Passionate About Pittsburgh
and the Moms Who Live Here

When Gifts Become Clutter

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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