Our family is likes to declutter before Christmas. The holidays always bring a lot of fun and excitement to our home. The children always receive lots of fun gifts from friends and family and are busy for the whole Christmas break and beyond playing with their new toys. I absolutely love it.
However, when you have 4 kids and a small house, you’ve got to have a game plan for how to manage all of the new items that will be coming into your home.
How Do You Declutter?
First, take inventory of books, dvds, toys, and clothing. Note which items are not played with. Remove items that are broken and items they have simply outgrown.
Load the possibilities into a box. Set the box in the basement to see if anyone misses the items.
Some toys might be great for adding into your toy rotation totes. Other items might be designated to give away. Certain items might be perfect for donating to a cause or fundraiser.
If you are having trouble deciding how to purge toys check out this article from The Postpartum Party.
I encourage you to consider donating the items your children have outgrown to a young family.
Several times over the past 9 years, I have received MANY generous donations of used books, clothing, toys, and more. It’s amazing to get really useful items for free. Many of these items I would have spent hundreds of dollars to buy.
My favorite items given to us include: a baby bathtub, a diaper champ, a huge collection of board books, a tote of Duplo Legos, Thomas trains, puzzles, more awesome books, and a huge collection of Disney princesses and castles.
That’s not even mentioning all the times I’ve received clothing for our kids as well. After receiving so many things so generously, I can’t help but want to pass along the items that my kids are no longer using to bless another young family.
A Few Notes on Donating
Always ask! Sometimes families already have enough of an item and may not want more.
Also, loaning is nice, but giving is always better. When you loan out something, it can be difficult on both the loaner and the one borrowing because something may happen to the item or there may be pieces that have to be kept track of. It may end up being more of a headache than a nice gesture.
That’s not to say that loaning is always bad. I borrowed maternity clothing from 3 different moms and it was such a blessing to not have to invest in a wardrobe that I only needed for a year!
I’ve noticed over time that there really aren’t many items worth selling. I don’t have a prime location to have a garage sale, so in the past, when I did, I had to load all my things into my car and drive them to a friend’s house.
By the time I put prices on everything, loaded it up, spent all day trying to sell, and then packed the car up at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like it was worth the money I made.
If you list things on Facebook or another site, you have to either risk having a stranger come to your home, or you have to waste valuable time waiting on them in a public place.
Personally, I would rather donate and feel good about helping someone.
Remove Guilt During Decluttering
Let go of guilt. Gifts that are received graciously have already served their purpose. Don’t feel guilty for giving items away. You shouldn’t be burdened to keep items that don’t suit your family. No one expects you to keep everything. Kids grow! Purge toys and clothing without guilt.
Be Sensible. If you are not sure if you are done with the baby stage, you should keep your baby items. If items are new in package, consider re-gifting to someone who would love it or donating to one of the many Christmas toy collection drives.
When you declutter before Christmas, the timing is perfect for donating to many organizations!
Involve Your Kids
There are many ways to involve your kids, but the most simple way is to just have a conversation. I tell my kids that Christmas is coming up and they will be getting a lot of fun new toys, but we need to make room for the new items. What toys are you thinking about that maybe we could give to another child, so that we can make room for new things? My kids usually notice the same items as me.
If I think that we may use the item in the future, I store it in our toy rotation totes. However, if I agree that everyone has outgrown the toy, we move it to our donation box.
I like to keep the donations for several weeks, just to make sure we are ready to donate. The kids know this, so it also helps them not fear putting things in the donation box, because they know they can change their minds.
I hope these ideas help you and your family declutter before Christmas! Take joy in the process. Enjoy the delight of giving and the gratification of a well organized home before the holidays!
Articles you might enjoy:
Quick Simple Tips on How to Declutter by Curly Bun Mom blog
Mom Hacks – 9 tips that will change your day
Stocking Stuffer Ideas on a Budget
How to Tell Your Child the Truth about Santa
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