Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share!
Ah, the neverending accumulation of building blocks, crafts, action figures, stuffed animals, books, dress up clothes, puzzles, games, sporting goods, blocks, trains, cars … sound like your house? It definitely describes mine. I have mostly myself to blame as the chief toy buyer, but when the purging bug hits, it hits hard! As I write this I have 12 bags ready to donate to the school clothing/toy drive. It’s just in time, too! Every time a toy catalog has arrived in the mail, my children have added to their Christmas list. The thought of MORE TOYS on their way has led me to THE PURGE and these tips for getting kids to get rid of their toys.
Kids are hoarders by nature so how do you encourage them to let go?
8 Tips for Getting Kids to get Rid of Their Toys
- If it’s broken, it goes. No point in saving broken crayons, dried out markers, ripped books or stained stuffed animals.
- If you can pass it on to someone you know, that makes getting rid of easier. “Hey, when little Bobby was here he sure liked those tray puzzles. Let’s pack them up and give them to him.” Of course Bobby’s mom might not be as excited, but once your child is willing to let go, the hardest part is over!
- Older children can understand giving to those who don’t have as much. At holiday time Toys For Tots only takes new toys, but local organizations can be found that will take toys in good condition. See below for information for Second Chance Toys.
- Make it fun! Cleaning out sometimes means finding toys they forgot they had, or uncovering those missing parts. It’s hard to build a Lego set if you’re missing pieces so while you purge, offer prizes to anyone who finds something that was missing (just don’t make the prize a new toy). You can find a lot of directions to Lego sets by looking online.
- Make it a moneymaker. A few years back, my daughter got a few Lalaloopsies. They were the hot toy, so why not? Well why not would be because she never looked at them after Christmas! I managed to sell them on a local moms Facebook page and gave my daughter the money to get something she wanted. eBay, Craigslist, Facebook groups, garage sale, consignment stores; explore all the options. Getting rid of 3 items to buy one still counts as downsizing.
- Putting toys away for posterity counts as purging too! We all have toys in our homes that carry good memories. That doesn’t mean they need to take up valuable space in a playroom.
- Similar to that, if your child hasn’t touched something in months but insists on keeping it, just hide it! If they don’t ask for it in 6 months, you’re probably safe in getting rid of it. (No guarantees though – I’m still upset my mother got rid of my Mickey Mouse camera 33 years ago).
- Make it clear – “the space we have is the space we have.” Your kids can’t wait to get that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Playset, or the Barbie Dream House? Unless you have plans to build onto your house, if there’s no space for what’s on the list, they need to make space for it one way or another.
Rebel against the Black Friday urge to shop this year and spend the day purging instead!
Second Chance Toys (http://www.secondchancetoys.org/) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 2006 to rescue and recycle plastic toys for children in need by donating them to community organizations.
Second Chance Toys DROP OFF LOCATIONS in New Jersey:
- Northern NJ Locations: http://www.secondchancetoys.org/drop-off-locations?distance%5Bpostal_code%5D=07208&distance%5Bsearch_distance%5D=35&metro=Northern+NJ
- Central NJ Locations: http://www.secondchancetoys.org/drop-off-locations?distance%5Bpostal_code%5D=08810&distance%5Bsearch_distance%5D=35&metro=Central+NJ
- Southern NJ Locations: http://www.secondchancetoys.org/drop-off-locations?distance%5Bpostal_code%5D=08016&distance%5Bsearch_distance%5D=35&metro=Southern+NJ
We hope you found these tips for getting kids to get rid of their toys helpful. Do you have a tip to add to the list?