Christmas clear out – donating old toys

Toy Clutter

How many of you have looked at the ever growing mounds of toys your children accumulate and say “I’ll sort those out one day”. We all think about donating old toys, but when do we get around to doing it?

I had been saying that for quite a while, but instead of attempting to clear I just bought extra storage boxes to ‘hide’ the mess.

After the excesses over the festive period (and I’m not just talking about the food!) my two boys must have received about 20-30 new toys….each! Where was I going to hide (I mean) store them?

Enough was enough.  I had to have a clear out and have a proper think about donating any old toys. My eldest went to school and while my youngest was busy watching movies I commenced my clear up operation. Armed with handfuls of bags I systematically worked my way through every room, picking up any toy or book that had been left unloved for 2 months or more. I even looked on top of wardrobes where we had left toys which were becoming annoying.  I also found toys which hadn’t even been opened or used yet.

Two hours later and 10 large bags bursting with toys and books, I was done. I could have done more but I think I may have encountered an argument or two if I added more toys! It felt so good. I had accomplished something so early on in the new year! Now, what was I going to do with it?

Donating your old toys – where to do it?

My initial though was to donate everything to a charity shop, this was the easiest solution, but I was reluctant to do that. I have donated to charity shops numerous times, but my last donating experience really left me wondering whether this was the best option.

I had donated to a local charity store. I was expecting some kind soul gleefully accepting my wares, but instead got a lady who was busy dealing with a store room crammed full of donated items. I even had to pile my items in the back store room for her. I looked at the pile of items and thought there is no way any of the items I have donated will see light of day for at least 6 months……which is a bit pointless!

So, what other options are there. I wanted children to be able to play with the toys straight away, not wait for it to be sold at a charity shop. I wanted them to go to really needy children. So I thought of a hospice. I googled for any in my local area and couldn’t find any. What now?

It was suggested to me to donate to the children’s ward at my local hospital. That was a brilliant idea. I called them and they were so appreciative for the thought and effort of donating. I felt amazing. My children’s toys would go to other children who really needed cheering up.

We dropped the toys and books off this evening and the nurses were lovely. Especially as they saw how many bags we were giving them. They said the children would be so happy to play with these.

I have to say that this is probably one of the best ways to donate any of your old or unwanted toys. I think we do believe giving to charity shops is one of the best ways to recycle your unwanted items, but we probably do this out of convenience rather than anything else. There are lots of hospitals, hospices or even childrens centres where toy/book donations are a rarity. Lets change that.

My children also learnt an important message about giving to others who don’t have. I now have a tidier house and a big smile on my face. It’s a win win for everyone!

Find your nearest deserving cause. Whoever they are, they will be extremely grateful for you donating your old toys.


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