Our “rainy day” closet.

Hey there, Tuesday.  I have a very random topic for you guys today…but it’s one that I thought some of you might like heading into the holiday season.

I’m going to talk about our “rainy day” closet.  Annnnnd I decided not to share pics of it (more on that in a bit), so I’m sharing my favorite Christmas pics from last year instead 🙂 .

The day after Kensington turned one, I decided to start a “rainy day” closet at our house.

You see, my precious little one year old had her first birthday party and we opened up all of our presents that day.  There were so many.  There were pieces of toys spread out all over the house.  And she was so overwhelmed that she really didn’t play with and enjoy all of them.

And I had a lightbulb moment, instead of opening all of her gifts, we were going to put them away to be opened the rest of the year on rainy days 🙂 .

Now, maybe you guys do this and I’m not original at all, but none of my friends do it, so I’m betting there are one or two of you that might like this idea (and probably a few of you who think it’s dumb 😉 but that’s okay too!).

Here’s what we do…on birthdays and at Christmas, my kiddos get to open three things total and the rest go in our closet.  All of the gifts from us, from Santa, from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc…go in our rainy day closet to be opened another day (now, they open the wrapping paper and see what they got but they don’t actually open the present).  We’ve been doing this for so long that they don’t know another way.  They oooohhh and ahhhhh over the gifts, select their three and put the rest up…and then they earn them throughout the year.  On rainy days when we’re stuck inside (hence the name), when they do great on a test, when they earn a reward for something, when they’re sick, when I’m sick (and need them to be occupied), after a medical/dental procedure, or just for fun on a random day, they get to open up the closet and get something.  AND THEY LOVE IT!

So, why do I think this works for us?  I think my kids truly enjoy the gifts when they are opening only one and not ten at one time.  They actually play with the toy/coloring book/puzzle/Legos/etc and are super pumped about the gift for longer than a hot minute.  I also find that pieces don’t get lost because we’re not opening more than one thing at a time (that one birthday when we opened up everything, there were random pieces everywhere!).

So, that’s my little nugget of mom advice this holiday season.  I’m not posting pics of our rainy day closet because I want to be sensitive to my family and friends and not let them see what hasn’t been opened yet.  Everything gets opened and loved on…but sometimes, it’s 6 months after the fact.  Now, anytime my kiddos get clothes or shoes, that stuff is opened and worn immediately because I would hate for them to outgrow it. This is just for those random gifts like games, sidewalk chalk, paint sets, Barbies, etc.  These items get enjoyed throughout the whole year.

What do you think?  Good idea or crazy idea?  I think if your kids are older, they would protest this system, but if your kiddos are small, you might want to give it a try.  Since, I started when my kids were little, they don’t know any different.  I would even say that they love this process now because it makes opening that closet so special and so much fun.  Even something as simple as a coloring book is really exciting to them on the day they get it from the closet.  I don’t know???  This has just worked really well for us!  I would also say that my January baby loves this a lot because he has a big drought between “gift holidays”.  He gets Christmas gifts and then three weeks later, gets birthday gifts and then nothing for 11 months, so this allows him a special treat on that random July day.

What are some things you do at home to simplify/help your family stay organized all year long?  I’d love some new ideas!!

Happy Tuesday!

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  • Erika Slaughter November 7, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I think it’s a fabulous idea and a great way to make sure all presents are cherished. I’d love to see the look on my kiddos’ faces if I tried implementing this now. HAHAHA!

    • Angie Wilbur November 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      My son’s birthday is 4 days after Christmas. When he was little, I scooped up half of what he got and gave it to him throughout the year. He never even noticed, but loved the random gift on a random day (usually given as a reward or just a surprise). Now that he’s a teenager, that won’t work 🙂 I think it’s a good idea over all, especially when they are young and overwhelmed with gifts.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog November 7, 2017 at 4:43 am

    I think what you’re doing is a great idea! It gives the kids a chance to truly treasure the presents. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Sarah November 7, 2017 at 5:00 am

    I’ve never heard of this, but omg — GENIUS!!!! Last Christmas was our first really big Christmas where the kids understood the joy of gifts (ugh, I don’t even like saying that lol but all kids love presents and toys and “things”) and opened everything asap. They kept busy all day of course, but the excitement was gone the next day. I totally am going to do this!!!
    Thank you for the idea! 🙂
    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Danielle November 7, 2017 at 5:06 am

    I love this idea! My son is actually Turning 3 on Thursday so I think I will try it! I am telling you trucks, dinosaurs, and duplo’s are already all over our house! My girl turns 1 January 13th and just like Smith she is stuck in that “gift drought” between holidays so I think as she gets older that will help her. I also think this is genius to try with potty training!

  • Eileen November 7, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Oh man, I wish I had thought of this 9 years ago when my daughter turned 1!!!! This is a fabulous idea.

  • Laurie November 7, 2017 at 5:09 am

    I completely agree with this and have also put gifts away in the closet for my children as well. It allows them to appreciate the gifts that they receive that much more. 🙂

  • Alison November 7, 2017 at 5:24 am

    I think this is an awesome idea! My daughter turns one on November 15th. I think this is a great time to start this tradition and also, like your little guy, enjoy something special in the middle of the year. Where do you find all your girls cute Christmas outfits? I have looked long and hard this year, but I feel there aren’t as many cute ones out there this year. Thanks Shay!! Love reading your blog!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 5:28 am

      I buy a lot of them off of Etsy!!

