I’ve been known to drop a car load of bags and boxes at Goodwill or Salvation Army without having itemized a single item for tax purposes – getting everything out of the house simply becomes more important that the deduction at some point. But I’ve started something new in the last couple of weeks, as I prepare to make a large donation to the boys’ preschool for their annual garage sale.
As I find things we will donate, I put them in a corner of my bedroom. Then, when I have a moment, I take out a few items, snap a quick photo, and write down a general description of the item on a piece of paper. When we download the photos to our computer, I’ll put them in the taxes folder, along with a typed list of the items we donated.
In the past, I’ve written fairly detailed descriptions of each item we donated. For example, I wrote: Boy’s t-shirt w/ dinosaur theme, blue, like new, size 24 months. This time, my list simply says, 20 boys’ t-shirts. It’s much more manageable, and I’m okay with it because I have the photo if I need more details.
Once I’ve jotted down the items in the photo, I put them into a bag. When the bag is full, I set it aside with all of the other bags and boxes that we’re donating. I’ve set Monday as my big donation day, when I’ll bring a car load of stuff to the school.
Do you have a shortcut or easy method of tracking your non-cash charitable donations?
Previously: Calculating my non-cash charitable contributions