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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Time for cleaning out some toys!

Today I got fed up with the million train track parts, lonely puzzle pieces, plastic animals and rubber balls that were just randomly stuffed into my son's toy area. At one point, I remember I could fit all of his toys into a tiny basket. But then we had to buy a great big basket... and then an entire piece of furniture from +IKEA. I can't really point a finger since me and my four brothers and three sisters had an entire room stuffed full of toys by the time I left the house. My kids are blessed to have loving relatives surrounding them all the time, but that means the toy pile (and the clutter) increases that much faster.

With the help of some plastic garbage bags and a lot of coffee, I began to tackle my son's toy area. Grandma took him out of the house for the afternoon (so he wouldn't think I was meanly throwing his things away) and I quickly found myself looking at some of the toys he'd acquired for the very first time. Now don't get me wrong, I look at most of the stuff, I smile, I say thank you to the giver. But sometimes he's given things that I never have the chance to see before he "puts it away" and it gets lost to the light of day. Incredibly, I found a Super Bowl VIII bear that looks like it has never been touched and found myself wondering how old it was (could it have been made as a set post-1974?), and how many were made (was I sitting on a rare find?).

That got me to thinking how so many people out there who haven't bothered to clean their kid's toy area for a while may have valuable vintage items in their homes, and don't even know about it! Sometimes when older people give toys to children, they aren't just giving them a new toy, they are giving them something that their kids used to play with. But if there are no kids in the house, they don't see a reason to hold onto it, so they give it away. Sometimes these toys are worth a lot of money (sometimes they are just worth a lot in the sentimental department), so next time you go to clean out & donate your children's toys, really take a look at what you are throwing in that bag. I actually had this item in the donation bag (my son never played with it) when I happened to actually read the front of the shirt. I thought it was just a bear wearing a Dolphins outfit.

 All in all, today was so tiring, but so worth it. I have a bear that is possibly worth some money, my son's toys are clean, my house is clean (at least until he gets back with grandma), and I can take three entire garbage bags of toys out of my house and give them to Goodwill. Donating is a great thing to do when you are cleaning out your house. Toys are one of those things that don't usually re-sell well at garage sales, and for the few bucks you will make at your garage sale, you are better off letting Goodwill make those dollars and knowing that you helped out. Plus, donations are tax-exempt, and they will gladly give you a receipt with the approximate value of your donation if you bring your items directly to the store.

 And as an extra bonus for me, the baby fell asleep while watching me sort through everything, and when I was done I had a glass of wine and a few minutes of sanity to myself.


  1. Congrats for going through all those toys and bringing some sanity back to the play area in your home. And I'm glad the baby fell asleep, too! We always did this at our house, and Goodwill benefits as much as you!