When you frequent yard sales and thrift stores, you can find incredible deals. With the low prices, you can't help yourself by justifying buying everything. But when you start to buy so much stuff, your house can become too full. Yes, way too full. As a single mom, I like to stretch my dollars. It isn't easy when you have to do it all alone. For me getting stuff at great deals made me so happy. I would hold onto the stuff because I was afraid of spending the money later on if I needed/wanted it again. It wasn't like an episode of Hoarders, but when you get a bit too cluttered, you know you need to start getting rid of stuff. So I have been going through things and getting them ready to donate.
Yes, I could have a yard sale and sell the stuff, but for me it is better to donate to a thrift store. First, I don't want to spend all day outside selling stuff. I am a single mom and I don't have all this extra time. I haev to do it all. Second, the tax write off is easier for me. Also, I don't want to deal with people.
On top of going through things, I don't let myself buy stuff that we don't really need lately. If I go to Deseret Industries for one thing, I would come out with all these other things. (There are certain things I will allow myself to buy, like books because I value cute, hardcover, picture storybooks to read to the kids. But I don't just buy any old book. I have to really look through it and make sure it is worth the time and space. And the pictures and story has to be really cute.)
But I don't buy toys anymore from Deseret Industries because, let's face it, we have enough. They get toys for birthdays and Christmas from friends and family, as well as Santa at Christmas. If there is something I really think they would love and will play with I might buy it, clean it up and give it to them from Santa, but I try not to even go down that aisle.
And with holidays comes a limit on toys. I will admit that I used to go all out on toy buying for holidays. In a sense, it felt like I was allowed to because of the holiday. My daughter's first Christmas, I went all out at Big Lots and bought so many toys because she didn't have many toys. How many toys does a one year old need??? I'll admit that it was a total waste of money buying so much because I didn't get high end and quality toys. I wanted her to have lots. They all got donated later on. I still would buy lots of gifts when I would get really good deals.
But this year, I am not buying as many gifts. They have plenty of toys that they actually play with and love. Buying a lot more will result in them not playing with them.
So far I have found my daughter a VW Van for her Barbies, which I will admit I was shocked to have found for only $5. It is in great condition. She will be so happy when she opens that. I also found a baby high chair for her Barbies and a white Barbie horse. She loves Barbie and horses. If there is something she really wants for Christmas that she begs Santa for, I will look into buying that. Other than that, I think that is enough for her.
For my son, I have found a bucket of legos for $2 at a yard sale, which I was so happy to have found since I have been looking for legos. When my kids' grandma and grandpa were moving, they brought up another bucket of legos they said the kids could have. I immediately saved them and put them aside for Christmas. So he'll be getting two buckets of legos, which he will be happy about. I also found some really cool toy cars. He loves playing with his toy cars that he has, and I didn't go overboard with the toy cars I found. I think there are about 10 cars. I also found a bag of toy soldiers with tanks, guns and whatnot.
I would much rather buy only a few things that I know the kids will love and play with than buy them a lot of toys that they won't have time to play with since there are too many. I also save money because I don't buy as much, and no waste. Going through their toys now is enlightening. I see what they aren't playing with. If they don't play with it, GET IT OUT! Enough is enough. :)