Now that he's officially into his toddler period, that time has come for the first "baby stuff clean-up".
I believe in "reduce, reuse and recycle", so since birth, Pingu has used Bibu's old clothes. We have bought hardly anything brand new for Pingu, and the few things he did get were presents from other people. Up until recently, as soon as Pingu was outgrowing his clothes, I would pass them along to a good friend of ours, whose baby boy is a few months younger. But now, both boys are wearing the same size and I have no other acquaintances with babies, so it's time to go the donation route!
The same for toys. I kept all of Bibu's old baby toys for Pingu to play, but he has consistently insisted on playing with his older brother's stuff (pfff) So early baby toys were hardly used and also on the list to be donated.
I find the simplest way to donate kid's old stuff is to do it through "Les Petits Riens"/ Spullenhulp. They are a non-profit organisation that collects all kinds of used goods in good condition (mostly clothes and shoes, but also toys, furniture, electronics, etc), which they recondition and sell through their boutiques. With the resulting money they provide shelter to homeless people, among other charity activities.
Their clothes containers (or "bulles") are dotted all around Brussels (there are about 900 in Belgium), so there is bound to be one close to you. In them, you can deposit clean clothes and shoes, inside a closed plastic bag. Here is the "bulle" closest to my place (vandalised a bit, poor thing) :
For other donations, you have to either go to Les Petits Riens donations reception centre in Rue de Prevost 30-32 in Ixelles (very close to Parc Tenbosch) or, if you have a large piece of furniture to donate, make an appointment for them to come pick it up at your place.
This week, I gathered a bag full of old baby toys and threw them in the wash, then bagged them and off I went to the Rue de Prevost.
The donation centre is in the Chatelain area. You recognise it immediately by the three yellow "bulles" standing by the door.
You just need to head inside the garage entry, and there in the back you'll find lots of volunteers sorting through bags and bags of goods. It has to be said that 25% of the donations they receive are in such bad condition that they have to just throw them into the garbage. So please, make sure what you give is clean, not broken and inside a sealed plastic bag.
After unloading my donation into the hands of one of the volunteers, I headed to their "Baby Paradise" boutique in Rue Americaine 97, which sells the donations for laughable prices. They have plenty of baby and toddler clothes and piles and piles of toys and baby paraphernalia such as potties, car seats, car booster seats, playing mats, etc. I saw a brand new Bumbo seat for 3,5 EUR and a Maxi Cosi baby car seat for 18 EUR.
I got a book and a little toy piano for Pingu (which works perfectly) and a toy beetle for Bibu for the large sum of............... 2,5 EUR!!!!
I wholeheartedly encourage anyone to donate and buy from Les Petits Riens/ Spullenhulp. Our kids' unwanted old stuff can become another child's favourite, while helping those who need it more in the process.
If you are interested in donating more than material things, Les Petits Riens are constantly looking for volunteers. Check out their job section.
And to finish, a very nice video from their Christmas campaign of last year.