Americans are very generous people. In 2014, people around the nation gave non-profit groups about $358.38 billion. And the generosity is not just focused around the winter holidays. An estimated 42.7% of all Americans admit to giving more at this time of the year but more people say they “give about the same.” There are 44% of Americans who give the same amount throughout year. Other people around the country like the idea of doing something to give back to their communities but are not sure what they should do. They may not have the time to volunteer or the money to give but most people can make charity clothing donations.
But, how do you do do that? Most of us have a lot of clothing in our closets that we never wear and could still go to good use for someone else.
- Look at the value of the items you want to donate. All charitable donations can be taken off of your taxes but you need to provide documentation including the value of the items you want to give away. You can also give away household items that are in good working condition. Keep a list of the items you want to give away and you should estimate how much you think each is really worth. The non-profit to whom you are giving your charitable clothing donations can help you with this. You can call the organizations directly or look online for lists they keep on this sort of thing. If you are taking your used items and used clothing donations to the physical location, the staff on hand can help you with that as well. They can also tell you what you need to send to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and what else you need to do to take these deductions.
- Group your items. It will make it a lot easier for the staff and volunteers at the charity to use your items if they are in bags or boxes with like minded items. For example, do not put household items in a box along side your clothes. To make it even easier for the staff and volunteers to go through your charity clothing donations, go through your items and get all of the shirts together. It can take a long time for the people at the non-profits to go through and sort all of the charity clothing donations they receive. The amount of time it takes them to accept your items and put them where they need to go if the items are all sorted before they receive them.
- Protect anything that is breakable. Many people make donations of household items that are fragile. These can include dishes, glasses or appliances such as coffee makers. Take some time to wrap your items in a bubble wrap, styrofoam or newspaper. Whether you plan to schedule a donation pick up or you are bringing in the items yourself, you want them to get to the charity in one piece and still is working condition. Broken pieces can be dangerous for the staff and volunteers to handle and cannot be sold or used.
- Ask the charity what condition they take household items. If you have appliances you want to get rid of, check them out before you take them in. Make sure they can still be used, no one can use an electronic kettle that does not work anymore. Similarly, if it works but it on the way out and will not really be able to be used for much longer, it is probably time to get rid of it in another way. You can recycle it, call your town or city and see if they offer recycling for those items. If you cannot recycle your items, sending them to the landfill may be your only real option.
- Make sure your charity clothing donations are clean. While many charities will clean the clothing items they receive, this does put a strain on them, their budgets and staffs. They have to take the time to do all of that, which costs money and is time and labor intensive. Plus, do you really want to make workers and volunteers at the charity organization wash your dirty laundry, do you?