Set Up A Clutter Donation Box: First Step In Getting Your Home Decluttered

by Taylor

The first decluttering mission of the New Year is to set up a clutter donation box, or collection station in your home to place anything you decide you want to declutter that is not trash.

Purpose Of This Collection Box:

This box, basket, bag, whatever you choose for it to be, should be a permanent addition to your home because you are going to make a habit of getting rid of clutter each day, and you've got to put it somewhere until you can get it out of your home permanently.

That way as you do your daily mission, or as you just walk through your home and identify something you no longer want, but that is still usable by someone (i.e., not trash) you can place it in your donation box.

This Box Must Be Emptied Regularly:

Then, and just as important as creating and placing things in this box is to frequently and regularly empty it, by donating the items, giving them to friends or family who could use them, or . . . if you'll actually do it, selling the items. (More on that last suggestion in a minute.)

Ideally, you'll have a charitable donation center close by, and will become a regular visitor there. We have a Goodwill close to our home, for example, and it is very simple to just drive through, drop off the box or bag of stuff, get our charitable receipt and go on with the rest of the errands for the day.

It is easier to just to drop off a few items at a time, and feel like you've accomplished something, then to have to cram the car full of stuff and make a huge pilgrimage to a donation center much less frequently.

Should You Have Both A Box For Donations & One For Items To Sell?

Now, back to whether you should have a box in your clutter collection station that is for selling.

That's a tough one. In theory, yes, it is completely fine. Many people as they declutter set aside items for consignment, to sell on eBay, or in a garage or yard sale for example.

However, I am hesitant to suggest the last way to get rid of things, but not because I don't think it is a good or viable method for getting rid of clutter from your home. It just takes a lot more time to sell something than it does to just donate it. Plus, until you sell those items they continue to take up space in your home, space you may not practically have available.

Only you can make the decision about whether to have two clutter collection boxes permanently in place in your home, one for donation and one for selling. Just understand you're making a commitment to invest a lot more time in the decluttering process if you choose to sell items than just to donate them.

How Other Readers Have Done This Decluttering Mission:

Below I've collected ideas and pictures from readers who've done this decluttering mission for the day, showing how they've accomplished it and how they've made it work for them.

I hope you'll get some good ideas from their suggestions, because although the concept is simple it can be done in several different ways. What matters is that the way you choose to do it works for you and your family.

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How I Set Up A Donation & Selling Collection Station

by Tess

Tess says:

I used some boxes that I already had in my house, and put some stuff in there, one box for "selling" and one for "donating".

And then I put them in a shelf that I already also had.

Taylor says:

This looks great Tess. Simple, but effective.

I like how they're in a permanent location, so you and your family members can just drop things in when you come across something, but yet they're still out of the way and not themselves taking up too much room.

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Our Declutter Station: Shelving Unit In Garage

by Danni

Danni says:

We have a shelving unit in the garage that we've set up as our declutter station.

Each shelf holds labelled containers for the regular items that need a spot to be stored until they leave the house.

There is also a spot for irregular items to be donated or sold.

Because we walk past the unit on the way out the door it reminds us to check if there is anything we can take with us and get rid of while we're out.

It didn't cost anything to set up because we used a shelf and containers that we already had.

Taylor says:

This is absolutely fabulous Danni! Thanks for sharing, and even better, you didn't have to pay anything for it.

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Containers Used While Decluttering

by Megan

Megan from Life of the Lorenzens shared what she uses for decluttering.

She said: "One tool I used was a suggestion I've seen multiple places, but championed by the FlyLady. I found a dual pop-up laundry sorter I had purchased a long time ago but had never used.

I labeled one side "Put Away" (i.e. things that don't belong in that room and need to be put in their rightful place) and labeled one "Giveaway/Sell".

I had the large kitchen trash can for "Throw Away".

I also made myself a little organizer tool box that includes things like labeling supplies. I have to say these little guys are my best friends: Post-it® Super Sticky Removable Label Pads.

They are everywhere in my house. They last a long time unless heavily abused but are easily removed and replaced. Unfortunately, they only come in bright green and pink."

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Reader Question: Where To Place The Box When Have Limited Space & Small Children

by Deena

Deena's Question:

I like the idea of having a permanent spot for the donation box, but I just struggle on where that would be.

