TeacherLists Blog

Holiday Cleanup: Making Room for More Toys

It’s that time­ again­­­– the holiday season! While you’re breaking out the holiday decorations, winter coats, and holiday cookbooks, you’re probably noticing you have a lot more stuff than you thought­­– especially your kids’ toys lying around the house. With an influx of gifts coming in the next few weeks, it’s wise to do a little purge to make room. Here are 6 ways to tidy up before the presents arrive!


  1. Donate, donate, donate!

It’s the season of giving, after all! This is a great teaching moment for young kids. Children often have a difficult time knowing when it’s time to let something go­– even a toy they haven’t touched all year long. Research the organizations you’re donating to with your child and show them how their toy will make another so happy this holiday season. Remind them more toys are coming to make them happy too!


  1. Let your child have a say in what goes

Getting rid of toys, no matter how necessary it is, feels like a big deal to kids. Instead of telling them what needs to go, ask them to select three toys they don’t need to give to an underprivileged child in their community. Once they’ve made that selection, if you think there’s more, ask them about specific toys you haven’t seen them play with in a while. That way, it will feel as though the decision is theirs, hopefully softening the blow as a result. Don’t forget to ask them if they have any broken toys lying around too- those have to go!


  1. Go through your winter coats

Kids grow fast, so new clothes for every school year and season are always top-of-mind. But when was the last time you did a good ol’ fashioned coat cleanout? Many families struggle to stay warm in the winter, so those coats your kids have outgrown, or ones that you don’t wear anymore, would be of great use to those families in your community. Find your nearest coat drop and make some room in the closet!


  1. Buy some bins and organizers

We know, shopping absolutely dominates the month of December, and you’d rather not spend any more money. However, whether it’s a playroom or your child’s room that’s overwhelmed with stuff, there’s a good chance there needs to be some additional storage to accommodate all of it.


  1. Turn cleaning into a game

Straightening up during the holidays can be difficult, so you’ll want some extra hands. No kid wants to clean, so why not turn it into a game? Instead of musical chairs, play a game of musical statues (also known as Museum)! Play some music and have everyone clean while the music is on. Pause it at a random moment, and everyone must stop exactly where they are! Anyone still moving has to take on an additional smaller chore, like wiping down the kitchen counter.


  1. Implement the toy carousel method

The theory is easy: one toy in, one toy out. It’s hard to predict how many toys will be making their way to your house this holiday season but do your best to estimate: donate one toy for every member of the family that will be giving your child a present, like grandparents, aunt and uncles, etc… This will keep clutter to a minimum- at the very least, keep it under control!


Places to donate toys:


Toys for Tots


Cradles to Crayons


Second Chance Toys


For more, visit Donation Town to find organizations near you!

Originally posted 2022

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