Getting rid of clutter from your home is one of the best things you can do for yourself, whether the aim is to relocate to a new home or you just want to purge before moving. The average American household has thousands of belongings.
The truth is that only a few of those items are in active use. Go through your belongings; if there are items you would like to dispose of, consider donating such items as cell phones, toys, school supplies, clothes, and any other reusable items you no longer need.
You will be able to pack your household for relocation on time when you declutter and also save yourself from spending extra in moving unwanted items.
You will also be doing the environment a favor by donating your unwanted items, and if you opt for a charity donation of such items, you will be doing someone in need a huge favor.
We have done careful and thorough research and come up with the resources you need for a better understanding of what items you should/can donate, the best tax deductions to use, as well as a list of where to donate various items.
Where Can I Donate My Used Belongings?
The organizations below are willing to accept any used items for donation to those in need of it:
This organization sells items donated and assists individuals to get jobs and also develop job skills. They accept items like electronics, furniture, multimedia, clothing and accessories, books, household belongings, and many more.
The Adult Rehabilitation Centers owned by the Salvation Army, which helps people suffering from addiction, is being funded by the proceeds gotten from the Family Stores. Try to donate your household items to one of the Salvation Army’s family stores.
Salvation Army accepts items such as furniture, appliances, clothing, household belongings, and automobiles. You can locate any of the drops off and pick up locations in any of their family stores closest to you as they have many all across the United States.
Kindly consider donating your used books to the local libraries to lighten your bookshelves. Most libraries will accept any of your pre-owned DVD, CDs as well as books. The majority of the libraries will organize library activities, events, and community initiatives using the funds gotten from the sold book donations. Check for one in your locality.
Dress for Success
Women can get professional wears and career development tools from this organization. They accept the donation of items such as nearly new or new suits, other business-relevant attires, and accessories like jewelry, unused cosmetics as well as handbags, and shoes.
Volunteers of America
This organization provides help for the homeless, addicts, at-risk youth, the disabled as well as those returning from prison. They accept items such as household goods, clothing, and other used items at any of their thrift stores, which can be found in various cities in the United States.
This organization focuses on development projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Their domestic thrift stores located across the United States accept good-quality clothing from customers across the globe where they can resell, create employments, and also providing a means of affordable clothing.
The organization sends lesser-quality clothing to recycling facilities where it will be repurposed into other items.
Brides Across America
It gives dresses to wives of military personnel. They accept gowns lesser than five years old and sometimes take vintage gowns. They also accept accessories, veils, and tiaras.
SAFE (Stuffed Animals for Emergencies)
This organization accepts varieties of items such as books, children’s clothes, crayons, coloring books, baby-related items, blankets, and stuffed animals. These items come of great help to children when in situations like illness, homelessness, accidents, weather emergencies, fires, abuse, and neglect. They accept donations at their chapter locations.
Cell Phones for Soldiers
This organization provides communication services and funding to active military troops and veterans free of charge. You can donate new cell phones and tabs or fairly used ones at their drop-off location or send it through the mailing system to them.
This organization accepts computers and other office gadgets, and they donate rebuilt computers to schools, charities, and organizations. They only accept donations in specific cities.
World Computer Exchange
Organizations in developing countries get rebuilt/used computers from this organization. Drop off your donation (working computer) at any of their local chapters or send it through mail to their headquarters.
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore
This is owned by local Habitat for Humanity organizations, and they use the funds gotten here to support local and national Habitat for Humanity housing programs. They accept both new and nicely used furniture at any of their local stores.
Donating is made easy with Excess Access, a donation site. You will first list out all your available belongings for donations such as books, furniture, appliances, and others.
How to Donate Your Used Items to These Organizations?
Turn your junk into valuable. Having discussed various charities and organizations to donate your used items, it is essential to discuss how to do it. Consider the suggestions below to learn how to donate your belongings before relocating properly. It is categorized by items.