I have little ones, 3 & 1, who think everything in sight or reach is for them.

I work full time and the kids are often at home with Dad, who well, is a Dad and doesn't seem to have the eyes in the back of his head deal, like Moms do.

Everything that is tall already has untouchables on it and our house has very little storage.

So I struggle with organization a lot because I just don't know where to put the odds and ends things like this.

Ideas? Thoughts? Any help is appreciated. Organizing has been a huge struggle and I am hoping to get something done this year.

Reader Answers:

Below I've gathered up some of the best responses I got from other readers when I posed the above question from Deena on the site's Facebook page.

Deanna says: How about a storage tote with lid?

Christy says: How about the car trunk? Or a spot in the garage?

Lorraine says: I use brown grocery bags and keep them hidden under the dining room table.

Leone says: I have an extra laundry bin with a lid in my laundry room. I keep a supply of black garbage bags in the bottom - and one as a liner for the bin - so I can't see what's waiting in there and be tempted to "rescue" it. As soon as it's full, off it goes to be donated.

Erica says: The trunk of your car. Makes it easy to stop off and donate the items as you are running around.

Beth says: Back of my closet. I have the same problem where they all of a sudden want their toys if they know I'm getting rid of them, otherwise could seem uninterested. I try to do a house clear out when kids are at grandmas house.

Julie says: I have a Rubbermaid tote on the floor in my walk in closet, kids aren't upstairs without me supervising as a rule, so quite safe.

Amanda says: Maybe something like a reusable grocery bag hanging on the back of a door or in the closet?

Christy says: I use empty diaper boxes in the kids closet.

Gail says: I keep a box in the garage.....whenever I decide that something is going to be donated, I put it in the box. I then have separate boxes in my basement into which I sort clothes, toys, household. Once those are filled, off they go!

Teresa says: I'm just getting started on this venture as well and have a very small house with minimal storage space. I've decided to use the space at the bottom of my hall (aka bathroom) closet. I hope this helps and good luck!

Paige says: Don't forget the back of doors: pantry, linen closet, water heater closet, etc. There are lots of over-door storage options available. Also, the shoe bags that hang in the closet are great for holding lots of different kinds of things. Remember the backs of cabinet doors too. Luggage makes great storage for out of season things too. (I used to hide my kids' Christmas gifts in them!) Check out the storage aisle of your nearest discount store. Don't forget the plumbing aisle too and think outside the box. You don't have to use that over the toilet rack just in the bathroom!

Kristine says: Like Leonne above, I have a laundry center with a hanging bar and two canvas bags covered by a top that can be raised. For years, I wondered what to do with those bags, since they were not really convenient for storing either dirty or clean laundry. A few weeks ago, I started using them as donation central. They are mostly out of sight, yet when the bags are full, very easy to get to and take out to the car for donating. I also find that I am much more likely to put something in the donation bag since it is so handy. Definitely a decluttering win!

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Use Over The Door Hangers To Keep Donations Bag Out Of Kids Hands

by HSS101 Reader

HSS101 Reader says:

Use those over the door hangers for robes, only hang cloth bags for donations on them.

I have the same problem with the little kids getting into everything! It is definitely a challenge, and every high piece of furniture in my house has stuff up there to keep the kids from getting their hands on them also.

Taylor says:

I absolutely adore this idea!

I know how kids like to get into just about everything, and having them "liberate" items you've already decided to declutter from your home before you have a chance to donate them can make lots of work for you, plus can actually make you rethink decisions about items and keep more clutter in your home longer. Not good.

This is a great way to use underutilized storage space in even the tiniest homes!

Item featured from, the Over The Door 6 Hook Organizer Rack

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Keep List Of What's Donated To Attach To Receipt For Taxes

by Mary Walker

I keep a list next to my donation box so that I can quickly check off what I have put in there and what it is worth.

When I get the receipt from the store then I have the list to attach it to so that I am eligible for the tax deduction.

Check with your tax preparer to see if they have such a list that they can share with you.

If you are audited and do not have the list of what was donated, the receipt does you no good.

I cannot tell you how many people each year have forgotten this vital step in record keeping for their tax preparation and are upset that they cannot use the deduction if they haven't kept track of exactly what was donated.

