By Fredrica Syren:
My gosh, kids do come with lots of toys! Every Christmas, Valentines Day and birthday. And you can imagine, with three kids, how many toys enter our home annually☺
At the end of each year, though, we try to go through all the toys and do a real clean out. We try to live by the rule of customizing our belongings for our storage instead of the other way around. Since we also try live more simply and minimally, this includes kids’ toys, so whenever we add new things, we also have to clean some out to make room. In general, I tend to clean out the toys without the kids, now 9, 5 and 3 years old, but once in a while I make my 9-year-old daughter take initiatives to clean her own room, and to go through her stuff and see what she is finished with.
Here is generally what happens to some of our toys:
Rotate toys — We remove some toys and “hide” them for a little while. That way they will feel like new when they reappear as I rotate them with other toys that will be put on shelves for later.
Throw away — Broken toys or toys made of cheap plastic, I tend to remove as soon as possible and try to recycle them or throw them into the trash. Since we’re really picky about the quality of toys, not too many of them end up in a landfill, I’m glad to say.
Sell — Old toys that are still good but the kids no longer play with, I will sell. I’m amazed at how many toys I have been able to sell on EBay. I guess it’s true, what they say: someone’s trash is another’s treasure. In the same way, we also try to buy as many used toys as possible because that saves not only the planet but also our wallet.
Donate — Sometimes we do get toys made with cheap materials, and I see the kids get tired of them fairly quickly: these I will donate.