Clutter-Free Spaces Provide Cash-Filled Registers

In a recent post at, we shared with donors helpful hints on how to remove the clutter from their home during the moving process. Whether it’s moving or just cleaning out, everyone seeks out the peace that comes from a clutter-free space. To this point, thousands of dollars are spent annually helping individuals get organized in their own spaces.

So, what about your thrift store? When a shopper enters your store, do they find a clutter-free space?

You may think it’s impossible for a thrift store to be clutter-free. The donations received come in various shapes and sizes, creating a challenge to organize everything. But with a few simple steps, you can make your store clutter-free.

From Clutter-Filled to Clutter-Free in Four Steps

  1. Control the amount of small items placed on your shelves.  We get so many coffee mugs and flower vases we could easily fill our store. Dedicate just one section of shelving to those items and don’t let those items overflow to the rest of the shelves.
  2. Don’t sell broken items or items with missing pieces. Whether they were put out that way or customers took parts and pieces off of the items, make sure items have all the pieces and are displayed together. No one is going to buy an electronic with no chord or a doll house with no door.
  3. Maintain a consistent pull schedule. While its easier in clothing, hard goods take a little more effort to pull the oldest items and replace with new.  Take the time to check stickers and maintain your pull schedule. If you are not on a pull schedule, remember your shelf space is your greatest asset. Always be on the lookout to replace lower priced items with higher priced items. This will eliminate clutter, give your store a better overall look, and increase your average ring.
  4. Protect your cash wrap. Your cash wrap is for checking out customers. It is not the place to set stuff down or display favorite items of certain employee. If you do display items on the counter, make sure they are out of the way and neatly displayed so the don’t become a distraction. Step out of our cash wrap and look at it from a customers perspective. Do they feel like they are at T.J. Maxx or in a flea market booth? Having a clutter free check out experience can go a long way to improving the look of your store and brand of your organization.

Don’t Look Like a Thrift Store

These four simple steps create a clutter-free store and give your customers a better experience. Take advantage of these ideas, as well as your own, to give your customers a department store experience versus a typical cluttered thrift experience.  Just because we are thrift stores doesn’t mean we have to look like one.  Everything is either adding to or taking away from your brand.  Remember that thought in your day-to-day operations and give your customers a great  experience.

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