Look around your house. You could almost be on one of the TV clutter shows. You trip over stuff that you haven’t seen, much less used, in the past 50 years. Most mechanical things you don’t even know how to use. And, where can you buy film for one of those old cameras; or get it developed?

I have switched to jeans, so have no use for all the stained, checkered pants with zippers that don’t work that I inherited from other old male relatives. The style is not coming back. And, how many three-piece suits that don’t fit do I need? And, of course, with cremation, there is no need for a suit to be buried in.

Your kids don’t want your stuff; and, you can’t even get your spouse to take it in the divorce. It keeps piling up.

Look at the bright side. You still pay taxes! If you pay taxes, you get deductions including charitable contributions, so….. Let’s donate the stuff.

Old cameras and cell phones to be donated.

Old cameras and cell phones to be donated.

You need to find a 501(c)(3) charity that accepts used goods. Your donation is tax deductible. My wife and I use St. John’s Thrift Store in Albuquerque or Assistance League. You can search the internet for a charity near you. You haul your stuff in, they take it, sort it, and sell it cheaply to support what they do. They give you a receipt that doesn’t list what you donated; that’s for you to fill out.

It is a win-win-win solution; some clutter is gone; you have done a good deed; someone gets to put your  junk to good use; and, you can deduct the value of your donation from your taxes.

How do you value this stuff? Even though the non-profits can’t value it for you; and, you really don’t want to know what they think it is worth, there are on-line lists that will help you.

Salvation Army




And, what does the IRS think  about all this? No problem as long as you follow the rules.

It is easier than a yard sale; you won’t trip and fall over the stuff; and, you can reduce your taxes.

Try it; but, remember, you are not getting any younger. Donate while you can still drive to the thrift store.

WARNING! A thrift store is a dangerous place. I found a great denim jacket for $8 and several paperbacks for a quarter each. I was intrigued by a number of things I hadn’t seen for years. I may go back with my tax refund.


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