If I make it through Christmas without tripping over a toy, I’ll be amazed. Call it the curse of generous gift-givers or from years of writing about kids’ product for my various magazine jobs…no matter how you slice it, my kids have been blessed with more playthings than Santa’s Workshop could hold. Do you find that your house is the same–that you too are surrounded by Legos, Calico Critters and tiny pepperoni pieces from a play pizza kit? If you’re noticing how messy your family room has become, while also realizing just how long your child plays with a toy before she loses interest, forget about banishing Barbie to the basement. Giving new meaning to the idea of “re-gifting,” thredUP.com is expanding its kids’ clothing swap site to include toys for the impending holiday season. The process is so simple, it’s almost criminal not to take advantage of it. Once you sign up and become a member, you list and itemize a box of gently used toys your kids no longer play with. When another member chooses your listing, you’ll be notified by thredup, which also takes care of creating a shipping label and scheduling an at-home pick-up. Kids feeling a sudden lose over their dearly departed dollhouse? Take a deep breath, sigh audibly and then let them browse virtual “toy boxes” to see if there’s anything that catches your (or their) eye. When you find a toy box you like, select it and pay just $5. That’s it. Hey, in the spirit of the season, it’s nice to show a little goodwill, even to your own little devils.
In a Nutshell: Help lighten Santa’s load and maybe clean up your family room in the process. And saving a dollar or two this season by re-using doesn’t hurt either.