Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Weekend Weather/Garage Sale Lessons/Deducting Clothing Donations

Trough over west and high pressure over east means a contrast in conditions...especially temperature. On Friday, highs in the Pacific Northwest/Intermountain Region/West Coast will be in the 40s to 60s. From the Rockies eastward, highs will be in the 80s and 90s (except for northeast which will have highs in the 60s and 70s).

Houston will be hot and humid through the holiday weekend. Look for a few afternoon and early evening showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday. Otherwise, great pool and surf weather. Enjoy! Do keep in mind that we have been having Ozone Watches and air quality problems...this will continue through the weekend. So folks with respiratory problems like asthma, the elderly and young children need to minimize their time outdoors--especially during afternoon hours.

In my last post, I forgot to give you the Spanish word for aunt. I only provided the pronunciation. Sorry about that!!! So, here is the word: tía

If you are looking for a summer language camp, try The Language Factory. But, if you don't have time or the budget for a camp, try the next best thing...order my award winning DVDs, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco. They are on the shelf (in the education section) at Barnes & Noble stores or you can order them from,,,, or Our ESL (English as a Second Language) version can be found at

Last weekend's garage sale was a huge success. I got to use some of my rusty Spanish and still managed to sell some things and actually come out ahead. Some of our other neighbors also had garage sales. One of my friends sold her son's clothes and she said every piece went. I didn't sell any of Sarah's clothes because I give them to my sisters who have younger daughters. From my sale, I noticed that the toys and furniture items were the first to go. Electronics--phone/computer related were popular. But it took a while to get rid of a printer and an old fax/copy combo.

In the end, the whole experience was so exhausting and yet cathartic. I now have roomy closets and cabinets. I was hoarding all of these empty butter and cool whip containers and never using I recycled those and sold any extra good pieces at the garage sale. Now, when I open my storage container cabinet, it is like a choir of angels is singing Alleluia. I actually feel myself relaxing--not cringing--because I know that a bunch of plastic bowls are not going to fall out. Ahhhhhhhh!

I didn't sell any adult clothes because I knew from a cleanout about 1 year and a half ago that you can probably get more via IRS deduction. But I could have sworn that I had found some prices on the IRS web site. So, I went looking and here is what I found.

"The fair market value of used clothing and other personal items is usually far less than the price you paid for them. There are no fixed formulas or methods for finding the value of items of clothing.
You should claim as the value the price that buyers of used items actually pay in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift shops. "

So, I went to an step-daughter Megan who volunteered in the Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) thrift shop. Casual men, women and children's tops and bottoms were usually priced at $2. Really good shoes might got for $15 to $20 but everyday flip flops would only fetch $1 to $2. Purses...anywhere from $1 to $10, with the exception being knockoff purses like Chanel, Coach, Kate Spade etc. which could go from $15 to $30 each. So now you have your price list...get in there and clean out that closet.

Seriously, you would probably be amazed at how many clothes you could get rid off. When I did that cleanout a year and a half ago, I got rid of 200 items. I'll bet I could do that again.

So, maybe you can use this extra long weekend to do some closet cleanout...just remember to count everything and record for your 2010 tax return. If you have more than $500, you have to fill out IRS form 8832.

My poll on Justin Bieber is closed. 0% said that you had better believe they have Bieber Feber! 16% said only their kids do. 16% asked "What is Bieber Fever?" And, 66% said they don't have the fever and they are sick of hearing about him. Only one answer was allowed. Thanks to all who participated.

My new poll is about the cuts in special needs education budgets and thus staffing. More than one answer is allowed. Thanks in advance for participating.

Have a safe and fun Memorial Weekend, but let us never forget those who bought us our freedom with their lives.

Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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