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Purging toys- which ones to let go?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have one child, a DS who is 21 months. For several years before he was born I ran an in-home daycare which means that I had TONS of toys before he even arrived. So literally, my DS has enough toys for half a dozen kids or more.

Our little house is bursting at the seams and some stuff has GOT to go- including some toys. Here's the problem: I'm having a hard time letting them go because most of them are VERY nice, high quality toys and even though many of them are for an older child, he'll eventually grow into them. When I originally bought them for the daycare kids I wanted classic toys that could withstand lots of abuse.

Still, it is all just too much. We have wooden unit blocks, duplo blocks, Legos, and big cardboard blocks that look like bricks. Sand and water table. Beautiful Waldorf play stands and a wooden play kitchen that are in a storage unit because we don't even have room for them. Gorgeous maple child sized table and a matching easel. Quite a few nice, handmade wooden trucks and vehicles. Wooden train tracks and trains. Big chest of dress-up clothes and playsilks. At least two dozen wooden puzzles, books galore, wooden play food, large laundry basket of nicer child-sized instruments, wooden farm house and animals, wooden doll house, board games for preschoolers, lacing beads and so forth.

Likewise, I have enough paint, scissors, paper, crayons, feathers, glue, beads and other craft/art supplies to last him well into his childhood. It is all arranged in clear shoe-box sized Rubbermaid containers right now, but even so it takes up a LARGE portion of my bedroom closet.

I don't have a problem with donating/giving away/yard saleing cheaper plastic toys that are just a dime a dozen anyhow (and yes, thanks to Mamaw he has lots of those too, sigh.) but I'm having a hard time parting with the nicer things, things that I know he'll love once he's a bit older. Nevertheless, he doesn't need THAT much, LOL.

Any suggestions on how to even begin?
post #2 of 9
You could keep them all and store them so you have more space and you son can enjoy them later.

You could eBay/yard sale/donate them to Goodwill/women's shelter/etc.

You could save just one of each type of thing for example if you have 6 wooden trucks save 1.

Best wishes! It's great that we are blessed with excess but it drives us crazy sometimes too!

post #3 of 9
I would list a few items on craigslist just to start.
It sounds like you definitely have more than you need!

I know it's hard to part with nice items, but if your son isn't able to use all of them (or doesn't have enough space to thoroughly enjoy even a few of them) then they're not worth having.

Good luck
post #4 of 9
Could your parents or in-laws, or your siblings for that matter, keep a few at their house, for when you visit?

I'm all for getting rid of crap, and after three boys I do get rid of some really great duplicate toys, but think it through carefully.

post #5 of 9
Wow, it sounds like you have a lot of nice stuff. I think for starters, just get rid of duplicates and plastic toys. I don't even suggest giving away the plastic toys. Put them in a bundle, and sell them in the classifieds. Our local newspapers offers free classified ads for items up to $99 and one time, I placed an ad for a huge amount of toys for $75...I said it was an amount that would be good for a daycare or preschool and I immediately had a call and they were gone, full price, no haggling, the very first day. So start with the plastic toys. Then do the same thing with any duplicate wooden toys that you have.

I think you should keep the wooden puzzles, all of them, (unless you have duplicates of the exact same ones) until your child is done with them. Do you have plans for anymore children? Then when your child has outgrown them, go ahead and place another ad, for all of them, in one lot. It probably won't be long before your child will grow out of the puzzles.

It sounds like you might have more craft items than you need immediately and that you could downsize by a third or a half and sell those things in a bundle, as well.

If I were you, I'd sell the cardboard bricks, since they take up a lot of space and aren't usually that durable. I think the duplos, legos, wooden blocks take priority over the cardboard bricks, definitely.

If you have multiple playstands, perhaps keep just one of them and sell the rest. Don't offer rock bottom prices, sell them for high prices as they are not that easy to find in any town and it is easier to purchase used than to order on the internet and pay shipping. Ask for 75% of what you paid and see if you get it. Start by selling one and see how well it goes. Or check eBay and see what they are going for to gauge how you should price them locally yourself.

I like the PP's idea of taking some toys over to a grandparent or family members' house for use there. I don't think you need to take duplicates there, I think it's far better to have toys that your child ONLY gets to play with there, it makes them so special and really helps to keep them excited, interested and occupied while over at grandma or grandpa's house.

Once you have done all of that, then you could re-evaluate and think about whether you need to immediately get rid of more, or if you can wait 3 months and make another purge then.

I just wish I had had all the great toys you have when mine were little! We had/have some of them but not all. Good for you! What a great daycare you must have had!
post #6 of 9
Would putting up shelves a foot or two below the ceilling all around your child's room (or your room), to store books, crafts, toys, boards games, etc., help to alleviate your storage issues, namely emptying out your closet a bit?
post #7 of 9

Get rid of plastic and cardboard straight away

They will break/get messed up anyway so why let them take up so much space.

If you have multiple items from daycare, keep only one of each nice wooden toy/object and sell or trade the rest.

waving hand in air. Me me me!!

I love high quality wooden toys. I want to sell all the plastic junk we've amassed and collect just a few solid wood toys to replace them. If we cut down our toy collection by 80% I'm sure we'd still have enough to entertain a houseful of kids. I just can't get the grandparents to stop sending junk. but I'm starting to realize it is my responsibility to just get rid of it myself since they refuse to stop sending. Working on my guilt issues with that and feeling bad for taking away my son's toys....that he doesn't even need!! Yikes, what is wrong with me for this guilt?

Please get rid of all the toys and post here to let us all know so that we can all get rid of ours too! Just think how many households you will help

post #8 of 9

I almost forgot...freecyle...

check out freecycle.org
most cities have one, you can post things to give away to others for free that need or want them. You can't sell there but it is a wonderful place to pass things on and recycle. Just be careful you don't find too many items there you want or need or it will defeat the purpose :-)
post #9 of 9
You could start a toy co-op , lending out toys to families when they need them, kind of like a library.

Or...you could give some of them to friends you know would love them and use them well...I am thrilled to receive great gifts even when they are already used and loved.

Or...you could find a local emergency shelter/single mom's shelter and donate some of it there. I'm sure some of those high quality wooden toys would be much loved by kids in crisis.
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