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Old 11-16-2016, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,124 posts, read 9,079,067 times
Reputation: 11545

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I have been donating stuff to Good Will for the last 6 months and it has cleared out this house immensely. Whatever I can fit in the car to take there is going. My question is, how much can I list as donation on my tax return? In previous years I have limited it to $500, due to rumors "You will get audited if you claim too much." I plan to have them come pick up a couch and love seat, a kitchen buffet, and some other things that should add up to more than $500 with the other stuff I have donated. Will I be in trouble if I list more than $500 on the tax form?
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,124 posts, read 9,079,067 times
Reputation: 11545
Found old old wedding photos from the early 1900s of my grandmother's cousins. Could absolutely not do anything else but find one of the remaining children (I found 2 of them) and mail the large 17inch x 16inch photos to them. The children (in their 60s) both wrote to me with a grateful thanks.
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,763,062 times
Reputation: 47257
went through my huge kitchen in preparation to move to a medium sized kitchen in a few months. I'm going to put a notice on Nextdoor with this:

Big box full of kitchen gadgets and goodies FREE- First come first served

wooden salad bowl
square frying pan with heavy bacon press
deep and big teflon frying pan-really grungy
miscellaneous spoons, spatulas, large forks
crock pot sans lid from 1976-hate to see it go!
hand mixer from 1976 which still works beautifully
faded kitchen towels
a few used cutting boards
incomplete set of knives with knife block
large corningware casserole dish with lid from 1960s

I can't manage a garage sale and this is so much easier. Plus maybe i can help somebody new just starting out. I still have a lot to go through.
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:56 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,387,974 times
Reputation: 11589
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
I have been donating stuff to Good Will for the last 6 months and it has cleared out this house immensely. Whatever I can fit in the car to take there is going. My question is, how much can I list as donation on my tax return? In previous years I have limited it to $500, due to rumors "You will get audited if you claim too much." I plan to have them come pick up a couch and love seat, a kitchen buffet, and some other things that should add up to more than $500 with the other stuff I have donated. Will I be in trouble if I list more than $500 on the tax form?
I donated TONS of stuff when I cleaned out my Mom's house but, unfortunately, I don't take deductions and, as much as it was, it wasn't worth it for me. Does it not bother you to just give it away and not make money selling it? I hope I'll have the fortitude to do the latter when it comes time to clean out my own house (at retirement), but somehow I doubt I will... Goodwill, here I come -- AGAIN.
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,763,062 times
Reputation: 47257
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I donated TONS of stuff when I cleaned out my Mom's house but, unfortunately, I don't take deductions and, as much as it was, it wasn't worth it for me. Does it not bother you to just give it away and not make money selling it? I hope I'll have the fortitude to do the latter when it comes time to clean out my own house (at retirement), but somehow I doubt I will... Goodwill, here I come -- AGAIN.

Time is money and I decided the time to wash, clean, polish, repair, fold for 10-75 cents is just not worth it to me. On the Free Kitchen Stuff box ad I simply said: All used, some need more cleaning than others but the price is right!
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:25 PM
 
100 posts, read 65,331 times
Reputation: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
I have been donating stuff to Good Will for the last 6 months and it has cleared out this house immensely. Whatever I can fit in the car to take there is going. My question is, how much can I list as donation on my tax return? In previous years I have limited it to $500, due to rumors "You will get audited if you claim too much." I plan to have them come pick up a couch and love seat, a kitchen buffet, and some other things that should add up to more than $500 with the other stuff I have donated. Will I be in trouble if I list more than $500 on the tax form?
Each time you make a donation, you should get a receipt from the charity which will document the value of the items you donated. When I'm donating clothing, I don't usually bother because each item would have an actual value that is small. However if donating furniture, I would get a receipt for the value and deduct that amount from my taxes. So accountants who don't want to mess with it will throw out the red flag story about audits but if you have receipts, it is perfectly legal and you should have no problems.
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
858 posts, read 470,322 times
Reputation: 2376
We spent five years before retirement getting rid of stuff. I'm convinced stuff breeds when we're not looking, because we didn't remember owning some of that stuff...

