Last Updated on
Christmas is just around the corner, and many parents are already dreading the sheer number of new toys that will be entering our homes on the big day. As is, my girls have so many toys that their floor quickly becomes covered to the point where you can’t walk in their room.
It’s never quite this bad, although I feel like it is sometimes!
Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The last time I cleaned it, I spent a full day and a half organizing and decluttering. Four full trash bags came out of their room and it’s still packed with toys! It’s amazing how quickly kids’ closets fill up with toys – and how much more quickly they take over the floor.
According to Yahoo! Parenting, kids can have too many toys, and I know that my girls probably fall into this category. My daughters have very different temperaments when it comes to keeping toys. Zoë will happily give away all of her toys except for her LeapPad and art supplies. Kaylee, on the other hand, will keep every tiny toy that she can get her hands on and doesn’t want to part with them even when they break.
I have been trying to think of ideas on how to encourage Kaylee to let go of more of the toys she doesn’t play with. I can sneak them out of her room, but she always seems to find them before I’ve had a chance to re-home them, and they end up right back where they started.
I dream of them having an ever-organized room, but it’s a challenge to keep it this organized for more than an hour.
We discussed donating a lot of their toys to children in need this month. Last year, I donated a lot of toys to families that were unable to buy their children Christmas presents. We have a local Facebook group, and several people posted needing help last year. I’m sure that will come up again, but we’ve talked about being more proactive this year.
We talked to the girls about putting together packages of age appropriate toys and posting online that they’re free to families who need them. It would be a great way to teach the girls the lesson of helping others in the community and decluttering our home at the same time.
If you’re able to prevent the build up of toys before the mound is staring you in the face, count yourself lucky. I never planned to allow my kids to have so many toys, but it happened anyways!
If you’re still early enough in the game to not have an insurmountable number of toys in your house, then you need to continue being proactive to keep it that way. One way to help the cause is to come up with a list of gift ideas that is an alternative to toys when people ask what your child wants for Christmas.
Here are 5 ideas for gifts other than toys:
- Clothing. Kids grow so fast that you can ask for clothing in the next size up to put away.
- Experiences. Is there a local theme park your kids enjoy? Suggest tickets or gift certificates.
- Cash. Some people think it’s tacky to ask for cash, but you can establish an account early that will help your child pay for their first car or college education.
- Art supplies. Art is quickly disappearing from school curriculum. It’s important for families to encourage a love of art in the home now more than ever.
- DVDs. If your kids are allowed to watch movies, DVDs take up much less space than toys and can easily be organized in a cabinet.
Prevention is always the best method when it comes to avoiding the mountain of toys so many of us face every single day.
What are your best tips for ensuring your kids don’t accumulate too many toys?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.