Day 6 of the January Money Diet – Get Your First Tax Deduction of 2013

Welcome to Day 6 of the January Money Diet, a 31-day break from nonessential spending. If you’ve just joined us, you can learn more about the money diet here — and jump right in!

Free couch at Happy Simple Living

Photo by Rusty Clark

“The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist.”  ~ Laurence Leamer

A friend of mine told me about a great habit she’s developed. Whenever the various charities call asking if she has any “household goods, clothing or reusable items to donate,” she always says yes. She says she can always find something to give away, and the pending pick-up deadline keeps her constantly weeding out  drawers, closets and the garage.

Coats, blankets, furniture, baby items, kids’ toys, dishes and clothes are all much-needed items that most nonprofits readily accept. Many charities have drop-off locations or regular pick-up schedules. You can also contact your church or homeless shelter to learn more about specific needs. Or try Freecycle, an site that connects people who have extra stuff with people who need things.

Homework assignment #6: Give something away, and leave a comment below letting us know what you cast off. If you itemize your taxes and donate something to a nonprofit, be sure to ask for a receipt so you can claim the deduction on your taxes. Giving stuff away helps others, reduces the landfill volume, and helps clear space.

Giving stuff away just makes me feel happy. How about you?


Win a Deluxe Happy Simple Living Gift Basket

In honor of the January Money Diet, I’ll be giving away a gift basket chock-full of home and garden goodies at the end of the month. On January 31, 2013, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences about taking a 31-day break from nonessential spending.


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Day 6 of the January Money Diet – Get Your First Tax Deduction of 2013

  • Bobbie

    I found a DVD player (never opened) when I was cleaning and organizaing yesterday. I haven’t had a television in months (decided not to get another when mine stopped working as I spent so much time watching)so I’m going to donate it this weekend.

  • Mariah O.

    We keep a paper bag by the back door for any items that need to go to goodwill or the local thrift shop. Our policy is anything new that comes in means something else must go out. So currently in the bag to go out are two dog sweaters, a travel dog water bottle, an ancient polaroid camera, and some children’s clothes.

  • Donna

    My husband teases me about how the local charities have our number on speed dial. I keep a box that I put things into for charity. My girls have gotten into the habit, too. They know that each month we will have a charity truck come to the house. They don’t think twice about giving away some things to the box. It has helped all of us in the giving department.

  • Melissa

    Trunk is full with set of dishes, shoes and various other items. We generally make a drop off to a local children’s charity twice each month and get a receipt each time. Like that we aren’t adding all of this stuff to the landfill.

  • Carolyn

    Last month was extra, unused Christmas decorations; this month, into the ongoing giveaway box are??? Household, maybe clothes – when I have enough, time to call – usually ARC – get it out – give it used! (Especially good with a worthy charity!) Books to our local library….

  • Wanzer

    I am donating to Goodwill this week. I like the idea of giving and helping others. I feel blessed to do so.

  • Deborah Gore

    I have already made one drop off at the Salvation Army store and plan on going through the boys rooms this week. I normally try to make 3 to 4 drop offs a year of clothing and household items.

  • Christina

    I donate to the womens crisis center every few months ,belong to a freecycle group,and give my sons outgrown clothes to a friends two boys. I have gotten baby clothes and kids clothes passed down to me thruought the year,and know what a blessing that can be.

  • Renet

    We just donated several pieces of furniture, lots of children’s clothing and toys to ARC. With the kids growing so quickly it seems like we’ve always got bags of clothing!

  • Stephanie

    We have spent the whole Christmas break decluttering. Many bags and boxes of clothes and toys have been donated this week.

  • We make several non-profit donations over the course of a year, and always get a receipt for itemization. We have a small pile of clothing for donation right now, and plans to do some cleaning/sorting in our basement this afternoon. I’m sure we’ll find more.

    We don’t use Freecycle, because the groups here are very large and overwhelm us with email when we try. We do, however, list items for free on craigslist.

  • Dina

    I am all about Freecycle!!! LOVE IT!!!
    I have several totes full of stuff to be rehomed! My son tends to clean his room the way I use to clean my room as a teenager… by shoving it all under his bed…well, we are remodeling and will be replacing his flooring… we found so much stuff under there, it was almost like several other dimensions were throwing things out at us as we dug and dug and dug, from a couple years back!!! Some things he never even wore!!! But has grown a couple feet so no longer can wear… Yea!!!

    curious, is it tax deductable if given away on Freecycle?

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