Don’t Stress Over the Holidays, Do a Pre-Holiday Purge Instead

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Sponsored by: Palmetto Goodwill

It’s the time of year when Facebook friends are letting you know how many Fridays there are before Christmas (stop doing that!). We are reminded that the end of 2016 is coming quick, and we’ll be facing the busy holiday season very soon.

But instead of stressing over the ticking holiday countdown, think about how you can turn the last couple months of the year into an opportunity to make some space in your home.

Plan a pre-holiday purging and organizing session. Most people don’t have a lot of extra room in their closets, in the toy box or on the bookshelves. So exactly where will you put those holiday gifts? Can you stuff one more sweater in your drawer? Can your kids squeeze one more toy into the playroom toy bin? Probably not.

As you’re getting out your fall and winter clothing, set aside anything that doesn’t fit or you simply don’t like anymore. The kids have probably outgrown half their clothing, so put those in a box for donating. Assess your summer wardrobe. If you didn’t wear it this summer, what makes you think you’ll wear it next summer?

Take a hard look at your bookshelves and closets. Are they harboring knickknacks, books or other items that have worn out their welcome?

Be sure to involve your children in this process. Give them a box or bag to fill with toys they no longer play with, books they’ve outgrown and any other items that haven’t seen the light of day for months. This is a great way to make some room for the toys on their holiday wish list. Santa can’t bring anything new if there’s no place to store it!

Gather all those items and donate them to your local Goodwill. You’ll feel good knowing those unwanted or unused items are finding a new purpose in someone else’s home.

Aside from clearing a lot of clutter in your closets, your donations also are eligible for a tax deduction. According to IRS rules, only donations given to qualified charitable organizations, such as Goodwill, are deductible. Be sure to ask the organization for a dated receipt so you have the proper proof of your donation. Only donations made by Dec. 31 will count toward your 2016 taxes.

Typically you can take a deduction of the fair market value of the items you’ve donated. Think about the value of the item if you were to sell it in its current condition. Also, consult with your tax adviser to ensure you are deducting the appropriate amount.

As the holiday season approaches, view it as a chance to do some much-needed cleaning in your house (no need to wait until spring). It’s also a chance to donate and make a real difference to a charitable organization in your community. Plus, you get the tax deduction – and everyone loves the idea of few extra bucks coming back into their wallet.

For more information about Palmetto Goodwill, visit or call (843) 566-0072.