December is the perfect time to get organized. You may not feel like you have much time, but chances are you can find $50 or $100 or more hidden inside your home in just a matter of minutes. Here are some ways to do good and do right by your home at the same time.
Now is the best time to tackle toys. Go through the piles of toys with your kids and see what they are willing to part with. Even if it’s just one or two things, you’ve planted a seed with them that they don’t have to keep everything forever. My four year old and I went through our books this week and decided to part with only three books. That’s ok for now.
Tweaking your wardrobe can be painless. Keep an extra hamper or shopping bag in your closet for clothes that you’ve outgrown, that are hopelessly out of style, or are beyond repair. If you have a laundry room, you might keep a donation bag there to catch items before they get put back in closets and drawers. Once a year, or more often, the bag will be ready to take to the car and a donation drop point.
Donate Household Goods
Household and decor items that you aren’t using but are still in good condition can be passed on. Just because that lamp that you can’t stand doesn’t fit your style, doesn’t mean that a DIY-er like me can’t bring it to life again.
Donate Just a Little
If the thought of making a charitable donation run makes you think BIG ORGANIZING PROJECT, don’t sweat it. Just set the timer for 15 minutes, grab a box, and run around your house with an eye to remove one, two or three items from each room. Removing just one box or bag of unwanted items frees up space in your home and cash in your tax return.
Document Donations Properly
These items can pay you back in cash when you do your taxes. Read how charitable donations on your taxes work. Just be sure to document your donation with an itemized list for charitable donations and a receipt from the charity you donate to. Taking a picture of the donated items if you have an especially large haul is also a good idea to provide even more documentation.
Donate to a Good Cause
Two of my favorite donation points are Goodwill Industries, because they take nearly everything, and Impact Thrift Store, because they will often schedule a pickup to include larger items like furniture. If you are scheduling a pickup, do it now with plenty of time to get that end-of-year tax write off.