2010 Year in Review: my blog posts from social media to check-in's to promotions
It Was (Will Be) A Great Decade

Clean your closet clutter for charity

By Amanda Ponzar

Closet If you’re like me, you have way too much stuff, and you just got a bunch more for Christmas. So, now what? Whether you’re looking for a last-minute tax deduction for 2010 or you’re ready to turn over a new leaf in 2011, donating your gently used items is the ideal way to clean the clutter while also helping others.

Here are a few options:

  • Habitat for Humanity Restore: a good place to donate large items such as furniture, appliancesReStore_Logo  or fixtures (plus, a great place to shop if you’re remodeling). Funds help build homes for individuals and families. They’ll even send a truck to pick up your large items.
  • Goodwill Industries: sells donated clothes, toys and smaller items. Funds provide job training for people with disabilities or other employment challenges. Goodwill also Goodwill logo provides guidance on how much to claim for a tax deduction.   
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store: sells clothing, furniture, household goods, books, etc. Funds help rehabilitate adults. Also offers a donation value guide. SArmypromo_pickup
  • GoodDonor.org: provides free pick-up at your home to benefit multiple charities like American Cancer Society and Purple Heart; Good Donor takes a fee but claims it’s much less than others that solicit and collect on behalf of charities. If you are able, deliver your items directly to the charity to avoid the fee.
  • Your local library, church or other community organization.
  • A neighbor, coworker, friend or family member who could use the items. Maternity-wear, children’s toys and clothes, etc. are especially popular.

CNlogo As always, before donating your time, talents or treasure, check out Charity Navigator for free, independent charitable evaluations. You can see funds raised, administrative/overhead rates, CEO salaries and much more. Also, the IRS lists charities eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.

Last but not least, never give a donation over the phone to anyone claiming to represent a charity, the police, etc. Most of the time, these are telemarketing companies soliciting donations and pocketing 75-90% of the money!

Re-use. Recycle. Revolutionize the way you help others. It doesn't cost you anything except a little time. Why not get a few bags and start stuffing right now?

(Photo of my closet, 12/30/10)


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caren gittleman

fabulous advice! I already do this at least once a year! I usually do it when the seasons change.

Thanks for the reminder!

Yvonne DiVita

Thanks for the note, Jackie. I so agree, also. I like your mention of animal shelters. In my other life at BlogPaws, we are big on supporting shelters. They can use towels, sheets, old blankets and more. Many shelters have 'wish lists' posted online. When we clean out our closets and pantries, let's remember our animal shelters, too!

Jackie Scott

Great blog and perfect timing! We're all spending way too much time trying to organize clutter. I'm a big fan of living with things you love and getting rid of the rest (its just stuff!). In addition to the charitable organizations you mentioned, some animal shelters will accept used towels & sheets for winter bedding.

Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011!

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