Clearing Out? The ABCs of Selling, or Donating

ABCs of Selling and Donating

  • If you decide to donate, it’s green AND greater good
  • Don’t confuse what is helpful and convienent for you (finding a place that’ll take your stuff) with what is a welcome/needed donation for them.
  • Make sure your donations fit the needs and criteria of the charity-call ahead and ask, before you start packing things up. Items should be clean, and in gently used.
  • Don’t let sentiment-or what you paid for something cloud your judgement. You paid for it, and you enjoyed it; now time to move on.
  • Regarding business clothing, and baby items like car seats -being current is important.


If a charity is a 501c3, it means they’re recognized as such by the IRS, and can give you a receipt for tax purposes. Understand the valuation is not up to the charity. The IRS has guidelines of accepted values for different items. If you feel the value of what you are donating is beyond that, you will need documentation, speak to your accountant before you do anything.

Libraries often have book sales in the spring and fall, which means they collect donations for a brief, pre-determined time period beforehand. You’ve got to time it right, but it’s a great fund-raiser-check out your local libraries online for details.

Donating clothes and other household goods you no longer need or want can be a win-win-win situation, but you’ll need to take some time, to plan and sort things out, so your items get to their intended destination(s).

LAST-plan ahead, and be patient. Most charities are run by volunteers, serve a specialized need, and on a shoestring budget; they might have limited hours, and an office that consists of an answering machine and an email address.  But if time is not your friend, consider a eco-concious clean-out service like Junkluggers, where they will remove, sort, donate and recycle on your behalf. There is not a shortage of good causes, or people who are in need, seeing this through is a good thing.