Declutter the Toy Stash before Christmas!
They’re coming down our chimneys…the toys….so exciting for our kids but often overwhelming for us. Where will we put all the new stuff? We barely have room for the old!
Imagine Christmas morning; festive wrapping paper strewn across the living room, the kids overjoyed with their new toys, happily at play for hours on end. And then the moment comes…we all know it! The fun, never-ending for the kids, is starting to wear off for us parents. We feel an intense desire to bring order back to our house…to find a home for all the new toys and books and clothes. But where will they go!?
This year, I encourage you to give yourself the gift of a pre-Christmas declutter! You will thank yourself on December 26th.
Here are my 5 Fabulous Tips to declutter the toy stash and create a stress-free Christmas season.
1. Get your kids on board
The Christmas season offers built-in motivation for decluttering. You can remind your kids that there are new and better toys coming. This will make it far easier for them to let go of their unused or broken toys.
Christmas is a season for giving. A great time to encourage your kids to think of others and pass along their belongings to a child in need.
2. Chunk it
To avoid getting overwhelmed, it is best to tackle one closet, one drawer or one basket at a time. Work in 15 minute chunks of time. Set a timer to make it even more fun for the kids!
3. Make it a game
The more specific your decluttering goals are, the easier and more fun it will be for the kids. For example, “can you find 10 books that you can share with another child?”. Or, “let’s find 3 pair of pants that are too small!”. This will help them stay focused and makes it more like a game than a chore.
4. Labelled sorting containers
Typically the items you are decluttering will fit into one of four categories: donate, re-home, keep and trash. The re-home pile is fun for kids because it allows them to specify a friend or family member who might enjoy their old toys/books. The trick is making sure this pile/box actually makes it’s way out of your house! There are several places you can take your donations such as Goodwill, women’s shelters, etc. If there are pieces missing or the toy is broken, do your best to recycle it appropriately. As for the keep pile…that’s an easy one…find it the perfect home grouped with like-items and labelled if possible.
These are some of the questions you can use to guide the sorting process:
- Do you play with this often?
- Are you too old for this?
- Is this toy missing a piece or is it broken?
- Do you have more than one of these?
5. Toy Rotation
Once you know what’s being kept, it’s time to consider storage. Why not store even less than our shelves and cubbies will hold? This will make putting those new Christmas toys away much easier. As for the overflow, organize them into labelled plastic bins and store them away. When the kids get bored of their toys, simply exchange the toys in storage with the toys in current rotation. Voila! Christmas again!
Decluttering is an amazing first step. However, in order to maintain order, it may be worth looking at our ‘gathering’ and purchasing habits so that we don’t end up in the same place we started.
I love this quote and it is never more fitting than at this time of year.
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.”
– Abigail Van Buren
Some of the best and most memorable gifts we can give our children are EXPERIENCES that we enjoy as a family! Why not consider tickets, gift cards, or special events rather than toys this year?
Peace all around,
Allison Moon xo