Thursday, October 18, 2012

Garage Sale or Donate?

Every year I have clients ask me if I can help them set up for a garage sale. They want to eliminate the clutter and sell all their unwanted items in a garage sale. The issue then becomes will their items bring in the money there are hoping? Most of us think our items are worth much more than someone else is willing to pay for them. If you are not willing to accept this, than a garage sale is clearly not for you. Take into account the amount of time you will spend preparing for the garage sale and the amount you will make. If the time you spend on preparing for the garage sale is more than the time you will be open for the garage sale, you might want to reconsider. If your garage sale has most of the items being priced under $10, then you will get far more as a tax write off then you would receive from buyers at a garage sale. When you donate to a charity, you can write off every item you donated on your taxes. The only requirement is to write down each item you are giving away. Now if you keep a bag in a closet for all your donations, you can write down the items being donated each time the bag becomes full. You then attach the receipt to the list and put it in your tax file. It adds up fast if you purge often. You must take into account the weather which you can never predict in time to advertise for the garage sale. That leaves you vulnerable if it turns out to be cold or rainy. If you only have a few large more valuable items and mostly under $5 or $10 items, consider putting the larger and more expensive items on Craigs List and donating the remainder. You will be much happier with the results and have much more time to do the things you really like or get more important things completed.


Organizing Your Time To Fit It All In

Time management is for everyone not just businessmen. If you are one of those feeling that you just can't get it all done, then you need to start by writing down your schedule for everyday for a week. Write down the time, the activity, and how long you spent on it. Include everything such as your morning routine, making meals, driving kids around, grocery shopping, even choosing clothes. After a few days you might start to see a pattern and some events you spend too much time completing or others you need to spend more time on. For instance, if it is taking you 20 minutes in the morning to choose what to wear each morning, then possible going to choosing in the evening will save you time each morning. Pay close attention to times that you are wasting much of your time or it is taking longer than it should to complete a task. If you are a morning person, then the evening should not be the time you are trying to make a multitude of decisions. Leave that for afternoon or morning. The same goes for those of you who are not morning people. Make those decisions in the evening. Continue to look at your schedule and the events you’re spending time on during the day.

Once you have a good idea of your days and weeks, sit down and decide what you can let go of and what can be tweaked. If you are spending 2 hours a day reading the paper, can you reduce that to just the main parts and then watch the local or national news? Don't save the papers and think you will read them all later, that trick never works. Your goal is to add some time to your schedule to fit more pertinent events in. You might decide that you need help in some areas such as cleaning or grocery shopping. Maybe you need to arrange more carpooling for kid’s practices or parties. Do not feel bad if you have to miss one or two games during the season. It happens and kids adjust much easier than we think. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you cannot afford a cleaning service every week or every other, but maybe once a month. Delegate some of the chores to others. Don't try to me super mom or dad as that will just wear you down and get less done. If you are going to the grocery store every day, maybe spending a little time planning the week of meals out will help you cut your time at the grocery store down. Spending a little time and planning ahead will award you with more time.

Learn to say no too. Do not feel the urge to say yes to every task someone asks you to take on or help with. Sometimes you just have to say your schedule currently does not allow you to add the time and maybe the next project you can help on.