  • Mandy Placke November 7, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Love this idea! Especially for my daughter and her birthday December 20th!

  • Nicole November 7, 2017 at 5:25 am

    We used to do this when my kids were younger. When our oldest turned one, I remember he got a ton of gifts, being the first grandchild, our first child, etc. At one, he didn’t really know what he was opening so after we unwrapped the gifts we picked a few out to play and put the rest in the closet. We did the same at Christmas. It was overwhelming for me as a parent with all the gifts, I couldn’t imagine a young child. Now we have three kids and as we move away from a lot of toys, they get books, clothes, money etc, we don’t need to put gifts away like when they were little. I think this is a great idea especially for younger kids.

  • Lindsey November 7, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I LOVE LOVE this idea!! Even more so because I have October and December babies, so close to Christmas.

  • Denise Panetta November 7, 2017 at 5:32 am

    My sister has done this with my nephews for years. Especially with birthday gifts because you know you have to invite the whole class!

  • Elspeth Mizner November 7, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Such a smart idea. Plus it saves you from wanting to buy them a reward or treat when they do something good. Great system!

  • Angie N November 7, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Love this idea! Question: When they get something new out of the closet, is another toy that they’ve been playing with awhile (or don’t play with much) given away? Or do you just clean out their rooms once a year or so? I know you’ve talked about donating toys, etc.. in the past.

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 5:50 am

      We clean out and donate toys/clothes and such at least twice a year!

  • Becky Simpson November 7, 2017 at 5:40 am

    I do the same. Plus, my daughter’s birthday is December from 8th so she gets double overload in one month.

  • Tina November 7, 2017 at 5:45 am

    What a great idea! I wish I had done this when mine were little. We had a big extended family and one to two gifts from each person added up! It was overwhelming.

  • Jill November 7, 2017 at 5:47 am

    I was overwhelmed by all the presents as well. I did that for the first many years of my kids lives and on a random day we would take down a present from the shelf and it would be exciting and new. I have a December 22nd baby so he would get an over abundance of gifts in December and then none all year long. As they have gotten older, the gifts turn more to gift cards and smaller toys so it’s not necessary to do it but we still keep our gift cards and money to use through out the year and not right after the birthday or Christmas!
    Great idea and wonderful idea to share it with others!

  • Lesley McFarland November 7, 2017 at 5:51 am

    What a great idea!! I️ wish I would have thought of that 13 years ago.

  • Carrie November 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

    I think this is a great idea. In our case we don’t actually have presents at our Kid parties so they only get gifts from our family. That limits things. At Christmas my aunt gives my girls toys r us gift cards and we spend them after a shot or in the summer. We don’t give a lot for Christmas either but I usually buy some sale items as a few treats during the year. My kids are completely used to no gifts from friends at their parties and we don’t have a kids party for them every year. We take donations that the kids pick. My youngest has an 11/24 b-day so that is a little hard but so far she has never complained ( she is 6 though so maybe when she is older).

  • Emily November 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

    I love this idea and wish we have started it sooner. My girls are 9 and 6, but I might be able to persuade them this season. Love reading your blog!!!

  • Kfran November 7, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I got this same idea from my sister in law when my kids were babies. It works well and helps decrease the toy clutter around the house.

  • Catherine Growe November 7, 2017 at 5:55 am

    I do this to an extent. My daughter has a late September birthday and even that is so close to Christmas with all the gifts she gets that I always put some up for random times. I 100% agree spreading the gifts out makes them more enjoyable. I think I’m going to follow your method of three more closely. Especially since we have a November baby coming tomorrow.

  • Megan November 7, 2017 at 5:56 am

    This is honestly something I’ve never considered. I have one with a January birthday and I think he would LOVE having the gifts spread out. With four kids there are just so many gifts at the holidays. I think this is a fabulous idea!


  • Lauren November 7, 2017 at 5:57 am

    We did this when mine were little, but haven’t in several years. One thing we DID do a few years ago was to ask for NO gifts from friends for birthdays at birthday parties. Whoa. Game changer. A few times we’ve asked for gifts for donation, a few times we’ve just asked for no gifts. My kids know that their family members will still get them things, but then we don’t get 400 gifts. It’s so nice!

    • Laura November 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Yes yes yes! After the first birthday, we request “no gifts, please” on the invitation. Grandma is probably going to buy something anyway, but it eliminates the plethora of $15 gifts from class friends! I wish everyone would do this!

  • Elizabeth Feldpausch November 7, 2017 at 5:57 am

    I love this! I will definitely be doing this because we are coming up on my daughter’s second Christmas and second birthday in February! (As long as my husband can get on board because he loves #allthetoys)

  • Sheaffer Sims November 7, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I love how this extends the excitement all year long! Carter would look at me like I was crazy, but I can see how if you implement this when they’re young it would totally work!

  • Sarita November 7, 2017 at 6:05 am

    This is a wonderful idea. I do something similar for birthdays but not for christmas. I let them open one gift on each of the days after so that they appreciate each of the gifts they get. I might try the three things rule this holiday season.