Photo courtesy of LendingMemo

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Other Readers Suggestions For How They Set Up Charity & Selling Boxes

Courtney from Indiana says:

I already had this area somewhat established. It's a section of my bedroom the is essentially unusable for anything else but storage (really low walls on the second floor). It's not pretty or organized but at least I know I have a spot to put stuff I want to get rid of!

Katrina from North GA says:

We just moved and as I decorated for Christmas I divided out the decorations that I no longer liked and set them aside so that I can take them to the consignment store when she begins putting out Christmas items this year.

I also started going through magazines and clothes to give away and have boxes set up for those too.

Sara says:

I have a box in the master bedroom closet for donations but I do have a lot of stuff that I try to sell, and sometimes that is difficult to keep under control since my apartment is on the smallish side. If I haven't sold it after a while I try to put it into the donation box and get it out of here ASAP.

Ann says:

This has been a real struggle for me. Everything we want to get rid of just gets tossed down the basement stairs and with 6 kids that's a lot.

Finally, I figured out to use a 2 bin laundry sorter for donate and sell and make it easily accessible for everyone to throw stuff in it.

Then I'm going to put on my calendar to deal with it every month, as needed. I hope this works. I ordered the bin yesterday so I'm just waiting for it to get here.

Taylor's response to Ann:

I think this is a great idea. A similar idea that some people use is stackable recycling bins, such as those shown to the right.

These bins are relatively big, but are easy to keep in the corner of a basement or garage to get the clutter out of the main part of your house, but still don't take up too much floor space since they're stackable.

They're not so big though that you can just keep filling them forever. It still forces you to sell things frequently, or just donate them!

Dawn says:

I have a large utility/laundry room. I have a utility shelf that has a couple of boxes of donation boxes. Once a get a carload I take it in. (I live an hour from the closest donation center.)

Lulu says:

I keep a large leaf bag in our garage and whenever I run across something we don't need (clothes, knick-knack, toys, whatever) I drop it in the bag. When the bag is full I sort it and donate it where appropriate. Easy! I love it!

Bev says:

I have a box lined with a shopping bag on a bench in my laundry room. When it is full I tie up the handles and put it in the car. Not too big or heavy. Works for me. ...easy to declutter clothes too small etc (once washed).

Taylor says:

I hope these ideas help you with this first decluttering mission, and also explain in more detail what you should do for it.

I would love to hear from even more people who've done the mission, especially showing photos of what your clutter collection station looks like, and why you do or do not choose to have both a donation box and a selling box.

You can share your own photos or thoughts here and I'll add them to this page.

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

How To Declutter Your Home In 15 Minutes A Day

Go From Set Up A Clutter Donation Box To Home Page

Comments for Other Readers Suggestions For How They Set Up Charity & Selling Boxes

Click here to add your own comments

Idea for places to donate
by: Lisa

Remember that senior centers, VA centers, etc also appreciate donated items such as books and puzzles.

another place to donate
by: Ida

Your local hospital probably has a mental health unit. Most of these are exceedingly grateful for any "safe" activities for patients to do: books, jigsaw puzzles, puzzle books, some art supplies, magazines. Some even accept small items like travel sized toiletries or candy for bingo prizes. The most likely person to check with would probably be the unit's occupational therapist.

Animal Shelters
by: Alison

Don't addition to old towels and sheets, animal shelters need things we wouldn't normally think of...laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and office supplies are high on the list for a shelter near me. You might want to ask your local shelter what needs they have, instead of just bringing stuff over.

Donation Boxes
by: Lynni

I keep an extra hamper by my dryer lined with a black trash bag for clothes I want to donate. I obtained a cloth shopping bag from Goodwill, with the Goodwill logo on it, and hang it in the garage for items to donate to Goodwill. I keep a plain shopping bag next to it for items I want to sell.

I use my trunk too
by: Katy

I thought I was the only one who would store donations in my trunk when my kids were little!! I just hate to put useable stuff in a landfill and didn't want kids to liberate clutter.

