If you have kids, you know how quickly toys, books, and clothing can multiply and create clutter. With the gift-giving season upon us, now is the time to take an honest look at your situation and make room for what’s coming!
Why Should I Declutter Before the Holidays?
Why bother doing all this work now, you might ask? Well, there are so many benefits to decluttering, organizing, and making space in your home, like:
- You’ll know what to shop for (and what to ask for from the grandparents!), thus spending your money more wisely
- Donating makes you feel good
- You’ll remove a serious chunk of stress from the holidays
- You’ll appreciate the gifts your family receives, rather than feel overwhelmed by them
- You’ll be better prepared to keep the toy spaces tidy
- Did we mention you’ll be way less stressed?!
How to Make Room for Holiday Gifts
So, how do you go about decluttering and preparing your spaces for the holidays? Just follow the steps below!
Get Your Kids Involved
Appeal to your kids’ innate sense of kindness by telling them that you plan to give some older toys, books, and clothes to kids in need, and let them help choose what to donate. Make a game out of it; challenge them to see how many items they can part with. Ann Dooley, founder of the Dooley Method, has some great tips for mindful decluttering and tidying with children.
Go Through Closets and Kids’ Spaces First
Clothing: clear out everything that’s damaged, too small, or never worn (shoes, too!). If you keep hand-me-downs for younger children, consider storing them in bins labeled with sizes and/or names until they are ready to be worn.
Toys: tidy up your toy spaces and gather up all the older toys that you and your kids have decided to give away. Collect toys with small parts in Ziploc baggies or Tupperware. And don’t forget about books they’ve outgrown and video or board games they no longer play!
For the toys that you’re keeping, give them all a home. You can sort them into bins or baskets to help your kids learn where they belong (these stackable storage drawers are also a great option for smaller items).
Sort Your “Get Rid Of” Items
Once you’ve gathered together everything you’re letting go of, it’s time to sort into categories: Trash, Recycle, or Donate.
Items that are torn, stained, broken beyond repair, or missing parts will have to go in the trash. However, toys, books, and clothes still in good condition can be donated.
Drop Off Your Donations
Now, this is the most important step: you’ve got to remove the unwanted items from your home! Put them in your car where you’re sure to see them and make time to drop them off.
Most cities offer a number of options for donations – a quick Google search can help you find local charities. You can also donate to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army (in some areas, you can even schedule a free pickup with these organizations).
In Austin, small toys, craft and office supplies, puzzles and board games, and many other items can be donated to the Austin Creative Reuse Center. Austin Public Library’s Recycled Reads program accepts books, DVDs, and complete board games or puzzles.
Don’t let the influx of gifts during the holidays create chaos for your family. Follow these tips and be prepared so you can enjoy the season to the fullest!