Honestly, if I didn’t feel so guilty about it, I’d love to just set all of the totes of toys on the curb next to the garbage can. Easy. They’re gone. I have more room for more junk…I mean toys.
But that truly would be a waste of a lot of money and believe it or not, there are kids out there that only can only dream of the toys that our kids have forgotten about. Is it just my kid that only plays with things a handful of times? We’re talking about practically new loot here and not just old Dollar Store gizmos.
So what in the heck do you do with all of those old toys? Well, I have some suggestions. Sure they take a little more energy than el garbage-o but trust me, you’ll sleep better.
1. Save toys for unborn siblings. Okay, this isn’t the greatest suggestion because we’re trying to actually move stuff out, and if you’re like me, you can’t even fathom the thought of anymore kids. If you’re not like me and you do plan on having more, I’d save the toys. Go through and organize everything. Make sure Dora’s wearing both shoes and all of the Littlest Pet Shop animals are hanging out with the equipment they came with. Put it in a big plastic tote marked
“JUNK” “TOYS” and shove the tote away into the basement.
2. Sell the toys online. Everything can be sold online. I mean everything. People sell used blenders for pete’s sake. Again, clean up the toys, which shouldn’t be a big ordeal, and make sure you have all of the pieces together. Take a picture and throw it on eBay or Craigslist. Bundle toys together and get rid of more. For instance if you have Dora, Boots, and Swiper, you’ll have better luck selling all of them together than just one. People will buy used toys, especially now that almost everything is electronic. My daughter had a mini laptop that she played games on since she was 2. Now that she’s graduated to mommy’s real laptop, she barely touches the thing.
Zwaggle.com is a website that you can join and earn Zoints (or points) which can be used instead of cash. They offer everything from Arts & Crafts to Video Games. Mykidscloset.com is another site where you can buy and sell used toys.
3. Look for consignment shops in your area. There are stores that buy and sell toys and kids clothing. In my area, Once Upon a Child not only pays you for gently used stuff but also sells some pretty sweet stuff. I have made up to $40 unloading kid’s stuff there and was able to turn around and buy something practically new for my daughter. Call the stores in advance just so you’re not dragging around a bag of toys all day.
4. Donate to Goodwill and thrift stores. This time of year everyone’s looking for tax breaks, don’t forget that your kids can help by not only being the dependents that they are, but by donating their old toys. Also check churches, daycares, children’s homes and schools to find out if there is anything particular that they can use. Don’t forget a receipt.
5. Garage sales and yard sales. I’ve been planning this for years because my town has a citywide garage sale every year and you wouldn’t believe how many toys are bought. The key, according the pros (read: my mom and aunt) is to put everything together nicely. Make sure you’re not trying to dump off dirty teddy bears and broken pieces of plastic. If you’re selling puzzles and don’t have the box, put them in ziploc bags with labels-and of course all of the pieces. Even if it’s a quarter, remember that some kid will be playing with that and deserves to have all of the pieces. A lot of kids are rewarded with a couple dollars to spend on themselves in exchange for being dragged around to stinky garage sales. And guess what, they very rarely spend their cheese on machinery or old loafers.
These suggestions do take a little work but it’s better than just tossing out the old toys. Children also like to help getting things organized and can be rewarded with a new book or sketch pad or you could just add any money made to their piggy banks.
Now does anyone wanna buy a slightly scribbled on LeapPad? Let me know…