  • Emily November 7, 2017 at 6:06 am

    My babies are still young so I have been putting the gifts away in their respective closets in their rooms but I love the idea of just using one closet, especially when they get a little older. Do you designate a shelf for each child? Or how do you keep it all organized? Thanks for sharing!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 6:19 am

      Yes! Each kiddo has a shelf!

  • Dana November 7, 2017 at 6:07 am

    What a great idea! Back when we lived around lots of family, our kids were flooded with way too many gifts. I always thought it was a sweet problem to have, but totally overwhelming. And I love that it helps them to understand delayed gratification! I think it’s a little too late for our kids, but I’m going to save this idea and share it with other parents who are feeling inundated by stuff!

  • Lindsay November 7, 2017 at 6:09 am

    This is genius! Totally a “why didn’t I think of that” idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • emily @ a little bit of emily November 7, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Such a neat idea! I think my sister in law does something similar, but I am definitely going to pass this along anyways! I probably would have hated it when I was growing up, but like you said, if you start them young, then they know no different!

  • Cat November 7, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Interesting idea! A few questions… How do you go about making sure the gift-giver is appropriately thanked and knows their gift arrived at your home safe and sound? Do the kids write a thank-you note only when the gift is opened? Related, how do you guard against hurt feelings for those whose gifts aren’t picked (as a gift-giver, I envision the gift used to celebrate the glory of Christmas, rather than a random pick-me-up, even if it is a cute idea)?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 6:18 am

      I would say that all of my kids’ gifts are given to them in person. Whenever we do receive gifts in the mail (that isn’t very often!), the kids write thank you notes. And I would say that my family loves this idea because they see how many kids we have times how many gifts are given and understand that this system really works well for our family. Plus, we don’t open any gifts until after everyone goes home, so no one knows what was opened and what was not.

      • Ariadna November 7, 2017 at 7:00 am

        It’s interesting that you say that you don’t open gifts until after everyone goes home. Do you mean, open them to see what they are, or really open them to play with them? I was born in Mexico and growing up whenever we would receive gifts for birthdays we wouldn’t open them at all until everybody left. It wasn’t until I was in high school here in the US and my sweet friend gave me a birthday gift and told me that it was rude to not open the gift in front of the person that gave it to you. Either way, I think it’s a great idea what you’re doing! I don’t think my daughter would go for it if I said she could only play with 3 toys, but then again, she usually doesn’t open everything at once. She waits a couple of days and plays with the other games/toys at a later date. 🙂 Cute pictures too!

        • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

          They open them to see what it is, but they don’t actually open packages and start playing with stuff. I would say that they don’t because there is typically just so much going on (food, fun, family…all of that stuff), that it’s just not the right time to start playing with things.

  • Narci Dreffs November 7, 2017 at 6:15 am

    This is a brilliant idea!! 🙂

  • Jenny V. November 7, 2017 at 6:19 am

    LOVE it!!! What a great lesson in gratitude, self-control and patience too!

    • Laura November 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

      I agree and I would also say a great lesson in decision making, prioritizing, and delayed gratification. Brilliant!

  • Sarah November 7, 2017 at 6:19 am

    I do this too, with my kiddos

  • Laura Fredlund November 7, 2017 at 6:24 am

    You are such a good mamma! Brilliant idea

  • Robin November 7, 2017 at 6:29 am

    We get our kids 3 presents each for xmas (like the 3 wise men) to try and keep the focus not so much on the present opening, and I’ve started asking our extended family for museum and zoo family passes. This worked great last year, and we’re still enjoying our trips to the zoo, children’s museum and science museum (though the family still got them each a present in addition to the pass!) Love the closet idea!

  • Brittany November 7, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I have done this since my son’s first birthday party in a roundabout way. My son’s birthday is in January right after Christmas, and with so many Christmas events, gifts from Santa, etc., it’s just too much at once and our house isn’t big enough for toys all over the place. I don’t make a big deal about it, but I just take a few gifts post-party and put them in the attic, and then about midway through the year (usually during the summer when boredom is at its peak), I do a big switch and take the toys the boys are seemingly “over” and put those in the attic and pull down some of the ones they got for their birthdays, and then swap again later in the year. Even ones they previously played with seem new because they just forget!

  • Erin November 7, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I LOVE this idea! My kids are 3 and 1 and for past birthdays and Christmas the gift situation has been so overwhelming so I am totally going to do this! Thanks for the idea!!!!!

  • Nicole November 7, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I’ve done this since my first was born.. (He’s a January 1st Birthday!)
    Now that he’s older (almost 15😳 how??)
    When He gets giftcard’s he saves some for ” rainy days” as does my 13 year old
    Our younger 3 still get ” toys and such” (7,6&2)
    We have 5 boys =2 January birthdays, 2 September birthdays and 1 June birthday

  • Kate November 7, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Love that idea!

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life November 7, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Awesome idea Shay! Wish I would have known to do this years ago!

  • Amy in PA November 7, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I’ve done similar with our son (now 3) since his first birthday. His birthday is in March, so it can be a long time without anything new to capture attention until the holidays roll around again. I’m probably more covert about what gets put away until a ‘rainy’ day but will certainly allow him in on the decision making as he grows up. Helps to manage the amount of stuff we have in our house, too!