Flylady's donation bag
by: Tara

The purple donation bag from FlyLady is also good! Of course it can also be filled up fast. Lol. Pretty strong too. I know I've carried it with too much weight in it. Haven't torn the handle yet! (I TRY to make it lighter. Lol)

by: Iris

I like the idea of putting items in the trunk of the car. Take items away regularly then you do not have them around.

donation bag
by: Laurie

I keep a shopping bag open on my bedroom closet floor. When I'm getting dressed and put on something that doesn't fit or I no longer want to keep, I don't hang it back up. I just put it in the bag. When its full I put the bag in my trunk and take it to the donation center. This really cuts down on major closet clean outs.

donation box in the trunk of my car
by: Anonymous

I have a donation box in my house, but I also have a donation box in the trunk of my car. I regularly transfer the items to my trunk, so it's out of the house. Then when I drive by a donation place, I already have it ready to drop off.

Donation station in trunk as well
by: Gemma

Our 'donation station' is in the trunk of our car. We have a milk crate lined with a heavy duty trash bag. Toss items in and when the bag is full, pull through a Goodwill donation center, tighten up the top of the trash bag, and hand it off to the worker. Empty crate is ready to be relined and refilled. Which gives me another idea to just keep a roll of trash liners in the trunk also! Happy de-cluttering!

Using a Garment Rack and tub
by: Anonymous

I use a garment rack on top of my dryer for hanging clothes to donate/sell. I also put one of those round tubs there for the other items. This allows me to use the previously unused vertical space effectively in my small house.

Master closet
by: Karin

I have kept a charity bag in my side of the master closet since my teen was a toddler. All of us know where to drop items we no longer need/want. When it tips over and/or annoys me (since it is beneath my hanging tops), I lay it all out, photograph it, and pack it up for the library, school, or appropriate charity. The photo serves as my record to go with my receipt and I enter the items and price them on Turbo Tax's It's Deductible program (free).

The tip I have not read is to donate toiletries, arts & crafts, and kid books to teachers at your local schools. I used to place partially full bottles of hand soap, lotion, etc. in the teacher's lounge or teacher's restrooms at the elementary school. The school provided very basic supplies and the teachers loved these "upgrades" when I couldn't stand the scent.

keep in my laundry room or storage building
by: Sharon

I always keep my donation stuff in my laundry room or a storage building until I am ready to donate the items. I donate to the Hope Center which then gives the stuff out to women and children that are victims of domestic abuse and they also give clothing items to homeless people. They always send a email or call about twice a month to see if I have anything to donate which gives me time to get stuff gathered up and also keeps it out of the house.

Sell bins - I price items immediately as I place them in there
by: Anonymous

I keep price stickers in my laundry room. If something is going in the "to sell" bin, it gets priced immediately. That way, having a garage sale isn't overwhelming. Stuff doesn't need to be priced, just put out.

Charity - why I don't like Goodwill
by: Mammie

PLEASE do not donate to Goodwill. They are a FOR profit organization that does NOT treat or pay their employees well, even the very few special needs folks they do hire. Find a local charity that truly uses their profits to help people. Locally we have a couple of places ran by the Catholic churches and also the Salvation Army thrift stores (some have a drop box outside their front door that is easy to drive up to, drop off your stuff and be on your way) that I donate to and as other folks have stated there are lots of places that need books, puzzles, good clothing, etc. Women shelters, etc. I live in a rural area and only get "to town" occasionally so I try to keep a box or bag ready to go.

pricing donated items - a question
by: Janet

How do you realistically put a price on your donations for tax purposes. The items are useless to me right now, but have a price value to someone else. I'd like to get the tax donation, but also want to give the items a realistic (?) value.

Freecycle it!
by: Claire

Don't forget that you can also give stuff away directly on sites like Freecycle or Freegle, as well as offering for free on Facebook selling sites.

Decluttering system
by: Anonymous

For clothing I use large Ikea shopping bags or other plastic bags, kept on floor of my closet; when full off it goes to trunk of my car. Bulkier household items and toys I just put in trunk until next time I'm near our local donation center. This system works very well for me. I don't bother trying to resell, happier just to get the mess out of my house by donating!

what to do if itemize deductions
by: Gleaves

Donation suggestion. If you itemize your deductions on your federal and/or state income tax return, I suggest you list each item listed. Attach this detail list to the "donation receipt" received from the organization. The little bit of time it takes is well worth it.

