Christmas Clutter – How to Have a Clutter-Free Christmas
When you have little kids, there is nothing more exciting than Christmas morning! With a little thought, you can prepare for a stress-free Christmas morning without clutter. This is exactly what I do to keep my house from looking like Santa’s workshop exploded in our living room on Christmas morning.
Declutter Toys Before Christmas
This is possibly my most genius child-manipulation to date.
We told our kids that we were going to go through their toys and sell the ones they never play with before Christmas.
Of course, this wasn’t readily accepted by our 2 and 3 year old.
They truly think they need every single toy that has invaded our home.
I thought about how I could win them over to the dark side of paring down toys.
I finally settled on telling them that if Santa comes down the chimney and sees a ton of toys, he’s going to assume we don’t need anymore and he might not leave us as many toys.
Holy crap, now they’re trying to sell everything.
Admittedly, this hasn’t been my best executed plan.
Our almost 4 year old started taking apart his large crane toy in our living room because it takes up too much room and he was afraid of Christmas day repercussions.
I explained to him that I told Santa about all of the toys they were fine with selling to other kids and that Santa is so proud of our progress.
We’ve earned all of the toys he made us this year!
How to Sell Your Unwanted Toys Before Christmas
If you have toys your kids don’t play with anymore, snap a couple of quick pictures and list them on Facebook marketplace.
I always list ours as PPU (porch pickup only) and make sure anyone buying something from us is getting the best deal.
When someone messages me and wants to buy it, I give them our address, put the toy in a bag on the front porch, and wait for them to come.
For this reason and many more, the Ring doorbell we bought a few weeks ago is easily one of the best investments we’ve ever made.
It was only around $100 – a lot for us. If you’ve been following Simple Living Mommy for a while, you know how frugal we are.
The Ring doorbell app chimes on my phone when the person comes and I can watch on video that they pick up the toy and leave money under our doormat.
If we didn’t live in a “safe” neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t’ be as willing to do this, but we’ve purchased and sold tons of things on Facebook marketplace and I don’t know how we ever lived without it.
I sell tons of toys for $5 or $10 that other people are listing for 2 or 3 times that.
Consequently, the toys get out of my house quickly and we have a little extra jingle in our pockets.
Clutter Free Christmas Gifts for Kids
If you have kids, you know that feeling you get when a well-meaning relative gives you kid a toy that either makes noise or has a zillion pieces?
Don’t be that person.
Unless there’s a gift that will either contribute to your kids’ education somehow (like these magnet tiles that I swear by) or a toy that will make your child’s heart absolutely soar, skip the clutter-inducing gifts.
Instead, consider gifts that you’ll love yourself for later.
This thing takes up a ton of room, but if you have the space, I highly recommend this climber.
We keep it in our loft / playroom and our kids play on it every. Single. Day.
It’s perfect for burning “energies” when we can’t get to a playground (aka mommy was too lazy to get us all dressed and in the car that day).
Other great gifts are memberships to local aquariums, zoos, or science centers. Our aquarium membership gets us into our local zoo for free and 280+ other zoos and science centers around the country.
We travel basically non-stop, so for us, this is a great investment.
If it’s one thing I can tell parents who usually go overboard on Christmas presents, it’s to just be more intentional about the gifts you buy.
I promise I’m not one of those trolls on Facebook or Pinterest accusing people of “child abuse” if they buy their kids a bunch of presents.
All I’m saying is to consider the repercussions in your home for the rest of the year anytime Santa orders a new toy on Amazon.
The One Thing You NEED to Buy Before Christmas
Do a mental inventory of every toy you know your kid is getting for Christmas.
Take a quick second to think of a home for each item.
This doesn’t mean the floor in their bedroom.
Where can that new puzzle go where it will stay contained? Hint: Don’t trust that cardboard puzzle box. Buy something else to keep it in.
We store our puzzles in zipper bags like these. I just cut the image off the box and tape it to the inside of the zipper bag.
Buy storage containers for any toy with multiple pieces.
For example, our son is getting this little button art thingy for Christmas this year because it came so highly recommended. It actually doubles as a storage case.
The bonus is that everything will stack neatly on our little cube organizer in our living room and there’s a home for everything.
Always remember: The key to keeping clutter away is a place for everything and everything in its place.
How to Have a Clutter Free Christmas Day
First thing’s first, Christmas comes with a TON of clutter.
You can prevent some of that by telling Santa he can build some of that stuff BEFORE he gives it to your kids.
If Santa has a great hiding place in your home, build some things and get rid of the biggest packaging before Christmas.
This is a great tip if you’re giving a big gift like this Melissa and Doug play kitchen we gave our kids last year.
It took us an hour and 45 minutes to build it and I’m SO happy we did it late at night the week before Christmas so we didn’t have to do it during the Christmas craziness on Christmas day.
See also: how to not hate yourself on Christmas morning.
Prepare Your Living Room for Christmas
We always keep an empty black garbage bag under our couch to contain as much of the paper as possible.
Then, we just shove boxes and packaging into a large box, breaking down the other boxes as we go.
We did this last year and even though it still looked like chaos, it was very much organized chaos.
Other great things to hide under your couch are screw drivers and batteries…only for Christmas day, of course.
An even smarter solution would be to break into those adult-proof boxes before Christmas and put batteries in them. Good luck boxing them back up to wrap them.
Hence the screw drivers and batteries hiding under my couch.
Breakfast on Christmas Morning
If you have young kids, you know breakfast is the last thing on their minds when they’re unwrapping gifts!
I always wanted to have some awesome tradition of homemade cinnamon rolls or sticky buns on Christmas morning that my kids would always remember.
We’d drink hot chocolate out of cute matching mugs and everyone would remember these great Christmas breakfasts and try to recreate them with their own families one day.
Then three things happened.
I had kids.
I realized I can’t bake.
I realized cinnamon rolls and sticky buns are sticky and messy and aren’t the best food to feed excited toddlers.
Instead, be realistic.
Either buy simple granola bars at the store and throw them at your kids while they’re playing with new toys, or just accept that we might not eat breakfast today.
There’s always dinner.
Just kidding – sort of.
We just accept that proper meals aren’t going to happen on Christmas and that snacking is the eating plan for the day.
With all of that chocolate around and tins of popcorn, I’m happy with this solution and so are my kids.
I know lots of great moms would disagree with me, but I’m not a cookie cutter mom and I’m pretty vocal about all the “wrong” things we do – like sending our kids to bed HOURS later than other kids their age.
It’s Christmas. What can you do that will make you enjoy it more? Serving a dinner that was cooked mostly by crock pots and instant pots? Avoiding toxic family members? Or just decluttering before Christmas so you’re prepared?
Do whatever it takes to enjoy the holiday with your kids. They’re only little once and the days fly by fast. Make the most of it!
What do you do to prepare your home for Christmas? How do you keep your home clutter-free with kids? Is that even a thing? Let me know in the comments!