Let’s wrap up this week of spring cleaning by dealing with Lost & Found. (As an aside, the name Lost & Found bothers me. I mean, shouldn’t it be called just Found?)
Every spring and fall, you can announce to your customers that–to make room for the next season of found items–the current contents of Lost & Found are going away. Allow 2 to 3 weeks for the process of getting the word out and encouraging folks to come in. You can put a sign on the door and announce the “event” through your newsletter with something like this:
“Have you been missing your umbrella? Your brown gloves? Your favorite pair of sunglasses? If you lost them in our store, there’s always a chance that we found them. Our Lost & Found box is completely full, so we’re beginning the semi-annual purging-of-the-found-items process. This isn’t a free-for-all to look through the box, but instead, a match-game of sorts. Email or call us with a description of your lost item, and we’ll diligently look through our found items for a match. We’ll play this game through April 15. After that, you’ll be able to buy back that left shoe from Good Will.”
You can also have some fun with it on social media, especially with odd items like a stray sock, text books, or a binkie. You might find the rightful owner, but you’re also spreading the word of the purge.
By limiting the claiming time, you’re also establishing a deadline to take the found items to Good Will or other thrift shop of your choice. If you want to make it really easy on yourself, take the entire Lost & Found box there and start a new one at the store. (Maybe you’ll just label the new one Found, huh?)
Oh, and if you find any reading glasses, they’re probably mine.