Managing a Move During the Pandemic

While slowing the spread of COVID-19 has required Americans to stay at home for more than year, where their homes are is changing rapidly. Since the start of the #pandemic, millions of people have pulled up stakes and #moved permanently.

Some people lost their jobs and were forced to move to save on expenses. Others want to find more space for their new #remote offices and classrooms. And some just want to get out of congested city centers and pursue a more socially distanced lifestyle every day.

If you’re looking at a move in the near future, be forewarned that the coronavirus has (of course) complicated the process. “Every task is just a little bit harder during the pandemic,” says USA Today.

To start, you’ll have to observe the proper sanitizing, masking and distancing precautions with any number of new people, including realtors or leasing agents, movers and storage facilities, and contractors and delivery personnel. And you’ll need them to take antiviral protocols seriously, too.

Look for “companies that require employees and customers to wear masks, detail how they practice social distancing, and can explain what steps they are taking to screen and protect their employees from becoming sick,” The New York Times says.

If you are in the market for a new home, rental and real estate agents are offering video tours to help people scope things out from a distance before they commit. Google’s Street View can also offer a preview of the new neighborhood.

Moving also means packing everything you own into boxes. Whether you’re purposely #downsizing or just trying to #streamline the moving process, weed out the things you won’t need in your new home; there’s no reason to move them.

As the disused clothing, books, small appliances and other household items start to pile up, set them aside in separate boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free, #contactless #donation #pickup. A masked driver will arrive on the appointed day to relieve you of that extra stuff.

Moving is never easy, but moving in pandemic times is that much more difficult. Let ClothingDonations.org help you strike at least one item off your long to-do list — and help you resettle happily in a new location as the pandemic slowly recedes.

Reasons Not to Shop on Black Friday

The circulars are out, and the buzz is building. There are so many deals to be had on the busiest shopping day of the year — how could anyone just sit around the house enjoying a long-awaited day off and some Thanksgiving leftovers?!

As tempting as some of those deals might be, you don’t have to shop on Black Friday. In fact, it might save you lots of money in the long run if you avoid the crowds and keep your credit cards hidden away in a drawer. Otherwise, you might overspend.

“We go with a list, but other tempting deals reel us in,” says Simply Organized Home. “Then, all of a sudden, we had to have it. After coming home and realizing we went over our budget, we get a sickening feeling down in our stomach.”

That sickening feeling foreshadows bills that might be a lot more than you want to pay after all of the gifts are given and all of the tidings are told. What’s more, a lot of that impulse stuff is probably unnecessary, so you and yours will have to find places to put it.

Then there’s the hassle of fighting the crowds — those legions of people who, like you, want to save a buck or two on whatever the “it” item is this year. Do yourself a favor and turn tail on those crowds unless you truly regard shopping as a competitive sport.

The fact of the matter is that you can probably get just as good a deal by shopping online, and do so in a more targeted and efficient way. If you know exactly what you want, you can probably get just as a good a deal while sipping coffee in your bathrobe.

And if you don’t buy those things nobody needs, you and your giftees will have less clutter to cope with at home. Less clutter means less anxiety — and less time spent simply managing one’s own possessions.

Use the day to plan what you want to give to your family and friends. Consider giving a gift that take up no space whatsoever, like a charitable donation to the Vietnam Veterans of America or another worthy nonprofit.

Or take a day to decompress. Instead of going to a mall or big-box store, “Go ice skating,” says The Minimalists. “Donate your time to a food bank. Play in the snow (or in the sand). Or just relax and enjoy the holiday season. Simply be together — no purchase necessary.”

What Your Donations Do for Veterans

If you’ve donated clothing and other household items to ClothingDonations.org in the past, you may be aware that your stuff helps fund programs that support veterans throughout the country. But do you know how, and what your donations fund?

When you give the things you no longer need, the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) resells them in bulk to partner thrift and secondhand stores, where other people can shop for great deals on lightly used stuff.

VVA takes the proceeds and uses them to underwrite range of programs. On the national level, the association helps veterans tap government benefits and health care guaranteed to those who have served, and lobbies on behalf of veterans in the nation’s capital.

Aware that war can have challenging health effects for decades after a deployment, VVA offers outreach programs to veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

It offers programs targeted to POW/MIAs and their families, minority veterans, women veterans, and justice-involved and jailed veterans. In other words, it is a comprehensive, wraparound service organization operated by and dedicated to Vietnam veterans.

As Vietnam veterans have aged and the country has continued to engage in overseas conflicts, VVA has expanded its mission to welcome veterans of all U.S. conflicts. “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” is its motto.

VVA programs are supplemented and supported at the local level by the organization’s more than 500 chapters nationwide. The chapters use some of the money raised through ClothingDonations.org to host educational and social events, honor veterans, and give back to their communities through parades, scholarships and sponsorships.

Last month, for example, dozens of VVA chapters celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, hosting luncheons, memorial observances and educational programs around the country to thank veterans living and dead for their service.

While donations to ClothingDonations.org don’t pay for the entirety of the programs VVA offers, the money raised eases the organization’s fundraising burden while providing you — the loyal readers of the Organizing Blog — with an easy, earth-friendly way to get rid of your unwanted stuff.

The nation’s veterans appreciate every donation, and thank you for your support!

Valuing Donated Goods for Tax Deduction

Major tax-preparation programs and applications from companies such as H&R Block, TaxAct and TurboTax offer valuation guides for used goods like those you often #donate to ClothingDonations.org, offering a range of values based on condition. Each pair of pants, for example, is worth about $5–$12 at resale, and that amount is deductible. Be forewarned, however, that the threshold for deductible donations of lightly used clothing and goods is typically $500, so try to #declutter often. If you would like to make a larger charitable donation, consult IRS Publication 526 for information.

Declutter Throughout the New Year

When you have too many possessions, they can become so overwhelming and all-consuming that they clutter the mind, too. If you want to declutter your surroundings in the new year but don’t know where to begin, Clark.com offers a month-by-month plan that promises to get your home and life in better order by the end of 2019. January is a good time to make an assessment of the things you received as gifts over the holidays, for example. If you haven’t used a gifted item or know that you won’t, now is the time to return, sell or regift whatever it is, or donate it to a worthy charitable organization such as ClothingDonations.org!