In review, we have completed The Move and our senior(s) are in their new home and hopefully enjoying their new adventure. Secondly, The Family has sorted through the remaining items at the original home and we have shipped to the appropriate locations. Thirdly, The Sell was successful basis an on-line auction, estate sale or dealer purchases. We have gone from a large amount of “stuff” to a much reduced and more manageable quantity of items for further liquidation.
The fourth step, The Donation, seems easy enough, right? But, like each step, the process can be comprehensive and involve significant work. We now target the items that did not sell or were excluded from the sale. These remaining household goods range from furniture, cookware to trinkets. All items (excluding furniture) should be boxed and taped close to assist the charity in an orderly move of the donations. Fragile items like glassware and china should be wrapped in paper or bubble wrap. It defeats the purpose of your gift to arrive broken. Use your discretion on all other items. Most of these items should make the trip unwrapped and in a good corrugated box.
Once packed the boxes and furniture need to be on the street level of the home. In other words, most charitable movers will not go up or down stairs. Additionally, “some” charities will only pick up donations from the garage in order to avoid damage or liability to the home. They also require a specific list of items and in most cases, will not take incremental donations because they have staged pick-ups based on the available cube in the truck. Lastly, they will require appointments and usually provide only a 2-3 hour window the day of pick-up. In summary, the charity has many rules and requires a lot of coordination.
There are many charities that are item specific and we like to contribute to those charities also. For example, The Lions Club has Recycle for Sight Program to recycle eye glasses. St. Louis HELP collects and provides free home medical equipment to anyone in need. Animal shelters always gladly accept blankets of any kind.
Generally, the charitable organization will provide a tax deduction form that may or may not have the specific donations. It is the responsibility of the individual receiving the deduction to itemize and assign estimated value for the entire gift. It is recommended that this paperwork be shared with your tax professional for review before processing your return. A tax donation is not always important to seniors, especially if they don’t itemize their taxes.
The Donation is now complete and we will review The Disposal during the next blog. The clean-out of the home may appear simple. But again, if the homeowner is conscientious about recycling, hazardous waste, and leaving the home for proper showing or occupancy, The Disposal requires significant focus.