Declutter, Donate, and Deduct

Decluttering your home and donating your items to local non-profit groups is a fantastic way to organize your home...and get a tax deduction. ​

​When you are ready to begin organizing your home start by separating things out to Keep, Donate, and Discard/Recycle piles. Develop a helpful mantra to evaluate items. Whatever works for you. It can be as simple as asking yourself, ‘why do I have this’.


Keep is for those items that you use regularly or always need nearby.

  • You want to keep the mementos, goods, and gadgets that you love; everything that makes your home both high-functioning and cozy.


Trying to figure out what you can easily declutter and have it make a difference in your local community?

  • Do a quick Google search of “donation needs near me” and you'll likely find all of your local charitable organizations.

  • Most shelters have their immediate needs posted on their websites. Toiletries and personal care items, including travel/ hotel size, are needed at nearly every shelter, all the time.

  • Make sure items being donated to charity are in good condition. Not only is it common sense to only donate quality items, but it’s also the guideline used by the IRS to qualify for a tax deduction.

  • If you want to make a tax deductible donation be sure that you are giving to a 501c3 organization. These are organizations that are recognized by the IRS as being tax-exempt charitable programs. If you’re unsure about a group you’re thinking of giving to, you can always call them or check their website.

  • Keep track of what you give! Be sure you get a receipt or donation acceptance letter from the non-profit you give to.

  • If you are handling an estate clean out take the time to document your donation inventory by hand. Document the item, condition, and value. Use a standardized donation valuation guide, such as the Goodwill one, to tally up your donation.


The truth is that some of the stuff in a home really is just garbage. If you can’t look someone in the eye when donating it, it should probably be tossed or recycled.

  • Take materials like glass, plastic, and cardboard to recycling facilities.

  • Check here for more information on the solid waste and recycling program in Cumberland County.

  • Items not accepted at any Cumberland County convenience center or Main Recycling Center are: liquid fuel of any kind, landscape brush, leaves or grass clippings, construction or demol