Have you looked around and realized just how much STUFF you have? This time of year is one one of giving and overindulgence for a lot of people, but it is also a time to reflect on whether we need any of it. Just spending time with friends and family is fantastic and is something I am trying to teach my children as being the most important part of the season.
However, gifts are inevitable when you have children as people love to give and it seems that the smaller the child, the BIGGER the box!
This year I have organized ahead of time as I remember the havoc from previous years with my older children. Also, miss Penny doesn’t yet have her own bedroom, so our living room had become a little more like a creche than a living room. SO, instead of big bulky toys, we suggested that perhaps some storage solutions would be a great idea.
So, if like me you are sat, staring at a huge pile of stuff wondering what the heck you are going to do with it all, I have a few suggestions.
In the weeks running up to Christmas, we sorted through all of the children’s clothes and toys and did what I like to call the three bag challenge. This can also be done after Christmas too of course. We also do it before a birthday. Now that 2/3 of my children are older I can trust them to do this alone, but if you have younger children who could get carried away, then supervision is advised :p Basically, I give each child a black sack a pink recycling bag and a yellow sack.
- The black is for any rubbish/broken toys that can not be recycled
- The pink for broken toys etc. that can be recycled (it may be a different color in your area)
- The yellow is for donations. Unwanted toys and clean clothes which still have lots of life left in them.
I have always taught my children that they should give back to those in need and that is especially poignant at Christmas time. My husband works for a hospice who run a huge jumble sale to raise money as well as to benefit the local community as the goods are normally priced pretty low so as the hospice is in one of London’s poorer boroughs.
This year we cleared everything out early, but I have seen lots of people asking about what they can do with their children’s old toys/clothes and unwanted gifts, so I did some research into my local area.
I came across a local group on Facebook run by volunteers who directly work with homeless shelters and refuges in my local area. I am often skeptical about Facebook groups like this and the sort who post flyers saying they will collect your unwanted clothes for charity, so I did some research into this one and had found them to be above board and not simply selling your items on for profit.