If you are like most families in America and other developed countries, your kids probably have WAY more toys than they need. There are probably more DVDs and games than your family could ever play, and you all probably have more clothes than you could ever wear. Which makes me wonder WHY we will be giving each other MORE stuff? But I digress, that is a topic for another day…

What I want to help you do is to prepare your home for the new stuff that will come in. I know that even in families where the parents may try to limit their giving, by the time you throw in cousins and grandparents you still end up with STUFF. And while we appreciate this new stuff, as moms we sometimes stress about where to put it.

clear clutter to make way for gifts

Clearing the toy clutter

Explain to your kids about children who don’t have toys for Christmas. Explain how there are children with so much less than they have. Jokingly reason that they don’t play with many of their things anyway. Explain that they will be getting plenty of new toys to play with and that they need to make space for them. Many parents use a certain container or shelf as a way to maintain how much their child has. It has to fit in that space.

Tanja Hoagland from the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp suggests this fun game for getting your kids on board:

The 10 minute Toss

1) Take a minute to explain what you’re doing, why you’ve been
tossing stuff, and how it’s helping out their life and yours. Explain that
you’re donating items to charity to help out kids and adults who don’t
have as much as they do. Ask them to join in by doing the 10-Minute
Toss Game. Bait them with a reward if they agree to do it.
2) Put on tunes that all of you like and start shaking your booties.
3) The rules of the 10-Minute Toss:

  • Everyone has to keep dancing the whole time. If anyone is caught not dancing, they have to get rid of more stuff!
  • Each person grabs one item per minute that they own and want to donate to charity.
  • They bring it to the living room floor and then go back foranother, dancing the whole time.
  • At the end of 10 minutes (set a kitchen timer) anyone who doesn’t have 10 things in the pile has to add an extra 5 items.
  • At the end of 10 minutes whoever has the most stuff in the pile wins.(They can win front seat rights for a month, staying up late rights for a week, an extra trip to the ice cream shop, you choose a good motivator.)
It is important to get them on board. You don’t want to necessarily just take their things away. Of course, this does depend on the age!

Taming the game and movie clutter

The next thing to tackle is your movies and games. I have to admit that we still own some VHS tapes and we don’t even have a VCR (and where would I even get one!) I am not talking about home movies to save, I am talking about MOVIES.
What about you? Do you have old DVDs that are scratched? What about empty cases lying around? Get something like these to keep the DVDs organized in and toss your cases.
Keep in mind that  a lot of things can be watched online through Netflix or other services. Why keep all of Barney when you can watch it on Netflix anytime?

Do you have games for old systems? Don’t hang on to these. Do yourself a favor and try to sell online for a few bucks, or just donate. You don’t need them cluttering your home.
Once you clear out the excess, consider getting a gaming organizer like one of these below. I would have LOVED something like this when my son was still at home!
If you want some help on clearing out kids clothes, check out these posts:

What do YOU do to get your house ready for the new things coming in?


You can check out the 30 day bootcamp here. There are lots more resources and activities to help you clear your clutter!