  • Lindsay Wagner November 7, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I love this idea, but with my kids older ages there is just no way anymore…boo! 🙂 I kind of do this without them knowing though. They are the only grandchildren/nieces so there’s always A.LOT! After they’ve opened everything they always start using something immediately. Once we get back home I put whatever wasn’t opened in our closet. When they ask for something specific I will get it out, but mostly they forget about almost everything…so sad, but so true b/c it’s so much! For example, I still have a full lego box in our closet that hasn’t been opened! I’m saving that for one day when we are off of school during Thanksgiving! 🙂

  • Elaine Welte November 7, 2017 at 6:49 am

    My kids are older and would definitely have a fit. We just really limit the presents we buy and ask grandparents to not go overboard. Our kids have plenty of toys. This year, we will do a family trip after the holidays that will be a part of their Christmas. We also buy them gift cards to ice cream places, or the movies, so we can save them and use later in the year.

  • Erin Port November 7, 2017 at 6:55 am

    We save things back too but it’s not as organized. My kids get loved on hard by family, it’s nice to spread out the fun! xoxo ERIN

  • Elizabeth November 7, 2017 at 6:56 am

    We only give three gifts from Santa, just like Jesus received, and have a large extended and immediate family — so sometimes several aunts and uncles will go in on one larger gift or we encourage experiences. I understand the concept of the rainy day closet but for us having so much excess doesn’t work for our family.

  • Jaime Wyant November 7, 2017 at 6:57 am

    I love this idea. One question…my husbands family lives out of town and we always celebrate Christmas with them in early December…would you treat that was Christmas still? This year it is December 8, so would you have them not open any of those presents until the remaining Christmas items come in and then decide or would you treat it separately and let them open a present or two from that event and then 2-3 gifts after the main Christmas events that occur 2-3 weeks later? My parents are divorced and we get SO many gifts, so this is an awesome idea for us.

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

      I would. We’re celebrating with Andrew’s family early this year, so my kids will open probably one of their presents but save the others.

  • sydnee November 7, 2017 at 6:59 am

    What a fabulous idea! I wish I knew about it when my kids were younger, when they were more interested in the box than the toy, ha! Nowadays, it’s all about instant gratification.

    Design by Sydnee | A Lifestyle Blog 💗

  • Emily Harrison November 7, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love this idea. Our little one turns two in a few weeks and then Christmas is just a few weeks later. He gets so much and so close together.

  • Jeannie November 7, 2017 at 7:05 am

    What a great idea!! I wish I had seen this 11 years earlier! Lol. I think I might be telling some friends and family about this idea, that have little ones!! I love your blog!

  • Răchel November 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Love this!!! I might try this, this year!!! My son has a birthday in January so this would help with the “gift drought”! I kinda wish my parents did that with me bc my bday is in January as well! Ha!

  • Natalie Clark November 7, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I’m with that January baby (I’m November 30th) and my first little one is too (December 15th)! I love this idea for that very reason!!

  • Laura November 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Shay, this is a great idea! We do something similar. Since our kids are still on the young side we have made toys simply disappear and then brought them out months later. Rotating toys has worked so well for us. Love it!

  • Rechelle November 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Love this! While we do not have kids yet, my husband and I have actually already talked about using a similar system after seeing the absurd amount of gifts our friend’s daughter received at her 1st birthday recently. I so appreciated getting more details from you in this post and to hear how well it has worked. I also do something similar with our 2 dogs HAHA, since I pick up dog toys here or there on clearance I tuck them away in a closet to pull out every now and then so they always have some fresh toys to destroy 😉

  • Krisitn November 7, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I really like the rainy day part, but don’t like the reward aspect. I don’t think the kids should have to “earn” a gift that someone has already freely given them out of love.

  • Brianna November 7, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I think this is a great idea! I don’t have kids yet, but from the perspective of a gift giver, it wouldn’t bother me at all if my gift was in a “rainy day closet.”
    I also thought about the “present drought.” My birthday is today, so not too close to Christmas, but it still leaves 10-11 months of no gifts, something I don’t notice now but did when I was a kid!

  • Jennifer November 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Being a teacher and mom of two boys what I noticed most about this post is the top picture. 😂. The girls are all bundled up and there’s sweet Smith in shorts. Such a boy thing. Love it!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Right?!? Boys!!! Hahahahaha!

  • Amanda November 7, 2017 at 7:27 am

    This is a great idea! Especially with a large family 3 gifts turns into 15 with 5 kids so that is plenty!! I love love love the wise men idea people were suggesting…..that is a way I can begin implementing this even though my kids are older because they will understand that!!! I LOVE this Blog Shay!!!!

  • Alexis deZayas November 7, 2017 at 7:32 am

    This is a great idea!!

  • Genelle Pretty November 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Shay, this is a fabulous idea!! I love it!! Thank you for sharing. My son is turning 2 on 12/6 and I want to start doing this this year for several of the reasons you mentioned. 1) He will be a big brother in February and mama’s gonna need some good distractions this coming year! 2) To learn to treasure and appreciate receiving thoughtful gifts from others regardless of the day or occasion. 3) Gift drought for 11 months of the year like you mentioned for Smith. Thank you so much!! Have a great Tuesday!

