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Old 02-25-2008, 08:19 PM
 
23 posts, read 112,374 times
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We are moving to Austin next July from CT. After seeing somebody's estimations on previous forums that to move furniture would cost at least $1 per pound, we are thinking now to get rid of all the furniture before we move and then buy from scratch. I don't want, though, to waste a lot of time and energy on putting ads on craigslist/paper and have people going through my house all the time. Does anybody have experience with donating your furniture, so that somebody from the charity organization can come to your house and pick up all the furniture at once? Does donating in this case make sense financially in tax deduction? Is there a limitation on how much you can deduct? Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: SW Austin
314 posts, read 1,174,367 times
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Give and grow rich with charitable deductions - MSN Money

Above is a link to an article about contribution limits. Also remember that your moving expenses are tax deductible on long distance moves, so it might be worth it to move some of the more expensive items.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:30 PM
 
10,152 posts, read 18,641,401 times
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If you are willing to donate, i.e. take nothing for the furniture... a craigslist ad (in the free section) would not have a lot of people running through your house... based on my experience, when you advertise furniture on CL for free, it's pretty much snapped up (and hauled off) immediately with no questions asked. Very quick and easy.

Otherwise, down here Salvation Army may take it, if it is in good condition.. I did that years ago during a move. Volunteers pick it up. Dunno if that's an option in CT. You can definitely get a receipt and deduct it... I believe there is a limit on the deduction, but it's pretty high.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:52 AM
 
3,367 posts, read 10,684,850 times
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The Freecycle Network
Then search for your home town.

A recycling scheme where you can advertise your stuff to others - everything is free.

You can stipulate that you want it all taken as one load, by a charity; they keep an eye on these pages.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:08 AM
AGA
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
729 posts, read 2,577,930 times
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You generally can call organizations and tellthem you have a large donation and they will arrange pick up.

I think Big Brothers/Sisters will pick up, and many disabled citizens groups will.

You may even consider contacting a shelter where it can be used directly instead of it going to a resale like goodwill or ARC etc...

That being said, I am not so sure you could replace the furniture for what you would save in moving costs. I would start now and have some companies give you estimates. You may be surprised!

We have always moved ourselves, so I don't know much about rates, but if it were really cost effective to donate and replace, I think everyone would do that!
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,225 posts, read 13,552,551 times
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The ARC of Texas - The Arc of Texas : Get Involved : Donate Household Items (http://www.thearcoftexas.org/involved/donatehouseholditems/ - broken link)
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:19 AM
 
105 posts, read 643,836 times
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Default New Limits on Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by new in town View Post
Does anybody have experience with donating your furniture, so that somebody from the charity organization can come to your house and pick up all the furniture at once? Does donating in this case make sense financially in tax deduction? Is there a limitation on how much you can deduct? Thanks for your help in advance.
I have a lot of experience working with estates and the process of donating/ reselling household items. In general, it is a time-vs-money proposition as far as getting a return on your investment.

If you post things on craigslist or have a moving sale, or whatever, you will get quick money for your items, but you are correct in that it will be a lot of work.

Alternatively, you could choose to sell your things in a consignment shop (I'm assuming your things are in good shape.) Most shops have a pick-up service, so they can move all the stuff out at your convenience. However, you will only get paid after the stuff sells, and they will take a percentage of the sales price as commission.

If you choose to donate to charity, there are a couple of caveats to be aware of:

(1) When selecting your charity, be sure to ask about availability and timing of pick up. For example, in Austin, Salvation Army will pick up but Goodwill will not...it is simply a matter that they do not have enough trucks to provide that service. Also, plan ahead and ask about timing. I once tried to donate a sofa to a charity in Chicago, only to find that they were booked up 2 1/2 weeks out for pickups. I don't know what the situation is in CT, you will just have to make some phone calls.

(2) There is a new "gotcha" in donation limits. As of August of last year, congress passed a law demanding extra documentation for any single item worth over $500 that you donate. (Apparently, some folks were donating cars and writing off the blue book value, forgetting to mention that the vehicle didn't run.)

For example, if you donate the sofa that your paid $1200 for a couple of years ago and claim that it's now worth $800, you have to prove it. Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and like organizations now must track the actual sales price of such items and provide a copy of the sales receipt to the donor for his tax records. If the sofa only sold for $400--tough bananas---that is what the receipt will say, and that is what the IRS will allow you to write off.

You could also get the items appraised, but there are lots of rules around what the IRS will accept as a valid appraisal. New Rules On Tax-Deductible Donations Of Clothing and Household Items » My Money Blog Plus, you are likely to have to pay an appraiser, so that will cut into your take as well.

If you are selling your old college cast-offs that aren't worth much, it will not be much of an issue. But, if you are considering donating and replacing a number of items that are each valued at $500 or more, it could be a real hassle to track the paperwork that will be required.

Hope This helps!
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:33 AM
 
Location: NW Austin, TX
106 posts, read 457,394 times
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I moved from CT in 1999, and wanted to cull my household goods instead of moving absolutely everything. It was a corporate move so it wasn't about the money... it was about simplifying.

I wound up donating a veritable ton of furniture/household goods/clothing to the Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Greater New Haven... everything I donated went to helping women establish homes of their own or was put to good use in their shelter.

Here's a web site listing similar organizations all over CT: Member Programs (broken link).

Enjoy,
TX Griff
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:05 AM
 
2,238 posts, read 8,609,476 times
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Don't knock Craigslist. I had the choice of hauling a loveseat and chair to Goodwill or taking $40 for both. I also sold a gas grill that needed all new burners for $20. Everything was gone within the hour.

Price it dirt cheap and it'll be gone as quick as if it was free and you'll have a bit of cash to go buy a beer and a couple of tacos at the end of the day.
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