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Toy purge!

Anyone else drowning in toys?

Really. This is ridiculous. We have fall birthdays and then Christmas swiftly following them, and every year it’s like we turn over stock in a toy store.

I am determined that at some point I will actually get ahead of the wave and purge outgrown toys in August. I haven’t managed to do it yet, but it sounds like a good system. If anyone wants to remind me in a few months, I’d be ever so grateful.

This Thomas the tank engine train table is a great example of a toy that can create hours of play, but once a child grows out of it, it can sit and take up a lot of space:

Now it’s January, and the world once again quiets. The kids will head back to day homes, preschools, and schools. We will have packed away all the decorations and our homes will feel just that much lighter. It’s a perfect time of year to go through and keep the momentum going after the decorations are taken down. As you put away new toys that have found their way to your home, don’t just squeeze them onto shelves and into baskets. Take something down, take something out and make room. Make a spot for each new item by removing something that your child has truly outgrown, or that is broken or just not used.

Once all the new toys are put away, you should have a nice pile of toys ready to deal with. If anything is damaged, worn out or too dirty to salvage, be strong and say goodbye, preferably without your kids watching. The rest are ready to pass along to new homes. Look through them carefully. Are all the pieces in each package or box? Are there accessories you purchased once upon a time, or related toys that could probably go with? Go find them and add them to your pile. Clean and disinfect plastic toys and you’re ready to go!

Check out the toy section of your local site. Browse the other listings to get an idea of pricing, and find yourself some natural light to get some photos of the toys. Once you do that, it’s time to list. If your kids are helping, maybe you set a goal – perhaps the money that comes from things sold as a family goes toward a family outing or trip. You might find that the promise of a fun weekend away or trip somewhere will encourage your kids to not just accept the idea of letting go of their outgrown toys, but even be willing to pitch in.

It never hurts to watch the listings for things that might be right for your kids in the future. As you let go of things they don’t need, you may find deals on things that they will need as they grow, or for the seasons ahead. What a great way to teach kids the value of money and how being mindful can save you money or even put you ahead!

What’s the first thing you’d sell from your kids toy room? Something big? Baby items that have been around too long? We’d love to hear.

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

4 Responses to “Toy purge!”


If you need somewhere to go with your toys and you want to sell them in lots and not be bothered with taking them somewhere to donate or sell them individually, email me!



Or donate them to a preschool or child care facility or Strong Start


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