• Orna Fathers

Boundaries for the Abundance of Toys this Christmas

Updated: Nov 17, 2018


The abundance of toys is a common issue when we create and organize playrooms!  Generous grandparents, indulgent Uncles and Aunties, Birthdays and Christmas ensure the constant flowing of toys into our homes! At Grace this Space, our process to create a playroom starts with assessing what the children need and actually play with, then getting rid of the rest. Then we create manageable storage and decorate for a beautiful and functional space!


To manage amount flow of toys, its best to deal with it before it becomes an issue. Check your own toy buying habits and then communicate with family and friends your gratefulness but lack of need for more toys.


Check Yourself First


We often show love with gifts, we use them to bribe or reward and we enjoy the pleasure it brings our children! It is so important to be very intentional about what we bring into our homes and the expectations and habits we foster in our children!


Stores we visit regularly make it so easy to just 'pick up' a toy or two each visit. Great sales, placement of items, impulse purchases can bring so much into our homes.

  • Decide (and inform your kids) before entering Target/Costco/Walmart/any grocery store/mall anywhere... that there is going to be no purchases.

  • Model how you can appreciate how cute/fun an item is with out needing to own it.

  • Allow your kids to play with or look at an item in the store with the expectation that they must give it back to the cashier when checking out.


Discuss with Friends and Family


Have open discussions and explain:

  • What you value in the Holiday season; spending time with loved ones, showing generosity to those who need it most, reflecting on the meaning of Christmas.

  • The space limitations of your home.

  • That too much stuff negatively impacts your family.

  • The concept of living more simply and intentionally and the reasons why.

  • Your lifestyle and how too many gifts is not in line with your family’s goals.


Make Gift Suggestions:


Suggest practical intangible, experience or consumable gifts, where appropriate, and create wish lists that friends and family members can shop off. Ask for one good quality item rather than many smaller items.


Practical gift suggestions:

* Clothing (Include sizing and specific needs)

* Bedding

* New school backpack / supplies


Intangible gift suggestions:

* Gift cards (iTunes, favorite stores, etc.)

* Kindle books, Audible subscription

* Contributions to college fund


Experience gift suggestions:

* Theatre, Sporting events, Concert or Movie tickets

* Museum or Zoo passes / memberships

* Cooking or Art classes


Consumable gift suggestions:

* Favorite foods or homemade treats

* Craft supplies or Bath supplies

* Nail Salon / Lunch date with Grandma




Deal with the Giving Process with Grace


Use the opportunity to model to your children how to gratefully accept gifts. After the gift giving occasion, it is within your control to determine how you deal with the item. The gift has already fulfilled the purpose of showing the love and thoughtfulness of the gift giver (along with the joy they had shopping for it and seeing the recipients response). If you don’t want to keep the toy in your home you can deal with it by:

* Returning the gift (where a receipt was included)

* Re-gifting it to another child

* Selling it

* Donating it


These conversations can be sensitive and setting boundaries can be a difficult and emotional process. Enjoy the holidays with the people you love and if you need help after the holiday season to deal with the abundance of toys in your home contact us for to schedule a toy decluttering session!