Stuffed Animal Purge: How to Throw Without the Guilt

Jeanne Sager

stuffed animalIt's time for that once yearly celebration I like to call the stuffed animal purge.

What It Is: The merciless, no holds barred trashing of all those "ooh, it's so cute, I want it" toys from their bedroom.

Why We Do It: Because CPS will be called if we allow the kid to be buried by the mountain. Even a Granny-created mountain.

How It's Done: Kick the kids out of the house. Send them to Granny's. Tell them to play in traffic. Just ... get ... them ... out.

Then grab a garbage bag and make like you're a baby with a spoon full of mashed peas in front of Mommy in her work clothes -- just start flinging.

Warnings: You will have purger's remorse. Bring your best chocolate bar or favorite bottle of wine to the party. Scratch that. Bring two of each.

Because most stuffed animals cannot be recycled. Sure, there are a ton at the thrift store in town. But how many times do you see the same pile when you're scooting in to scout for new kid clothes on the rack?

Unlike a toy truck that can be doused in Lysol, most stuffed animals sport that "surface wash only" claim. Which should be replaced with the words "germ factory here."

Sure, there's that "put it in a pillow case in the washing machine" trick. Tried it, and have a Zoe with a 'fro to show for it, and a lamb that was once a rabbit. 

No wonder more and more second-hand spots are saying "ix-nay" on the "uffed animal-stay."

What to Throw: Anything that hasn't been slept with in the last month and a half. Anything that the dog has borrowed. Anything that looks like it was the subject of the aforementioned pea flinging.

Be merciless. If your dead grandmother bought it for them, keep it. If their very much alive and always buying a new stuffed animal grandmother got it for them, feel free to refer to the list above.

Save the lovey. But if it says "surface wash only," push it to the top of the "probably should go" list, then weigh it out. Did it come from the dollar store? Chuck it. Is it one of those ridiculous holiday-specific toys that once upon a time sang "Jingle Bells" on command but now only does so at weird times in the middle of the night, thus waking up your toddler? Oh, honey, it's got to go.

This should get it back down from mountain to hill at least.

Do you do a stuffed animal purge?


Image via alamosbasement/Flickr

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