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Donating Children's toys - Ask first or just do it?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am trying to streamline our toy collection. We have so many junk toys that just contribute to mess. You know the toys - they don't get played with, but just get thrown on the floor to make the mess REALLY big . Then there are also toys that are played with on occasion, but aren't favorites.

I want to donate a bunch of toys, but am not sure how to approach it. My ds is a pack rat in the making. I know if I ask him first that he will not want to give away any of his toys. So, I was thinking of just donating a bunch without telling him - maybe he won't notice sort of thing. Is this too bad - I feel guilty about doing this, but all of the toys are beginning to make me .

What would you do?
post #2 of 7
I would get rid of them w/out asking. I don't know if your DS has a concept of "voluntary simplicity" yet! I think that asking him would be pointless, but you can say something like, "We're sharing some of your toys with a little girl who doesn't have," and use it as a a lesson about sharing.
post #3 of 7
First I get rid of anything that is broken, missing peices, doesn't have enough peices to be fun (like if someone got them a 10 pc. set of legos even though we don't have legos or dol house furniture with no house.) etc . . then with the real toys that are left . . .

There are several aproaches you could take. i usually announce that I will be doanting toys and anything not put away picked up and put away is on the chopping block. I usually give them anywhere for a day to a week and it never really effects anything.

OR you can give them a box to fill up and that is either how much they have top get riod of or how much they may keep. either way the choice is theres.

OR i sometimes see something that has ben on the floor for a whiel and just do the "if you don't want this I could give it away. You can show me how much you value it by how you treat it. if you put it away and value it we will keep it but if you just leave it here like garbage I will get rid of it."

do thwe wole pitch /donate/keep piles. you an either let him decide entirely on his own or say something like for everything you keep you have to put something in one of the other piles, etc . . .

and then I am not opposed to just going in under the cover of night and doing the deed. surprisingly they rarely complain when I do this. I think it is the shock of being able to see the play room floor.

oh what we did this year was we really purged and had a rummage sale. I bought them each something special with the oney from teh ruymmage. they were quite into this.


sometimes asking what do you want to keep is more positive than saying what do you want to get rid of.
post #4 of 7
Here's what I have done lately to declutter. With 3 kids and almost 7 years of bdays and xmas and not getting rid of anything it was bad!

First get rid of everything broken or junk. Then take out anything no longer age appropriate, baby and infant rattles, toddler toys if he is older put those in one bag to give to someone with a baby or to donate. Then go through and get rid of all the knowns as I call them. Known to be thrown on the floor and never, ever played with. Then see how much is left. If it's still a lot then take half of it and put it somewhere in storage for a few days, just out of sight if you don't have a shed or anything. If he doesn't ask for anything in the bag during that time you know he doesn't miss it and you can donate it.

If there is still a lot left and you want more gone save the nicest stuff (puzzles that have all the pieces, blocks classic stuff) and then ask him what he would like to give to charity and see if he offers up anything. If not you can wait a bit and reduce again in a month.

My house used to be overun with toys, it was really obsene how much the kids had just from years of gifts and holidays that piled up. It felt so good to get rid of bags and bags of the stuff! There is less mess in my house and the kids actually play with what they have because they can see it all and enjoy it instead of just tossing it around or getting overwhelmed and using none of it.
post #5 of 7
I see that your oldest is only 4yo- and too young to truly grasp the concept of decluttering. With my girls, I usually ask them to go through stuff, and give them fair warning that if they can't keep their stuff organized and put away, I'm going to thin it out. If they don't help me thin it out, then I get to make the decisions about what to keep and what to give away.

For younger children, I use a 2-step process. First, I collect the toys that I don't think will be missed and put them in a bag or box in a hidden location. If a child looks for a specific toy that was packed away, I unpack the toy and give it to the child. Once the toys have been out of circulation for a while, and I know it won't be missed, I donate the bag or box of toys. If you've never given away your child's toys before, I'd suggest taking this approach. Once you've gotten into the habit of regularly thinning out the toy collection, and your child is used to toys "disapearing" then you can keep the bag/box of toys for shorter amounts of time before donating them.
post #6 of 7
The one time I managed to donate toys I boxed them up and put them in the garage for a bit, the box wasn't missed and I didn't know half of what was in there so off it went.
post #7 of 7
I say just get rid of what you know is junky or not played with. My kids are pretty good about saying "yes" when I suggest donating toys but I also clean out while they are in school. They have NEVER missed what I send away. I certainly don't take things that are played with or sometimes played with if they are quality toys or games. I donate all to the church store. It feels great to clean out and I get a tax deduction!
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