Donations / Recycling
There are 2 big obstacles when it comes to removing unwanted items from your home:
1) I paid good money for that, I’m not just giving it away
2) I don’t know what to do with it, but I don’t want to throw it away
Feeling that your possessions are valuable and should be sold is very common. You are out the purchase price and it’s still usable so you prefer to sell it rather than donate. Let’s face it, that money is long gone. Selling them will only retrieve a small fraction of what you paid (even if you never used it). Don’t underestimate the amount of work involved in selling stuff. Garage sales take many hours to put together (gather items, clean, repackage, price, set up, advertise) and a day if not multiple days to attend. Online selling has become very popular, this requires taking pictures and measurements as well as social media which some people aren’t part of. If you can itemize your deductions (ie: have a mortgage) you are almost always better off donating and taking the tax deduction. Don’t underestimate the value of your time and your sanity.
Use Turbo Taxes Donation Guide to see what the IRS considers the value of your items as well as keep track of all charitable contributions
Knowing who you will donate to can help you pass on your treasures. Feeling good about passing on usable items to someone that needs them more than you can be very rewarding and motivating. Think beyond the typical charitable organizations: is there a family or individual in need in your neighborhood, at your child’s school, in your church?
Here are the links to the local counties and their recycling information. You can find what to do with your electronics, hazardous waste (cleaners, nail polish, pesticides, batteries, etc.), CFLs and florescent bulbs, scrap metal and much more.
More helpful links