This time of year, our thoughts turn to Spring, and Taxes…so logically, Tax Deductions as well. A conversation with our Tax Adviser got us thinking about these connections.
In honor of the Season, let’s consider some ways that Spring Cleaning can—literally—help the world. Think that’s a large statement? Well, try this on for size:
Clothing: By February, with the hats and coats, gloves and boots always needed, you may never want to see a sweater again. That’s a perfect time to take a look at your winter clothing situation. At this point in the season, if you or your family hasn’t worn it, you really can ask why it’s occupying valuable real estate in your closets. Now, there may be good reasons. It was the sweater you were married in…ok, you get a pass. But, while the weather is still keeping us stuck indoors, let’s start a pile of clothes to give away.
Coat Closets: This is an obvious one—if the winter coat hasn’t been worn by now… Often the coats we don’t wear are the ones we keep around because we liked them once. Of course, keep the dressy coat. Just so long as it fits. But when the coat closet is too full for guest’s jackets, because we’re keeping coats that don’t fit or are out of fashion, we certainly have the choice to let those go. Someone who doesn’t have a coat would love to have one! And wouldn’t it be nice to have some space in there? Start a pile.
Pantry: If you’re anything like me, by February, you’ve run through your entire soup and stew repertoire. You’ve used many canned, jarred, and dried goods. This is a good time to question: How committed am I to learning how to cook mung beans? Or, am I ever actually going to serve this jarred pasta sauce I bought on sale…in September? Your pantry is likely too full, with pasta you bought two boxes of and just didn’t like, with … you can fill in the blank. You get the idea—start a pile. This food is valuable nutrition someone else can use. And, you get the bonus of freeing up space for food you like and will serve your family.
Helping the World & Charitable Tax Deductions:
There are two ways you can help the world by giving away stuff you don’t need:
- You free up your personal emotional energy. This is a serious statement. By keeping stuff we don’t need or even want, every time you open the closet/pantry/coat closet, you see this stuff that causes you stress. You know that that coat hasn’t fit in a while. And you know that you just don’t like that pasta and feel like you wasted money on it. We can all use less stress. We actually feel lighter when we release this stuff. And, you free up room on your shelves and closet rods for new opportunities. You make space for trying a new look, for trying the quinoa recipe or even for buying that bread machine you’ve wanted but couldn’t fit on your shelves. Give it a try—you’ll like it.
- You help other people who live right here, nearby—who can really use the stuff we don’t want. And this is the Tax Deduction for next year. We’ve compiled a list of local charities we know and love. We suggest that if you want to clear up some space by donating clothing or other items, that you consider these worthy charities:
Donate to Charities:
- Dress for Success: Donate professional women’s clothing in good condition. The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. https://newyork.dressforsuccess.org/
- Veterans House, Family & Children’s Association: Donate men’s clothing, coats, pantry goods, blankets, special request for a bath scale with slip resistance. Please contact Velma Berry for details. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mercy First: Provides a home for children who need one and offers life skills programs for older children, including cooking, food safety, etc. Donate dishes, pots, kitchen supplies. Also can use tables & chairs for young folks moving into permanent adult housing. Please contact Ellen Miller 516-921-0808.
- ReStore: Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world. http://www.habitat.org/restores
- The Book Fairies: Donate gently used children’s books to this tax deductible charity. The books go to schools, libraries and non-profit organizations to enrich the lives of children by encouraging a love of reading. Contact email@example.com for details.
- Long Island Cares: Works with affiliates to bring food to food pantries. Food Locator link http://www.licares.org/find-help/food-locator/
- Ronald McDonald House of LI. Once a house is built, it is completely supported by charitable donations, which can include household items and packaged food. The foundation only supports the initial construction of each house. Contact: Jennifer Nicholson, Director of Special Projects 718-343-5683/516-775-5683 x158, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s truly a win-win. You can free up your storage space and clear out emotional baggage too. This is a convenient way to help our neighbors, and to help ourselves too—while banking some Tax Deductions for next year!