- Small appliances like mixers and toasters that are working perfectly are acceptable by the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and other charity organizations. There are different policies on the collection of larger appliances, such as dryers and washers. Check for the specifics with your local branch.
- The system at Excess Access will automatically check the wish lists of the nonprofits on it and inform the closest one of any matches. You and the charity will then make necessary arrangements, and that seals the deal. Pickups are being done by all charity participating in Excess Access. Make sure you have documentation to enable you to claim a tax deduction.
- Ask about large appliances from local nonprofit organizations that manage group homes.
- Check the donation procedures of the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries in your location. You can also try after school programs, homeless shelters, as well as schools for children.
- Research non-profit organizations that deal with the redistribution of technology like the National Cristina Foundation (cristina.org) which shares rebuilt computers in non-profit organizations and schools for students at risk, those affected by the economy, and those with special needs; the computer Recycling Center and Computers & Education (www.crc.org) which also makes rebuilt computers available to non-profit community and public schools as well as the World Computer Exchange (worldcomputerxchange.org) which distribute donated techno-items to kids in developing countries.
- Kidney cars are a program run by the National Kidney Foundation, which help you pick up your old vehicle, sell it, and then collect 67% of the proceeds and use it towards the NKF programs, which are patient services as well as kidney-disease research. There are similar programs available with most notable national charities such as the Cars for Homes by Habitat for Humanity.
- There are also many online organizations waiting to sell your used vehicles and put the money to use for your preferred local or national charity. Such organizations include World Vision. Make sure you conduct proper research on the organization’s non-profit status, your tax benefit, and to also make sure most of the money will be donated to charity even though most of the organizations are legit.
- Contact the vocational college or high school in your area to find out if your old car can be used in any of its auto-repair classes.
- There is a recycling program available with Lions Clubs International that distributes eyeglasses to those in need all across the globe. The Lions partner with a foundation funded by Luxottica known as OneSight. Luxottica owns LensCrafters and other eye-care businesses. This implies that the easiest way to donate is to drop old eyeglasses at LensCrafters, Sears Optical, Pearle Vision, or Target Optical locations.
- 5 million people, all across the globe have benefited from the glasses provided by New Eyes for the Needy. The charity organization accepts unbroken plastic frame eyeglasses, hearing aids, metal frames (any condition), and sunglasses. Jewelry and giftware are also acceptable and are sold to gather more money for glasses.
- Thrift shops that are operated by charity always request for infants and children’s supplies such as diapers, strollers, etc. Although cribs and playpens are acceptable, they must meet up with all federal and voluntary safety requirements.
How to Get Tax Deductions from Your Donations?
Always ensure you keep your donation receipts. The charity organization should provide you with a receipt for tax deduction immediately after you drop off your donation with them. You may be able to save a lot on taxes when it’s time to pay for them.
How to deduct?
- Create a list of your donations: Create a list of all the stuff you donate and attach the tax deduction receipt you received from the nonprofit. Keep the receipt for your taxes. The receipt is your proof of donation when the IRS comes for auditing.
- Determination of valuation: The value of the stuff donated is determined by the stuff itself and its condition. You can evaluate the item by using the current fair market value. Before you can use the deduction, the item donated must be in good shape. Donation Value Guide is available with the Salvation Army and Goodwill. You can also check the IRS’s publication for a better understanding of the procedures for donating used belongings.
- Cars: To determine the worth of your car, make use of the Kelly Blue Book but note that if your car is not in good condition, deducting the full-blue book value may not be possible. The IRS requires an independent appraisal if the value of an item is over $5,000. Check the American Society of Appraisers to get an appraiser.
What are the Eligible Charities to Receive My Donation?
Before-tax can be deducted from your donated items; the charity organization must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501c(3) tax-exempt organization.
Call 877-829-5500 or check www.irs.gov/eo/to check the registration status of a charity. You can also research charity on Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, or Charity Watch.
