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Monday, November 26, 2007

Declutter and help someone out...

There is an article in the Oakland Press this morning about the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan and the programs that they run to help out people who need items of furniture for their homes. Like everything else, this charitable organization has been hit hard by the current economic downturn, with donations down and requests up dramatically. The Furniture Bank Executive Director, Collen Kelly, is a personal friend of ours.

I got to thinking, after reading the story, that this would be a great way for my real estate clients who are selling to de-clutter their houses. I almost always end up advising that and most people just don't know what they're going to do with the excess furniture that they may need, or want, to take out of their homes. I've advised getting a rental storage unit to some; but, if the truth be told, most of the excess stuff will end up being discarded anyway. Moves have a way of forcing the issue of cleaning out stuff that you really don't want or need anymore.

Well, the Furniture Bank and it's clients do need and want furniture in good condition, so you could end up getting rid of your excess and helping others out, too; not to mention possibly getting a tax break for your donation. The furniture Bank especially needs twin beds, dressers, dining room sets, refrigerators, stoves and cribs. The Furniture Bank will take smaller items, such as pots ands pan, dishes, silverware, glassware, lamps and household appliances in good condition and clean; however, you'll have to drop those items off at the Furniture Bank location at 333 N. Perry St in Pontiac; unless you also have one of the larger items mentioned above, at which time they will send out a truck to make the pickup. Twin beds, especially those "theme" beds like Spiderman or Cinderella beds become very expendable once your little Spiderman or Cinderella hit Middle School and no longer think they're as cool as they used to be.

So, as you get ready to put your house on the market, go though and identify items that can be removed to reduce clutter, or items that you're going to get rid of anyway and see if they are in good enough shape to donate to the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Give them a call at (248)332-1300, if you have larger items that need to be picked up. If you do it now you'll still be able to take whatever tax deductions the might apply on this years taxes. Help the less fortunate with your excess and help me sell your house with less clutter.

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