In exactly one week, we celebrate Christmas Day. And one week after that, we welcome in 2019. If you'd like to get rid of your old things and still receive a tax deduction for this year, you'll need to donate your extra stuff before December 31st. Prepare for the new year by decluttering your San Antonio home now.

Decluttering Your San Antonio Home

Decluttering - Search homes for sale in the San Antonio areaIt may feel a little overwhelming to tackle an entire household of stuff at one time. Instead, take on each room one by one. Separate everything into three categories: keep, donate, toss. A good rule of thumb to trim down your belongings is to get rid of anything that you haven't used or worn in the last 12 months (family heirlooms excepted).

Anything that has outlived its usefulness or is beyond repair needs to be tossed. Check with your local San Antonio trash company to find out what items they'll accept in the regular curbside pickup and which things need to be brought to a separate location for disposal. Everything else that you decide you don't want back in your home can be donated.

Where to Donate Gently Used Items

Canned Goods

Is your pantry overflowing with canned goods that you and your family can't possibly get through before their expiration dates? Donate them to a local food pantry. The San Antonio Food Bank (5200 Enrique M Barrera Pkwy), 357 Food Pantry (489 Lincolnshire), and Daily Bread Ministries (3559 Belgium Ln) serve the local San Antonio community. 


Kids outgrow their clothes so fast. Most of the time, the clothes stop fitting before they've even begun to wear out. Unfortunately, some adults also outgrow their clothes, too. Places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Arms of Hope (7500 I 35 #107), the Children's Shelter Thrift Store (1407 S St Mary's), and the San Antonio Rescue Mission (907 Quincy St) accept gently used clothes for all ages, genders, and sizes. If last winter's coats or jackets no longer fit your family, consider contributing them to J Crew's Coat Drive. They accept coats and jackets at their La Cantera Pkwy store until Christmas Day. Anyone donating a gently used coat receives $25 off a purchase of $125 or more.

Used Furniture

Ready for a change inside your San Antonio home? Is a big furniture purchase in your immediate furniture? What are you going to do with the old stuff? If it's in decent condition, donate it. Arms of Hope (210-732-3776) accepts furniture donations in addition to clothing. So does SAM Ministries (210-321-5678) and any Goodwill store. In fact, contact any of these charities and they might be able to arrange a pick up at your home.


Have you recently upgraded your tablet, iPad, TV or cell phone? Instead of tossing them in a drawer, storing them in the garage or sending them out with the trash, donate them. Best Buy offers recycle bins in the front of their stores where you can drop off old cell phones. They also recycle TVs, computers, appliances, video games, cameras, camcorders, and other home electronics. Women's shelters also accept old cell phones in good working condition. A Woman's Haven (8647 Wurtzbach #C), Bridge Emergency Shelter (3119 West Ave), Martinez St Women's Center (801 N Olive), and Seton Home (1115 Mission Rd) are just a few of the shelters in the San Antonio area you might want to consider donating to.


Finally, let's discuss your book collection. If this is part of your decluttering process, don't toss them out in the trash. Contact Parman Library at Stone Oak (210-207-2703) and ask them about donating these books to their facility. Another place to inquire about donating books is your children's school. Whether it's an elementary, middle, or high school, educational facilities might also accept book donations to fill their library's shelves.

Just because you may no longer have room in your current Stone Oak living situation for certain items doesn't mean that someone else doesn't have a use for them. Decluttering means getting rid of clutter in your own home. Donate gently used items to places where they will do some good. As a bonus, you'll receive a nice tax deduction when you file next year. Just make sure you donate by December 31st, 2018.

LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS