Christmas came and went. You might have saved all year for the month of December, but chances are, somewhere in 2010 the bottom fell out of something-somewhere and opened up a worm hole in your bank account and well… Maybe it was a slim year. Maybe not. Regardless, you probably had grandparents, aunts and uncles clawing at your door Christmas day like zombies, dragging a bag of gifts to show your kid(s) the real meaning of Christmas — gettin’ PAID.
In a down economy, this is a godsend and kind of a relief. You love your lil’ monsters and if you’re like me, you are plenty at ease letting the relatives do the big giving. Yeah I got ‘em prizes — of course I did. But I was only the pre-funk to the real party.
And now? Now I’ve got a toy wasteland. The toys! Last year’s poor, unfortunate souls are kicked under the bed, left in the bath tub or on the front porch in the bitter cold. I’ve got twice the pile of stuff but the same square footage. So here is what I did based on a friends genius recommendation:
The Xmas Toy Bank Dad Hack
The Bone Collector
I bought a couple empty plastic storage bins at Target — one for toys, one for stuffed animals (they have dead eyes).
Then, because I had a window of time with no kids, I dumped everything out. All of it. No box went unturned. Sorted, organized and reassembled, I picked all the toys I’d noticed as ignored in the past few weeks and shoved what didn’t get delivered to Goodwill or given away into the bins. I put the bins on the top shelf of the monsters’ closet.
The Toy Bank
Next (and this is what I think is the genius part) I explained to the dynamic duo that they can play with anything in that box, but only if they trade for something else. Old toys become new again and they get excited seeing something they had forgotten about. But the best part is cutting down the number of times you step on a tiny, sharp, plastic dinosaur or princess hairbrush in the dark.
Less cursing from Dad is better for everyone.
You can use the Toy Bank as a reward system for kids who are getting old enough to benefit from this kind of thing. Tell them they get to trade a toy for getting something accomplished. This might cut down on the number of times you have to pull out the bin.
About The Author: Courtney Stubbert (@getpunched) is an insightful, capable, and extremely hilarious father of two. He’s an amazing graphic designer and has some killer shirts you should check out at www.ThisYearsModel.net. Support The Cause!