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How do I weed out my kids' old toys without feeling guilty?

I know it sounds ridiculous...and so simple... but I really feel bad getting rid of old toys. Many of them were gifts, and I feel like I'm insulting the person who gave them the present when I get rid of it. But my kids have 3 toy boxes, each! Christmas is around the corner, and I don't know what we're going to do with all the toys!!


Asked by brandyj at 1:29 PM on Dec. 20, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (18)
  • Make the experience a lesson in giving -- for your family. First talk to the kids about children who will have no toys unless someone donates their EXTRA toys.

    Set a donation goal, like 1 box full per child, then let them decide what they can part with.

    Take a picture of each child with the toys they will donate to make this Christmas happy for needy children. Pile the toys and kids in the car to go drop off the toys to the donation center of your choice. (Be sure they know not to expect to see the kids who will receive them -- just the place that will distribute them). Take pictures at the donation center.

    Then celebrate the joy of giving with a treat like Hot Cocoa at Starbucks, or peppermint ice cream at their favorite ice cream parlor. Take more pictures there. Finally, put all the pictures together in your Joy of Giving Album. It could be a new holiday tradition for you all. :-D

    Answer by ss_mom at 1:47 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I have like 5 boxes to go through of toys.. most unplayed with for quite some time. There's no harm in weeding them out, it has to be done.

    When I do mine here is my plan to not feel guilty:

    I'm going to have my son help me go through his toys, and let him fill up a bin with toys he likes, and wants to keep and another with ones he doesn't care about. All the dorky mcdonald/happy meal toys are going lol...

    Good luck.

    Answer by Skepticchick at 1:32 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Give them to charity. I give all of our toys to the Early Intervention people and they distribute them to their families. Its an awesome way to make sure some of the most needy kids in the community have toys for Christmas.

    Answer by karamille at 1:31 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I do this every summer and Christmas, give them to someone in need instead of guilt youll feel good. besides if your kid used them a year, relitives should understand they out grow things

    Answer by raisingmen at 1:31 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I just had my kids go through all their toys. We had a big trash bag for broken toys and one for donation. I felt the same way. I told them they had to make room for new toys, and help kids that don't have any toys with their old ones. Worked out well.


    Answer by Christine0813 at 1:32 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • how old are they? we have a myriad of toys here too, and just a few weeks ago we went thru them. some were thrown out, some donated and some handed down. mine are 4, 2 and 11 months. i had the 4 year old pick what she didn't want anymore, and out of those i asked her which she would be ok with giving to her sisters, meaning they would now belong to them and they wouldn't be hers anymore. she was great about handing them down. when she went to school, i went thru her stuff again and the stuff i truly knew hadn't been touched in months went bye-bye. i would say the best way to not feel guilty about it is to have your kids pick and choose themselves which ones they want to get rid of!

    Answer by tnm786 at 1:32 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I know its hard, I still have stuff laying around and my kids are teens and dont want anything to do with them. Its about the memories more then it is the toys. Just know that you will be putting a smile on a childs face that doesnt have anything at all.

    Answer by beyondhopes at 1:32 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I have gotten great at weeding out toys and clothes. I let my kids toss whatever they don't want into a giant hamper then we bring it to a park in a less "well off" section of town and let those kids take everything. It's nice to know exactly where the stuff is going and it's wonderful to have all the room in my house for new stuff.

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 1:36 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I do it right before Birthday and Christmas and once in between or else we would be bombarded with toys. He has one plastic tub and thats it.
    Just think of what s/he actually play with, if theres toys collecting dust or havent been seen in months they wont miss them when they're gone. I do suggest either doing it while they are gone to save yourself from "but mommy I play with it all the time" on about 3 boxes worth of stuff, or tell them that your going to give the toys to little boys and girls that dont have toys. Thats what I do and my 4yr old loves that idea

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 1:37 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I know what you mean. All to well. I have noticed lots of toys have been listed on

    Answer by tootoobusy at 1:34 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

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