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Furniture Donation: Is It Worth the Effort?

April 20, 2016.

Furniture donation is often overlooked when you think of charitable giving. Let’s take a look at your options when you have furniture you no longer use. Sell it, junk it, or is furniture donation really the way to go?

Donate It or Sell It?

The sofa is still in excellent condition with no blemishes, so you could very easily sell it. You could list it on Craigslist or E-Bay and eventually, someone with a truck who has a need for a sofa will buy it. The problem with that is the new sofa will be delivered soon and you don’t have storage until the “eventually” happens. Another problem with attempting to sell your used furniture is everyone wants near-new furniture and they want to pay next to nothing for it. In addition, they want it delivered and set up.

That is a lot of work for so little gain. Trying to sell your used furniture can create more stress for you than it may be worth.

You Could Junk It

Actually, if your furniture is not in good condition, this is probably the way to go. Additionally, when you get ready to move or remodel there may be items that you no longer need or want.

You must first establish there are no parts of your junk that would be harmful to the environment. Many older appliances have unsafe materials in there that need to be disposed of properly.

Remember when we used to just throw used batteries in the trash, who knew? Now you can be heavily fined and even if you are not caught the possible damage to the environment is just not worth it.

Furniture Donation Could Be the Best Choice

Now that you have tried to sell that sofa without success and you and your partner have decided against just throwing it away, it’s time to look at the best alternative. Furniture donation is by far the wiser choice.

Just as you received a tax refund this year to buy that new sofa, donating the old sofa can set you up for a possible tax deduction in the amount of its fair market value for next year.

Whereas it may be true that you will have to itemize deductions in order to use the furniture donation, along with any other charitable donations. Do not be too quick to write off the idea, as in the course of a year, you may donate more than you think. Therefore, you should look at the amount of deductions you have prior to using that strategy.

Whatever your reason for choosing to donate your furniture, there are literally hundreds of charitable agencies that except your donations and some, such as The Salvation Army have even prepared a Donation Guide to help you determine its fair market value. There are many other items on the list too, so take a look and clear out that storage space.

Here is a list of other charitable organizations that may except your furniture donations:

  • The National Furniture Bank Association
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Donation Town
  • Goodwill Industries
  • The Salvation Army
  • Battered Women’s or Homeless Shelters
  • Local Thrift Stores
  • Battered Women’s Shelters
  • Theater Groups

Stay Local

Perhaps the best course of action is to check local charities first, such as high school and college theater groups, some of these even accept old or battered furniture donations to use as props for their stage sets. Battered women’s centers and homeless shelters need furniture for their patrons to use temporarily as they get their lives back on track.

Local charities may give you a better feeling when donating, knowing how those items will be used. Many of these charities will even provide a receipt to use at tax time and the price of having it delivered may be deducted as well.

Although the IRS does not provide a fair market value for your items, they use “the price a buyer would be willing to pay.” Check with a tax expert before using any deductions to ensure the right amount is deducted.

When you decide which charity to donate to, or even if you decide to junk it, contact Jiffy Junk for a smooth, safe and affordable delivery.

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