Then we sold all our furniture except a bedroom suite, a rocking chair, a futon, a grandfather clock, and my baby grand piano. Oh, and the outdoor furniture.

Even after all that, we came home with 4 PODS of stuff. The tools and gardening equipment took up one POD, books, papers, photographs, artwork, etc., another POD, furniture, clothes, kitchen items and such a third POD, and the fourth POD was for whatever couldn't be stuffed into the other three.

We're still downsizing, but it's so much more manageable now. I have a rule: for every item coming into the house (except food), something has to leave. We're higher on the leaving side than the bringing in, and want to keep it that way.

Had a setback when his Mom died and we inherited all kinds of stuff she'd never gone through. Took nearly two years to get that stuff sorted and mostly given away. Now we just have to scan in all the family photos, then donate them to the appropriate historical societies, as we have zero storage space for so many photos and little emotional connection to most of them.

Now we're back into sorting and purging our own stuff. I think the next step will be an eBay account and selling some of it, as that stuff is to expensive to simply give away.

Clearing out stuff is kind of addictive: once you see progress, you get excited and want to do more. It's my favorite winter project now.
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
858 posts, read 470,322 times
Reputation: 2376
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
I have been donating stuff to Good Will for the last 6 months and it has cleared out this house immensely. Whatever I can fit in the car to take there is going. My question is, how much can I list as donation on my tax return? In previous years I have limited it to $500, due to rumors "You will get audited if you claim too much." I plan to have them come pick up a couch and love seat, a kitchen buffet, and some other things that should add up to more than $500 with the other stuff I have donated. Will I be in trouble if I list more than $500 on the tax form?
There's a website called itsdeductible.com, by Intuit. You can enter information there and it will determine what the value is. At tax time, either print it off for your records, or link it to Turbotax. We've been using it for years without any difficulties.
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,763,062 times
Reputation: 47257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkay66 View Post
We spent five years before retirement getting rid of stuff. I'm convinced stuff breeds when we're not looking, because we didn't remember owning some of that stuff...

Then we sold all our furniture except a bedroom suite, a rocking chair, a futon, a grandfather clock, and my baby grand piano. Oh, and the outdoor furniture.

Even after all that, we came home with 4 PODS of stuff. The tools and gardening equipment took up one POD, books, papers, photographs, artwork, etc., another POD, furniture, clothes, kitchen items and such a third POD, and the fourth POD was for whatever couldn't be stuffed into the other three.

We're still downsizing, but it's so much more manageable now. I have a rule: for every item coming into the house (except food), something has to leave. We're higher on the leaving side than the bringing in, and want to keep it that way.

Had a setback when his Mom died and we inherited all kinds of stuff she'd never gone through. Took nearly two years to get that stuff sorted and mostly given away. Now we just have to scan in all the family photos, then donate them to the appropriate historical societies, as we have zero storage space for so many photos and little emotional connection to most of them.

Now we're back into sorting and purging our own stuff. I think the next step will be an eBay account and selling some of it, as that stuff is to expensive to simply give away.

Clearing out stuff is kind of addictive: once you see progress, you get excited and want to do more. It's my favorite winter project now.
and if you have kids you are doing a real service for them. Nobody wants to go through all the junk and the younger ones don't want our "treasures".
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:21 PM
 
1,187 posts, read 663,585 times
Reputation: 4119
I have been downsizing my photo albums from the old sticky page kind to fresh acid-free pocket styles. I still like to have my family photos to look at in albums as do my grown kids. Brings back many happy memories of family events and trips.

Two new albums take the place of three old ones so it is much neater and organized by year (we took a LOT of photos). My daughter is slowing scanning them but she will also keep the albums.

Also went through the kitchen and disposed of an old electric fry pan with scraped up Teflon which was probably unsafe. It hurt but I also let go an ancient kitchen pot from my grandmother who died in the 1960s. It is rusty and I never use it but have kept it for 40 plus years. I remember her making gravy on holidays using that so it was a little tough.
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