No matter how many times I say, “I’m not buying you anything else,” I fold like dough and buy my son yet another toy. I just can’t help myself. But as a result his room is stuffed to the brim with stuff, and so is my house. I used to drop his old toys and clothes in those donation bins in front of gas stations. The only problem with that method is A) I don’t know who is benefiting from my tossed goods. Is it a charity or just a for-profit? B) I paid money for that stuff, and I would like to either receive money back or at least know where it is going. In an effort to maximize the good from these goods, I started paying attention to the way in which I get rid of stuff.
Here are 9 Clever Ways to Get Rid of Your Kid’s Old Toys and Clothes:
1) Donate to Children’s Homes
My cousin works for social service agencies and says there is a great need for toys and clothes in emergency shelters for kids. A teddy bear can offer absolute joy and comfort to a scared child whose just been displaced from their home. Make sure all donated items are in good condition, clean, and if battery-operated, have fresh batteries.
2) Sell Your Items on Close5 or Craigslist
Everyone knows Craigslist, so no need to reinterate. But I just discovered the Close5 app. It’s a great way to sell things locally, but unfortunately it’s not yet available in all cities. I love it because seller identifies are verified via Facebook, and you can make an offer through the app rather than in-person or on the phone. I’m a little shy about haggling!
3) Sell Kids Stuff on eBay
Those toys you paid a fortunate for, like LeapFrog this and V-Tech that, other parents are looking for those toys and trying to score a deal from sellers like you. Name brand kids clothing in good condition also does well. I’ve also had some success selling a lot of clothing or shoes together. Just make sure you calculate the exact shipping cost for a heavy box and insert that into your advert. For larger toys like trampolines and swingsets, you can require local pickup rather than shipping.
4) Your Kid’s Friends & Relatives
You probably know a kid that is around your child’s age or younger. Ask their parents if they are interested in your child’s old goods. I unearthed a brand new pair of shoes at the bottom of my son’s closet. He’d never worn them and I had forgotten that I had even purchased them. Unfortunately, they were too small for his growing feet, so I ran them next door and gave them to our neighbor.
5) Parents Group at Work
Large organizations often have a Mothers or Parents email list. Email your items to the distribution list. Just a tip, if you say it’s “free” it will go much faster ;0
6) Niche Charities
There are charities that collect specific items such as bikes, electronics, etc. and disperse them to individuals needs that particular item. For example, their are lots of bicycle charities, some ship bicycles around the world to those in need.
Upcycle old clothes and toys into something else useful. Check out this bubble gum machine turned into a light.
8) Trade Up
Just like with baseball cards, encourage your kids to trade their old stuff with their friends at school. This of course will result in him exchanging old toys for new toys (well at least new to him), but those toys will at least get some of his playtime.
9) School Toy Fair
Just like a book fair, a toy fair raises money for school activities and equipment. What a great way to contribute to your child’s education.