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Blog: Discovering Your Core Values
Recent Surge of Toy Recalls Prompts Look at Christmas/Toy Values

"Do you know how many dangerous toys are in your house?" I recently asked a client who had hired me to organize her toy room. "Like guns, weapon-type things you mean?" She replied.

With the recent surge in toy recalls, those of you with kids, especially young kids, need to take a look at the things your children are playing with.  It's not just small or hazardous parts anymore, either.  A lot of the most recent recalls are because of substandard regulation of lead-based paint.  Check out the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for a list of recalls.

Barbies, Easy-Bake Ovens, Polly Pockets, Batman Figures, Nintendo Game Controllers, stuffed animals, toy guitars, toy phones, toy cars, the list goes on and on.

Got you wondering what you can even buy that's safe anymore?  Well, my thought is do you even need to buy anything?  "But Christmas is coming!  What's Christmas without toys?!"

Here's where your values come in.  What is Christmas to you and your family?  What does it mean to you, how do you want to celebrate it, what traditions can you continue or start?  You could exchange non-physical items; memberships, lessons, mp3 website subscriptions - you get the idea.  You could exchange compliments, services, hugs and kisses - gifts do not necessarily need to be things.  It could be spending a day in service, volunteering your time and talents to others.  Do what's right for your family.

If you decide to go the toys or things route, there is nothing wrong with that.  But be responsible.  Organize what you already have first.  Sort and purge (donating is a form of purging).  Half the battle is even knowing what you already own.  Give specific wish lists to others purchasing for you/your children, that way they don't get want they already have or don't want.  Others appreciate this as well.  Gifts do not always have to be new.  Check out the Goodwill, Salvation Army and other similar stores.  Use Freecycle.com or garage sales.  Swap with friends.  Think of all the less packaging and assembling!

Knowing your values will make this decision-making so much easier.  All it takes is a few minutes and maybe an exercise or two (ask me if you need help).  The woman I was helping to organize her toy room, stopped to do this.  She ended up getting rid of all the weapon-type toys as well because of her values.  We tossed a number of toys that had been recalled, and she and her husband were discussing how they could create new traditions surrounding their Christmas beliefs and their newly defined values.  Take the time, you'll be happy you did.

posted on: 11/10/2007 12:00:00 PM by Tami Gallagher
category: The Mental Side

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Discovering Your Core Values

by Tami Gallagher

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About Tami:

Tami Gallagher is a Professional Organizer who specializes in Family Time Management. Her company does individual family consulting, workshops and presentations, and also provides community resources for families. Ms. Gallagher believes every family matters. She teaches families how to examine their core values and use them as a foundation in organizing their lives. Available on her website is The Family Core Organizer CD. This fun, practical, and easy to use tool is the ultimate planner and information keeper for your family. Everything you need all in one location!

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