Toys appear to have a means of multiplying over time, so if you strive to clear your toy room, youngsters’ room, or lounge, there’s usually not sufficient room to retailer all of them. I is perhaps the one one who thinks my youngsters’ toys have an agenda, however I do know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by toy litter. Whether it’s mismatched items from numerous LEGO units, the furnishings from a dollhouse, or a mountain of stuffed animals, toys can critically cramp your residing quarters.
That’s why a number of occasions a year I do an enormous roundup of all of my youngsters’ unused toys and donate them to a worthy trigger. The charity we donate to receives gently used toys, and I get to reclaim a few of my valuable residing space.
The most vital toy cleanup and donation is the one we do proper earlier than the vacations. Before the tree goes up, the toys are discovered, cleaned, and donated, making it simpler to take into consideration bringing new toys in the house for Christmas. Plus, our donations assist different households afford high-quality, well-maintained toys.
How to Donate Old Toys
There’s much more to donating previous toys than simply stuffing them in a bag and dropping them off at a thrift store. Take the time to make the method simpler in your youngsters and extra organized for the toy beneficiary in order that the expertise is constructive for everybody. By the time you’re executed, you’ll have taught your youngsters in regards to the significance of giving, whereas ensuring the toys go to a worthy trigger.
1. Get Your Kids Involved
One mistake mother and father usually make is gathering up toys for donation when the children aren’t house as a sneaky means to eliminate the litter. This is problematic for 2 causes: First, your youngsters is perhaps upset once they discover out you’ve executed away with a number of the their stuff. Second, you miss out on an ideal alternative to train your youngsters about charity and the method of donating items.
There are a number of methods to get your youngsters concerned:
- Ask for Help. Let your youngsters know that you simply plan to donate some toys to a charitable trigger. I like to clarify the place the toys go and who receives them. For occasion, I let my four-year-old know his stuffed animal might go to a bit of boy – similar to him – who doesn’t have many toys. By interesting to your youngsters’ higher natures, you might be stunned how enthusiastic they grow to be in regards to the course of.
- Choose a Charity Together. DonationTown helps you to select charities primarily based in your location and kind of donation, so analysis potentialities along with your youngsters and select one your youngsters are enthusiastic about. It’s a superb alternative to talk about every charity and its function.
- Create a Quota. My youngsters are extra amenable to the thought of making a gift of their toys if there’s a selected quantity they’re required to give. Usually I set the quantity at 10, however as a rule, they grow to be so enthusiastic that they offer greater than required.
2. Go Through the Toys
If your youngsters are something like mine, the primary stuff they need to give away is what they discover in the “Happy Meal Toy Bin.” You most likely have one – a spot the place small, low-cost plastic toys go to die. While it’s okay to donate smaller toys like these, I often urge my youngsters to decide extra significant and higher-quality toys.
Once toys have been chosen, I give them a once-over to be sure all the things is in order earlier than packing them up and transport them off:
- Check for Broken Parts. Unless they’re simply mounted, damaged toys or toys with lacking components ought to simply be tossed in the trash. A puzzle with lacking items isn’t any good, and a recreation with out all its elements is probably not playable.
- Watch Out for Heirlooms. Your daughter could not play with that porcelain doll a lot, but when it’s a priceless heirloom, cling onto it and hold it in the household. Make certain you undergo the toys to test for stuff you don’t need given away – one time my daughter tried to put my digital digicam in a donation field.
3. Wash Stuffed Animals
Before you hand off a field of stuffed animals to charity, it is best to wash them. While it is probably not mandatory – some charities select to wash new donations anyway – it solely takes an hour or two and helps make them appear to be new.
Washing stuffed animals isn’t like washing garments, so take additional precaution to make sure the toys survive the method:
- Check the Tags. Not all stuffed animals are mechanically cleanable. If the tag prohibits a machine wash, you might have two decisions: Give the toy a light-weight sponging with a humid fabric, or discard it if it’s too soiled to donate as-is.
- Know When You Shouldn’t Wash. Stuffed toys with battery packs that may’t be eliminated, toys embellished with sequins or glued-on components, previous toys, and toys utilizing small foam balls as stuffing might all be broken in the washer.
- Use a Mesh Laundry Bag. These baggage assist hold the stuffed animals correctly formed whereas additionally avoiding snags.
- Wash on the Gentle Cycle. After washing, cling the objects to dry. Putting stuffed animals in the dryer might trigger them to lose their form.
4. Make a List
Before you pack up your toys for donation, make a listing of the belongings you’ve determined to give away. Come tax time, these donations can add up to an enormous charitable tax deduction. Use a website resembling TurboTax ItsDeductible to tally up the full deduction for all your objects.
- Keep Track of Each Item. Note the kind of every toy and its donation situation. Brand new or like-new objects carry the next deduction than older, worn objects.
- Make Sure Your Charity Is an Exempt Organization. Use the IRS website to ensure you’re donating to a corporation that qualifies for a tax deduction.
- Ask for a Receipt. Exempt organizations ought to offer you a signed slip or formal receipt that you should use as proof of the deduction when submitting your taxes. Hang onto your receipt for future reference or monitor your deductions all year by way of ItsDeductible.
5. Fill a Box
Some charities have particular tips for packing up donations. Always test earlier than you drop off your stuff or prepare for a pickup. In most instances, a plain field works effectively, trumping the less-sturdy choice of a plastic rubbish bag. Of course, if the charity prefers plastic baggage, comply with its process.
- Package Like Toys Together. This makes the sorting course of simpler for the charity.
- Pack Puzzles and Games with all Pieces. I put recreation and puzzle items in Ziploc baggage earlier than taping them to the bottom merchandise. For occasion, I put puzzle items in a bag, then tape the bag to the puzzle board. This additionally works effectively for play units, resembling dollhouses.
- Tape Up the Box. Label the field with a marker so the charity is aware of what’s inside. It’s additionally a good suggestion to write the identify of the charity on the field, particularly in the event you’re arranging for entrance porch pickup. Once it’s taped up, simply drop the field off on the donation heart.
6. Consider Beneficiaries
Charities aren’t the one locations you possibly can donate your gently used toys. While the tax break is good, in the event you’re not nervous in regards to the deduction, you possibly can donate to a lot of different beneficiaries. A couple of choices embrace:
- Thrift shops
- Daycare services
- Church teams
- Homeless shelters
- Your native Ronald McDonald House
- Freecycle or different on-line bartering websites
- A household in want
I’ll admit I’ve a egocentric motive for donating toys – I simply need a few of my home again. But it’s additionally a superb alternative to train my youngsters about giving to those that are much less lucky. While donating toys is charitable and selfless, giving previous, damaged, or soiled toys doesn’t do anybody any good. By giving clear toys which might be in good situation, you might be certain the objects your youngsters outgrow discover new life with one other baby.
Do you donate your previous toys? Where do you want to give?