How to Get Your Kids to (Willingly) Clean Out their Toys Before Christmas

Christmas Toy Purge: How to get your kids to (willingly) clean out before Christmas!

Bug’s birthday is October 20.  That is SO close to Christmas we’ve barely recovered from birthday chaos before it’s time for Christmas chaos.  I managed to get him to part with 3 or 4 toys before his birthday and I smuggled out some small stuff I knew he wouldn’t miss.  But before Christmas, I knew we needed a bigger purge.

The key was to get him to do it happily, willingly and without tears.

Bug gets a letter from Santa every year.  This year, I decided to enlist Santa’s help in the cleaning out of toys.

This year, Bug’s letter from Santa was dropped off on our porch taped to an empty box.  In the letter from Santa was a paragraph worded a little something like this:

My favorite part of Chrsitmas is the joy of giving.  The Elves have worked especially hard so we will be able to make many children happy as we spread Christmas cheer.  Can you help us out?  Take the box I left you and fill it with a few toys that you are finished with and can pass along to other little boys so they can enjoy them too.  I can only deliver presents once a year.  Filling this box will help make sure other children have new toys all year long like you do.  Fill it to the top and I’ll leave an extra special gift for you!

You can change the wording as you need to.  I was writing so a 5 year old could understand and trying to explain it in a way to avoid the question of, “Why can’t Santa give them toys?  Why do I have to give them mine?”  I reminded him that he gets new toys all the time (birthdays, etc) and not just Christmas.

What happened after we read the letter I was NOT expecting.  He started throwing toys in the box so fast it made my head spin!  It filled it to the top and kept going.  There were two more things we couldn’t fit in the box!

As far as the extra special gift Santa promised.  I had picked up a small gift (under $10) that Bug saw and fell in love with after he had already visited Santa and told him what he wants, after all the grandparents had bought from his list, etc.  It’s a good thing there was a little elf watching him in the store that day to see how much he realllly wanted that Hot Wheels track.  ;)

Santa doesn’t wrap the presents he leaves at our house.  But this one he will wrap and leave with a special note thanking Bug for such a good job!  I think it’s important to follow through to the end.

I know it’s already close to Christmas but it’s not too late to drop a box and a last minute note on the porch!  If you do Elf on a Shelf, your Elf can bring the box and the note!

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