With the holiday season behind us and New Year’s resolutions in full swing, I imagine many of you are hoping to declutter your house in 2018. Before I had children, I had no problem keeping our clutter at bay; once I had kids… clutter chaos for days! Who knew babies and children ‘required’ so many things?
We are grateful for all the gifts, hand-me-downs, and items we receive but inevitably we receive clothes that are not worn and toys that are not played with. I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings but our house is small and we do not have room to keep every gift we receive.
Thankfully, I have implemented a few rules to help keep the clutter down and the hurt feelings to a minimum.
- Noisy toys rarely stay in my house: I have a 2 year old and an infant and toys that make noise are all the rage for those ages. My toddler turns every toy that makes a sound and then immediately moves on to the next. She also has this wonderful habit of placing noisy toys beside my sleeping infant. So, with the exception of a select few, noisy toys find their way to grandma’s house.
- Give items to friends: Most of my friends are in the baby phase, so clothes get passed to others that can use them. One of our friend’s daughter pulls out a certain toy to play with every time she comes to our home and it is a toy my daughter never plays with. I asked if they wanted the toy and they gladly accepted. It found a new happy home and my daughter couldn’t have cared less. It makes me happy to gift items to others that will use them more than we will.
- Resell items on Facebook, Craigslist, consignment sales, etc…: I do this all the time. Kids outgrow toys, clothes, shoes, and equipment so quickly and this is a great way to get it out of my house and make a little extra money.
- Donate unwanted items to a thrift store: After I have gone through all other avenues, I donate unwanted items to the thrift store. This is the easiest one and when I am feeling very overwhelmed with clutter, I take a day and go through the house filling a box or two to drop off at our local thrift store.
- Keep a memory box for each child: Right now I have small boxes that I keep items in for my children. My daughter received a cross necklace from her godfather for her baptism. She cannot wear it now but it is definitely a keepsake, so it is in her memory box. This helps special items have a home and not become clutter and accidentally donated or tossed.
I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings but the truth is not every gift is a home run. I try to maintain the mindset that if I gave someone a gift and it was not something they wanted I would much rather them find a new home for it than keep it because it was given to them.