Sound Council. At other times of year, “we won’t get that many in a week.”

“With all the new stuff for Christmas, this is one of our bigger times — now and late spring,” Paige said. “We do get a lot of stuff right after Christmas,” agreed Jim Kresge, a production manager at the shop.

On Friday, holiday decor was on sale for 75% off previous prices. Sundays are 99-cent clothing days, “everything except blue tags,” Kresge said.

Just in time for a big playoff game Sunday, the shop had a rack of Seahawks garb. “Some of it’s even new,” Paige said. Music was playing in the shop, a Christian song rather than “Thrift Shop,” the hit by Seattle’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that aimed to make bargain hunting a hip-hop phenomenon.

Bookshelves at the back of the store were stocked, but there wasn’t a copy of Marie Kondo’s bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

The Everett store accepts and sells used furniture that’s in acceptable condition. A massive hutch and buffet, with glassed-in shelves, was marked “Super Value” at $49.99, while a not-bad couch was $84.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a volunteer and charitable organization affiliated with the Catholic Church. The nonprofit’s North Sound Council spans from Snohomish County to the Canadian border, and includes more than a dozen parishes, Paige said.

Through shop sales and parish donations — Catholic churches support their own St. Vincent conferences — people are helped with rent and deposits, gas and hotel vouchers, through food banks at area churches, and in other ways. “A lot of that work is happening at the parish level,” Paige said.

The Everett St. Vincent de Paul shop, at 6424 Broadway, has a walk-up window where people in need, especially those who are homeless, may request vouchers to shop in the store. Hats, coats and sometimes even tents are kept to provide for people with the greatest needs.

Also at the Everett site, a volunteer answers a resource line that Paige said gets calls for help all day every day. St. Vincent de Paul also operates a thrift shop in Monroe.

The New & Again Thrift Shoppe, at 3010 Grand Ave. in Everett, also gets a boost in donations after the holidays. “We do see a lot more,” said Amber McGuire, shop manager.

Operated by Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, the shop’s greatest need is for women’s clothing, nice shoes and purses. The agency’s clients get vouchers to “shop” in the store. “It’s all free to them,” McGuire said.

The shop will take donated furniture, but only if a donor calls first and gets the item approved. Mattresses and appliances aren’t taken.

There are Goodwill stores in the area, too — including one in downtown Everett, another on Southwest Everett Mall Way and one on Marysville’s State Avenue — all affiliated with Seattle Goodwill. Along with selling used clothing, furniture and housewares, the nonprofit provides job training and education.

Seattle Goodwill spokesperson Crystal Mirth wasn’t available Friday, but Davis Ma, a donations coordinator with the nonprofit, listed “stuff we don’t take:” paint or hazardous items like bug spray, mattresses and box springs, and large appliances such as dishwashers or dryers.

“We take almost everything else, even if it’s out of season — Halloween decorations, Christmas decorations, clothes, toys and household,” he said. Goodwill also takes some electronics, “working or nonworking,” he said.

What about treasures? Wonderful yard-sale finds occasionally show up on “Antiques Roadshow.” Has Paige seen many of those?

Not often, she said, although people have donated valuable coins and vintage record albums.

On Friday, she recalled a recent donation of Barbie Dolls of the World — each still in its box and clothed in an outfit signifying a foreign land. Remembering Scottish Barbie with a tartan skirt and sash, Paige searched the shop. No luck, though.

“Someone must have bought it,” she said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460;

Thrift shops

These are among local thrift shops run by nonprofits that accept donations:

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Everett: 6424 Broadway. Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. 425-355-3525.

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Monroe: 17150 W. Main St. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (donations until 5:30 p.m.). 360-863-8063.

Goodwill downtown Everett: 3002 Hoyt Ave. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. 425-252-6163.

Goodwill south Everett: 228 SW Everett Mall Way. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 425-353-0957.

Goodwill Marysville: 9315 State Ave. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 360-653-4337.

New & Again Thrift Shoppe, run by Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County: 3010 Grand Ave., Everett. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 425-258-4428.

Assistance League of Everett Thrift Store: 5107 Evergreen Way. Open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, donations accepted 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 425-252-3011.

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