  • courtney November 7, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Shay, this is such a great idea. I have always struggled with the concept of letting my kids get tons of toys on their birthday or Christmas, only to look at them once. I’ve even thought about telling my family members not to buy them ‘toys’, but rather experiences (clothes and shoes are always fine). But even with the ‘experiences’ things, I could see a great use for the ‘rainy day closet’. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Erin Blum November 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

    This is a FANTASTIC idea!!! I started the 4 gifts for Christmas rule a few years ago for the same reason. Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. It’s cut down on the chaos of Christmas so much and I think they actually enjoy what they’re opening like you said. If they were younger, I would totally start this instead, but at almost 12, and 9, I think they’d rebel. 😉

  • Whitney Pegram November 7, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I love this idea!!!

  • Meagan Smith November 7, 2017 at 7:52 am

    What a great idea! Love this. I also love reading all the other ideas. You mommas are so creative! #momgoals

  • Tara November 7, 2017 at 7:53 am

    This is my first holiday season with my kiddo! She will be 3 in January. She received so many things upon arrival from China and at my baby shower that i have held back stuff already. I plan to donate on each thanksgiving, Christmas and her birthday an item or two that she doesn’t use, has grown past in development and then do a similar rainy day concept. Opening them to see and then only keeping out 3 is a great suggestion!
    I take your mom advice seriously since you have been there a while and also have two adopted girls!

  • Angela Ellingson November 7, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Love this idea so much! I really wish I would have done this after my 5 year old’s recent lego themed party – lego sets all mixed up everywhere! Thank for sharing! 🙂

  • Rebecca Brittain November 7, 2017 at 7:58 am

    This is a great idea! You’re right in that the enthusiasm about a gift dies down quickly especially when they’re bouncing from toy to toy to toy and the new items get lost in the shuffle of other new items. They don’t mean to do that, it just happens. This is a unique way of keeping the excitement about a gift throughout the year. So glad you shared this!
    Rebecca @ EveryPieceFits.com

  • Leah Crouse November 7, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Best Idea Ever! I’m totally copying you from here on out! Thanks for sharing.😋

  • Maureen Werner November 7, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Shay, you are such a thoughtful mama! I think this idea is tremendous and would have worked wonderfully for my oldest son who was an only child until he was 19! When he was growing up he was the only grandchild on both sides and I threw large, extravagant birthday parties for him! Now I have 6 more children, and we live far from family. As a large family we only do birthday parties with friends for 5th, 10th & 16th Birthday! All other birthdays are just a family celebration, so there are already limited gifts. But I will be tucking your idea away to share with my daughters when they start their families!! ❤️

  • Lori Bran November 7, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I used to do this too, but now, I just ask friends to bring toys/sporting goods/art supplies to be donated to a local agency. My kids need nothing and so many children do not ever get brand new toys or clothes. We like to throw really big bday parties and invite all their friends, but I couldn’t stand all of the toys that didn’t get played with. My kids know that they get gifts from us and their grandparents, but their friends bring toys that we donate. They get so excited to deliver the toys.

  • Brooke Richardson November 7, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I should of done this a long time ago! I feel like now it’s too late to start. But I do often times put gifts away just to save so it will be appreciatated more later when things are so crazy from the holidays or birthdays. I like to randomly buy fun indoor things for the kids to do while I’m at the store and not even tell the kids about them. Then on a rainy day or random day I pull out a new puzzle/game or something they have never seen. This post has made me want to be more intentional about doing that!

  • Elaine November 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    This just seems kind of sad to me. I don’t quite get the idea of making your kids earn their presents back after opening them. Isn’t that the point of a birthday or Christmas?

  • April Bryan November 7, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I think this is a great idea, because it can truly be chaotic with all those toys everywhere. My kids are 9, 6, 5 and my oldest is at the point where many of his friends just give him money. I love money because we can put it away and when he really wants something he can spend his money instead of just having a bunch of things he likes but doesn’t love.

  • Janet November 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Interesting idea- I might try it! Just wondering though, how do your kids write thank you notes for gifts that they haven’t actually opened?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      They open the wrapping paper to see what they’ve received right there in front of the family, they just don’t open the actual gift (so they don’t open up the Legos and start building), but they see that it’s Legos.

  • Kelly November 7, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Great idea! So smart to implement it so early on:). My son and daughter-in-law have 5 children (baby #6 due in the spring!;), so you can imagine gifts X 6 children! Oh my goodness. They have asked for $$ towards Hershey Park season passes the last few years and that works out well for them. For my two sons still at home we do the Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read from my husband and I and they get mostly gift cards from other family members. Thanks for sharing this idea, I think it could be a game changer for a lot of families!;).

  • katie November 7, 2017 at 8:21 am

    We do this already because my sons birthday is 10 days after christmas. He is only 2 so he has never noticed me putting the toys in a closet and recycling them in to the mix later 🙂

  • Tiffany Bagalini November 7, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I think this is a great idea, though here in sunny San Diego it would have to be a “reward” closet otherwise they would be waiting a looooong time for those rainy days, hahaha!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick November 7, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Love this idea! I wish I’d have implemented it all those years ago but now we have the opposite problem! My kids aren’t really into toys anymore so I never know what to get them for birthdays/Christmas! That Inspired Chick

  • Kelly November 7, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Another thought, you mentioned you buy the girls holiday clothing on Etsy. Could you maybe do a post on that? Your children’s clothing always looks so fun:).

