Oh no! Too many gifts!
What to do?
Do well meaning relatives and friends give too many gifts to your kids? Maintaining a clutter free home is a challenge any time, but holidays and birthdays present a unique challenge. Take steps now to
and reclaim your sanity.1. Remember that gift givers are usually trying to do something nice.
In the weeks prior to a holiday or birthday, consider purging closets and belongings with the kids (don't be sneaky-- just explain that they need to make decisions to make space for new things). Here are three strategies to cope with what could turn into more clutter.
Especially if well meaning gift givers are long distance, giving presents at holiday times or birthdays can be a big part of a child's “interaction” with that person. They don't necessarily think of the logistics of the big picture of all the presents given.
In a nutshell, try to remember that it's not about you. If you feel comfortable making some gift requests, consider the following:
This doesn't always work, but as we discussed above, gift giving is often about the giver not the recipient. However, you can start by conveying some preferences about the holiday. Start a dialogue with potential gift givers because they may not have even considered that they give too many gifts. Requesting consumable gifts can lessen clutter
, like a museum membership, movie tickets, restaurant gift cards or money toward a family weekend.
Another idea that can overlap the preceding one is suggesting a single family gift
, like one of the consumable ideas, a family game, technology device or other joint present. In my experience, this idea has met some resistance because people tend to want kids to actually open something, even if in reality it would be less meaningful (not about you or the kids, remember?). I think they see it as a way of giving “love,” especially long distance.
If the person is planning to give something with many little pieces, you might request a container
crate or basket to come with it. Gift givers rarely consider storage; they just think “oh they would love that!”
3. Handle the rest on your end.
Be gracious, have the
kids make a quick thank-you note
, and work with your child to make sure
everything has a place
If the new gift(s) are important to your child, they should work to take care of it(them). If you've implemented a system to
confiscate toys that are left lying around
then you can always take them away if they're not cared for properly.
Communicating with loved ones about too many gifts and your preferences can be really difficult. Go slow, be unassuming, and remember that everyone is coming from a place of love, so don't burn bridges. Best of luck to you!
Go to Organized Home from Too Many Gifts