*gasp, cough, cough, gasp*

sometimes that's how i feel when i take a look in our home.

aaron and i strive to keep our home streamlined and clutter-free as much as possible.  but sometimes things add up...stacks of papers, unopened mail, 8 million pairs of shoes piled by the door, books, dvds, cds, emma's toys, tyler's toys, gibson's toys, mommy's toys, daddy's toys...

part of our problem is that sometimes we don't return things from where we got them after they've been used.  but sometimes, there's just no space place for them. 

in order to keep our home under control, we often evaluate the necessity of any item (whether bought new, used or free) before bringing it into our home.  sure, there's potential in the free dresser on the tree lawn.  and yes, we could use another dresser.  but realisticly, will we be able to fix it up within the next month or so?  if the answer is no, then good-bye free dresser...maybe someone else can take the extra time to make you look pretty.

the same method applies when it comes to our children's items...but sometimes it can be difficult to keep the kids' stuff (clothes, shoes, toys, books, what have you) from accumulating to the point of no return.  and with christmas creeping slowly around the corner, how do keep the addition of more stuff under control (let alone keep our kids from acquiring the whole consumer mentality when it comes to receiving gifts)?

check out this excellent, super-fantastic link on gift ideas for kids (and some can probably apply to adults too) at simple mom.  i especially love the idea of giving a family membership as a gift or lessons/activities as gifts.  i'm a proponent of giving/receiving gifts that are functional so an "experience" gift is a favorite.  i also like the "want, need, wear, read" idea for giving gifts mentioned at the bottom of the post.  when each person only receives 1 from each of those 4 categories, no one is overwhelmed, stressed or upset by receiving too much, gifts that don't suit them, or not having enough money to buy everyone something.  it also helps teach our children to live simply and appreciate the things that they have.

and now...i feel i have to de-clutter...


GranolaMom4God said...

I am overwhelmed by my clutter right now. Thanks!

Robert Stockham said...

we have finally learned our lesson. We started a few years ago giving and receiving things that were hand made, and thus from the heart. Now we don't even exchange (easier without kids), instead we spend time as a family and ignore the gift giving of holidays.

Melissa said...

Clutter is a constant battle here too. I need to send this link to my family. Thankfully, Layla doesn't have that consumerist mindset yet. Hopefully we can continue to positively model that as her parents.

ConnieK said...

We do the 4 gifts for Christmas and I even made a notepad that I am posting come November 1st to follow the rules easier. Even gabby knows that she has to choose: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read!
Love it and it definitely helps!

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