boy child sitting on top of a toy motorcycle looking at his play room full of toys

What To Do With ALL Those Toys: A Holiday Tradition

Headshot and title for Lisa Kaplan, a Professional Organizer in South Florida and the Founder of Your Pro Organizer.

The holidays are here! Pumpkin spice lattes, friends and family, celebratory dinners, festive decorations, breaking out the fall/winter clothing…I LOVE this season. It’s the time of year where we can all come together, slow down a bit, and remember how grateful we are for the lives we have.

One of my personal favorite memories growing up happened every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. From as early on as I can remember, my parents and I piled into their car, drove to Toys”R”Us and went on a blow-out shopping spree. Barbies, toy cars, board games, stuffed animals, baseball bats, arts and crafts, you name it…we loaded our cart to the brim. Each year I got to pick out all the coolest toys I could find. I was in heaven! You would think this would be a kid’s wildest dream, but it wasn’t even the best part. Our next stop…Kids In Distress.

My parents made it a point to instill in me from very early on the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. I knew getting into that car that our shopping spree would end with giving up everything we had just bought. Now, I was still a kid so sometimes I experienced a little “gift envy” in the moment but when the day was over, giving it all to children who did not get to experience the holidays (or every day) like I did gave me a feeling that no toy ever could. We were giving, but we were given something more. My family and I were able to influence and make a change in other kid’s lives. Kids who deserved to love this season, to feel excited and cheerful and included. Growing up, we do not always remember the lessons taught to us, but this one has always stuck with me.

This time of year as we make our way through the holidays and into the new year, it is hard not to think about our own fortune. As a professional organizer I often meet parents who are able and willing to give their children anything and everything their heart desires, which puts these families in a very advantageous position. Not only can these children grow up not wanting for anything, with the best toys, supplies and gadgets at their fingertips, but they could be given something even more valuable…the ability to experience the gift of charity. Sometimes we do not realize how much we actually have until we take a closer look around at the “things” that have accumulated over the years. Luckily this time of year brings awareness on many levels, opening our eyes to areas where we may be lacking and those where there’s excess. Think about it, how often do we look around and say, “Wow, when’s the last time I/he/she used this?”

I propose we make a change this holiday season, by starting a tradition that will free up space in our home and more importantly leave a lasting impression on our heart. Take some time this holiday season to go through an area (or areas) of your home with your children and truly consider who would get the best use out of the toys and items you come across. Be truthful with yourselves. Is it there because you need it or just because you acquired it? Your children might have toys from birthdays past that they haven’t taken a second glance at, your husband or wife might have gadgets of their own they no longer (or never even) use. I challenge you during this search to keep in play the new or “like new” items, not just the old outdated pieces. Consider the new homes these possessions might find, and the joy you could bring to someone else by letting go. It might not be as apparent in the moment, but this is one of the best gifts your family will receive all year.

Throughout the year, I work with families who are overwhelmed with the amount of toys and “things” that have accumulated in their home. They are blessed with the ability to buy or with loved ones who are able to gift them some wonderful pieces, but they have yet to find the right way to cycle these items in and out of their space. Generally after working with us, clients discover anywhere from a few small pieces to several large bags of items that they no longer need. This season I hope that we can take an even closer look at our lives and spaces to make decisions on what really matters. Remove the stress of items we do not need, and replace it with humility, empathy, and charitable giving. Whether brand new, like-new, or gently used, consider creating a family tradition of your own by donating to your local charity and spreading joy this holiday season. You will not regret it.

The team at your pro organizer is committed to helping others year-round, especially during the holiday season. If you would like to make a change in your own space and in someone else’s life through the gift of charity please give us a call to us at 954-406-6002 or email

your pro organizer is a hands-on organizing firm specializing in helping you get and STAY organized. We bring efficiency, style and peace to our clients spaces so they can concentrate on the more important things in life.