Springing into Fall Cleaning

Over years we accumulate alot of stuff. Sometimes it’s hard to find the things we need because all the other things we have are in the way. Think about how many times you cannot find something and then come across it days or months later when you have cleared out things from your home.

I am not a big spring cleaning advocate. I am more a fall cleaning kind of person. Here’s why…summer is over…weather will be cooling down soon (really!) and kids are back at school.

If you do your spring cleaning in the next couple months instead of next March or April, here’s what you will find. You may be giving away items to your local thrift store that other folks will need or can use during the holidays and you will get your tax deduction for the donation in 2012 instead of 2013.

Make sure to keep track of the quantity and specific type of items donated. IRS requires a “reasonably detailed list” to support your deduction. “5 bags” or “3 boxes” of clothes or miscellaneous items won’t be supportable if you are audited. You’ll also find that your tax deduction will be much bigger than you would have guessed by keeping track of those items in detail.

Here’s one other tip. When you buy something new (maybe using the tax savings from your bigger noncash donation deduction), set aside one or even two items for donation for each new item you purchase. Setting aside things as you go will make your fall cleaning and your life less taxing!