throw out 1/3 of your kid's stuff THIS MONTH (+ 3 questions to ask to help you decide)

Christmas is in 20 days! Even the most minimalist among us will probably increase their belongings, especially those of their children, by a significant percentage in the weeks to come.

That's why every December I make a point of sorting through their toys, games, books, arts supplies, stuffed animals, and linens, and aiming to donate 1/3. If you know what gifts they'll be receiving from extended family, this is made a lot easier. For example, my sister is buying these sweet dolls for our two girls, so the one baby that they currently share/fight over was donated. Likewise, Oli will be getting Lego from us (and probably others), so it was finally time to toss our old MEGA Blocks once and for all. They were more of a precursor to Lego and now he's got plenty of Lego that there's no need for both styles.


Here's some questions I ask myself to help me decide what to keep and what to give away:

1. Have they used it in the last month? This one is the criteria I use most often. That's four weeks of opportunities to pick it up to play or read, which is plenty to gauge their interest.  If the answer's no, it goes. 

2. Is it broken / ripped / missing pieces? Sadly, sometimes one part of a game or toy being broken ruins the whole experience. We have books that are missing several pages, and games missing key parts, but out of forgetfulness or laziness, I was still holding on to them. No more. If it's not functioning at 100% and we aren't planning to fix it in the coming days, it goes.

3. Is it too young for them? With three kids sharing a small space, I aim to only keep games, toys, and books that can benefit all three. Chloe is old enough to play (and love!) Lego with her older siblings, so we don't need to keep the kiddie version with larger, less complicated pieces. Same goes for books - a typical three year old may still enjoy a board book, but since my older two don't, to me, it's not worth keeping.

We already have very few toys and books, but I was able to throw away two garbage bags full of stuffed animals, books, toys, games, random pieces of larger games we no longer own, dried up markers, cheap gadgets, toys and dolls they don't use anymore, and worn out versions of things they'll be getting new this Christmas. It felt awesome.

And you know what? That was a week ago, and my kids haven't asked about one single item I tossed. I usually aim to do this exercise with them to teach them the value of having less, contentment, and generosity, but they were at school that day and it had to happen! Happy purging!

No comments:

Post a Comment