With Christmas just a few weeks behind us and my daughters first birthday only a few months away, I am amazed at how much “stuff” she has already accumulated in only nine months. I tend to like a minimalist style in our home and too much stuff in the house really stresses me out. The toys have taken over our small home! After talking to my mommy friends I know that I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the “stuff.” But how do you limit the amount of things that well intentioned family and friends give to your children? Let go of the guilt!
Don’t be afraid to donate or toss something just because you’re afraid of hurting the feelings of the gift giver. If you get rid of something that someone gave your child, it doesn’t mean you are diminishing their generosity towards your child. Letting go of some of the toy clutter gives you and your family more space to enjoy. If I’m having trouble getting rid of something I say to myself “If I get rid of this, I will never have to clean it, store it, save it, or trip over it ever again!”Semi-annual de-cluttering!
If you go through the toys twice a year, usually before the winter holidays and before a birthday, you can get rid of some of them before the new influx of toys. This method really helps to keep toy clutter under control.Re-gift!
Some people are very anti re-gifting, but I think it is perfectly fine to re-gift something that my child doesn’t need to someone who will appreciate it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t re-gift something used or broken, but a brand new toy or outfit with tags still attached is perfect for re-gifting! Stash it!
If your child gets an overload of gifts for a holiday or their birthday, give your child a few of the toys to play with and then store the rest for later. For older children, let them pick which toys they want to play with now. Every few weeks, you can rotate the toys by storing the ones they have already tired of and bringing out new things. This also helps with children that tend to get bored easily. What could be better on a rainy day when your child has whined “I’m bored” for the hundredth time than surprising him or her with new toys to play with!Create a wishlist!
Websites like Amazon.com let you create a wishlist for any occasion. I have made one for my daughter’s birthday and it consists mostly of books and a few toys that I picked because they would grow with her. You can slip a paper into your child’s birthday invitation with the link or you when someone asks you what your child would like, you can mention the wishlist. Consign!
Consignment shops will often accept toys, and this is a great way to make a little money back on toys that your children have tired of. Call your local consignment shop and ask about their policies.
If you decide to donate toys, I suggest researching shelters or charities that accept toys. If you bring your child with you to donate the toys and explain how the toys are going to children that don’t get many toys, it could turn into an incredible learning experience. How do you plan to tackle the "stuff" this year?