When To Sell And When To Donate Things You Don’t Need

Featured image Creative Commons 3.0 by Sparklingdawg via Wikimedia

There is one sure way to cut the cost of your move, and that’s to move less stuff. While you’re in the middle of packing, it’s always a great idea to sort what you do and don’t need. If you haven’t worn it in years, get rid of it. If it’s in bad shape, definitely get rid of it. If it won’t fit in in your new home, find somewhere it does fit. When, though, should you donate and when should you sell?

Do You Have Time?

Whether to donate or whether to sell may depend on one thing, do you have time? You can donate everything in one trip, as long as the thrift store or charity accepts everything. They’ll give you a receipt to file with your taxes. If you sell, though, you might make some cash, but it could take time, and you’ll need to be around to show the items.

What Are You Getting Rid Of?

If your clothing is in decent shape, donating is probably easier, unless you have an item that is one of a kind or particularly valuable. If you are getting rid of furniture, many charities and thrift stores don’t even take mattresses and upholstered items, like sofas, because of the potential for bedbugs.

If you have an old car, donating might be better. Your local public TV or radio stations will happily take your car donations.

Is There A Middle Ground?

A consignment store is simple, just one stop, at least in theory, and they can sell many of your goods. There are a couple of downsides to consignment stores, though. They take a cut of all the profits, and they are fairly picky about what they’ll sell. You may have to try several consignment shops to sell all your unwanted items.

If you just want to get rid of stuff, and you don’t care about the tax deduction (most renters, for example, don’t itemize their taxes anyway), you can give items away through sites like Craigslist or NextDoor.