The holidays are almost here. What can you do to spread a little cheer this season?
Cleaning up your friend’s front lawn isn’t a bad idea. Buying your significant other a gift certainly isn’t, either. Donations of clothing are an especially good place to start. Recycling clothing is an increasingly common way to do some good for just about everybody, from your local community to multiple industries in need of some new materials. You can keep harmful materials out of landfills. You can get a tax write-off for your charitable donation. Best of all? You give those in need some nice clothes to buy when they’re struggling under a budget.
Try out these charitable donation tips to make sure your generosity goes as far as possible.
Try The Two Season Test
Not sure which clothes to give up to your local charity organizations? You can’t go wrong with the two season test. Living in a one to two season climate, such as along the West coast, is a good indicator of how varied your wardrobe will be. If you haven’t worn a clothing item in six months or more? A double indicator of what to let go. Over two billion pounds of fabric were kept out of landfills back in 2006. Landfills are a notorious strain on the environment and are responsible for taking up a lot of space and making our air quality much worse. Let’s try and donate even more this holiday season!
Make Sure They’re Gently Used
Don’t want a pair of jeans or an old jacket? Make sure they’re gently used before you reach out to donation pickup. Donations of clothing are most likely to be repurposed and resold at your local thrift shop, meaning any gaping holes or tears are out of the question. Those that aren’t resold? They can be recycled into new clothes no matter how worn out they are. Err on then side of caution and try to give away clothes that aren’t showing too much wear and tear. The average American buys twice as many articles of clothing compared to 20 years ago, so your unwanted shirt may be someone’s newest treasure.
Ask About In-Demand Items
Perhaps your local clothing drop off is in need of some new shoes. Maybe they have a high demand for sweaters, but can’t ever seem to get enough. Reaching out with a phone call or dropping by can answer these questions and put you in a better spot to help out your fellow man. Textiles account for over 5% of municipal waste and, as of these past few years, just 15% are actually recycled. Donations of clothing are a gift that keeps on giving, affecting our community, our environment and our industry on a rolling basis.
Keep Your Receipts
There are even more benefits when you gather up donations of clothing to round out the year. Your charitable donation can qualify as a tax write-off, saving you money and even giving you extra cash to put toward some new outfits. The IRS requires an appraisal to be submitted with your tax return, whether it’s a single article of clothing or a household item. Deducting more than $500 is a good place to start, but remember to keep your receipts! This will prevent you from missing out on crucial numbers when filing your yearly form.
Spread The Word
The holidays should be a time of family and festivities. When people are low on money and scrambling for options, it can be hard to enjoy them. Spread some of the love by spreading the word online. A recent study found the vast majority of social media users at 70% saying they would take action in response to a friend posting about their charitable donation. Another holiday survey saw 40% admitting they give more during the holidays than any other time of year. Snap a few photos of your donation box or ask your friends what they can do to put a smile on someone’s face this year.
The holidays are just around the corner. Make sure everyone is feeling the warmth by donating your gently used clothes.