Christmas is such a wonderful time, but after celebrating five times, the amount of new presents can be intimidating. This is my first year with two children (a three-year-old and an eight-month-old) during the holidays and they hit jackpot when it comes to presents.
Following these simple steps, we’ve been able to avoid Christmas overwhelm. This task can be daunting but the quicker you can get it done, the better.
1. Talk to your child about the transition
My daughter and I have had frequent talks about not holding on to things that we don’t use or don’t make us happy. Let your children know that in order to play with all of the new toys they received they will need to make room for them by getting rid of or donating older items. If you can, try to adhere to the one in, one out rule.
2. Sort through all old toys
I try to sort all the old toys before Christmas, but this year we did it after the fact. To do this, I remove all the toys from the shelves and place them in the floor. I start by categorizing all the items and keeping likes together. For us this looks like: baby dolls/stuffed animals, doll clothes, misc. toys, play kitchen, and trash. Anything that is broken or rarely played with gets tossed or donated.
3. Decide what to do with everything
Once you’ve sorted everything, you’ll need to decide what all is still age appropriate and worth keeping. This year, I am choosing toy rotation. So what I’m not consigning or donating, I will be putting into a bin and adding to a toy rotation. Toy rotation allows your child to not get bored with toys because they are changing throughout the year. Too many toys can be overstimulating to children as well as a pain to keep cleaned up.
How do you handle toy overwhelm?