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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Purging toys to prepare for holiday gifts

Every year I’ve cleaned out my children’s toys in preparation for the gifts they’re going to receive. As my daughter Amber, who is now 19, got older she started purging the toys for the children, which involves a giveaway pile and a donate pile. I would prefer they giveaway and donate all of it, but you know that’s not going to happen so I settle for what I can get… or give.

This year I had the children – ages 7, almost 6 and 3 – do it themselves. I explained to them that since they would get new things that it would be best to give some away to children who may not  have  any and throw away the things that are broken,  missing parts, etc. I was pleased at their positive reaction to this and even more pleased that my son was the most generous about what he gave away and thoughtful about what he should keep.

I didn’t think to get before pictures, but here’s a glimpse of where they were before we paused for lunch:

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This is the girls’ toy box after they cleaned it out. It’s still a little too full for my taste.

DSCF5448This is the toy chest in Andre’s room after it was cleaned out. Notice how he still has room, which will be somewhat filled with the toys leftover in the living room. (See below.)

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These are the toys that belong to the girls, which were found in Andre’s room. Think they’ll fit in the box above? I’m gonna make sure they do.

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See that round, blue bin at the top of the picture? That’s the toy bin that is kept in the living room closet. It’s usually reserved for larger toys, but there were all kinds of things in there. To the left are the toys that belong to Andre, to the right are the toys that belong to the girls. And the bags in the middle: blue for giveaway and white for trash.

As we put the last of the toys away, I’m going to see if I can’t get some more into the two bags by having them think about their choices again. Overall, I think they did a good job for their first time and I’m happy to get rid of more clutter. They definitely don’t need anymore toys for Christmas, but… well, you know.

DSCF5450They’re looking pretty tired as they wait for lunch, huh? :-)

Do you have your children throw or give anything away before they receive something else? Leave a comment and tell me how you handle that.

Enjoy your week.

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