This anxious feeling came over me this morning as I gazed into our children’s bedrooms at the tubs, baskets, and piles of books, toys, and clothing, they used to have a floor! I think it was hardwood…or maybe carpeted? It has been so long I don’t remember!
Now, it should be noted that the fact that the floor is no longer visible isn’t due to children not putting away their stuff. But rather, their stuff overtaking their rooms! We are dealing with a severe case of not enough storage space and way too much stuff!! And with Christmas right around the corner that means more “stuff” will be coming into those bedrooms. What is a mom to do? PURGE STAT!!!
Since we are not raising a throw-it-away generation whenever possible we try to find a new home for our items so that they do not end up in a landfill but rather bring happiness and fun to a new owner. I try to share the life-cycle plan for every item the kiddos receive and remind them to be gentle and take good care of their toys, books, puzzles, etc. for the next child who will wear or play with it. (Often times it is their own younger sibling).
Here are some resources that can help you successfully purge and find a new home for toys, books, and clothing at Christmas time and throughout the year. (bonus: you can also find some great deals on items for b-day gifts, holiday gifts, etc.):
ThredUP is the easiest way to save on great kids clothing brands, and hand down outgrown clothes for cash. They are like a consignment boutique – but simpler. On thredUP you can refresh your child’s entire wardrobe online, without ever leaving your house.
Here’s how it works:
When your child outgrows clothing, simply fill up a ThredUP bag and put it on your doorstep. ThredUP covers the shipping, and pays you for every item we can hand down to other moms.
You can also browse thousands of like-new kids clothing items, which they’ve hand-selected and certified for quality. You’ll find all your favorite brands discounted up to 75% off year-round.
Like this little number, was originally $34.00 and is only $8.99 on ThreadUP!
ThreadUP’s goal is to make your life just a little bit easier.
They eliminate the stress of deal hunting by offering consistent discounts every day.
They take the hassle out of bringing your kids into a store by allowing you to thredUP online.
They relieve that recycling guilt by helping you lighten your family’s carbon-footprint with every order.
Swap.com Valet Service is the first consumer-to-consumer department store. Valet Service combines the convenience and enjoyment of shopping at Amazon with the effortlessness of getting rid of items at a local thrift or consignment store. Items are owned and traded by users, but stored at Swap.com’s logistics center. This provides you with extra safety because Swap.com has pre-checked the items and can guarantee the delivery. Best of all, you can pay the items with either money or your items. On Swap.com, swapping actually works!
You can swap everything, toys, CDs, Video games, sports equipment, clothing, etc.
These Inline skates for kids are only $12!
BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.
Give & receive: Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you’ve read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.
No cost: there is no cost to join or use this website: your only cost is mailing your books to others.
Points for entering books: you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every two you receive.
Added Bonus-Help charities: you can also give your points to charities we work with, such as children’s hospitals (so a sick kid can get a free book delivered to their bed), Library fund, African literacy, or to us to thank us for running this web site.
The Thrift Shopper.com
Also, don’t rule out local Thrift Stores. Local is always a fabulous choice! At The Thrift Shopper you will find a directory of Thrift Stores. They list only charity-driven thrift stores so rest assured that your purchases and donations will be going to a worthy cause, and each listing in their directory includes the store’s hours, phone number, and address with a map link. Their goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive thrift store directory on the Internet.
What about the Misfit toys?
Perhaps your toys have already received a second or third life through your kiddos and they are missing too many parts or are simply not in the best conditions. There is still no need to send them to a landfill grave. Checkout some of these alternatives first:
Some of those broken or missing parts might be able to be recycled, depending on what type of plastic they’re made from. Check for the plastic number on the toy or you might be able to contact the manufacturer to find out what it’s made from. Check with your city or Earth911.com to make sure that your municipal recycling accepts that type of plastic.
Another option is to contact a local museum, art affiliate program, your children’s art teacher, a university art program, etc. and see if you could donate the misfit toys and such to them. These days the young minds come up with extremely creative ways to upcycle and might be in need of toy, puzzle, book, etc. part for projects.
Know of any additional great ways to purge kids items the green way? Please share.