This weekend, we found a thousand dollars in our closet.
Let us explain.
A close friend of ours was telling us about this book she was reading that encourages people to declutter their life by asking one simple question about everything: “Does this spark joy?” With that one simple question, Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has managed to simplify and organize an otherwise chaotic life in a way that’s left her feeling less stressed, more productive and more satisfied with her day-to-day life. We loved the concept the minute we heard about it, and even though we haven’t actually read the book ourselves yet, we decided to spring into action anyway. (See what we did there?)
If you’ve been following along on Snapchat (“amynjordan”) then you already know we spent our Sunday doing a massive spring cleaning project around the house. We tackled our closet and all our dresser drawers using that one simple question as a barometer. Does this spark joy? Meaning are we excited to wear this? Have we worn this in the last year? Could someone else get more joy out of this than we could?
We created pile after pile to donate to Goodwill, and before we knew it, we’d filled SIX giant trash bags full of clothes and shoes. We try to do this at least once a year, but this time we did something different. Here’s where the thousand dollars comes in.
Last month, you might remember we met with our accountant. You remember. The one who has the gentle sounds of Yanni’s piano playing peacefully in the background of his office. We wrote about him in Friday Fun. He’s the one who told us playing Yanni is his best strategy for keeping his clients’ blood pressure down when delivering news like, “You owe thousands in taxes.” Which made us think maybe we should employ the same strategy in marriage when delivering harsh news like, “We’re out of ice cream.”
We learn so much every time we meet with our accountant, so we’re always looking for a new little nugget. Last year, we donated a ton of clothes and household items to Goodwill, but never thought it was worth itemizing each thing we donated. We thought the amount would be too small to be significant. But our accountant encouraged us to take a little extra time this year when piling up donations to use this donation guide in conjunction with this free Goodwill calculator to itemize each piece. We used the range in the guide and made quick gut decisions based on the quality of the item, and entered each piece into the calculator. We couldn’t believe that by the end our cleaning spree we had over 115 unique items worth close to $1,000 of donation value!
So, let’s just say, for math’s sake, that you’re in the 25% tax bracket. That $1,000 tax write-off would equal $250 in cash back to you! Just for spring cleaning!
We thought we’d share all this with you because it was such a fun revelation for us. Decluttering our life. Parting with items that don’t spark joy. Donating clothes to help other people, and even finding some hidden money in the process! We really believe that what’s happening in our household spills over into the productivity of our business, so we hope this is as motivating for you as it was for us!