If you’ve already done everything you can to cut the number of items you’ll need to move by giving to friends and family and holding a garage sale, and you still have leftover items, there basically two options remaining. If they have value, you can give them to charity; if they don’t have value, they need to go to the local recycling center.
If you’re not sure of which charities operate in your area, check the Yellow Pages listings for “Charities”, “Churches,” “Associations,” “Thrift Stores”, “Social and Human Services” or other categories. Internet searches may also turn up good organizations. Ask us and we’ll be glad to give recommendations as well.
Pickup and Drop-off
Many charities have pickup services for large items, but in some cases they may ask that you bring the items in yourself. Be sure of their pickup policies, and if you can’t accommodate each other’s needs, look elsewhere.
Charities often Accept Food
Don’t forget to clean out your kitchen. Moving foodstuffs can be a major chore, especially when going cross country.
- Canned goods that won’t make the move can be donated.
- Unopened dry goods like boxes of spaghetti will be welcomed.
- In some cases, cleaning supplies will be accepted
Alternatives to Charities
In addition to charities, local theater groups, and college and high school drama departments may be interested in accepting vintage clothing for their costumes department, or furniture and other decorative items for their sets.
Preschools and daycare centers may be able to accept toys and children’s furniture, depending upon their condition.In every case, ensure all items are clean and in good condition before you donate them. Overly worn or dirty material may be discarded by the charity.
Tax Credits for Donations
If you’d like to get tax credit for the donations, you should get a receipt from the charity during drop-off or pickup. Once you get the receipt, itemize the items you gave to charity, list them with their fair market value, and keep it with the receipt. As the overall value of your donation rises, you may need to provide additional documentation to claim tax credit. For more information on this topic, please review IRS Publication 78 on charitable giving.