You guys – if you have not yet decluttered your children's toys before Christmas – you NEED TO! The kids are likely starting their holiday break by now; mine are, so you need to get them on board to purge toys. If your kids are super sensitive about their toys, don't worry; we also have a plan for that!
‘Tis the Season of Purging Toys!
Kids typically know they will be receiving multiple gifts this time of year if they have in previous years. That means there is no better time than now to get them involved to make room for what's to come. If you are looking for more in-depth tips on decluttering toys, I've got that covered too, but for this article, we will focus solely on using the holiday season to propel you into action!
Benefits of Purging Toys, NOW!
Santa! Yes, good ‘ol jolly St. Nick is the man of the times. So use that! Below is a template for printable PDF template that you can use to send your kiddos a letter from Santa if needed. Santa needs their help – so let's get some action going! I mean, if an elf can motivate millions of kids to behave, I'm sure the big guy in red will have some pull! 😉
I know there are t-minus 2 days until Christmas, but use the short timeline to your advantage! Your kids are now enjoying their holiday break. Well, let's say that a lot of those fun non-school activities need to be earned. How? By cooperating, decluttering, organizing, and purging some of the items they already have. I'm sure that will be a great motivator if needed!
How to Guide your Kids
When you start decluttering with your kiddos, get them each a big box. A bin or trash bag will work too. I love using contractors' bags when decluttering toys, just as I did when helping my friend Natalie a few weeks ago. Each child should have their own box or bag to fill with unwanted toys to donate, sell o,r trash. You also want a community trash bag for all toys that are missing pieces or broken.
If your child is having difficulty deciding on toys to get rid of, use these motivators to get them started:
- Explain what donating means
- Explain age-appropriate toys
- Talk to your kids about those who are less fortunate
- Play Keep or Toss (You start picking up toys and ask them, “keep or toss”.” This takes away some of the time they would typically have to think the decision over. You will be doing more work here, but getting them purging toys will be worth it!)
You also want to ensure that your children are looking over other areas of the home where toys might be stored. If needed, gather all of the toys in the house in one location. If your floor is covered and buried in toys, start on the floor and work your way to the storage areas. That's how I accomplished these before and after's:
If you want to donate the items in good condition, several options are available. However, some of them might not be accepting toys at this time due to a surplus for the season, but you can hold on to them until February and try to reach out again!
Consider donating to friends and family whose kids are younger than yours. If they don't want to take on more toys right now, offer to store them for a couple of months while they get their home back in shape from the holidays.
So many charity options are available these days to donate used toys in good condition. I recommend asking around in a local social media group to see if there are any smaller charities in your area that you would like to help. Here are some of the bigger options available in more regions:
Goodwill is a nationally recognized charity that will take items and sell them at its stores for a discounted price. While they are easily findable, and you can get a receipt for your donation, they make an extreme profit from your donations. However, if you want to move stuff quickly, they are an easy choice.
The Salvation Army is another nationally known charity that will take toys as a donation. Again, they will sell these items for a discount in their local thrift stores.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a kid-focused charity that the U.S. Marine Corps run. They collect gifts year-round to donate to children in their community. They also have an online application for families that need toys for their children.
Local Safe Houses
Local safe houses are places where women and children can seek anonymous help for domestic violence. The mother and child are given a safe place to regroup and a secure location if anyone is looking for them. You can use this link to find local domestic violence resources. Give them a call and see if they could use your donation!
While you can look to sell the items online locally, you are really pushing the deadline for any hits – but it's worth a shot. Ideally, it would be best if you did this in November, as I did with my friend Natalie. However, here are some ways to sell those items and make a little money back:
Local Facebook Groups
Consider posting your items for sale in any local community groups you are a part of on Facebook. This is an excellent way to make pickup easy, knowing that the potential buyer will be local, and you will be avoiding scammers for the most part. If you aren't in any local groups that allow posting items for sale, try searching on Facebook for Buy/Sell groups in your area.
This is another convenient option where you will find local people interested in purchasing your used toys. However, use caution because scammers are constantly trolling Facebook Marketplace. I've learned from selling on the Marketplace that if the person messages you, the message will come from Marketplace.
If it doesn't show the marketplace indicator, assume it's a scammer.
If you want just to move the items as quickly as possible, you can look up a local Buy Nothing group in your area. You post the things you want to get rid of and schedule a safe pickup. Anything free typically moves pretty fast, so this is a great option to make room for Santa.
The other option is to trash what you don't want. Sometimes, just getting rid of the toy clutter is more beneficial than donating or selling any item. If your home is cluttered and chaotic, go ahead and make the space you desire.
I know Christmas is LITERALLY right around the corner, but it's now or never on your toy decluttering goals! You've got to take action if you want anything to change! So, use the provided letter from Santa, give your kids come ultimatums, or ship your kids off and go through the toys yourself as I do in the Toy Organization Boot Camp. Either way – you can get rid of toys before the big day. But you need to focus on decluttering toys before Christmas, now!