  • Julie November 7, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I really like this idea. My kids are a bit older than yours (7,9,11) so we do something a little different. We open gifts and immediately sort into two piles…keep and donate. Of course we write everything down and thank you notes are sent so we’re not hurting gift givers feelings. But then we either donate the giveaway pile, or re-gift to other kids we know. My kids love doing this…it never bothers them to give away some toys and it’s so much less overwhelming than getting 100 gifts at once!

  • Joda November 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

    We have a rainy day closet and I LOVE it! Now my 2 teenagers don’t add anything to the closet but my 6 &7 year olds always get so overwhelmed by all the gifts that I hide some away. I don’t let them pick what gets put away. I secretly hide things while we are unloading the gifts from the car. They never even miss them!

  • Meredith November 7, 2017 at 8:26 am

    oh I love this idea!!

  • Robin November 7, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I think this is a great idea! Too late for my 14 year old (but she gets mainly clothes/makeup, stuff like that anyway), but I could definitely start this with my 4 year old in the toy department. One question, I thought I remember you (years ago) mentioning that after your kids open their gifts (the wrapping paper) but before taking the items out of the package, you have them go through their toys to clean out and donate items to sort of purge the old before getting new. I think you said something about it being more motivating for the kids to get rid of the old things they don’t play with when they have new stuff waiting right there 🙂 Do you still do this? If so when? I love the idea of getting rid of the old before throwing the new stuff in there so the then there isn’t SO MUCH STUFF, but I’m really not sure when to do it. The other little issue we have is that on both sides of the family my siblings and/or in-laws let their kids start taking their toys out and playing with them right away. I’ve never been a fan of this, but it’s hard to be the one parent that says no when all of your child’s cousins are tearing open their new toys to play with right now. I usually ‘combat’ this by allowing my child to unpackage just one gift so that we don’t lose pieces and such (since we’re not at our own house), but its tough because my siblings allow their children to unpackage everything right then and there….

  • Caroline Burke November 7, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Love! I’ve done this with the things we get lots of sidewalk chalk, playdough, legos and such but hadn’t thought to include the bigger gifts as well.

  • Julie Bradford November 7, 2017 at 8:30 am

    I did something similar to this when Jessi and Julia turned 1 and 2 b/c their birthday is in January and they received so much at Christmas & their birthday a month later….. I really haven’t given it much thought since but thank you for the reminder b/c I think we will go back to it. I feel like it really does help them appreciate the gifts so much more. I have the last 2 birthdays asked for friends to just come to their birthday parties instead of bringing gifts (they still get gifts from both sides of the family) & maybe donate to a charity of their choice instead of a gift. We just all have so much! Thanks for blogging about this.. I love it!!! you are such an AWESOME mom!

  • Mary November 7, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I love this idea! One question- have you ever run into problems if a child wants to keep/open more than three presents?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      My kids are so used to it now that they don’t even ask. That being said, there are always exceptions to the rules. I wouldn’t want my kids to be upset by this.

  • Courtney Kaker November 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Oh I love this idea! My 10 year old wouldn’t love it so much; but I think my 3 year old would be easier to “train” to this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather November 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Love, love, love this idea! We just did this on accident after my son’s 7th birthday… the birthday of Nerf guns, Legos, and Hot Wheels 🙂 His birthday was in May and when we were opening his gifts I put all of his Hot Wheels is a plastic tub and it made it into the upstairs playroom. Then, just last week as I was cleaning the playroom (more than the routine dust/swiffering) I stumbled- literally- on blue plastic tub in the corner of the playroom. Ta-da! Happy half birthday buddy! He was soon excited!

    With that said- this year for Christmas we are going to try the 4 present rule?! (Our kids are 7&9 and don’t “need” anything!)
    They will be receiving:
    something they want
    something they need
    something they’ll wear
    and something they’ll read.

    • Sally November 7, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Love this idea! Nobody “needs” more than 4 things anyway… especially for Christmas (I want my kids to focus on the holiday, not the gifts) or birthdays (I want them to focus on the love and celebration of life and family/friends, not what they’re getting!)

  • Brittany November 7, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I love this idea! We did something similar with my oldest son’s first Christmas but haven’t done it since. I love the idea that if they earn a reward for something, you don’t actually have to go buy something new (if that’s what you’d normally do, we typically don’t) and can instead still get something “new” from things you already have.

  • Sarah November 7, 2017 at 8:42 am

    We do this after birthday parties! I love to have big joint parties because my boys (6 & 8) are 2 years and 19 days apart and have a lot of the same friends. However, this can mean a lot of new toys at once. We tuck them away for rainy days, snowy days, super cold days, or just to try something different one day. It really makes each toy get so much more quality play time!

  • Keisha M Dawson November 7, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I think this is a genius idea! I so wish I would have done something like this when my kids were little. Now, they’re big, and they both only asking for 1 or 2 things from everyone combined at each holiday. Young mamas should totally take you up on this idea though!

  • Christina November 7, 2017 at 8:43 am

    We do this!

  • Lindsey November 7, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Love this idea so much!! I also love all the adorable Christmas clothes your kids have! Would love to see a post on cute Christmas clothes for school-aged kids!!

  • Stacy November 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    We do this too. We have been doing it for so long. My mom thinks its weird and our closet looks like a toy aisle in a store. Now, the only bad thing for us is a lot of our closet ends up going unopened but those items that the kids outgrow or get uninterested in gets passed on to someone in need.