Remember that the rating system used by each site differs. Also, research how each organization is spending money. This can be simply determined by requesting a yearly report of the charity as well as an IRS form 990.
The expenses that qualify for deductions include the ones donated to such organizations, nonprofit hospitals, churches, schools, and some government agencies.
What are the Items that may not be Acceptable at Donation Centers?
You will frequently come across the term “gently used” when looking for places to donate items such as appliances, clothes, and other belongings. This implies that items that are in good shape, and presentable.
Always remember that not all items are acceptable at donation centers. You are required to contact each organization in advance to know the items that are acceptable and/or not. Among the list of items that are not acceptable are:
- upholstered items with tears,
- pet odors,
- stains or rips;
- hazardous materials,
- mirrors or glass that has no frame,
- broken glass,
- single pane and storm windows,
- corner tubs,
- broken flooring,
- cultured marble tubs,
- metal blinds,
- damaged lighting, and
- outdated electronics.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide which clothes to donate before a relocation?
Deciding to sell or donate some of your clothes may be a tough decision, especially if you spent a lot of time and money procuring most of those items. It is, however, helpful to downsize before moving, as it reduces your moving cost.
Take out all your clothes from various drawers and closets and place them on your bed. Then make a pile of clothes that you have not worn in the past year. These are items you should definitely donate or sell, as you are unlikely to wear them again.
If you are still left with too many clothes, assess the condition of each item. If a shirt or sweater isn’t a favorite and is slightly worn but still wearable, it is likely a good candidate for donating. Clothing that isn’t wearable should be thrown away rather than loading up a donation center with unusable goods.
How can I motivate myself to donate items that have significant personal meaning in my life?
Donating or selling items that have an emotional or sentimental value is very challenging, especially when you are relocating. Everything in your life is changing and giving away possessions may seem like too much change.
One way to donate items that mean a lot to you is to offer them to friends and family. If you have a sofa bed that you love, but does not fit in your new home, donating it to someone you love would bring you comfort.
Sometimes donating clothes to Goodwill can feel impersonal. If you give away those clothes to friends, family members or co-workers, you will feel a lot better about parting with a sentimental item.
Is there a way to determine the value of older possessions?
Yes, one of the best ways to start the donation process is to determine if any of your older possessions have significant value. Vintage clothes, one of a kind electronics, comic books, first edition novels, and rare items retain and sometimes rise in value over time.
Search online for any items you think could have value based on their rarity or the cost of procuring the item. Try websites such as eBay and Craigslist to see the offers for items similar to yours.
If an item has a value of over $50, it may be worth listing online and shipping to the recipient. Even if you sell ten or fifteen such items, you could make a lot of money, and put that cash towards your upcoming relocation.
Should I donate or sell unwanted items before or after the movers come to my home?
It is always recommended that you donate or sell items before you start the packing process. An overcrowded home is a lot harder to pack.
Spend a couple of days deciding on items to sell and donate, and then removing those items from your home. You will be surprised at how much more space opens up when you get rid of everything that you no longer needed.
Now you will have a lot more space to bring packing supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape into your home. Then you can take one room at a time and pack everything into boxes, ensuring the items are ready to go on the day the movers arrive.
What should I do with all my moving supplies after my relocation is complete?
Most families that move cross country are left with a ton of unwanted boxes and bubble wrap when their relocation is complete. If you are envisioning such a situation, look for organizations in that area that take moving boxes and supplies.
There are also websites such as Boxcycle.com where you can attempt to sell your moving boxes, provided they are in still in good condition after the move.
Now that you are equipped with the required knowledge to get rid of your item and donate them, it is time to plan for your move. Search for a mover on Moving Feedback’s list of reputable and trustworthy moving companies when you are done donating your unwanted items. The movers on our network will not give you any headache all through the relocation as they are all licensed and insured. You can also read our post about how Junk removal works. Enjoy your move!