I have organized dozens of kids rooms. The overwhelming amount of “stuff” in those rooms is an issue for both the parents and the kids. Parents are often very stressed about cluttered messy rooms to the level that it effects their everyday functioning and mood.
Most parents told me they wish their kids would have less toys and other items. They claim that their kids receive too many gifts from family, friends, at birthday parties and other events. The kids end up having cluttered rooms that don’t allow them to enjoy what they have.
If everyone is struggling from this common situation, how can we resolve this? Here are a few suggestions:
WITHIN THE FAMILY
- discuss the option of gifting the kids with experience, rather than toys, games, computer etc.. It can be a trip, a park, theatre, concert or anything that comes up to ones mind. It is those experiences that we all remember for life, while toys we forget. It is a win win for the family.
- Since some experiences cost more money, consider reducing the frequency of gifting while increasing the quality of it.
OUTSIDE THE FAMILY – FRIENDS AND COLLEGUES
- talk to other parents about gifting at birthday parties:
- gift your friends with a gift card, instead of a specific gift. To make it personal, create your own card or decoration.
- another option is that a few friends together buy one more expensive gift that they know their friend wants. For example, my son plays the electric guitar, so friends bought him a pedal for the guitar.
- talk to parents on how to conduct birthday parties, in terms of treats. Instead of going to the Dollar store or target and buying lots of little items to put in bags, create something of your own for the kids; It can be a little cupcake to give for example. The little items bought at cheap stores don’t add to the experience of kids at parties. Instead, they increase mess in their rooms and they are not very friendly to the environment.
As a consumer society, we have gotten to a point where we have so much material stuff that there’s no more value in adding to it. Adding attention and love to kids through experiences will always contribute to our kids skills, confidence and love for others.
I’m always here for you. Hagit