There you are: a brand new parent, holding your precious bundle of joy! Money is tight and you are barely getting by – babies are expensive! Financial planners are advocating that you open up a special savings account and deposit a small amount of money each payday to help pay for BIG future expenses such as cars, and college educations. Perhaps you are among the lucky few who are financially able to do this; or more likely you are amongst the majority of parents who find that after you pay for all of your families living expenses find not enough left over to set aside………..
What if you could use all those toys that you and your extended family and friends buy for your child from all the future birthdays and Christmases to help fund those future expenses??
Here are my step by step instructions:
- Storage space.
This could be an attic, basement, garage, or spare room. Do not rent a storage unit! If you do not have access to FREE space somewhere in your house, then this article is not for you! This area must be DRY – No leaky attics and WET basements. Make sure that your attic is properly insulated and ventilated.When it comes to long-term storage, out of sight should never mean out of mind. Regular inventory checks are critical to ensure that your possessions are free from damage. Mice, moths, silverfish, temperature extremes, humidity, and water can damage valuables beyond repair. Regularly check on items in your storage area. You want to make sure that you don’t have any uninvited visitors, as well as confirm the condition of the items. Plan to check the storage area about once every 3 or 4 months. If you consider it “out of sight, out of mind,” you may end up losing the items altogether.
- Sturdy plastic storage containers
Store items destined for the attic in clear plastic storage bins rather than cardboard boxes. Plastic bins keep out dust and pests. Many brands of plastic storage containers are built to stack nicely and have the added benefit of built-in handles. The fact that the plastic storage bins are all the same size and stack able will make allow you to make the most efficient use of your storage area. Many insects and rodents are attracted to cardboard as a food and nest making source – DO NOT USE cardboard boxes. Be sure to label each plastic bin. It need not be detailed – TOYS along with the year that you put it in storage should suffice.
- Buy quality name brand toys from the BIG manufacturers
This means Mattel, Hasbro, Bandai, Lego, Tiger, Playmate toys. There are a few other major players for certain. What I really mean here is NO JUNK toys! A generic cheap toy is inexpensive now, and worthless in the future. Cheap toys are easily broken and often times contain lead paint – guard your wallet AND your child’s health and DON’T buy them. They are NOT a bargain by any means.
- Buy toys depicting popular Kids’ TV show and movie characters.
These are characters created by Disney, Dreamworks, Fox, Nickelodeon, PBS kids, and Sesame Street to name a few. These characters have been proven to stay popular over time.
- Save all those original toy packages and accessories.
Item will always be worth more with the original box. Once your child opens their gifts, carefully remove the item(s) from the original boxes for them. If possible, keep the tiny accessories with the original box giving your child the main toy only. Store the original boxes inside those rubbermaid storage totes in the attic. Be sure to keep those boxes in excellent condition, a dented box will also de-value the item.
- Save those tush tags!
Tush tags are the cloth tags that manufacturers put information such as brand, identification, and year made. These are not always located on the tush. Toys with tush tags are worth MORE than toys without. Tush tags offer much information that you will need to sell the toy in the distant future.
- Cleaning out your child’s toy box
The frequency will vary depending on (obviously) how many toys are bestowed upon your child. At a minimum I would suggest before each birthday and Christmas. But anytime that you notice your child’s toy box or bedroom BULGING with toys is an appropriate time; as are making any toy that your child dis-likes, has outgrown, or just become bored of disappear……into the attic that is! Sort smaller toys into zip-lock style bags and label them before they go into the Rubbermaid tote. Plush toys should be surface washed with a carpet cleaning solution and thoroughly dried before stored. Put the toys back inside those original boxes that you previously saved.
- Teach your child to take care of their toys and play with them gently.
This will help retain value, as an extremely worn or ripped up toy is worthless.
- Take steps to minimize stains
Closely guard the location of those permanent ink pens and the ball-point pens!
- Do not write your child’s name on the toy.
If you really do need to mark the toy as belonging to your child, I recommend custom ordering cloth tags with your childs name and stitching that to the toys as an alternative to permanent marker. Before storage this tag can be removed with no damage to the toy. You can buy them here: http://www.thestationerystudio.com/camp/personalized-camp-clothing-labels-c1976.html
- After being stored for a minimum of 5 years, (10 – 15 ideally), toys will be removed and sold on-line.
Currently, eBay is the most popular site for collectibles. But there are many popular smaller sites to choose from as well. Who knows what sites will be best in the future.
If you start this system when you baby is a toddler and continue throughout their childhood you should have 1000’s of dollars of “inventory” that will greatly help with college and car expenses!
Katrina’s Toys specializes in toys of all types: plush, fast food, Disneyana, dolls, bears, actions figures, puppets & more! We have 1000′s of great toys for sale! Stop by and see what treasures we have for you! Katrina’s Toys is the place for toy collectors!
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