What You Need to Know About Donating Furniture

One of our goals this year is to get our house fixed up and ready to sell. As we reviewed the current state, we saw that we needed to seriously  reorganize our living space and make it clutter free.

Over the years we had accumulated a lot of things, but we weren’t using some of them or they no longer suited us for one reason or another.

Making More Space By Getting Rid of Our Furniture

While we got new furniture that did a better job of keeping everything organized it meant that we needed to have a plan for getting our old stuff out. When looking at our options, we had a few choices:

  • Trash: There was certainly old stuff that needed to be trashed, but there were also pieces that we gently used. Trashing the gently used seemed wasteful.
  • Sell: Looking at our local craigslist, there were certainly opportunities to sell, but that also meant we’d have to wait for someone to buy it and then pick it up. With deadlines, we wanted to get our stuff out sooner rather than later.
  • Donate: I hadn’t thought of this until a friend mentioned that Raleigh had some great choices. Some local charities offered pick up for gently used furniture and we would get a receipt for a tax deduction. This seemed like a great win-win for us.

After we did an inventory of everything we were looking at getting rid of, we did a combination of the three with most items being donated.

Arranging for Furniture Donation

When looking at the various charities, I noticed that most pick-up arrangements had similar guidelines. One thing you should be aware of is that many times, the final decision on whether to take a donation is on the driver as they can’t make an accurate assessment over the phone.

To make sure, your stuff gets accepted, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Move it easy - All of the ones I looked at made it very clear that movers will not move between floors, so if you live in a multistory house, please get the furniture on the first floor. Your pick-up will be one of several, so it is really better for all to make it easy for the movers to grab your stuff.
  • Make sure it is in good condition – Most charities want the furniture to be gently used as it will either be sold to raise money or be directly given to a deserving family. Upholstered furniture usually has to have no tears, pet stains, or smoking odors.
  • Make sure it is sellable – We discovered our old television from our college days could not be picked up  because old style televisions don’t sell at the store.

With the exception of the television, all of  the furniture we wanted to donate was accepted. For us, we gave to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Don’t Forget to Track Your Donated Furniture

Whether you take your donations to your favorite charity or have it picked up, don’t forget to get a receipt and track your donations using ItsDeductible for a bigger tax deduction.

Thoughts on Donating Furniture

I’d love to hear from you about donating your goods to charities in your area. What are some options in your town that you love?

Elle Martinez

Elle helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second.

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