Last week, I spent serious time with my wife spring cleaning at home. We filled the big green city trash can, and had a nice stack of items we decided to not keep, but were still usable.

So… the question: To donate, or to garage sale? Maybe you’re facing that question too.

Melissa says donate, and take a tax deduction:

[audio:|titles=Melissa says Donate – and take a tax deduction]

Elizabeth says do both – garage sale AND donate

[audio:|titles=Elizabeth says do both – garage sale AND donate]

Nicole says let a store like Stuff Etc. do the hard work

[audio:|titles=Nicole says donate to Stuff Etc – and they’ll donate to your charity]


Judy emailed to say:

My husband and I have recently purchased a new home. We are in the process of remodeling the bathroom and kitchen. What we have decided to do is donate items to Habitat for Humanity. We have donated a vanity, mirror, medicine cabinet, curtains, ceiling fans and light fixtures. We are also foster/adoptive parents and have donated clothing to our local DHS office … to help other foster/adoptive parents obtain clothing for children that come to their home with nothing. God is such an important part of our life and we enjoy giving back to others. Hope that you can share this with others.

Janelle emailed to say:

I thought I’d send in a quick note addressing your question as to whether or not to do a garage sale.

I agree with the caller that suggested you do one if you need the cash quickly… but it is a lot of time to prepare and host one. I, for one, refuse to do garage sales.

I also agree with her that you can donate, which is, in my opinion, a better alternative… You can deduct these donations on your income taxes for next year and get the same value write off that you’d be receiving hosting a garage sale… but with MUCH LESS EFFORT on your part! You’ll ultimately get this money, by paying less in taxes.

Every month or two, I cull through the house to get the excess out and to Good Will. Now some things like kitchen appliances (that work), lawnmowers, furniture, etc. cannot be donated to G.W. or you might find a better donation opportunity. Still, it is very very common to ask for a tax receipt. Just last week, I donated our kitchen appliances bc I was upgrading. Sears was just going to dump them (but they still work), so I called my church, and sure enough… they came to pick them up and I now have my receipt of donation.

I file all of my donation receipts in a folder marked “2012 tax forms” and it is ready for when I do my income taxes. This is a huge benefit to your family… IF you do not need the cash right away.

I hope this helps you in your decision.



So, bottom line – quite a few calls in favor of donating stuff because it’s less work and less time, with tax benefits. And a few calls in favor of doing a garage sale because they’re fun, good social interaction opportunity, and quick cash. And… if nobody did garage sales, we wouldn’t have them to go to! 🙂

Thanks for the calls and great ideas on the morning show today!

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