Pre-Christmas Toy Purge

December 14, 2011 by

This was originally posted pre-Christmas 2010 and was one of the most popular posts on Overcoming Busy. I hope you will find it helpful this year, as well.


Pre Christmas Toy Purge -

We have a little tradition at our house. It is the Pre-Christmas Toy Purge. It’s really simple and quite effective. It’s decluttering.

It all started a few years ago when my husband and I found ourselves cringing at the thought of the kids getting more toys for Christmas. We are a 3 gift family ourselves. (It was good enough for Jesus…) However, grandparents, aunts and uncles never seem to catch on to that. Each Christmas, our kids bring home a car load of junk Christmas joy and I have to try and find a place for it all! So, we started the toy purge.

This is how the toy purge works…

We sit down with the kids and ask them how many toys they want for Christmas. The number is always quite high. We then explain to them that there is no room in our house for anymore toys. If they want more, they better make some room. For every new toys that they want to come in, a new toy must go out. The number of toys they want for Christmas always drops to a more reasonable level at this point.

When we all agree on a number, they start purging. The toys that they purge have to be ok’d by my husband and I. Happy meal toys don’t count. They can be purged, just not counted toward their total number needed.

This week, we are cleaning the kids bed rooms and doing this year’s toy purge. I always look forward to it. Their closets looks so clean and uncluttered…until about December 25th.

How do you handle the toy madness at your house?


Celebrating Family





Comments (4)


  1. Misty says:

    I first heard this idea from a dear friend years ago and I LOVE it. Until now, my kids have been too young to do it themselves, but my husband and I have done so for them. This year, we will have my 4 years olds choose the toys they want to give up. THe only thing we have done differently is to choose the toys to give up after Christmas, but I like your idea MUCH better that they determine the # of toys they want for Christmas (or birthdays or whatever) based on how many they are willing to give up. GREAT idea!

  2. Shannon says:

    Thank so much for linking to Mommy Club! We love this idea- and it really makes sense…otherwise the toys can get out of control. And I love that you re teaching them de-cluttering skills so early!

  3. I love the phrase, “It was good enough for Jesus…” This will totally be part of my vocabulary while we are doing our pre-Christmas toy purge this year, LOL

  4. Debi says:


    I do this every year!! There’s a time to receive and a time to give away. Does’t it just make you feel good?

    Happy New Year!! Love your blog.

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