  • Cara Payan November 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Totally random but I had Hallmark on this morning and the movie One Starry Christmas was on and I swear you are a dead ringer for the lead actress in the movie. One of her outfits was like it was straight out of one of your blog posts right down to the hairstyle and cross body bag. If you haven’t seen it check it out. 🙂

  • Abby November 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Love this idea! We set aside some of my daughter’s birthday gifts just because we wanted to give her something new later on, so this post inspires me to keep it up! Especially with Christmas coming up! Thanks!

  • Amanda Breazeale November 7, 2017 at 8:58 am

    This is the best idea – thanks for sharing! I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old. I will definitely be using this starting this year with my 2 year old. Thanks Shay!


  • Allison Hoover November 7, 2017 at 9:09 am

    That is an amazing idea! My little guy is only 8 months old so perfect timing! Thank you!

  • Katie November 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I love this idea!!! One question though… do you ever find that your kids out grow the gift before they get to use it?? I guess maybe it would happen more often with younger kids. My baby will be 10 months at Christmas. I just worry about gifts given to her at that age not interesting her as much at 18 mo.? Maybe I’m over thinking it!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Mine are always into a gift 😉

  • Jen Huegel November 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I love this idea too! However I can see relatives like my mom, for example, who carefully selects special things she knows they will love, feeling offended that they don’t get to open/play with her gift right away. My mom is at our house frequently so she would know if her gift wasn’t around. Any advice on how to handle that?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      If it would hurt her feelings, then I think it should be opened! I wouldn’t want to do that. I do think though that your mom might be more open to the idea if she saw how fun it was to see the gift played with at a later date.

  • Elizabeth V November 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I’m not a mom yet but I am definitely going to keep a mental note! GREAT idea!

  • Ann November 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I understand the concept. . . I truly do. My grands get so many gifts that many go unappreciated. But, if I asked my grand daughter if she like the doll I gave her for Christmas and she replied it was put in a closet to be opened another time, I think I might be hurt. I suppose all family and friends know about the rainy day closet and I assume all the gift givers have been properly thanked. Oh, well. I guess I’m old fashioned. I do know I am old.

  • Therese November 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

    This is a great idea. My kids are 6 and 8 so we may be too late to start this now but I’m going to try. Whenever we have “friend” birthday parties I always say “no presents” on the invite. This also helps cut down on all the stuff.

  • Dawn November 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I had the same moment when my first child turned one! She was so overwhelmed, so I immediately left out a couple of things and put the rest up and then rotated the items every so often. This worked with both kids until they were old enough to remember and ask, “where’s my … that … got me?” I love your idea and will be passing it along to my daughter for my grandson. His birthday is in December, so it’s always a lot between birthday and Christmas and then nothing for the rest of the year…

  • Crissy November 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

    As a preschool teacher, I’ve always rotated toys at school and at home for my own kids. Groups of toys come out for a time period , then rotated out for “new”. No earning the items or waiting for a certain time, just keeping things moving so the boredom factor is diminished and all toys getbgood play time. It has worked well for me.

  • Erin November 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I love this idea. My mom did this with us growing up… but she called it the “gift closet”. She would also buy random end of season marked down clearance gifts/toys she’d see when out and about to put up on the gift shelf, for those birthday parties that pop up and we need a gift for. I do this as well and it works great, since I don’t always have extra time before a party to stop and pick something up. Target is great for this! Also I just wanted to mention that the picture of your family in the carriage is absolutely beautiful! Definitely Canvas worthy 😊

  • Stacy November 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    This concept of moderation is so under-utilized or even talked about. Great post! I also think your family & friends would be honored to hear that their gift is being used months later for special occasions rather than thrown away early because got thrown in with all the other excess.

  • Jenny Null November 7, 2017 at 9:32 am

    My kids are 28 and 21 now, but when they were little we did this. Both of their birthday are within 6-8 weeks of Christmas and we have a huge family so they always were over indulged with gifts. They opened everything and then I would put most of it in the top of their closets and every once in a while we would bring out a new toy and you are so right….they loved it! They got new toys all through out the year. We also make sure we clean out all toys before their birthday and Christmas each year and donate things they were no longer playing with.

  • Megan Butler November 7, 2017 at 9:39 am

    We do this ! And when my older brother found out he was soooo mad at me!! Haha!!!

  • Ronnie Dean November 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Wow!! What a fabulous idea!! With my youngest daughter’s being November 11th and Christmas so close behind, this is something I’ve been struggling with. I thought about requesting no gifts for her birthday, but I want her to be able to enjoy her birthday as much as someone whose birthday is during any other part of the year. This is perfect!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Sharon S November 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Wow. I LOVE this! I am going to try this for sure. Only problem is I don’t have a spare closet!

  • Dania November 7, 2017 at 9:48 am

    This is a wonderful strategy and something I do as well. Our four children (three girls, one boy) are very loved by our families, which sometimes results in a *lot* of gifts around birthdays and holidays. We are so grateful for any gifts we receive, but at the same time, my children play better when there are fewer choices available. Most people are shocked by how few toys are out at one time in our home – we currently have one small container of Barbie dolls (maybe ten dolls total?) and one small container of duplo legos. They are content playing with this amount of toys and clean up is *much* easier. I switch the toys out and introduce something “new” every month or so (it’s rarely new, just something that has been put away for awhile), or like you, when focused attention is needed somewhere. Way to go Shay!

