Toy to the World: Out with the Old, Before In with the New

Published Thursday, January 03, 2013 11:13 PM

'Twas the season for toys, toys, toys. Whether the eight days of Hanukah, Santa, or gifts from generous grandparents, your toy box is likely in overload.

Make room for the newest additions by getting rid of playthings that are no longer in use. Ideas for keeping toy chaos under control include:

Donating: Take a good look around your toy room or spare closets. Often we have brand new toys or art kits that simply don't get opened or used. Many local charities run toy drives this time of year: Goggle for drop-off spots and make another child happy.

While many charities require donations to be new, others accept gently used toys. SAFE  (Stuffed Animals for Emergencies) accepts gently used stuffed animals for children in need. Look for a local chapter here.  Another great place to donate items is Goodwill, a nationwide organization providing assistance and job training for needy families, funded in part by its network of retail outlets selling donated items.

Selling: Plan ahead to the spring for a toy yard sale. Find a spot in your attic or garage to store toys in a clean, dry area. Enlist your children in identifying items that are likely to move in a yard sale. A yard sale is a great way to teach valuable lessons about money; it can also be a great bonding activity for the whole family.  Consider recruiting friends and neighbors to join the fun; multi-family yard sales are often more lucrative. For advice on throwing a great yard sale, read How Much for This Lamp? Tips from the Garage Sale Millionaire.

Repurposing: Saying good-bye to beloved toys can be hard. Consider saving a few special keepsakes by giving them new life. Small toys like Lego minifigures or a Barbie outfit can make excellent tree ornaments. Or use wooden blocks to create decorative signs for your home or as gifts. Other creative ideas for repurposing toys can be found in this wonderful article, 10 Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Toys. 



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