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The new year is a great time to clear clutter from your home or change up decor, and local thrift stores offer ways to do it on a budget.
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The Queens Wardrobe Thrift Shoppe in Idaho Springs has already seen an influx of donations in 2023 and the ReStore in Evergreen has been holding steady with donations and encourages thrifters to come by to check out rapidly changing inventory.
Cheyenne Gerhardus has only been the manager of Queens Wardrobe Thrift Shoppe for a month and a half, but she’s a self-proclaimed “thrift store queen,” meaning she’s familiar with the ins and outs of how a second-hand shop operates.
2023 just started, but Gerhardus has already been getting inundated with donations.
“(Thursday) we got slammed for donations and we weren’t even open for donations,” she said.
Queens Wardobe only accepts donations on Fridays and Saturdays.
So far, Gerhardus has seen some themes in the donations in the new year. Items including Christmas decor, holiday items, summer clothes and other hand-me-downs.
Luckily, Queens Wardrobe has a warehouse to store items that can’t go out on the shop floor, like seasonal items and merchandise that simply won’t fit. That keeps Gerhardus from turning away donations, but some things, she said, shouldn’t be donated at all.
“We get a lot of items that I don’t want to put out,” she said.
Things like worn-out shoes, clothes with holes and broken items frequently are donated to the shop. This makes more work for the already few volunteers, who have to throw the items out.
“Take into consideration, if you were to go into a thrift store, is it something you would buy again?” Gerhardus said.
The Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Evergreen isn't seeing the same influx of donations, but the store isn't exactly stagnant. Assistant manager Stephanie Wilhelm explains about the quickly turning merchandise the store holds.
"We get donations on the hour, so we get things very quickly and they move out just as quick," she said.
The ReStore sees many donations of larger furniture and appliances, especially when people are remodeling. It even accepts all types of metal for recycling.
Gerhardus had some tips for those looking to donate in the new year. She advised to spread out donations to multiple stores to avoid overwhelming small shops, to consider the lifespan of certain things and if you are looking to shop at a thrift store, evaluate your own closet and be willing to give a bag if you buy a bag.
Wilhelm said if you're hoping to find something specific at ReStore, don't be afraid to hop on the phone to ask about it.
"Just checking on a daily basis if they're looking for a treasure or something specific," she said.
Queens Wardrobe Thrift Shoppe is celebrating 35 years of business in January with a 35% off everything in the store sale.
Queens Wardrobe Thrift Shoppe is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and only accepts donations on Friday and Saturday. The shop also is seeking volunteers, who receive a 50% off discount in the store after a trial period of volunteering.
Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity ReStore is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Small items may be donated only on these days, and large item donations must be scheduled.
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