Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tubtrug Love

One of my favorite organizing solutions is Tubtrugs!  While created as a gardening and lawn care tool, I've used them for everything but!  I have them in the play room, my son's room, the kids' bathroom, the hallway and the closet!  They're versatile, colorful and best of all, environmentally friendly.  They may be on the pricier side for a storage bin, but I believe it's better to spend a little more for something that will is virtually indestructible and can serve a multitude of uses, including an ice bucket, a splash pool and even a sandbox!  Do you love Tubtrugs as much as I do?  Tell me about it!

 Here are some ways I've used my Tubtrugs:

Winter: hats, mittens, scarves
Spring/Summer: sporting gear

Hall Closet:
Winter: spare hats, gloves, scarves
Spring/Summer: helmets, pads & other gear

Child's Bedroom:
Toys, stuffed animals, books

Bath/Water Toys

Play Room:
Play food, blocks, dress-up clothes, anything!

Crazy for Cubes

Ever since the terms "organization" and "de-cluttering" became big buzz words, the production and use of cubes has been on a steady rise.  If there's a retailer that sells any type of storage product, chances are, they sell cubes.  I've even jumped on the cube bandwagon for my office, my daughter's bed room and the kids' play room.  I wouldn't be surprised if cubes ended up in my son's bedroom as well, but there's no need, or room, for them...yet.  So, what's so great about cubes?  What isn't?!  They're deeper than a traditional bookcase so they can hold a wider variety of things, like baskets, bins, totes and other storage items within the storage item itself.  They're graphically aesthetic, and a lot of cube-designed furniture can be arranged in many configurations to serve a variety of purposes and work in different rooms.  Have you been bitten by the cube bug?  I'd love to hear the ways in which you've utilized this very modern geometrical shape in your home, office or any place in between.

Ikea (Expedit Series)

West Elm (Rolling Storage)

Container Store (Ladoro Cubes)

Container Store (Galvanized Cubes)

ClosetMaid (Cubeicals))

Pottery Barn Kids (Morgan Cubby Bookcase)

Land of Nod (Cube Collection)

Kid Clutter

Some of my current, outgoing kid clutter

So, if you're like my friend, Christy, who requested that I write this post, you've decided it's time to get rid of some, or a lot, of your child's "stuff" that's cluttering up your home.  For many, it's a simple process; hand down everything to a relative or friend's child or pack it all up and donate it to charity.  For others, it's a little more unsettling to part with the items one's spent so much money on, especially when going through challenging financial times.  While giving things, or at least making them available at a low cost, to those in need, is a wonderful thing to do, the money that can be earned from selling our things can also allow to give in other ways.  In the end, it's really all about not letting things go to waste while creating an environment that allows us to live to our highest potential.
So, think "recycle, reuse, renew" as you donate, sell and in some cases, toss (as in, the trash) and while you free up your personal space, you could also be freeing up someone else's financial burden.

Here are some resources on how to get rid of all that kid clutter, give back to your community, help someone out, and even make some money.  Have fun, and Christy, I hope this helps!

The benefit of donating is obvious; helping others in need makes you feel good.  Taking your kids with you to donate their toys also provides a good lesson in the joys of giving.  A side benefit to donating to some charitable organizations is that you can claim a deduction on your tax return.

Here are two informative articles:

Where to Donate:
Call organizations first to see what items are accepted and what their guidelines are.
  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Local Thrift Store
  • Children's Hospital
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Family Center
  • Homeless Shelter
  • Women's (Family) Shelter
  • Emergency Nursery
  • Day Care Center
  • Church or Synagogue
  • Refugee Resettlement Center
  • A Local Family in Need

Stuffed Animals:
Many places to don't accept stuffed animals, even if they're gently used, but there are certainly those that do.  Here are some resources:

Who couldn't use a little extra money?  While the downside of selling is that it requires time and effort for not much return and you can end up stuck with items that don't sell, the upside is that kids can be enlisted to help and learn about earning money and the money can be used for something that the family can enjoy together or can be donated to a charity.  Decide ahead of time that any toys that don't sell, you will donate.  That way, if you don't make any money, you can at least feel really good.

Ways to Sell: 
  • Resale Shop: (Pro: Cash in hand and some give discounts on purchases based on how much you sell  Con: Low payout)
  • Consignment Shop (Pro: Can yield higher return than resale  Con: Low payout)
  • Ad in Local Paper: (Pro: Easy and free  Con: Need to arrange for person to pick up)
  • eBay (Pro: Can yield higher payout than resale or consignment shops  Con: Requires some know-how and time and you can lose money in fees if item doesn't sell)
  • Yard Sale  (Pro: Potential for highest payout  Con: Requires a lot of time and effort)