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Friday, November 11, 2016

How to De-clutter before Christmas and Chanukah (Hanukkah)—and Encourage the Spirit of Giving! by Trisha Roberts

Too many Toys

Does your child’s room look like a used toy store? Do you dread what it will look like after the influx of new toys at Chanukah or Christmas?  Here are my suggestions for de-cluttering now. 

The initial process should be started by a parent alone (child not present) so that the decisions can be made rationally rather than emotionally.

Pick up each toy and have a critical look at it.    
Examine each toy

First, look at the toys your child plays with consistently and which toys no longer hold her interest.

Of what educational or entertainment value is each toy? What sentimental value does it hold?

Is this a toy that should be stored and used again when your family expands?

Does the toy still function, or are parts missing/broken?

Toys that are broken should be discarded
Do you have duplicate toys or toys that serve the same educational purpose?  For example, two different types of stacking toys or a variety of shape puzzles.
Sorting and organizing toys

Get rid of any broken or incomplete toys.  Put duplicates and toys that have been outgrown into a basket to take to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or another local charity.

Take toys to Goodwill or Thrift Store

Donating used toys
Your church, child’s daycare or preschool might be interested in a toy that is in good condition. Toys that you want to keep for any future children should be cleaned, sanitized and batteries removed before storing away in a labeled tub or box.

Child giving a toy away
This is a wonderful time to get the toy room organized as well. Check out our previous blog article entitled, “Organize the Toy Room” for some suggestions on how to make a toy room more orderly and teach children the important life skill of “everything in its place”.  

If your child is of an age to understand, you might want to take the basket of toys that they have outgrown and discuss with them how they could bring joy to someone else by gifting them a toy. 

Sort Toys to donate

Help your child think of a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, cousin, etc.  that might enjoy the toy. Someone you know may be taking a trip to an impoverished country and could take some of the smaller toys with them to give to less fortunate children.   Reminding your child that they will probably be getting new toys as gifts very soon may lessen any grief they might have at saying good-bye. They might enjoy wrapping the toy and delivering it in person, if possible.  They might want to draw a picture of themselves playing with the toy as well to give to the recipient.

Developing generosity
Giving toys to those less fortunateIt is always good to lead by example, so you might consider sorting some of your own clothes, dishes, games, or home decorations to give away at the same time.  Your children will see graciousness and generosity in you and will be inclined to imitate the same.

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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