Clothing Donations Are Deductible

If you choose to itemize deductions on your federal income taxes, remember that all of the extra stuff you donate to ClothingDonations.org has a deductible value. Itemize your contributions, then calculate and deduct their fair market value from your returns using a long-form 1040 and Schedule A. Cash gifts and mileage driven on behalf of a charity are also deductible, but always remember to record your contributions and get receipts for them. #LastMinuteTaxTips

Give Yourself a Dose of Digital Minimalism

Your home may be the very picture of #minimalism after you used all of the at-home time in the last year to #declutter and #donate your extra stuff to ClothingDonations.org. But your digital life may also need a good dose of minimalism. “Distracting ourselves with videos, TV episodes and quick online reads is a poor substitute for our prepandemic plans,” StudyBreaks says. Spending less time may offer you the space to tackle long-term goals, so now’s the time to do a “digital decluttering” to make time for offline pursuits.

Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Keeping the Spring Travel Bug at Bay

It has now been a full year since #lockdowns against the novel #coronavirus went into effect worldwide, shutting down in-person gatherings such as concerts, conventions, school and sporting events. People canceled their trips due to travel restrictions, and most haven’t boarded a plane since.

A year later, the prospect of taking a pleasure trip has improved. With three COVID-19 vaccines being administered nationwide, many of the most vulnerable segments of the population are starting to get some protection against the disease. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and you may still want to hold off on planning that jaunt.

Spring fever, of course, is an affliction that worsens with the rising temperatures. You probably want to go out and do something — anything — that involves fresh air, sun, scenery and social interactions. For the next few months, however, the safest bet is to get creative while breaking the routine.

One safe way to shake up the routine is to take a “staycation,” Everyday Health says. Just set aside time to create your own spa experience, meditate or explore parts of your own hometown on foot. You can also try bring one of your dream destinations home for a night; if you can’t go to Italy, for example, make some fresh pasta and cue up a Fellini film.

If you absolutely must get out of town to preserve your sanity, consider taking a camping trip with the people in your family or “pod,” says the Washington Post. If you observe masking and social distancing rules with anyone unfamiliar, camping is one of the safest ways to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the spread of the virus.

One thing the Organizing Blog advises doing in the spring is a thorough #cleaning and #decluttering. Throw open the windows and enjoy the fresh air as you scour; once you sort out extra stuff you don’t need and #donate it to ClothingDonations.org, your home will be much more livable.

One more way to keep the travel bug at bay is to plan your dream trip(s) for the future. Experts say that domestic travel could return to normal once most people are vaccinated, and that is currently targeted to happen by the start of summer. International travel may have to wait a while longer, depending on the destination.

When you decide to travel again, you’ll have that much more pent-up anticipation for your trip — and maybe enjoy it more thoroughly as a result. But wherever you go, stay safe: Wear a mask, wash your hands and observe social distancing. Travel is fantastic food for the soul, but you don’t want to gamble with your health.

Valentine’s Romance Without the Clutter

Valentine’s Day inspires gift-giving of a specific kind: jewelry, apparel, greeting cards. These things don’t take up a lot of space on their own, but like anything else, they tend to accumulate even though you and yours may not use them every day. What’s a person, couple or family to do if they already have enough of that stuff laying around?

Get creative! Instead of giving your loved ones things that take up space, Organizing Maniacs says, give the gift of time. Take a hike, play a game, do a puzzle, clean the house or volunteer to wash and vacuum the car.

Make memories rather than more space for material goods. Plan a weekend getaway, take a virtual cooking class together, or schedule a spa day. Set a date night — whatever that might look like in the current pandemic climate.

If you want to get craftsy, you can buy or create a coupon book of actions or favors for your loved ones to cash in at their leisure, Meaningfully Organized says. Depending on your skill set, coupons can be exchanged for anything from a hug to a beach vacation.

There’s nothing wrong with food when it comes to giving, either — it rarely takes up space for long. But while that giant heart-shaped box of maple creams may be the perfect gift for a person who loves maple creams, your significant other may be more into coffee, craft beer, or crackers and cheese.

You can combine food with an experience by making a favorite meal at home together. And flowers may be appropriate, but we at the Organizing Blog think it’s better to give a living plant that rewards its recipient through the seasons than a run-of-the-mill bouquet that turns brown by week’s end.

A rule of thumb? The more thoughtful the gift, the more useful it will be — and the less likely it will one day be considered #clutter.

If you or yours need to #declutter, make that your Valentine’s Day goal, project or gift. Just be sure to contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation pickup before you and your loved ones tackle that drawer, closet or room. Happy Valentine’s Day!