What and How to Properly Donate

jdecker Blog, consignment, donations, ebay, fabric recycling, goodwill, organization, salvation army, simplify
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Now that spring is here and you’ve done a seasonal switch of your closet, chances are you have items you never wore or won’t wear again. So what do you do with these perfectly good, slightly worn clothes? And what do you do with the stuff that’s stained and torn?

If your items are new or gently used and high-end, try to sell them. Use Google or Yelp to find a nearby consignment store. If there are no physical stores nearby or if you don’t want to take your items in, try consigning online. Online resale options range from do-it-yourself Ebay.com to places that purchase your items outright, like cashinmybag.com. Sites like therealreal.com sell on traditional consignment.

If your items are not designer pieces or are more than gently used, donate to charity. Not only will you help the needy, but you will also get a tax deduction. Places such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Purple Heart Foundation, and United War Veterans are only a handful of worthy places to donate. Find a charity that speaks to you and ask if they accept donations. Some places will even pick up your donations. Call ahead to see what each place needs or accepts, when they accept donations, and schedule a pick up – should you need it.

No matter which avenue you take, keep in mind the seasonality of the clothing that you’re donating or consigning. While donation places are less picky, consignment places are strict about when they accept certain types of clothing. Don’t plan on consigning your wool coat in the summer or your designer spring handbag in the winter.

If the items are torn or stained or excessively worn there is still hope to give them a new life. Fabric recycling is growing in popularity and accessibility. You may have some clothing donation metal boxes around your neighborhood. Those receptacles are used to recycle fabric. Organizations such as Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles, Planet Aid, and your local animal shelter and Goodwill gladly accept these donations.

Challenge Yourself

  • Clean Out Your Closet: purge your closets of all the unwanted and unused clothing and linens that you’ve been holding onto. Animal shelters particularly love to receive old towels.
  • Decide Whether to Sell or Donate: If you have a designer piece that’s in good shape, try to sell it. If you don’t, donate it for reuse or recycling.
  • Keep Records for Taxes Write-offs: If you itemize your taxes you can deduct the donations you’re making. Always check with your accountant first to see how you’re required to take notes about the donations. Use the IRS Form 8283 for your donations.

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