I remember it like it was yesterday. My wife and I were so excited to tell everyone that we were going to have a baby. And our families were so generous! Before you knew it, our house started to fill up with baby supplies. Being new parents, we didn’t really understand how to avoid clutter as we do now.
Our house continued to fill up after the baby was born and our mountain of toys and baby gear just kept growing bigger as the kids did. We knew we had to do something, so we buckled down, and talked it through, and came up with the ideas that I am going to share with you in this article to help keep the clutter to a minimum in your home.
Learn How To Say No
Let me just start off with; I love my family. They are some of the most giving and loving people on the planet, and I know there is nothing that they wouldn’t do to see my kids happy. The only problem with this is, of course, that they usually try to make them happy by buying them tons and tons and tons and tons…and tons of toys.
Seriously, I think that in all the time that I have been a father, I have only bought maybe one toy for each of my children. You certainly wouldn’t have known that by looking around my home. We had toys everywhere, more toys than the kids could ever hope to play with, which is why my wife and I began to say no thank you when we were offered more toys.
Obviously, this can get a bit touchy, since you certainly don’t want to hurt any of your well-wishing family member’s feelings. However, in the best interest of your house and home, you need to start saying no thanks every once in awhile.
Give Alternative Gift Ideas
Of course, birthdays and holidays are a different ballgame altogether. It’s expected that gifts should be given on these dates, so it’s a bit harder to reign in your relatives. However, there are some alternate ideas for gifts that you can ask for that won’t take up quite as much room, or even no room at all.
Clothing – Now, of course, the kids won’t be too thrilled about this idea, but it is something that you’ll actually use, unlike all of the extra toys. And what better way to show appreciation for a gift from someone than to see them while you have it on!
Books – Books are easy to store and won’t take up a ton of room in your house. They are also a huge part of your child’s early development. The more books you read, or have read to you when you are younger, the better you’ll be able to read. It’s as simple as that.
Money – It’s never too early to start saving for college or your kid’s first car. Plus, since all of that money will be stored in the bank, you’ll never see any clutter from it.
Tickets – I am a firm believer in the idea of having experiences over receiving material items. And tickets can be for pretty much anything, too. You could go to the movies, the zoo, a stage show, a theme park…really, the possibilities are endless!
No, all of the above suggestions are all well and good to avoid getting more clutter, but what about clearing some away, huh? Well, there are plenty of needy folks in this world that would love all of those cool toys that your kids barely touch. If you donate them, you’ll clear out your house and make someone else very happy.
Donating toys can also teach your kids an important lesson in working to help take care of the people in their community who are less fortunate than them. Be sure to check with the local schools, especially around the holidays. They are always looking for donations to give some needy children a happy holiday season.
If you don’t feel like giving your stuff away for free, you could always have a yard sale. I am personally not a big fan of them since I can’t sit still for too long, but they are a surefire way to clear out your house and make a little extra spending money along the way.
I Can See Clearly Now!
Hopefully, you‘ll be able to follow along with these guidelines for how to avoid clutter of all the extra stuff you have acquired over the years. It is a slow process, but a necessary one. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time moving things around your house just so you can walk through it, and nobody wants that.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know about it in the comments section below. Have a great day!