A valuation guide may be obtained from the official website of Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. Using your list of itemized donations and the "valuation guide", write down the amount from the guide. Take all of your donation receipts, with the detailed listings for each receipt, to your Professional Income Tax Preparer. This is a GREAT TAX TIP.

donations list
by: Anonymous

You can get a program called It's Deductible to list the donation items and it will assign a price based on the item and the condition that will get you a much nicer tax deduction. And it does add up over a year.

Over the door hanger and older kids.
by: Connie

The over the door hanger idea is awesome. I have a 10, 13, & 16 year old and they're forever bringing me things to sell or donate. I am now going to place the door hangers in their rooms and a reusable bag and they can put their own stuff in it. On the first of every month I take the items to our local foster families help office. So anything that I'm selling if it's not sold by that time, I usually only leave things on for selling for 2 weeks, I donate it. But I will immediately do the over the door thing. Amazing ideas.

Senior centers
by: Cheryl

I donated my sewing machine to my Senior center, they have sewing classes and can always use the extra machine! They also have a book and CD/DVD lending/exchange library. I give those away too!

Clever community
by: Jill

There are some really good ideas here and certainly a lot I things I had not thought of. Well worth the time I spent reading through them and in addition to my 15 minutes of decluttering

5 donation boxes I use
by: Angel

I have a donation station in my garage. I have 5 bins in the garage. 1) Bags: instead of carrying all my reusable bags in the car, I keep those in one bin. When I know I'm going shopping I can easily grab how many I think I need. 2) Returns: if I buy something I don't like, I just put it in the return bin and when I know I'm going to that store next I just can grab it out of the bin. 3) Borrowed: Anything I borrowed from someone I put in there and put a sticky note on who it belongs to so I can return it when I'm going to see them next. 4) Donate: Anything and everything I need to donate. I can empty this out anytime I know I'm heading towards the mall which is where our Goodwill and a few other donation centers are. 5) Sell: Either Ebay or Garage Sale. We hold a neighborhood garage sale every year in June. I keep sticky notes, price tags and a pen in a little bin next to the bin, so I can immediately price it if it goes into the garage sale, if it needs to go on Ebay I can put a sticky note on it and price it for Ebay. When the bin get full, I pack up what needs to go in the garage sale and label the box "garage sale" and what needs to go on Ebay I pack up and label "Ebay". The week before the garage sale we put list everything that needs to go on Ebay, craig's list, Amazon...etc and also start setting up the garage sale.Then when we do the garage sale everything is already priced ready to go. That whole week we just get rid of anything and everything. Make some cash and use it for whatever; our 4th of July Party, a weekend getaway, our Halloween Bash, our ski trip we take every year or even save it up for xmas presents. Seems like a lot of work in a way but the extra cash is nice to have and we have a good time when the whole neighborhood gets involved, which is about a 20 block radius of families. So to us it's worth it.

The ER - idea of place to donate
by: Donna J Capps

The ER close to me is always looking for clothes, blankets, socks and shoes and clothes for adults and children. They often get homeless people in that don't have adequate clothing/shoes for the weather and the medical staff sometimes have to cut clothing off of burn victims or people who have been in an accident. Call the nurses station and ask if they are in need of certain items.

Here's to a clutter free home by the end of the year.
by: Lisa D

I generally think of myself as a clutter free person. I'm not a knick knack type of person (only because I am also not a person that likes to dust) but I feel there is always room to get rid of things of only to clean out space for cooler things. Now my husband on the other hand is a different story. He's much more, 'well I used that once in high school... 20 years ago.' I'm a couple days behind in starting this but I'm hoping to catch up. Here's to a clutter free home by the end of the year.

Glad You've Started This
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad to have come upon this subject in Pinterest. I have been asking for some help for years about keeping wood floors clean and keeping the house neat and tidy as well as decorating ideas. Needless to say, the closest I came to an answer was, just do one room at a time. I hope this means my prayers are answered. Thank you for making yourself available.

I use paper bags from the grocery store
by: GWMilwaukee

Instead of a box I use paper bags from the grocery store. There is a corner near the door where the bag lives and whenever we have anything that is too small or we don't use it or we go through some closet or drawer, it goes in the paper bag. When I have 2 or 3, or when company is coming, it goes in the trunk of my car to be dropped off the next time I head out for errands.

laundry hamper works
by: Caroline

This is my first attempt to declutter my home. Everyone has great ideas so mine will be a laundry hamper with a large trash bag, sitting in a corner of the bedroom, and dropping it off at the thrift shop on my way to the trash/recycle center Every week.

