Reverse Advent Calendar

It is so easy for your home to become overrun with toys, especially around the holidays.

As a mom to three little ones, I am completely sympathetic to this.  The loving push-over of a mother in me wants to buy my kids every last book, puzzle, game and toy that their little hearts desire.  But the Organizer in me is completely overcome with anxiety around the potential clutter about to enter my home!

In our house we celebrate both Christmas and Channukah, which means a double whammy of toys entering our space.  So my ears perked up while I was at the Professional Organizers in Canada Conference and someone brought up the idea of a reverse advent calendar as a way of decluttering toys.  Brilliant!

The idea is that every day, beginning on the 1st of December your children pick a toy everyday and put it into a box to give away.  Ideally, you will have 24 toys in a box to donate by the end of this process.  I am sure that especially the first few days the kids may choose broken or un-donatable items to declutter.  That's okay, simply discard or recycle them if necessary and donate the ones that are in good condition to a local charity.

You can even say that Santa will be picking them up when he visits on Christmas Eve to add a little more magic to it!

If you can, wrap a large cardboard box in some holiday themed wrapping paper to create a designated home for these donations.  I also thought it would be fun to give the kids stickers to put on each toy.

You can simply print these stickers out onto Avery 2" Round Labels and you'll be all set.  If you don't want to buy sticker paper, just print them out onto regular paper, and then you can cut them out and secure them with a little tape. Click on the images above for the PDF, or here for days 1-12, and days 13-24.

These stickers aren't necessary to the process, but it does add a fun element to the whole thing!

I recently  got to go onto Global TV and explain the details of this fun delcuttering idea, watch the video here.

I also have some free customizable and printable gift certificates you can use here, and for some clutter-free gift ideas check out these past posts:

The Best Clutter Free Gift Guide

Your Holiday Guide To Clutter Free Gifts

Happy Holidays!