Need a quick karma boost? Do good: Donate extra stuff you don’t need before the year ends, so you can take advantage of tax deductions come April 2010, while spreading a little New Year cheer. It’s an easy gamble. Most donations are tax deductible (and we won’t tell if you take next year’s tax refund check straight to the liquor store for a good bottle of organic champagne). Thanks to (the now-defunct) IdealBite.com for sharing this helpful scoop. We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we’ll miss you!
Clear out your closets by donating stuff you don’t need.
- Gift card balances: If they’re about to expire or you probably won’t use ’em, donate ’em here.
- Furs, jackets, and towels: Your local animal shelters or rescue groups will take them for use as bedding. Specifically recycle furs at coatsforcubs.org.
- Shoes: Programs like donateyouroldshoes.org will take your used ones for redistribution in the developing world, or for recycling.
- Electronics: Recycling and trade-in programs take your old gadgets, from cell phones to computers. You can donate or recycle computers here mygreenelectronics.org or here sharedtechnology.org. Cells can be donated to cellphonesforsoldiers.com for a tax write off or: rbrc.org.
- Videotapes/floppy disks: greendisk.org
- Appliances: recycle-steel.org
- Carpet: carpetrecovery.org
- Eyeglasses: Give the gift of site to donateglasses.org orneweyesfortheneedy.org.
- Cleaning and bath and body products: Shelters will often take even partially used containers.
- Books: Your local library will likely accept them. If not, donate them with your old clothes to the Salvation Army, or sell them on powells.com (they even pay for shipping!) and either use or donate the money.
- Tires: Can be recycled here: epa.gov/garbage/tires/live.htm. Autos and construction materials can be donated to most nonprofits.
- Send Half-Used Paint To:earth911.org
- Packing peanuts can be recycled here: loosefillpackaging.org
- Clothes: Drop them off at charities such as Goodwill or Dress for Success or Housing Works. Salvation Army will pick up if you have more than a few bags. Remember to ask for a tax reciept. You can donate biz clothes to dressforsuccess.org, and formaldresses to: operationfairydust.org.
Kiplingers has an in-depth list here of exactly which donations are deductible. Score a Tax Credit – looking to remodel? Green your home and get hefty tax rebates. We are sure if you are down with this crew, you know there is never a time to throw ANYTHING out. If you can’t get rid of it on www.freecycle.org. Still unsure of where to dump your old treasures? Ask your favorite non profit if they have use for your old printer/ bed/ couch/ car/ whatever. Most likely, they will take it off your hands and supply you with a tax reciept to boot. Happy endings all around!