Ready To Start
by: Myoriah

Right now I have a couple of bags hanging on the pantry door to take today. However, next week I should have arriving a much needed entry way hall unit which has a couple of shelves so I can place a container like a dish tub to use along with bags to place the stuff in when I take them out the door. Unfortunately the donation center which was a block away closed as I would weekly take a bag or two over. For me the sooner I get rid of the donations the better as otherwise I'll change my mind. You know the old "maybe I can use this someday" mentality takes over. LOL!

cardboard boxes
by: Cyd

I am going to use cardboard boxes. That way I can put them in my car because they will be ready to go when they are full and I wont have to repack them to donate them.

donation and selling boxes
by: Gail

OK, I agree with the comments of while you are waiting to sell they are still in the house, so unless it is an expensive item. I put it on the selling sites, if there is no interest in a couple of days it goes in the charity box. I have sold my Halogen oven the day after Boxing Day within 12 hours of putting it on which surprised me.

I will be doing this!
by: Kim S

I will be doing this! My goal for 2016 is to PURGE! I am starting with my Christmas decorations. I have so many I haven't used in years so they are going to be gone. I recently had to empty my parents' house and found things that I now want to use! Out with the old! seps and loving it.
by: Ann Le Roux

I am a pain....
I recycle tin, glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, go to the recycling depot 3 times a week on my way to the shop.
I also have a donation box. I give away often.
I also have a to sell box.
I find it difficult to throw things out if I only use them for certain occasions, happy to get rid of stuff that I never use at all.

Donate-able containers are key!
by: Anonymous

I have an excess of reusable shopping bags that I have received from various give aways.... And I use those as my donation collectors. Once the bag is full I can drop the whole thing off at my local thrift shop, and don't have to empty out another bin (and therefore see the items one last time and risk wanting to keep any of the items I am getting rid of!)

Found millions!
by: Anonymous

Well, maybe not millions, but I found a credit card with $4000 on it that I didn't know I had, gift cards totaling $75, and loose change making it a grand total of $4104. Won't be charging wildly but nice to know it's there for reservations or an emergency.

Easy first step
by: SD

This one was an easy first step for me. I have a booth where I sell off things I'm not longer interested in having in our house and we've donated things for years and have a special box set aside for that too. Thanks for making this job an easy one. No one needs to work too hard on New Year's Day!

Garage sale corner
by: Anonymous

Being military, we de-cluttered every time we moved, which is about every 3 to four years. Prior to the move I would always go through every drawer, shelf, box, closet, etc. with a box for donations, a box for consignment/selling and a trash bag. Now that we've retired I decided to have a giant spring garage sale and whatever doesn't sell will go into boxes for immediately donation. They will not be coming back to my house. If you are organized you can have an area in your garage, attic, etc. specifically for this purpose and have a fall or spring garage sale. I find that selling your hard earned items feels beneficial, plus it puts a little change in your pocket also.

keep a running list of donations
by: Pam

Be sure to keep a running list of donations you are giving as well. I find many times using Goodwill item donation price list I give more than the $500 /yr. However to prove what you gave you must have such a list. What I do is keep a small spiral notebook attached to it to keep my list. When I do the drop off I put a red line & date I dropped it off (which coincides with the donation slip). If you ask these price lists are free & just tape it to your small spiral book so you are ready to tally up at the end of the year. IF I donate somewhere other than Goodwill I put that organizations name at the red line. If ever audited I have my proof, and find that I do truly give more than the $500/yr. Ironically most of it I purchased at the same places (until I outgrew them, or found just not what I though it was) so basically I got to wear the item for free that way. Because the price list is the same as the store prices to purchase those items. If you donate food you don't get as much of a tax deduction in those cases you are better donating a check than cleaning your pantry or buying items to donate.

Small home suggestions
by: Anonymous

My husband and I moved, out of necessity and job-loss, 4 times in 2012. We went from a 3200 sq ft home to a 1600 sq ft home. No basement, no attic, no storage areas at all and we have "down-sized" each move. We are done moving (I hope) and I love these suggestions, but I really don't have any space to place a container for donate and/or sell. If I don't get rid of it immediately, the clutter remains and we are stuck. We have recycled some things (we have pickup for all recyclables twice a month). Any suggestions on moving things to a place to be held for later donation or selling would greatly help.

