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4 Reasons To Not Have A Yard Sale

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in Tax Matters

The purpose of this post is to persuade you to not have a yard sale this year. Instead, why not give all your stuff to a charitable organization? I can think of at least four reasons to adopt this motto: Be charitable not profitable!

Reason #1: You'll save time. When you add up all the hours you'll spend organizing, hosting, and cleaning up after, you are likely to spend 20-30 hours doing a yard sale. Compare that to the time it will take you to load up your stuff and take it to the nearest Goodwill Industries or Salvation Army. 'Nuff said?

Reason #2: You'll finally get rid of everything. After your yard sale is over, won't you still have a bunch of stuff left over? What are you going to do with it? Put it back in the same boxes and find a place to put it in the attic? Again! Why not get rid of this stuff once and for all. Why torture yourself with stuff you really don't need any more. Isn't that why you tried to sell it? But you weren't able to sell it, were you? And guess what: all that stuff that nobody wanted to buy is still in pretty good shape, isn't it? And there are plenty of folks who would be glad to have it. So take it to your local charity and finally make some headway in your never-ending battle against clutter.

Reason #3: You'll get a tax deduction that could save you hundreds of dollars. Many folks do make a decent wage by having a yard sale. Do the math: if you make $300 for 30 hours of work, you made $10/hour. Or how about $500 in 20 hours; now you're up to $25/hour. Not too shabby.

But you can also make the same amount of money from a tax deduction. Do the math: if you are in the 15% federal income tax bracket, for every $1,000 worth of stuff that you donate, Uncle Sam will "pay" you $150 on your personal income tax return. If you are in the 25% tax bracket, a $1,000 donation saves you $250 in federal income taxes. That's not too shabby either!

Reason #4: You'll help people. Please take to heart what I said earlier: There are plenty of people who would be glad to have your old clothes and other used household items. When you donate to organizations like Goodwill Industries and the Salvation Army, they will sell those items in their thrift shop, often to lower-income people (or not-so-lower-income people!) who are getting a pretty good deal by purchasing used items. This is American ingenuity, capitalism and compassion all rolled into one great idea: the thrift shop is one of the best win-win-win situations around.

Still thinking of having a yard sale? Please reconsider. Be charitable not profitable. You'll save time, you'll get rid of your old stuff once and for all, you'll reduce your taxes, and you'll give others the opportunity to obtain useful things at an affordable price. Now what could be better than that!

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