IT’S TIME FOR“SPRING-CLEANING”
by Jim Henderson
President of William C. Huff Companies and
national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions
With spring just around the corner, many of us are starting to think about “spring cleaning”! Here in Southwest Florida, even snowbirds participate in this annual purge before heading north for the summer. The question becomes, what is the easiest and most financially beneficial way to get rid of our stuff?
Up north, we often have family nearby that would be more than happy to adopt our gently used items. Also with the beginning of warmer weather, it is not uncommon to see garage and yard sales popping up in neighborhoods all around us. However, in Southwest Florida, there are many local non-profit resale shops willing to take our spring cleaning belongings off our hands.
One of our clients recently moved from a seasonal rental home into a newly built and fully furnished/decorated home. Since the items in their rental home had been purchased just one year prior, the couple was aware of their value and considered sending their things to family members in the Northeast or paying for storage.
When I advised them of the cost involved, they contemplated consignment. I challenged the client to instead consider donating their belongings to a non-profit and using it as a tax write-off.
Receiving a tax deduction for donated items is not only a good financial decision; it is also beneficial for the community. Most non-profits who have resale shops will pick the items up for free and will give the home owner a tax receipt for the value of their donation. For instance, $20,000 worth of furnishings could represent up to $7000 in tax savings. At a consignment shop, the homeowner would be hard pressed to receive any additional savings or benefits, plus they would most likely have to pay tax on the money they made from their sale.
A few local non-profits that make a great deal of their annual budget through resale are: Options Thrift Shoppe – benefitting the Shelter for Abused Women, The Salvation Army, St. Matthews House and Conservancy Resale, to name a few.
In conclusion, my advice on spring cleaning is… when in doubt, toss it out!
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