Skip to main content
Hoarding Help
Hoarding Cleanup, Help for Hoarders, Nationwide Hoarding HelpHoarding Clean up National ResourcesAbout Hoarding Cleanup, Clutter CleanupHoarding Cleanup, Clutter Cleanup, Hoarding Cleanup, Help for HoardersSupport GroupMessage BoardFor FamiliesHelp For HoardersHoarding Help for Hoarders, Resources, Hoarding Cleanup, Clutter Clean up

Hoarding Cleanup Service 
Steri-Clean Locations 

Questions...Answers...Support. Together we CAN beat this!
Brought to you by:

(800) 462-7337
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Every Day!

Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Sell v. Donate
Reply to this topic
Sell v. Donate

Posted: 27 January 2014 - 12:02 PM
The refund of $9,000 was because after I entered donations valued at $11,000 and my other deductions, I was able to take advantage of a child care tax credit I would not have otherwise qualified for... by lowering my Adjusted gross income, I also lowered my overall tax bracket.

This method won't work for everyone... definitely not a one size fits all. The main purpose of the discussion was to let people know the possibility of "making" as much money as selling the items, yet with less effort and.... BONUS.... getting things we can force ourselves to part with out of the house faster than the selling process.

Just sharing what has worked for me..
Posted: 27 January 2014 - 08:43 AM
I think clarity on this issue is very important because of the effect it can have on others' thought processes.

Re refund of $9,000. Do you really mean " ...gained solely because of the volume of items donated"? Or did you get the refund because of the volume of items donated IN ADDITION TO OTHER ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS?
Posted: 26 January 2014 - 09:23 PM
@Dave: I totally appreciate your comment about how a garage sale is to a hoarder what a lighter is to pyromaniac. A yard sale used to be a weak spot for me. But, by using some exposure exercises Cory gave me, I am able to go and only get what I need (i.e. lawnmower) and that which I know has a high donation value and is fairly small.

As far as an individual having enough items to donate, I am sure that would vary. I donate an average of $6,500 - $8,500 worth of items per year, but that is because I have a growing child. I would easily pick up clothing for her which average $2.50 per item and got to deduct as much as $6.00 for the same item (based on the "ItsDeductible" regulations. Plus, we have a lot of people give us clothes for her that she grows through in a year or less.

Processing the donations is very time consuming, but less time consuming than trying to sell them. As far as just throwing the items away, there is no way I could justify throwing away nearly new/brand new items when donating them has lowered my tax liability no less than $4,000 per year. The best year I had was a refund of $9,000 gained solely because of the volume of items donated. Given the consistent financial rewards gained, there is no way I could justify throwing away that many usable items that could put $$ in my pocket AND help someone in need (the mission I donate to NEVER sells the items, they are all given directly to those in need.
Posted: 26 January 2014 - 11:12 AM
We have never met the requirements to get a tax deduction for any charitable donations.
Also, having lived for decades with a hoarder I know that a LOT of the stuff cluttering up this place was obtained on speculation that it could be turned over to make a profit in some way.
But in reality he is a HOARDER and nothing he has will ever leave his grasp till I pull it from his cold dead fingers.
And this stuff is not being stored or maintained and is filthy, crushed, smashed, rotted, mouse peed on or otherwise ruined now after being kept in the hoarded conditions here.
So much of his stash is not even something we could donate.
Posted: 26 January 2014 - 05:53 AM
Switching from non-itemizing to itemizing would require some huge donations, but if you are already itemizing anyway, then each donation would increase your savings as originally claimed, I think.

As for throwing out "new and unopened" items -- it seems reasonable to want those to go to a good home instead of the landfill, but if I've invited friends to help me clean, and none of them wanted to take possession of the item, then they can share in any guilt for it being wasted.
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 08:27 PM
Two additional comments.
1) In regard to the standard deduction, the only things that reduce your tax liability are items over the standard deduction. So a single person has to donate $6,100 of stuff, just to match the standard deduction and has to donate more than that to get any tax effect.

2) In regard to the dumpster/truck approach. On one of the free hoarder shows I was able to watch online awhile back I saw that specific discussion between Cory or Matt and the hoarder. The hoarder was talking about recycling and/or utility of an item. Cleaner agreed with that assessment of the item as an individual item, but remarked on its current lack of utility to the hoarder and the constraint of time in terms of cleaning the site. ie time and current lack of useability made the item trash and that's why it was on the truck.
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 08:16 PM
An issue with thinking about tax deductibility of donated items is the standard deduction. The standard deduction for 2013: single 6,100. Married filing jointly, 12,200. I have never had enough donated items to exceed standard deduction limits. I have no data to support the following statement, but I doubt that there would be many people posting on this site that would be able to itemize deductions based on donations of items to charity. In short, I don't think that is "real" thinking for most of the posters I see here.

The other thing that really concerns me in the initial post, for posting to people on this site; is the concept of going to yard sales and buying more things to get tax deductions. Presenting a concept like that here is tantamount to handing a pyromaniac a cigarette lighter. We as a group are to be working to reduce purchases, not expand shopping opportunities.

