Clutter and gifts

It's not quite the holiday season yet, but the conversation and anxiety around gift giving and receiving is starting to happen!

So let's prepare for the giving and receiving season now. Clutter and gifts can turn any overwhelmed mom into a scrooge. 

One thing I see happen often when it comes to gifts is moms who are so overwhelmed by the every day clutter, toys, and stuff in their homes that gifts become a source of burden and dread – which defeats the entire point of gifts!

My belief: gifts are an expression of love.

They are a tangible reminder of that love. Gift giving has been demonized in a way in our society and we often feel like the antidote is to swing in the other direction and do only experience gifts, or no gifts. Or keep our gifts very limited to 4 specific things.

And that's totally okay to do. Of course you should uphold your boundaries and limits with gifts.

Just be aware that not gifting, and being restrictive with your gift giving is just the other side of the coin of the same issue, which is an unhealthy relationship with stuff that likely stems from clutter.

It can also be very damaging to your relationships with people who give you gifts if you approach their generosity with annoyance or a response like “we have too mch stuff already please stop giving us stuff” <— this does not apply to people in your life who do knowingly cross your boundaries.

So what do we do when it comes to clutter and gifts?

1. Seek a solution that remedies your root issue with gift giving.

It doesn't matter if you change your Christmas from a room full of gifts to an expensive vacation if you are still holding onto the belief that you need to “out do” last year's Christmas. The 4 gift rule if you really enjoy splurging for holidays and birthdays.

Also, restricting and hyper focusing on one day per year and the stuff that comes with it ignores the reality that your every day life is spent in a cluttered space and focusing on those other days of the year would be a more sustainable solution for you. Your work won't come undone in one day of festivities.

Get curious about why you are not happy with your gift giving right now. Is it because you have unrealistic expectations? You think your worth as a parent is directly tied to a pile of stuff? Are you compensating for your childhood experience? Is your every day life so overwhelming you just don't have space for splurges?

2. Dealing with other people's gifts to you and your family.

When you take ownership of your home and the stuff inside it, you can easily receive gifts knowing you are the gatekeeper of your home. AND you have space to receive things. We spent one Christmas in an RV and so we had to really enforce the specific gift requests that year. Nothing bad happened and we had a great Christmas still! 

I used to feel so defeated by the large amounts of gifts from grandparents and family. Now I am grateful and know that I can let go of gifts that don't serve us with gratitude.

3. Do have proactive conversations about your lifestyle.

Do it with positivity, and kindness.

4. Acknowledge that your lifestyle might not be others – and they likely aren't even considering what YOURS is, they are thinking about how gift giving makes them feel.

5. Hold your boundaries with clutter and gifts, even if that means donating it asap.

Listen to the full transcription and closed caption video here!

0:23 – motherhood simplified Facebook community 


1:20 – one reason gifts end up being overwhelming. 


2:28 – why gift-giving has become demonized 


3:18 – why gift giving rules don't always work 


5:08 – what do we actually do when it comes to others giving us gifts? Krista shares 4 points. 


• 5:20 – #1 thing to do


• 7:56 – #2 thing to do


• 9:33 – #3 thing to do


• 11:40 – #4 thing to do


13:15 – exciting BOGO bonus for when you sign up for Decluttering Simplified for the month of September ;


14:18 – leave a review on iTunes and take a screenshot to send to and I'll send you a 1 hour workshop as a thank you. If you dont use iTunes just send me the positive review that I can post.


Even if you have little time, energy or day to day support