Sorting bins
by: Rose

What a great idea! I always have a couple of items each week that I am ready to part with and I never know where to put them until I go to recycle. 😊

Try Facebook yard sale pages
by: Elaine

If I have something I want to sell I post in my local online yard sale page. If it doesn't sell by the time I take my donation box, it goes in.

Looks great, Tess!
by: Cat

I love how Tess' boxes are so simple & pretty on the shelf. They add to the organized feel of that space.

Tax Deduction
by: Judy

I keep a clip board with my donation box and add items as I place them in the box. When it's time to deliver the box to its destination I just value the items, come up with a total, and put a date on it. Then I staple it to the receipt provided by the recipient and file it for tax time!

use a paper bag with handles
by: Jennifer

I keep every paper bag I get that has handles and always have one going on the floor in my pantry into which I can immediately place donation items. As soon as the bag is full I take it to a local thrift store which supports a home for unwed mothers.

I use plastic tubs with lids
by: Lisa

I put a plastic tub with lid in our laundry area. I use this tub for all the clothes my kids have outgrown. After washing and drying I just put the clothes in it and they are ready to be donated. I plan on using another one for toys and will keep this one in the basement. I like the idea of keeping bags on and extra ones inside!

great plan for the garage
by: Anonymous

Efficient, convenient, economical. Definitely a thumbs up. If my garage was attached this would be my plan.

setting up my collection station in the garage
by: Anonymous

Now I just need to clear those shelves in garage. Like this idea a lot.

I'm going to set up a donation/sell location first thing.
by: Sandy

I'm going to set up a donation/sell location first thing. You know when you're in trouble when there's no place for a large box for items to dispose of. I like the two smaller containers, which I already have of course.

no place yet for a donation box
by: Ernestine

My cluttering problem is so bad I have no place to put a donation box! I'm not there yet anyway. I do have a cardboard box I am putting things in that I need to find a home for. It is ugly and is in the way. Any suggestions?

by: Kay

Fighting my tendency to overthink everything here. We just picked up two big laundry baskets in town yesterday. Special challenge here is doing the calendar at two houses this year, with a goal to spend roughly equal time at each one. One basket to each house. Mission accomplished!

keep mine in my closet
by: Lovena

I keep a box in my closet. It's out of the way, not really accessible to other members of the family and doesn't take up space in the living areas.

my donation box/corner
by: Michelle

The Donation Box/corner in my house. Some of the items are waiting to see if I will find a use for them, as each room is organized. Items for which I have no use are placed in a small box. When that box is full, I take to the donation center.

Hanging space
by: Laurie

You can also always hang a reusable shopping bag on any closet hanger to get it off the floor and away from kiddos but still be functional.

Absolutely no storage space!!
by: Robin

We live in an apartment that has no storage. My laundry room is very tiny and we do not have a garage. I would use my trunk, except I have all my nursing supplies there. (I visit patients in the home and need to have supplies available). Our closets are very tiny and I am stumped as to where to even begin this organization. Where in the world would I be able to put a donation box that we are not tripping over?

still looking for a place for my station
by: CW

I used a sharpie and labeled some Target paper bags with these labels and when not in use they fold up and hide between the furniture. When in use however I struggle with where to keep them as well. Currently I have a little space at the top of our stairs and I use that but I would prefer a different place for long term...still looking.

by: Gail

I also hang bags for charity on these door hangers .

Over the door storage
by: Lisa G.

I have a perfectly good door to the water heater closet in my VERY small home (less than 1,000 square feet). I love the idea of over the door hangers for reusable bags to collect the clutter for donating to our local salvation army store! I'm going to set this up right now!!! Thanks :)

Donation Value Cheat Sheet
by: Christelle

I was absolutely guilty of making several large donations per year to Goodwill and NOT recording my exact items. It was a bummer during tax season when my CPA would remind me that I couldn't deduct the donation. I discovered Goodwill has a value guide for donors on their site and I keep a printed copy by my donation bin. This helps me not only keep my list of items to donate current by checking them off when they go in the box, I can also easily calculate their worth without having to remember what I paid for it or guessing.

