Sunday, September 4, 2011

You be the judge....who's "right"?

This rack was full on both sides
Confession time....remember when we had the yard sale in June?  Here are the pictures of all the clothes we were selling (and remember...I have been selling stuff off for several years...this is what we STILL had) :
2T-size 7

Newborn - 18 months

Most of this stuff did not sell.  :(  We put them back into boxes, and those boxes landed in our "playroom."  We were too tired to deal with it.

A few weeks later, consignment shops started taking fall and winter stuff.  So I tried that route on some of the things.  I found out that wasn't worth the time.  They rejected 80% of what I brought, and the 20% that they did take...I got about a $1 per item (which was exactly what I was selling the clothes for at the yard sale).  But bringing the stuff there, having to wait hours for them to sort it, then get $20?  It wasn't worth it.

So we decided to donate it to Goodwill.

Now, G-man has participated in this process very little.  He mostly was the brawn who moved the boxes.  The actual sorting and dealing with it...not so much.  And since the yard sale, he hasn't looked at any of it.  He fully admits this, and also has no plans to help me with the cleaning up at all.

I have said multiple times that I wanted the playroom back to working order before school starts.  So I have spent a great deal of time bagging everything up, making a list for the tax donation, and driving it over.  We have donated about 12 bags, and I still have lots more stuff.

And here we are at the impasse:

G-man thinks we should just bring the stuff over...screw the tax write off.  
Just get it out of the house.


I think that for the quantity of stuff that we have, it is too big of donation to not take the write off.
I want him to help me bag and list and finish. who's "right"?  Are you team Mysti or team G-man????


  1. Without being too diplomatic, there is no right or wrong. You clean out the stuff, either sell it or give it away. If you give it to charity, you collect a receipt. What outcome do you want? If the goal is to dump the stuff, it will be dumped. Think about what you are trying to accomplish!

  2. We don't get a write off up here in Canada (I think)I am all for getting the items out of the house as soon as you can. They never seem to sell well at garage sales, at least here.

  3. Yes, you get a receipt. But then when you file your taxes...what do you put? A bag of clothes could be worth $5 or $50. This is why I want to make a list.

    I am not debating the getting rid of it...that has been decided. It is just do I take the time to make the list and get the write off. Or just give it to charity with no way of tracking what we donated.

  4. We don't get tax receipts here, but I think you have to consider how much the receipt would be for vs. how much work you're putting into it.

    If you're going to get a tax receipt for $100, and that will save you $30 of tax (for example) and it takes you 5 hours to list what's in the bags, is it worth it?

    I'd say that if you need to spend a lot of time on it, you'd be better off going the consignment route & getting cash as opposed to a possible tax write off.

  5. Truthfully we are lucky to have catholic charities that pick up once a month. I put a bag out and they give me a receipt. The put a value of what they think it is and just tuck the receipt into the door.

    But I always get the receipts. Even when giving to good will. Yes it may take a little bit of time to write it but it saves on my taxes.


  6. Personally I have found that since we don't itemize our taxes it isn't worth the hassle getting the receipt. When we donate to goodwill it isn't to get a tax writeoff it is too get rid of stuff. So I guess with that that means I am with your husband.

  7. I would think that if you itemize on your taxes, which given the medical bills you have it seems like you would, then it would be worth it!

    Last time I had to do a huge amount, I sorted into piles of "shirts" "skirts" "shorts", etc. Then counted the number in each stack, wrote it down and took a picture of it before I bagged it.

    I know that sometimes the return on the time spent, vs. what you actually get $$$ wise isn't all that great, however, taking the time to do some of those things can add up in the long run. You've had a murphy filled year. It might just help next April to take the extra time to do this so that you either don't have to pay as much in taxes, or get a bigger refund! 12 bags of clothes is a lot, and could make a real difference for you then!

  8. I'm not sure who is right, but we always just bag things up and give them to the local St. Vincent DePaul Society which means they go to a family that really needs them and the stuff is given not re-sold which is important to me. We don't bother with receipts because we are not looking for more deductions which will only increase what we owe in AMT. I guess you need to estimate how big your deduction would be and decide if your time and effort are worth that amount.

  9. If the time you take to write it down, bag and haul to charity is time you aren't taking away from making income then it's worth it to get the write off.
    As long as you have enough deductions to be over the standard deduction w/out itemizing(I think it's $11K for married couple filing jointly) then it's worth getting the charitable write-off.
    Add up your medical costs over the normal level the IRS decides, out of pocket work costs over the IRS level, any mortgage/real estate/property taxes and cash given to charity. Then figure how close you are to $11K to see if you'll have enough goods to donate to get over $11K. If you have a home mortgage and associated taxes, you'll probably be over w/out any charity

  10. I agree with some of the others. I guess it depends on the amount of time that it would take for you to list the items. If it takes too long, then would it still be worth the money?

  11. Take pictures and worry about list later

  12. isn't there anyway you can try and just sell them on craigslist? like offer it all to someone for a flat rate of $50?

    i don't know how tax receipts work because we only file a short form.

  13. I, personally, would just take it to Goodwill to get it out of my life. I wouldn't bother trying to list it all for a receipt. So, I guess I'm on team G-Man.

  14. I'd take it to Goodwill and drop it off, and then make a list later if needed. And I'd make up a number of what I thought it was all worth and then claim that on my taxes.

  15. You are BOTH right. Whichever person is willing to take the time to get rid of the stuff can do it however they want to. If your goal is to get the stuff gone ASAP, then let G-man take it (no sorting, listing etc) to Goodwill.If you would rather have the tax deduction, and have more work and the stuff hanging around longer, then you do the sorting/listing etc. Personally I'd take G-man's offer. It will feel incredibly good to have a playroom you can quickly get organized before school. Usually we think our used stuff is worth more than it really is.

  16. we don't get tax write off's here for donating clothes. I would just get G-man to take it away and start planning your nice new playroom, but if you want to claim the deduction, well... I think it would be your job to itemize it

  17. Mysti,

    I would make a list of each type of bag of clothing (i.e. kids stuff, adult stuff, etc) and total up how much the bag is worth (the write off). Then I would use that figure for each of the bags.

    For example, if you put a bag of kids clothes together and the value is $50, then I would say that every bag of kids clothes is going to be about $50. Some will be a little more and some will be a little less, but the average value is $50.

    This gives you a value for your donation without making you list every single item and totaling it up.

    By the way, I agree that this is only worth it if you itemize your deduction.

  18.!!! LOL! Load it and dump better feeling in the world!

  19. Personally, I'm on team G-Man. But that's because I don't have a Mysti in my life who is willing to make the list for me. If I had that, I'd certainly take advantage of it.

  20. It depdends on the time and effort to make the list. Me - I would just donate it.

  21. I wouldn't itemize. I think it's generally a waste of time. There's a standard charitable deduction. That clothes isn't going to put you over the amount. That being said, if you're going to take the time to list things I'd put giant sets on e-bay. They sell pretty well there.

  22. I don't think you need to be too specific when you claim those items on your taxes. Look at all of it...and make a good guess. Unless you think the value is over like 350 dollars you would probably be fine to just write misc clothing items on your tax form. I guess if you think the value is OVER 350 dollars then I would inventory more carefully in case you are audited...