Donating clothing to charity is a wonderful way of sharing what you have with others and helping families in need. It’s also a great way to teach your own children about giving and set an example they’ll take with them through life. If you’re wondering how to donate to charity, the first step is knowing a few donation guidelines that generally apply no matter where or to whom you donate your clothes. Here’s what you need to know.
Before you send off your clothes, make sure you’ve checked all the pockets. This is particularly true when it comes to coats and pants. People have left money, essential receipts, jewelry, and other valuables in the pockets of their donated clothing. Once it has been dropped off, it can become very hard to get any of that back, especially if it doesn’t have your name on it.
Clean And Neat
If you don’t want to wear that shirt again because it doesn’t fit, it’s a little faded, or it’s no longer the style you want, then donate it. If you don’t want to wear that shirt because it’s full of holes, has a huge stain on the front that won’t come out, or is ripped down the back: don’t. An important donation guideline is to give things that are clean and in reasonably good condition.
Mates and Parts
There are a lot of things that become basically useless once they’re separated from an essential part. No one wants socks without mates, shoes without a partner, or electrical equipment that’s missing a crucial part that makes it work. Another of the important donation guidelines to keep in mind is to keep those things together. Tie the laces of shoes together, and if electronics have small parts, put them in a sandwich bag and tape it to the item.
Donation guidelines differ according to where you’re donating, but it’s always a thoughtful step to separate items as much as possible. Definitely separate household textiles or goods and things like small toys from actual clothing. If you have the time, you’ll also save a lot of effort for the volunteers at charities that pick up donations if you take time to separate your clothes into men’s, women’s, children’s, and shoes.
If you’d like to claim some of your donation with the IRS, it’s important to know their donation guidelines as well. You’re allowed to deduct the “fair market value” of your donated items, but be aware: charities are not legally allowed to tell you what your goods are worth. You have to estimate for yourself.
To do that, talk to a tax advisor or contact the IRS directly for their guidelines. Some charities will be happy to give you some general guidelines that can help you. You should also remember that anything over $500 in value requires a receipt from the donee if you wish to deduct it on a tax form.
Donating clothes is rewarding for you and helpful to others. Why not see where you can make clothing donation in your area?