Donation list
by: Debbie Peterson

If you go to the "The Salvation Army" website they have a donation list you can print out and it shows both high and low values!

Pictures of donated items
by: Cheryl

I have started taking pictures of things altogether when I am on my way to donate them. More than once I have looked for something only to finally remember that I donated it. Now, I upload them onto my computer and have them in a folder "donated."

Garbage can
by: Debi Z

I use a kitchen garbage can for our give away spot. I line it with oversized black garbage bags. As soon as it is even close to full, we pull the bag put, reline with another bag, and throw the full bag into the trunk. My husband goes past a Goodwill on the way home from work, so I often put it in the passenger seat so he will remember to drop it off for me the next day :)

Help determining value of donations
by: Anonymous

You can use an online program such as It's Deductible to help you determine the value of items you donate. An additional benefit is that you may be able to automatically upload the information into your tax return if you are preparing yourself using one of the common software programs.

never heard of getting a tax deduction for donating before
by: Anonymous

Can't believe in America your donations are tax deductible. In Australia it is a given that we just give to the charity stores. No government here going to give a tax break for helping others.

List for what's donated for taxes
by: Sarah

This is a great post! I keep a tall kitchen trash container in the garage. After reading all the posts I now am going to put a box of trash bags in the bottom of the container and put one in the bottom. I found a tax deduction list on the internet and made a form that I copied several times. I have the sheets on a clip board next to the trash container. As I add something to donate, I mark next to the appropriate area for each item.
When the bag is full I tie it up and take the donation form off the clipboard. After I donate the bag I clip the inventory list with the receipt and save it for taxes. For me, this is the best system because I can't see what's in the bag so there's no temptation to rescue it and the inventory is all done for me.

I have someone pick it up from my house
by: Kay

I keep a donation box in my study and add to it every day, pretty much. Once it's filled I catalog it so I'll have my donation list and contact one of these charities that will pick up boxes at home -- I leave it on the front porch the day of the pick up, and they leave me my donation receipt. I attach my donation list to the receipt and immediately add it to my file for tax time. Works great!

Deciding what something is worth
by: JDeane

Hi. I wanted to know how people decide what different items are worth that they are going to donate.

donation receipts
by: Christine

I use It's also an app on my phone. Now I'll set up a donation bin and enter items immediately. I can change the donation date to the day I actually drop off. This will make the app even more useful than how I would use it before! Itsdeductible is linked with turbo tax too!

List for donations
by: Anonymous

I love the idea of keeping items to get rid of in the trunk so it's always there if you happen to drive by. I hadn't even thought about keeping a list for tax purposes! That is definitely going on my to-do list. ^_^

Tracking Donations
by: dicook

If you use Turbo Tax or Quicken for your taxes they have an online tracker called It's Deductible. I don't know if you can just create an account to use it without Turbo Tax or Quicken, but it is great at tracking donations. It has already built in lists with pricing. Things run from A-Z and what isn't on the list you can add to it. It also has a separate sections for tracking money donations. If you do use the above programs, then at the end of the year Turbo Tax can go out and download all the information right to your tax form. Other wise I have printed copies from the sight.

The Salvation Army also has a checklist available on their site that you can use too.

I have also found these lists to be useful in deciding a price range for our annual garage sale.

I used a laundry basket
by: Anonymous

Early in January I found a new laundry basket in the back of a closet. I put it in the master bedroom easily in the corner. Our children are grow and gone. I have used this as a gathering place. Yesterday it was full and I transferred the stuff to a big plastic bag and put it in the back seat of the car. Today it goes to Goodwill!

Hide it in a hassock!
by: Nanette

I ordered a "Leather Ottoman Coffee Table With Storage" (affiliate link) from Amazon that I never used. It folds very flat when empty and looks good almost anywhere in the house. Mine is a square, but it comes in a larger size as well. I keep it in the basement family room and fill it with items for donations. No ugly bins or boxes.

I gave it a try and it worked!
by: Josie

I have too much clutter (especially paper) in my room, which has been a challenge. Thank you for this great idea. I emptied a plastic crate and a smaller plastic container, and started putting things to donate and to sell in them. I got through with so much.

mesh laundry totes
by: Lynda

where can I find the tall mesh laundry totes?

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