Monthly Archives: March 2011

Spring Cleaning your Closet

Although it’s still a little chilly, spring is on the way.  Soon you can banish those turtle necks and sweaters to the less accessible sections of your closet and drawers to make room for your spring and summer clothes.

As you put your fall and winter clothes away, determine if there were any items you didn’t wear this past year and ask yourself why not.

Is it because…..

You no longer like the item?

The piece is no longer in style?

You are tired of wearing it?

It’s not in good condition?

It doesn’t fit?

You don’t like how you look or feel in it?

The item needs to be fixed or altered but you are unlikely to do so?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, it sounds like a good time to say “goodbye”!

Don’t forget to ask yourself these same questions for your spring and summer clothes and consider your shoes and handbags as well.  Remember, you only have a finite amount of space for your clothing and you don’t want to waste it on clothes you won’t wear.

Also, by going through this process, you’ll be able to see if there are items you need to shop for to complete your wardrobe.  And, as we always tell our clients, it’s  so much easier to get dressed everyday when you know that everything in your closet fits and is something you want to wear!

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Putting a Value on the “Stuff” You’ve Donated

If you itemized the non-monetary donations you made in 2010, you may be wondering how to assign a value to each item.  According to the IRS, the “value” should reflect the fair market value of the item. So how do you determine “fair market” value?

 There are several resources that can help:

 The Salvation Army has put together a valuation guide that is located on their website at www.satruck.com Just click onto the Valuation Guide area. They give a range of values specified for each type of item. New items in perfect condition can be valued at or near the high end of the range, while older items showing signs of wear and tear would be valued lower.

 You can also purchase a book called “Money for Your Used Clothing” at www.mfyuc.com .  The book provides a place for you to record your donations for the year and includes a valuation guide as well.

 For Specific IRS requirements for charitable donations, go to www.irs.gov and put “Publication 1771” in the search bar at the top right hand corner of the page.

 Remember, making non-monetary donations is a great way to receive tax benefits – but  only if you have a system in place to track and value those donations.

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