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Spring Cleaning

Local Donation and Consignment Options Benefitting Memphis and Putting a Little Cash in Your Pocket

As a convenient transition between winter and spring, March feels like the ideal time to thoroughly clean out our homes and dispose of any unwanted items. Days are getting warmer, but not too hot yet, providing an opportunity to declutter your attic and try on your spring and summer clothes before adding them back into your closet. Once you have successfully completed this task and have an abundance of items you are ready to part with, where is the best place to take them? I polled our River City Lifestyle team about where they like to donate or consign items that no longer have a place in their homes or closets, and I received a variety of responses. Because of the many wonderful options in Memphis, your items can help improve our city in a variety of ways and may even be able to make you a little money!

Neighborhood Christian Centers (NCC) was established in 1978 to help underprivileged families break the cycle of poverty. Dedicated to uplifting lives, nurturing futures and fostering a sense of pride in our beloved city, NCC serves the Memphis community through 10 neighborhood-based sites. Donations of non-perishable foods, office supplies, snacks for youth programs, seasonal clothing, furniture and appliances are all needed. You can drop off your items at their 223 Scott Street location Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or schedule a pick-up on their website (ncclife.org).

Memphis Habitat for Humanity helps local families build strength, stability and self-reliance by providing decent, affordable shelter. Their Memphis ReStore, located at 7130 Winchester Road, accepts donations of gently used furniture, appliances, building supplies and housewares they then sell to families at deeply discounted prices. Call Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday to schedule a donation pick-up.

The Junior League Repeat Boutique sells gently used clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings, housewares and children's items at thrift store prices. Donations are accepted Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at their store located at 3586 Summer Avenue. Donations and sales support their ongoing neighborhood revitalization projects.

Not surprisingly, many people donate their used items to local Goodwill centers. With 18 Memphis stores open 7 days a week, the ease and convenience is unparalleled. In many locations, a helpful volunteer will take the donated items directly out of your vehicle and offer you a tax donation receipt.

For more special items, there are a few local consignment options that may enable you to put a little cash in your pocket while you exercise your organizational skills. For designer label clothing, consignment is easy at Celery Women’s Boutique. Located at 732 East Brookhaven Circle, the helpful staff will gladly accept your seasonal clothing on hangers, cleaned and pressed. Consignors receive 40% of sales for items under $300 and 50% for items priced above $300. Special occasion dresses are one of the hottest selling items, alongside designer handbags and jewelry.

Sugar Plum Consignments, located at 6100 Primacy Parkway, operates similarly to Celery Boutique and they also regularly donate unsold items to different organizations around Memphis. They also have an in-store donation jar, referred to as their positive change initiative, for customers to add to the donations, which are matched 100% up to $500 by Sugar Plum’s owners.

New to Me Tennessee, owned by Memphian Ashley Baine, is a great resource for consigning all home furnishings, art and lighting. For a small fee, Ashley will come to your home and measure, photograph and research best descriptions for all items you wish to sell. You keep 70 percent of the sales, compared to the 50 percent offered at most consignment stores. Ashley says, “My best sellers are antique or high-end vintage dining pieces. Armoires are a hard sell because people no longer use them for TVs. People love Empire commodes, or chests and dining chair sets that are in great condition.”

Consignments Antique Store, located at 2300 Central Avenue, accepts antique furnishings, housewares and jewelry for consignment. They have a wide selection of sterling silver.

If you have somewhere in your home to store the items, the Les Pasees Stock Exchange is another great option to sell your furniture, art, rugs  and housewares.  Running for six weeks each fall, the stock exchange begins accepting items from consignors in August and pays sellers 30% of sales. Each year, proceeds from the auction go to support local charities, including Madonna Learning Center and Room in the Inn Memphis. Check out their website lpmemphis.org for more information as we get closer to August.

Stacey Saed, owner of Annestasis, Inc., a local relocation specialty service company, says, "I believe that our possessions bless us most when we consider them like the flow of a stream. Older things must be offloaded as new things come into our home. Our possessions can either enrich our existence or overwhelm and deplete our dwellings. It is the balance of giving and receiving that produces health." This March, let's find balance by donating and consigning to local organizations that benefit our city and provide us with extra funds to enjoy shopping and purchasing new items that bring us joy!

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