Dealing with Kids and Clutter at Christmas

Dealing with Kids and Clutter at Christmas
By Laura Churchill Duke

Looking around our house I see how much stuff our kids have, and with Christmas coming, they really don’t need anything else. Lately, because they are outgrowing so many clothes and toys, we have been doing a lot of de-cluttering. I know a lot of other families who are in the same situation and just do not want more things brought into the house.

Here are a few suggestions for dealing with kid clutter at Christmas time:

  1. Reverse advent calendar
    There are a few ideas circulating around social media about a reverse advent calendar. Put out a box, and every day, instead of getting a toy or piece of chocolate, you put something in the bin to be donated. By Christmas, your box will be full and ready to donate to the food bank or other local charity.
  2. Make room
    Several parents tell their children that in order for more toys to come into the house, the old ones have to be donated. If you let your children know that their old toys will be enjoyed by other children, who are perhaps less fortunate, it sometimes eases the pain of parting with them.
  3. Give experiences
    Instead of giving children gifts, think of giving them an experience. This might not work as well for your own children, but is great when you give gifts to other young family members or friends. Why not a family present that everyone can enjoy, like a gift certificate to a zoo, museum, or theme park? My kids love gift cards for their favourite stores, like Bulk Barn, Cineplex, Tim Horton’s, and Chisholm’s in Kentville. If possible, try to support local stores and services for your “experiences.”

How do you deal with clutter around the holidays? Any other great tips? Share them at