Trying to keep your house free of junk is hard at the best of times. It’s amazing just how much stuff we accumulate over the years, most of it completely useless. But the problem is so much worse around Christmas. All of the shops are full of clutter that nobody really wants or needs, yet it all seems to end up in your house somehow. For the next month, you’ll constantly be finding anything and everything that it’s possible to stick a picture of Santa Claus on. Most of this stuff ends up straight in the bin anyway so there’s really no point.
When you’ve got kids the whole thing is so much worse. It seems like half the toys you bought them are broken by the end of the day and they end up on the pile with the rest of the mess. Why not do away with all of that this year and have a clutter free Christmas? We’ll show you how.
Christmas crackers are one of the biggest sources of clutter during Christmas. Each one is filled with jokes, hats, and all manner of cheap, tacky plastic toys that nobody is ever going to use. Who needs a plastic whistle or a tiny pair of toenail clippers? They’ll end up stuffed in a drawer somewhere with the rest of the cracker prizes. You could get rid of the crackers completely but pulling them is still a fun part of Christmas. The best compromise is to get some different crackers with something that’s actually worthwhile in there. You can get ones with chocolates in there, and some with games. Instead of filling the house with useless hunks of plastic, you can actually enjoy the cracker gifts.
Sell Old Gifts
A lot of the gifts that you get, especially for kids, only last a few months. Whenever there’s a new craze that all the kids are obsessed with, they’ll tell you they absolutely need that toy. But a few months down the line, they’ve forgotten about it and they’re onto the next big thing. Teenagers do the same with DVDs and video games. If you’re getting them new stuff each Christmas, the pile of unused toys is just getting bigger and bigger. But if you get rid of that unused stuff every year before Christmas comes around, you can stop it from spiraling out of control. It’s also a handy way of getting some extra cash to help you fund all of those expensive new toys. There are plenty of places to sell games and DVDs online easily. You can usually get rid of old toys at a yard sale or on eBay pretty easily as well. You might even find that some of the older toys are collector’s items and you can get a pretty good price for them. By getting rid of the old stuff before Christmas, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’ve only got one year’s worth of stuff to deal with, not ten.
Buy A Joint Gift
Instead of everybody in the family spending money on separate gifts for each other, you could consider all clubbing together and getting one joint gift that the whole family can enjoy together. You can spend that money on something that you’ll actually get use out of instead of loads of bits that will just end up sitting around the house. A family holiday is a good option for a joint gift and you’ll definitely appreciate the memories that you make a lot more than you would any other gifts.
Have A Gift Free Christmas
You might have to wait until the kids are a bit older before you can get them on board with this one. Younger kids aren’t likely to respond well to the idea of not getting any new toys at Christmas. But having a completely gift free Christmas is a good way to teach your family to appreciate the gifts they get and give yourself a break from Christmas clutter for the year. One alternative to getting gifts for each other is to buy gifts and give them to a charity. It teaches a valuable lesson to the children about helping others and it’s a great Christmas tradition to start as a family.
Ask For Donations
Another good way of turning Christmas clutter into something more worthwhile is to ask people to donate to your favorite charity instead. The amount of money that people spend on Christmas gifts is getting higher every year and if you added up the amount that everybody combined spent on your gifts, it would be quite a significant amount. Just ask them to take the money that they would have spent on a present and just donate it to a charity of your choosing instead. You can be happy in the knowledge that the money is going to people that need it far more than you need whatever gift you would have gotten in its place.
Have A Party
If you’re involved in a secret Santa exchange with a group of friends and work colleagues, you’re all likely to end up with some gifts that take up space and rarely get used. Instead of doing that, why not have everybody put the money they would have spent into a pot and use it to buy food and drink for a Christmas party. You’ll all have a great night which you’ll probably enjoy far more than the gifts. Between you, you’ll have a lot of money in there so you can afford to get some caterers to do the food and maybe even hire out a nice venue. Spending your money on experiences like that is far better than giving somebody a book they’ll never read or a scarf that they won’t wear.
People spend such a huge amount of money on Christmas gifts these days and half that stuff ends up unused, cluttering up your house. You can have a far more fulfilling Christmas experience if you get rid of all the gifts and spend your money on memorable experiences instead.