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The Purge After the Splurge

The Purge After the Splurge

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A guide to making room for the Christmas toys. (Theirs and yours.)

By Laurie Palau

If we’re not addicted to possessing the latest, most-hyped [insert the toy, device, home good or article of clothing here], then why do Black Friday sales now start in October? Let’s not pretend that Christmas isn’t a convenient excuse to lighten up in our daily struggle with restraint. As long as we give as good as we get, it’s not being greedy anyway.

But this isn’t about accumulating stuff. We’re not hoarders. Upgrading, by definition, means replacing. So, let’s launch a new Christmas tradition here and now. Once the tsunami of wrapping paper that is Christmas morning recedes, purge your household of all the unwanted things. With the excitement of getting new things (and the space and attention they’ll command), everyone, including the kids (especially the kids), should be willing to make a more honest evaluation of what’s important to them. (Hint: if there’s dust on it, it’s not. If it’s obsolete, it’s not.)

In fact, you may find that you and your family get a little (a lot) carried away. This, however, is a conscientious purge, not a scorched-earth purge. The goal is to keep as much as you can out of a landfill. Create four piles: Donations, Consignments, Recycling and, of course, Garbage. Think of the Garbage pile as a last resort. Here’s a brief guide to help you divvy up the rest.



Gently-used clothing, home goods and toys (

Last-generation smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and video games (

Unabused stuffed animals (



High-end (still-fashionable) clothes (

Expensive handbags (



Board games and toys with missing pieces

Torn and/or stained clothing

TVs and tech over 10 years old

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