It has also been my experience that attempting to control an item after it leaves your hands is another loosing effort that compounds the logistical problems of cleanup. Donating to charity is just as much an effort to impose value on an item and control it as selling the item is. Although I am not quite at a mindset of doing it, I am more and more appreciating Tillie's dumpster idea, even for NIP items with price still attached. Particularly if I was paying a professional cleanump crew to work on my site, I suspect that tossing even a few hundred dollars worth of new items in the dumpster would be the most cost effective disposal approach and that those items would most likely not make any particular difference in the thrift markets in the grand scheme of things. I see posts here from people that can't even afford to get trash off their site, let alone additional groups of items to recycle sites or thrift stores.
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 12:55 PM
When donating, I set a goal of how many boxes I plan to fill to donate and call the charity a week in advance. I schedule a date and time for them to pick up "X" number of boxes. Now I have a target. I go around the house and comb through problem areas with a box in hand. When I have filled my self imposed "quota" then I photograph the items for tax purposes and, if necessary, bubble wrap the fragile items. This way I am "earning" money and helping someone else. Since many of the things I donate are new with tags, in original packaging etc. there is no way I could dumpster these items. Of course, a good by-product of doing this is that I will come across some things that can be recycled as well. Sometimes I fall a few boxes shy of an aggressive goal but that is ok... donating 18 boxes v. my goal of 20 is still a move in the right direction.
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 10:46 AM
When decluttering, the main goal is to remove from the property everything that is not needed or truly wanted as fast as humanly possible.
The fastest way is to rent a dumpster and toss it all in there.
But people have a very hard time just tossing useable items like this
the next best way is to donate all clean and useable items to a worthy charity.
Taking it by car load as you have it gathered up or by calling for the truck to come pick it up, where available, is the next fastest way to get your home free of excess clutter.
Saving items to sell online or with a yard sale keeps your space cluttered and takes a lot of time and excess handling.
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 10:05 AM
You are very welcome. I forgot to add that I also tested the yard sale approach as well. Donating is still more "profitable" on a per hour basis and a lot less stressful than setting up a yard sale, watching so people don't steal things, putting up signs, taking down signs, trying to cover things when there is a shift in weather... I think you get the picture ;)
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 09:55 AM
Darci, thank you so much for all that great info!!
Posted: 25 January 2014 - 08:25 AM
I tested the sell v. donate approach so many times. How could I possibly donate a pair of Coach sneakers that I let my daughter convince me to buy for her and she only to wore once or twice? Here is how: by using "Itsdeductible" valuation tool (online) and eBay as a means of determining market value of the pricier items, I lowered my overall tax position so much that I didn't have to pay any income taxes for three years and counting. When you think of all the time you spend setting up an ONLINE AUCTION SITE (i.e. eBay) ad, communicating with potential buyers, packaging, shipping, etc. etc. you can "make" almost as much by donating the item. Here is how: Say you sell something on an eBay site that cost you $5.00 for $19.99 (with Free Shipping to attract buyers). By the time you pay eBay fees $2.35, shipping $6.00 (or more), PayPal fees $1.00 (est), packing materials $1.00 (or more) and gas (if you drive to the post office), time leaving feedback, following up on payments or (worse) handling have made a profit of approximately $4.00 for at least one to two hours of your time. If, however, you can find where a similar item sold on eBay for $40.00 (very easy to find) and your tax bracket is 20%, then you can donate that item and have approximately $8.00 less of tax liability... $3.00 "net" profit after original cost of $5.00 for item... for approximately 20 mins of your time v. 1 - 2 hours it takes to sell the item on eBay, Craigslist, etc. If you donate enough items, you may even lower your overall tax bracket a few more points.... saving you even more in taxes and, possibly, allowing you to qualify for tax credits you may not have qualified for had you not donated so many items. There is a limit to how much of your gross income can be lowered using donations, but it is generous (consult with your tax program/professional for more detail). I am NOT an accountant or a replacement for professional advice: I just know what has worked for me for several years running. I have gone so far as to pick up items from yard sales just to donate them because I know the value of the item. (i.e. chrome shower curtain hooks: $1.00 at yard sale, $20.00 value on ebay, $4.00 less tax liablity = $3.00 more in my pocket. I have gotten so efficient at this method, that I have gotten my start to finish processing time down to 5 - 8 minutes per item v. 1 - 2 hours of eBay and/or Craigslist selling. Craigslist selling is also time consuming and very risky business...even if you try to limit the buyers access to your garage. Even the tools in your garage can speak to a thief's assessment of what might be in your house, where your doors are, if you garage has a back door... As with all tax matters, keep good records: Take pictures of all items being donated (1 picture per item is fine as long as the quality of the item is good or better and captured in the picture and charitable organization and their receipts meet IRS guidelines. IRS guidelines pertaining to language on receipts is very stringent!! Be careful there.) Plus, by donating, you are helping others so it is a win/win :)
Hoarding Help Message Boards : The Daily Chat : Sell v. Donate

Reply to this topic
best live chat

Interactive Hoarding Help
Click Boxes Below

best live chat
Site Mailing List 
"Cleaning with Care and Compassion TM"

Hoarding Cleanup
Nationwide Hoarding Resources Directory

Copyright 2009 - 2021

Design Your Own Website, Today!
iBuilt Design Software
Give it a try for Free