But mom, itâ€™s so specialâ€¦
So, just want toÂ update you on how my sales for Kidsport charity have gone.Â I have sold a few things ($30 so far) but I have lots left and way more yet to put up so keep checking my list for new items at http://kidsportcharity.usedvictoria.com/
On to other things.Â Yesterday a good friend of mine gave me a bag of hand-me-downs from her daughter to mine.Â We love hand-me-downs in our house.Â My kids don’t care whether the ‘new’Â dress comes with a tag onÂ it orÂ if it was worn by someone else first – it’s new to them.Â So whileÂ bag of used clothes causes great excitement in our house, my friend who gave me the clothes has to sneak them out of hers for fear of her little one seeing what’s being given away.Â It got me thinking about how and why children hold on to their things with such fervor.Â Why does the broken spider ringÂ found under the tire ofÂ my neighbour’s carÂ while trick or treating in 2007 mean so much whenÂ I say it’s timeÂ to throw it out?Â I got my kids involved in selling their own thingsÂ last week, withÂ some success.Â But at one point when IÂ suggested to myÂ 7 year-old that she sell her Groovy Girls thatÂ she doesn’t play with anymoreÂ she respondedÂ ”but my friend Ellie would be really upset if they weren’t here when she comes to play”.Â Â True.Â Ellie does like them and I had no response for that one.Â I need to prepare better for these conversations in the future.Â
So for all of you who need toÂ get rid of some of the things your kids collect over the years, I’ve come up with a few strategies that work most of the time.
- Purge their things whenÂ the kids aren’t around.Â This worked well when the girls were young and unable to keep their own things organized and I never got rid of anything of value – sentimental or otherwise.Â Â If you feel a little guilty about this approach, don’tÂ get rid of theÂ toysÂ immediately.Â Put everything in a box and store it away for a while.Â If you’re child does not ask after any of theÂ toysÂ for a period of time (likeÂ 1 mth, 6 mths or whatever you’re comfortable with) then you can be pretty certain that you didn’t take anything noteworthy and you can feel safe about donating or selling it.
- Or involve them in the process and sell the items either on-line or have a garage sale.Â My kids were THRILLED with the idea of making money at a garage sale.Â We jumped in on a neighbour’sÂ sale this summer and the kids sold lots of stuff.Â Â I’m sure that a few people ended up buying crap they didn’t need just because 2 cute kids convinced them they needed it.Â Â You can evenÂ add incentive that money earned from selling old stuff can go towards something special – just make sure that you don’t end up with more than you got rid of!
- If you have tried everything and find yourself miredÂ in the “but it’s so special” debate, remind your kids that some children don’t have everything they want and that donating toys and clothes to charity shops is a good thing…it’s a good thing for adults too.Â Lots of people insist on keeping things for sentimental reasons.Â Â But just becauseÂ that boombox that’s as big as a gas powered generator was a gift from thatÂ dreamy lifeguard youÂ were madly in love withÂ in the third semester of third year, that’s not a good enough reason to keep it stashedÂ in the garageÂ for 15 years.Â Â Someone withÂ a vintage collection of cassette tapes could actually use it.Â It’s more valuable being used than simply being kept.Â
It is sad when kids move on and stop playing with the teddy bears and playmobile sets.Â Â It’s especially hard to pass on things that were presents, but kids grow up and change and find new interests.Â Â Â Â I do have to admit that IÂ have aÂ couple boxes stored away thatÂ areÂ filled with the girls’ special things -Â a few outfits worn when they were infants, souvenirs from abroad, gifts from grandparentsÂ and now deceased great grandparents.Â Â I figure I’m allowed to keep a few things, but I had to get rid of that boombox to make room.
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