My son, Aiden, is the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Needless to say, he is a little spoiled. He has a full toy box at each grandparent’s house. At birthdays and Christmas, it seems like someone teleported a toy store into my living room, and thus, holiday clutter seems unavoidable. Now, I can’t plead innocent here, because I have also played a part in this the first two Christmases and birthdays by seeing something “on sale” that I thought he had to have! It was so bad last year, that 15 minutes into opening gifts from Santa, he seemed like he was done, and would have been happy with what he had already opened – never mind the pile waiting for him on the other side of the tree!
Having too much holiday clutter has inspired me to come up with some creative ways to – you guessed it – cut down on it. I have three great tips to share with you on how I plan to accomplish having (almost) no more holiday clutter ever again.
The Four Gift Rule: This year, I have been trying to figure out a way to have him be able to enjoy his Christmas with opening gifts, but not have it seem like FAO Schwartz is holding a liquidation sale from my front porch. I came across this great idea and am really contemplating sticking to it, as well as asking his grandparents to follow suit. Instead of just buying because, “Oh he would love that!” I will instead, be more selective about what I purchase for him. So, I plan on buying him 4 items. Yes, just FOUR items! One thing he wants (in this case, because he is young would probably be the afore mentioned, “He would love that”, item). One thing he needs, one thing he wears and one thing he reads.
By doing this you’ll be able to keep the toy clutter down, increase their home library, purchase something they need and maybe this is a great time for those new snow boots that you know they will need by the next storm.
Suggest gift alternatives: This could also be carried over to birthdays as well! What about grandparents that like to spoil the little ones and feel like they want to give more? How about suggest that they contribute to the child’s college fund? Don’t have one set up yet? Now’s a great time! It’s never too early to start saving.
Make a list (for them!) check it twice: Now, if your family is anything like mine, the topic of who wants what for Christmas is almost always brought up when we are all together at Thanksgiving. This includes brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and great-grandparents (you can see why I am really trying to cut down on the gifts this year!). When this happens, don’t be afraid to offer some suggestions that would truly work for your family! For us, we obviously love the gift of rental toys from Green Piñata because not only do they help to keep the constant clutter and ever growing toy collection down, but is a gift that can truly grow with our little man as he develops new skills and begins to become interested in more complex toys. Another plus is that he will get the joy of new toys every month instead of being inundated all at once on Christmas morning!
Tell me, how do you celebrate a clutter-free Holiday? Share with us in the comments!