Once the holidays have passed, we’re often faced with the problem of toys all over the house. There are only so many places to put them and most of the old ones are neglected anyway after the new ones come. Here’s what to do to make your house look less like Santa’s workshop and more like your home.
The first (and hardest) part is sorting through them. It’s easiest to gather all of them together into a huge pile and then sort into four smaller piles: dump, keep, donate, and sell.
Go through the puzzles and make sure all of the pieces are there, make sure half of the crayons in the box aren’t broken, the Barbies have all their limbs, and GI Joe has his helmet. If they don’t, throw them out. It’s nice to think that you’ll find Barbie’s other arm someday, but chances are that you won’t, or by then she’ll be missing a leg too.
Now that you have only good toys left, decide what’s been outgrown or is no longer played with. Those things can be donated or sold. Some people like to sell the high value items and donate the low value items, and some people like to do the opposite. Other people choose to solely sell them because they need the money or solely donate them because they don’t want to be bothered with the selling process.
If you decide to donate, there are a lot of places that will take toys. Local churches, homeless shelters, hospitals, daycares, and preschools are always looking for children’s toys. I am a member of the local Freecycle group online as well as online trade/give/sell boards for my community. You can also give them to someone less fortunate in your own community, or even a family member whose child is just growing into them.
If you decide to sell them, you can sell on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or the newest idea – virtual garage sale sites. eBay and Amazon charge fees, but you can accept credit cards and don’t have to worry about waiting for a no-show buyer. They also get worldwide exposure, as opposed to Craigslist and virtual garage sales, which are limited to local areas. Also, with eBay and Amazon, you need to ship the toys to whoever buys them, which is sometimes more of a pain in the neck than anything. You may prefer meeting a buyer at your local grocery store. Just make sure it’s a public place for your own safety.
Getting rid of old toys after Christmas can be a daunting task, but after it’s done, you’ll enjoy a less cluttered and stressful home. Your kids may even fight with you when they find out you’re getting rid of their things, but soon enough, they won’t even miss the old toys at all. I always tell my kids that they need to trade one new gift for one old toy and they think its great that someone else will love their stuff like they did.