Getting a gift of love, time, or experience is hands down the most beneficial for our children.
But knowing that isn’t going to stop the flood of toys coming your way this holiday season.
It seems impossible to escape all the well-meaning gifts from friends and family, leaving the question as to where it all will fit?
Among the family traditions, there is a practice that should be added right after the lights and gingerbread houses- de-cluttering the house!
You may be thinking, “Where will I find the time to de-clutter when I am preparing for my needy Aunt Karen to arrive?”
Don’t fret, because we have just the remedy to create a home for every new toy du jour, while keeping your sanity in tact.
Danielle Venticinque, writing for Scary Mommy, likes to conduct her home preparation ritual over the weekend following Thanksgiving, getting her kids involved as much as possible.
“Each holiday season, along with trimming our tree and baking cookies, our family practices another tradition: clearing out all the clutter.”
Since you want to slim down all material possessions more than usual (knowing there is more heading your way), you want to take a “go big or go home” approach, making a significant impact in a short amount of time.
Follow these easy steps to have all your ducks in a row before the reindeer come underfoot.
1. Show, don’t tell
Kids may think you don’t understand the difficulty in giving away an old robot that has lost one arm and has ate up 23 batteries when you haven’t had to give your own things away.
There is no better way to teach than to be the example.
Start by selecting a few of your own items to pass on to a donation center, letting the family know you are all in this together.
2. Empower your child
It can be devastating for a child to have you rummaging through their personal effects, while occasionally tossing a loved toy in a box.
Prior to going through their rooms, let your kids know that you are making room for all the news fun stuff they are going to be blessed with this year, and that when they give their toys away another child gets the excitement of a new toy.
Allow your children to find the first toy to donate, being sure to acknowledge the virtue they demonstrated.
3. Follow through with a process
There are many ways to go about discarding unused toys, but ultimately you want to only have a few favorite items remaining.
When there are items that are similar, have your child choose just one that they like the best, suggests Venticinque.
If something is broken or missing pieces, throw it out. There is no need to hold on to a puzzle of half of Hulk’s face or a bulldozer with no blade (you know what I’m talking about).
A word to the wise, and this is the most important part, take the boxes of donated items directly to the donation center when the purging is complete.
I cannot tell you how many times the lengthy process of de-cluttering the toys ended in a redistribution of said toys after the boxes were left laying out.
Kids cannot resist this temptation!
The kid’s bedrooms and playrooms can quickly become overwhelming, but the process of prepping for a new year of fun doesn’t have to be.
After these easy steps are complete you will feel at peace with the box of 96 matchbox cars and the incredibly intrusive dream house grandma bought for the kids this year.
Please let us know in the comments section if you have a de-cluttering technique that you use to prepare the home for the hordes of incoming toys.
(h/t Mommy Underground)