Tips for Paring Down

We saw our neighbor's flyer for a garage sale last weekend. They had listed all manner of things that piqued our interest - baby toys, books, furniture and gear. Then we realized, we were on the wrong side of that equation. Rather than looking to buy, we should be getting rid of our stuff. Jump below for our tips for paring down...

  • Determine your space.
  • Assess your room(s) and determine how much space you have to devote to your children's toys and accessories. Figure out how much space you have first and stick with that. If it doesn't fit in that space, you've got to get rid of something.

  • Beg and borrow.
  • Hang on to the books your child wants to read over and over but expand his reading list by going to the library or doing a book swap with friends. Same with clothing. We're big believers in handing down baby and maternity clothes. For special gear, like jogging strollers, borrow or rent it for short-term use, or if you're trying to figure out whether to buy or not.

  • Stick to open-ended toys.
  • Legos and building blocks are workhorses in our house. Meanwhile, we've got bins full of great toys that are rarely touched. If your kids have toys they haven't played with in the last month, it's pretty safe to say they won't miss them if they're put in the donation pile.

  • Visit your friends.
  • Kids love playing with other kids' toys - it's fun to play with the unfamiliar and fresh. Instead of recreating the same set of toys in your house, just make regular play dates (and remember to recipricate) - you've just doubled your universe of toys.

    Share with us your tips for paring down in the comments.

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