The holiday season is upon us. Many kids have already scribbled out their Christmas lists. Others children, like mine, add to it daily. Little ones who still believe in Santa get that twinkle of anticipation in their eye, and certain teenagers (mine again) have already started to listen to Christmas carols. Too soon!
As you know, we now celebrate Thanksoweenmas each year, so all the major year-end holidays are kind of mashed together. I noticed Halloween decorations in some stores in July! And, Thanksgiving and Christmas décor wasn’t too far behind. This is our new normal, and we must embrace it (apparently).
The one thing I really dread about Christmas, however, is the fact that more “stuff” will be making its way into our already very cluttered abode. This year I resolve to declutter the toys before Santa drops even more off at our home.
Here are five tips for decluttering toys before the holidays:
1. Don’t Declutter Without Your Child’s Input
I don’t know about you, but since I’m not a stalker, I really have no idea which toys my kids play with, and which they do not. For me to go into their room and arbitrarily pick off one of their belongings after another without any input from the owner of said items, would just be plain mean. Carve out some time to sit down with your child and decide what they can part with, and what they want to hold onto a little longer. But, what if my child is a hoarder, you say? Ask them to put their least favorite toys in a box, and store it for three months. If they don’t ask for it back in the time period, get rid of the box for good.
2. Clear Out Their Rooms
Instead of picking through each and every item in your child’s room and deciding what to keep and what to chuck, move everything that’s not furniture out of their room into an adjoining room. Then, add the items they want to keep back into their rooms. Whatever is left over that hasn’t been moved back in goes bye-bye.
3. Sell or Donate
Don’t just throw their discarded toys away. Sell them, or donate them to charity. If you sell the toys, you can give your child the money made from the sale for them to spend on an experience. If you donate the toys to charity, you’re teaching your child a valuable lesson about sharing with others.
4. Clear Out Their Clothes
While clothes (and shoes) aren’t toys per se, decluttering is the perfect time to go through those items as well. Kids grow like weeds, as you know, so likely, many of the clothes and shoes in their closet have been outgrown. Or, your child might be like my youngest daughter, who despite having enough clothes to outfit all the kids in our neighborhood, wears the same three basic outfits over and over again. Yawn. Once you’ve made up a bag of discarded clothes and shoes, hand them down to a smaller child, sell them, or donate them to charity.
5. Sell the Experience
Kids like stuff. My middle daughter is one who likes to buy things, but then gets bored with them after five minutes. I try to remind her of this fact every time she wants to purchase something new. Lately, I’ve been trying to encourage my kids to spend their money on experiences instead. Not only do they get to enjoy said adventure, but they make a memory in the meantime. More fun, less stuff. Win, win.
You may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of your current hoard expanding with the giving that typifies the upcoming holidays, but with a little preparation, you can wipe the slate clean so to speak. Unload the stuff, and have a merrier holiday as a result!