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Beth rickers/Daily Globe Herman Duin stands in the showroom at Etc. & More, a new business that recently opened on Third Avenue in downtown Worthington.

Etc. & More offers both service and goods

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WORTHINGTON -- While there's plenty of merchandise to be found at downtown Worthington's newest business, Etc. & More, there's more going on at 1018 Third Ave. than meets the eye.

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Etc. & More isn't just a retail outlet. Its owners, Herman and Dedra Duin and Don and Rebecca VanDerLinden, also offer a unique service, gleaning their goods as they help people clean out their abodes, move to a new venue or downsize their belongings.

"We've been juggling the idea for a time," explained Herman Duin, who has a vast employment history that includes working at a nursing home and for the local sanitation company. "We saw a need for it, but it was figuring out how to do it.

"We have a two-part deal," he continued. "We want to help people who need help, whether they're downsizing, going into assisted living or an apartment and can't take all their things with them. They get to the point where they just say, 'Bring us a dumpster,' because they don't know what to do with all their stuff."

The Etc. & More crew also offers their services when a local resident has died. Oftentimes, the survivors are scattered across the country and aren't available to spend days or weeks going through years of accumulated goods. When they've taken what they wanted, Herman and his partners come in, sort out what's usable and get rid of what isn't. They may exchange labor for goods or charge a fee for the service, depending on what's involved and what can be salvaged.

The usable goods are then offered for sale at the Etc. & More store. While a valuable service is provided to the client, usable furniture and other items are kept out of the landfill, also making it a recycling effort.

"We've had some interesting calls," said Herman, even one from a guy trying to sell his kitchen sink, he added with a laugh. "It's enjoyable. The people we deal with, for the most part, are appreciative of what we do."

The key to helping people pare down or get rid of their belongings is that the Etc. & More staff isn't attached sentimentally to the items. And they're not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

"I used to be a dairy farmer," said Herman, "so the work doesn't bother me."

The storefront opened for business about two weeks ago. The building, which Herman and his partners bought, had previously housed a plumbing and heating business, so it required a bit of updating. A fresh coat of paint, new carpeting and curtains create an updated backdrop for the variety of household goods they now offer.

"It's not a lot of space, but hopefully it's big enough, because the stock keeps rotating," Herman said.

A loveseat, futon, recliner, dining room set, bedroom set, desks, display cabinets, several TV sets, small appliances and a wide variety of décor items are currently on display in the Etc. & More showroom. When they find a more unusual piece or something that might be considered an antique or collectible, Dedra does online research to determine its value.

Many items have already found new homes, Herman noted, as there seems to be a need for used furniture in the community.

"We take it out of the hands where they're done with it and put it in the hands of people who need it," summed up Herman about the store's philosophy.

So far, the concept seems to be working. Anyone interested in negotiating a service with Etc. & More is asked to phone first: 376-3825 or 329-2205. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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Beth Rickers
Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  
(507) 376-7327
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