Encourage your kids to declutter toys before Christmas…Yes, they can even help you!
Every single year, my kids and I declutter their toys before Christmas in one big clean-out month (usually November). We don’t usually have time throughout the year, nor are they very motivated.
Maybe it’s shallow and privileged to say it, but if you have excess, that means you have been blessed and your children will likely reap the benefits of your blessings again this year and again have too much stuff.
Years ago, I learned that throughout the month before Christmas, my kids had a little extra pep and motivation to clear out. I hope this helps you and your family out as well!
Here’s how you motivate your kids to declutter toys before Christmas:
Remind kids that Christmas gifts are coming soon
Kids don’t always see all the benefits of decluttering (the whole less is more concept is lost on most of them). However, they can envision more toys. More toys coming in! Their favorite time of year. (Yes, it makes me cringe a little to say to declutter simply to make space for more stuff, but hey, it works for kids.)
There’s only so much space. Remind your kids that decluttering their toys is not an act of deprivation before the holidays but rather a time for preparing for a change.
I’ve gone as far as to ask my kids what they want for Christmas and then my next question is, “OK, now where will you put it?”
I go on to tell them, that if there’s not space for their requests, they likely won’t receive them. This mindset is especially helpful for toys and items that take up lots of real estate.
Talk about the benefits of creating space
OK, this one only works for some kids, but if your kids thrive on space and order, remind them that decluttering their excess now will give them the space they want to play with their new things after the holidays.
For example, if your kids want a giant Lego set for Christmas, ask them where they want to build it and how they want to display it when done. Sometimes, visualizing their space and how they want to use it helps a lot.
My girls wanted the GIANT Our Generation Camper one year for their dolls (think American Girl dolls but cheaper and from Target). They measured the dimensions of the camper, and they made sure they had the space to store it and play with it before Christmas arrived, as they knew they would not receive it if there was no place to put it.
Give kids a chance to help others in need
The compassion kids hold for other kids can be incredible. My kids had a hard time with the fact that some kids didn’t have as many toys. It made them sad, and they immediately wanted to take action by purging some of their old toys before Christmas.
Explain to your kids that if they have high-quality toys, they can help others. Ask them why not share those toys with others if they are done playing with them.
While many toy drives only take brand-new toys, donation centers are happy to take your used, good-condition toys. I know many moms who have bought Christmas gifts at their local thrift stores and have been super grateful for the opportunity (myself included).
Declutter toys your kids have outgrown before Christmas
It happens. Our kids grow. I know. It hurts me too.
This last week, my 11-year-old brought me her doll stuff. “I just don’t play with them anymore mama.” Ugh. My baby is growing up.
It’s hard to declutter baby items, toddler toys, and the beloved dolls you hoped they would play with forever. Our kids grow up though.
If you have younger siblings, you could save the toys or go ahead and gift them. However, don’t save the toys for their future kids, your grandkids. Just don’t. It’s tempting. I know.
Your future grandkids want you to spoil them. Meanwhile, spoil another child with these age-appropriate toys today.
Incentivize your kids to declutter toys before Christmas
Out of all the tactics I use to help my kids declutter their toys before Christmas, this is probably the most motivating. I incentivize my kids to declutter using the value their toys still hold.
Did you know children’s consignment shops will pay you for old toys? Most of these shops don’t just sell gently used clothes. They also sell gently used toys and books. It’s not a ton of money (to you), but for your kids, it can seem like a fortune.
When my kids declutter their toys, I let them take them to the local consignment shop first and try to sell them. Any money they earn, I let them keep. We usually use Once Upon a Child for selling gently used toys and clothes.
If the consignment shop doesn’t want to buy the toys, then we take them to the local donation center, where I remind them that we are helping children in need of gently used toys.
Work in small chunks of time
Adults have a hard time decluttering. It’s no easier for kids to declutter their toys than it is for us to declutter sentimental items.
Every stuffed animal has a name, every rock is special, and every piece of “trash” is part of a creation.
If you want to declutter with your kids before Christmas, you need to give yourself time. I usually set aside the whole month of November. Several times per week, we will set aside 10-15 minutes, and I will go through a section of their room with them.
Don’t start with the hard stuff. Go for boring things, like clothes they’ve outgrown. This gets them into the mindset of cleaning out.
Then, suggest they start thinking about toys they may not want any longer for another day to declutter.
When you work in small chunks of time, you and your kids won’t feel overwhelmed.
Set up a drop zone for decluttered toys
I set aside a corner of my room as a drop zone for decluttered toys. If you give your kids a drop zone for unwanted toys, there’s always an open door to decluttering. They no longer have to wait until you come into their room with a box or a bag, as they have the ability to get something out at any time.
Kids will surprise you. They spend more time in their rooms than you do. If you plant the seeds early that you want to declutter toys before Christmas, they will be playing in their room, take notice of something they no longer want, and if you have a drop zone, will automatically start removing things on their own.
It’s almost magical to witness.
Related Post: Inspire Your Kids to Help Declutter
Decluttering your kids’ rooms before the holidays
As the holiday season approaches, there’s no better time for our kids to start decluttering their rooms and their toys. Encouraging them to let go of the unnecessary not only fosters a sense of responsibility but also cultivates a space conducive to creativity and productivity.
By clearing out the physical clutter, they create room for new memories, experiences, and meaningful connections during this joyous time of the year.
Let’s inspire our kids to embrace the joy of simplicity and organization, setting the stage for a festive season filled with warmth, love, and cherished moments that truly matter.
Looking for toy ideas that inspire creativity rather than simply add to the mess? Check out these gift ideas!
Do you purposefully declutter your kids’ toys before Christmas? Share in the comments section below.
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