Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When to Donate Kids' Equipment

School is out and I am once again trying to tackle the mess in my house that seems to arrive with every end of schoolyear season - the artwork and spelling tests, the emergency kits with expired food, the raincoats and sweatshirts that we hopefully won't need for the next few months (but sadly seem to still have use for).

Baby car seatImage via Wikipedia

Of course, one cleaning project leads to another, and now I am on to the giant pile in the garage that I have been meaning to donate one day. I am fine at moving things out of the house, but getting it from garage to the next step seems to paralyze me. For some reason, my greatest fear is that I'm not donating to the best organization. The clothes go to friends with younger kids, but what about the rest? Shouldn't that recorder go to that organization I once read about that collects musical instruments? And, what was their name? Are these toys good enough to be donated or should I toss them? Why can't I find all the pieces? And, on and on...

Needless to say, sometimes I find myself donating dusty things that don't appear to have fit my children in years. Today, I learned how my indecision may make this equipment go to waste. I took several carseats, bedrails, and other miscellaneous contraptions no longer needed for 8 and 10-year-olds to a local consignment store called Me 'n' Moms. I was surprised to learn that they apparently "expire" after five years. One of mine was four years old so it will be priced lower and another was actually already expired and couldn't be resold.

Apparently, carseat manufacturers give expiration dates because they can't guarantee the plastic after that. Of course, it depends on the conditions and whether it was exposed to a lot of heat and cold, but even I can see that letting it sit around in my garage was probably not ideal.

So, if you have any outgrown baby/kid equipment, make sure you pass it on, donate it, or sell it as soon as you're done! Your garage and basement will thank you too!
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1 comment:

  1. In Ohio no groups will take used car seats, not even Goodwill or Salvation Army, because of the liability. It seems like a waste of a perfectly good (and needed) piece of equipment. Many baby carseats are only used for a couple of months and are just like new.