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The school year has just ended and now, my kids and I are decluttering. We have a lot of used textbooks and bunches of used paper. We used to give away the used textbooks to kids in our neighborhood while we bring used papers to the junkshop. I was thinking of recycling but I really do not know what to do with this stuff.
What do you do with your kids’ old and used stuff?
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Our recycler does not take papers (except newspapers).
However, I drop all of our used books off at the used book "drop boxes" in the area. At times, I will take them to Goodwill or thrift stores if I have other times to get rid of.
We also burn the paper as we can use it as a starter for our wood-burning fireplace.
We had an end of school routine for several years where on the last day of school, my kids would remove the unused pages from their school books to be used as rough work paper or for other projects in the coming school year. Books that were unused or hardly used, as well as unneeded stationary were put on a donation pile to be given to non-profit organisations working with school aged children.
Used note books are either recycled or used for other projects. Certain paper can be cut into strips and used to make paper maché, you can also use the used paper for other art projects such as doing origami.
When it comes to textbooks, our local hospice and animal shelter both have secondhand book stores. If the textbook is a recent edition, these stores may accept the book as a donation for resale or they may put it with other unsuitable books that they can then recycle - thereby earning some money to put towards their cause. If you are keen to try something more creative with a textbook, you can also try folded book art (there are some great websites such as Pinterest for ideas) or making paper flowers. Both of these are fantastic holiday activities for older kids.
We will use burn-friendly paper as kindling in the summer. We love campfires! It's always worth checking with the library about used textbooks. They might have some ideas.
There used to be some websites that would buy back old textbooks. You could try to find one of those, but I'm not sure they exist much anymore. I used them a lot in college. Maybe there are some homeschooling parents that could use them?
There are lots of fun crafts that you can use old books for, too. Here is a link on Pinterest:
I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to these things and generally keep most things. If text books can be handed down to a sibling, they are kept. I also keep their notebooks (although with 7 kids that means storing a lot of things I probably really don't need to). i am also keen to hear what others do here :)