Tuesday, August 5, 2008

donate your unused things

If you are anything like me, there are several items around your home that you no long use or need. They might be perfectly useful to someone else but there they sit, cluttering up your home and robbing valuable space from other, more important things! Plus, you will often get a tax deduction depending on how much stuff you donate and who wouldn't want a tax deduction!

Many of my clients tell me that they don't know what they can donate and they don't know where to bring their things... so I've put together a general list of suggestions for all of you to think about the next time you want to donate your things.
  • donate only things that might still be useful to someone else. If it's broken, badly stained or contains a strong oder, it should be thrown away, not donated. I've talked with several nonprofit organization that say they fill dumpsters full of trashy items people bring in each week. Please do not bring something away just because you don't feel like throwing it away.
  • keep the pieces together...no one wants to find one shoe but not the other, or a puzzle with 4 missing pieces. If you donate something, take the time to get it somewhat organized before you just drop it all at the door of an organization.
  • before donating electronics such as computers, televisions or cell phones, make sure you ask the person in charge what they do and do not accept. There are several locations that will not accept certain electronics...especially computer. Most of the time they will be able to direct you to an organization that does accept them.
  • don't be afraid to ask for help. These organizations usually have several volunteers on staff at any given time and will be glad to assist you if you need help unloading our vehicle or if you need a tax deduction sheet. All you have to do is ask.
Now comes the "where"...where can you donate your unwanted items? It's hard for me to say exactly because it is different depending on where you live. So, instead of putting together a list of locations, I've compiled a list of suggested organizations that might be in your area. You will probably find several more by doing a google search for your area.
  • homeless shelters
  • battered women's shelters
  • low-income schools
  • religious organizations
  • second hand and consignment stores (you might even get some of the profit for the items they sell)
  • the World Mission
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill (click here to find a location near your)
  • day-care facilities
  • food banks (food items only)
  • school and church fund-raiser sales
These are just a few suggestions...use your imagination and get creative. Donating your things will not only lighten your load, it will also put you in the giving spirit which is even more rewarding than a clean house!

This might also be a great project for your children to take on. Have them look through their clothes and toys and see if there is anything they would be willing to donate to a child in need. Teach them to give at a young age and they will benefit more than you can imagine!

For more tips on how to get organized, visit my website at: www.andreadekker.com

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