Dear K & K: I feel like I’m drowning in toys after Christmas this year. I have toys everywhere. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this all more manageable? I don’t have the heart to tell my kids’ grandparents not to go overboard with gifts. Any other ideas? Overwhelmed in Oswego
Dear Overwhelmed: Well, even if you told grandparents not to buy a ton of gifts, we’ve found the success rate with this type of request is at best 10%. In addition, it seems to engender ill will in about 90% of grandparents. So, it’s a useless endeavor. Your best bet is to take the following steps.
First, take a trip to a Goodwill location that takes toys. Kelly does it ahead of Christmas but that’s a Classic’s move. Almost everybody else can do it — that is, purging toys with a big old black garbage bag — whenever you’re about to lose your mind with toys seeping out of their designated areas. Never do it with kids unless you want this task to take forever and you do not want to get rid of that many toys. If you want to involve them, ask them to find a couple of toys they want to donate and then secretly do the deep purge when they’re not around. Kids will gripe about this task but the more it becomes an annual ritual, the less they will whine. Emphasis placed on the word less for a reason.
Second, stash away a few toys in our storage area to see if they even miss them. Kelly read somewhere that kids are more interested in toys when there are fewer of them laying out. So it’s not just cruelty motivating our advice.
Third, to avoid toys everywhere next year, notice what toys your kids play with throughout the year. Start a Goodwill toy hamper and slowly remove unwanted toys whenever you notice them. This kind of feeds into eventually eliminating the first step above, which makes life easier — PixiesDidIt’s entire raison d’etre!! All our best! Katie & Kelly