If us moms could choose and have ultimate control over what others gift our children, I think it’s safe to say we would pick experience gifts nine times out of 10. But we all know that it is inevitable that tangible gifts will end up in the hands of our children.
Tip #1: Manage Current Toys First
In preparation for the holiday season, plan to go through all the toys in your home. Pour out every bin (keeping the items from each bin together) and add the rest of the toys into a pile. Remind yourself that your home is going to be organized chaos for a day or two.
Once the toys are all accounted for, go through each one. If your children are still little and don’t have a personal inventory of every item they own, you can do this without any child input. Trust me, it is a way faster process when other opinions aren’t involved!
But now that my children are older, I do like to give them ownership and a say over their possessions. This also helps in training them with how to deal with their items later in life! Keep in mind that the purpose of this process is to never get rid of something that is still near and dear to your child’s heart.
Plan to create the following piles:
- Donate: items that are no longer played with or wanted
- Sell: items the child doesn’t play with but doesn’t want to give away. Negotiate here and see if your child would be willing to sell the item. They can keep the commission or split it with you. This might help them decide if they truly want the item after all. You can do this without any input, depending on your child’s age.
- Trash: items that are broken, missing parts, or in bad condition
- Rotate: items that are still played with but are out of season/developmental stage of the child
- Keep: favorite items that your child still plays with and loves
Once you manage the current toys in your home, you will find that you have more space to welcome new toys. It will feel good accomplishing this prior to the new items coming in, and it will help keep your home clutter-free.
Tip #2: Ask For, and Give, Experience Gifts
This is the more common request from parents who are overwhelmed with toy clutter. We all enjoy family time together; tickets to events, classes, or passes are a great way to bless a family! For great ideas to ask for and to gift, you’ll definitely want to check out our guide to experience gifts in + around Detroit.
Tip #3: Request Specific Items
We all are familiar with the relative who has the love language of gift giving. It doesn’t matter if you say, “No gifts” to them; this loved one expresses love through gifts, and loves the joy of the process of shopping for, wrapping, giving, and seeing their gift enjoyed.
In that case, put together an Amazon wishlist (with the help of your child) for items that they really want. This list can include board games, room décor, books, clothes, and other things they are currently into.
Games are a great option to suggest. They do take up tangible space, but they also provide a fun experience for the entire family. You most likely already have a shelf or closet dedicated to your collection. Adding a couple more to it should still help to keep your overall home clutter-free.
Tip #4: Be Practical
When purchasing gifts for your own children, be practical. Purchase items that they already need, whether it’s some new outfits, pajamas, shoes, books, markers, sheets, etc. Kids can enjoy these items, particularly if it has their favorite superhero or character! It will help you save money in the long run as well.
Once they are gifted the practical item, you can get rid of the item it is replacing. Donate old clothes and shoes, throw out the dead markers, and you and your child will both feel fresh heading into the new year.
Tip #5: Take Care of the Gift ASAP
One final way to have a clutter-free Christmas? Take the new gift out of the package and allocate a home for it. Being intentional about dealing with the gifts right away will prevent all the new items from making a literal pile in your home. Once there is a pile, it is harder to get the motivation to go through everything. I’m not saying to organize the gift while grandma is still finishing her last bite of mashed potatoes . . . but plan to tackle the gifts as soon as you have a free moment.
Here’s a special tip that didn’t make the list above for a clutter-free Christmas, but is still sure to be a hit: the gift of time. Babysitting so parents can get away for the evening is a wonderful gift; offering up yard service or other time-consuming tasks can also be considered a gift win. You can also ask for the gift of a night away next Christmas.
Hopefully, following these tips will help you to be well on your way to a clutter-free home this holiday season! Good luck, and here’s to having a wonderful clutter-free home for the holidays!