A while back I read on the Children of Hoarders website that one individual's hoarder parent had rented three storage units over something like 15 years. They did the math on this one:
3 storage units @$80 each per month each for 15 years. For those of us who are mathematically dis-inclined, google calculator says that this is
80 (dollars) x 3 (units) x 12 (months each year) x 15 years =
$43,200. For the privilege of keeping piles of useless stuff. It sure makes me wonder, what would I do with $43,000? Certainly not put it into junk!
But I realize I am doing that. Many of us are. Anyone here have renter's or homeowner's insurance? Did you remember the number you gave them when they asked you how much your personal possessions were worth? It's pretty scary. I've seen friends and family have numbers anywhere from $15,000 to $90,000. In graduate school I fed, clothed, housed, and entertained myself for the entire year on $15,000. That's no small chunk of change.
The reckoning I do every time I give something away has made me more aware of the money that I lose when I buy possessions. But I'm realizing that I also need to be careful when getting rid of the items I don't need anymore. I've finally taken the time to learn about the charitable donations tax deduction. I now make sure to get the deduction slips from our thrift shop and homeless charity whenever I donate items. In the end it gives me more money to turn around and give back to the charities I support.
Before the year's out I'm in a hurry to maximize my tax deduction! (I sound like an ad. Sigh.) So let's see what tax deduction is behind closet door number one!
One barstool (bought for $12)
One sling, never used ($29)
Corningware dishes (3 @ $4 each = $12)
More tupperware (2 at $4 each = $8)
Grad school mug ($7)
Maryland mug ($10)
Magnifying mirror ($35)
Pill case ($4)
Total: $117 on stuff I never should've bought.
And then there was the stuff that I purchased but did get use out of but don't need now:
dumbbells for physical therapy ($10)
DVDs and CDs ($100)
And then the free stuff:
one shoebox (value $0)
mirrored antique tray (value $5)
glass jar (value $0.25)
tote bag (value $0.99)
purple tin (value $0.25)
renoir print (value $2)
Counting wear and tear, it's about $100 I can deduct from my taxes. It's not much, but if I can turn $15, $20, or $25 back around to a charity, that's pretty awesome to me.
Do you deduct the value of what you donate? Is it worth the hassle? I've never done it before. We'll see how much of a paperwork mess it makes. And that's 19 items down. Items 153-172 are gone! And I am also now $1916.00 poorer than I would've been if I'd paid attention to what I was buying. Ugh. And I'm not even half way through my goal of getting rid of 365 things. Screw it, I'll get myself thoroughly depressed and shoot for 500 before we have kids. We'll need the space.
See you tomorrow for Friday's Fashion Fallout!