Watching your children open gifts and seeing the joy in Grandma and Grandpa’s eyes as they lovingly spoil their grandchildren are some of the best moments of the holidays. Watching these toys overflow toy bins and pile up in the corners of your house can turn into some of the worst moments of the holidays. Follow these five tips on organizing kids holiday gifts to ensure your kids are able to enjoy their new gifts and you don’t go crazy over them.
Don’t open all the gifts at once! Of course, you have to let your kids unwrap each and every gift that they receive, but don’t let them unpackage them all right away. Open the ones they are most excited about, and while they are enjoying those, sneak away with a few of the unopened gifts and store them away. You can get these toys out to break up the vacation from school or even save some to be handed out over the next few months on rainy days.
Clean out before you put new gifts in! Before you pile in the new toys in the toy bin or add books to the book shelf, take the time to do a clean out of the toys, books, crafts and clothes that your kids no longer want or need. Throw away broken toys or ripped books, and make a separate bag to donate gently loved toys, books and clothes. If this isn’t an easy task for you, start with the “one in and one out” rule, which means each time you add a toy you find one to throw away or donate. Not only will this help open up space for the new toys, it will prevent clutter that you will inevitably have to clean out later.
Save everything that comes with a gift! For each toy you open, make sure to save the instructions and store them along with extra batteries that fit that toy. Also make sure you save any extra parts or accessories that your child didn’t immediately want attached. Storage baggies with the toy name written on the bag is a great way to keep these items organized. Doing this as you open your child’s gifts will ensure you don’t end up with a toy that can’t be played with later and is just taking up space.
Keep a few toys at Grandma’s house! If you are at a relative’s house for the holidays and your kids get several gifts, ask them to pick at least one that can be their special gift to enjoy at that house each time they come to visit. You can even get your kids excited for this by letting them find the special place to keep their gift so it is ready for them at their next visit. Doing this will mean finding space for one less toy at your house and will give your child a little something extra to look forward to when heading to that relative’s house all year long.
Head back to the store asap! Right after the holidays, return any unwanted gifts or duplicates. (While you are out don’t forget to drop off the donation bag from your clean out.) Leaving the returns sitting around will make your house feel more cluttered and make the kids more tempted to get them out. If you don’t have a gift receipt or just don’t want to deal with the crowds again, find a place to store these items and re-gift them for birthday parties throughout the year.
How do you manage the gifts your kids get at the holidays?