  • Denise November 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

    This is GENUIS!!!!! My family has a lot of December & January birthdays & I wish I would have heard about this kind of thing earlier I always thought they get all these presents & then NOTHING!!!!! You need to trademark this without out a doubt!!!! Now let’s talk about your Christmas pictures you posted & the one of all of you on the sleigh, I can’t get over how much all the kids change but Ashby has sure lost her baby look. They grow up way to fast. Thank you for sharing!! 💛

  • shawnna November 7, 2017 at 9:57 am

    You go girl- this is really a great idea!

  • Rebecca Jo November 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Genius! I had to share this on FB with my friends…

  • Tina Spork November 7, 2017 at 10:13 am

    My kiddos are 22-October and 24 (On Christmas Eve….can you imagine?) I never did this, genius. One thing I did do for my Christmas girl was throw an “Unbirthday Party”…of course it was Alice in Wonderland themed, so she could have a party with her classmates. Also, a “Half-Birthday Party” so she could have a fun summer party. Another idea that worked AMAZINGLY well was I took their Christmas list and “Santa” brought only ONE in the top three, it was unwrapped by the fireplace, this enabled me to allow grandparents and us to give gifts, and for the kids to appreciate the gifts from others, not a mythical guy. I look forward to a grandma closet in the distant future.

  • Susan Jeffries November 7, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I love this idea! Our daughter is almost 17 and, since she is our only one, she get a lot of gifts. And her bday is right after Christmas. We are considering taking her on a trip for her bday this year. The gifts get overwhelming and, as she gets older, we just treasure the time together that much more.

  • Melissa Dykstra November 7, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I think it’s an absolute genius idea, why have I never thought of this. Shay, I would be so grateful if you could do a post on what your kids are putting on their Christmas lists. I struggle with this so much every year and have no clue what “Santa” should be getting for my kids. Could you please help some of us out, pretty please?!?

  • Susie November 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

    What’s your favorite Starbucks drink during Christmas season

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Peppermint mocha anything 🙂

  • Anna S November 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Shay! I think this idea is amazing! Stretch out the fun, having things to look forward to, make a tough day or a normal day special. Thanks for sharing with us. I stay organized and clutter-free by making myself aware of what I have, writing down what I need, and then keeping a wish list when I can afford to get something new for our home or for my closet. 😉 Keeping track of what I have in the house prevents me from doubling up on items and my wishlist seems to change over time which prevents me from making impulse purchases.

  • Aulani Morris November 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

    If I have a child, I would so totally do this. Love it!

  • Juliana Grace November 7, 2017 at 10:54 am

    I love this idea! I am remembering this for one day when I have kids!

    Juliana Grace | http://www.julianagraceblogspace.com

  • Paige E November 7, 2017 at 10:54 am

    I think this is a really neat idea! One question – what if the gifts for the closet are from a grandparent? I don’t know about your grands, but mine would expect excitement and a thank you right then. Maybe those are def ones to be opened immediately?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      They get a thank you because the gift is opened (from the wrapping paper!).

  • Alice November 7, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I do the same thing, but I put the gifts away without my kids unwrapping them. (The gift-giver usually lets me or my husband know what is inside when they give a wrapped gift.) I don’t think my kids would like the idea of unwrapping a gift, knowing what it is, and then not being able to play with it! They don’t do well with delayed gratification, and I can understand how they feel because I would feel pretty peeved if a gift was given to me and then taken away! How you manage that?

  • Eryn November 7, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I have 2 that are born middle of November and one that is due in early January. So close to Christmas!! I struggle every year telling friends and family what to buy them because they truly get too much. This is a great idea for all that extra stuff!

  • Amy at Suburban Soiree November 7, 2017 at 11:14 am

    This is clever. I do this on a smaller level with gifts that are crafty/artsy/project type things. They go in a closet and then come out when we needed a project.


  • Kayla Karnes November 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Do your kids know where the closet with all the toys is? I think that mine would be constantly looking in the closet knowing there are fun toys and begging for them. I absolutely love this idea but trying to figure out how to work it!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Ha! They do, but they don’t ever get in there.

  • Kerry L Dorman November 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    We do this too! I had the same experience with my 8 year old at his first birthday… so now we open all the presents, put them all in the top of the closet and get down one at a time. We are so busy through the holidays that we aren’t home enough to play with toys so when we put Christmas up we get a toy or two down and so on through out the year. If we have toys left over before Christmas or birthday the next year, we donate it. I agree that it allows them to actually enjoy the gift and appreciate it rather than opening and scattering and moving on to the next gift.

  • Lee November 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    We have a rainy day closet too!!! It’s the best. Also for our kids bdays we request “no gifts” and that our guests, if they feel so inclined, bring a children’s book that we donate to a local school. The kids don’t even expect gifts at their parties now which makes me happy. Some parents were confused when we requested no gifts but I like to explain their party is a gift in itself and spending a fun day with friends and family is the best part! (Disclaimer: We give them gifts and so do grandparents.-lol)

  • Gail November 7, 2017 at 11:29 am

    We did something kind of similar by rotating our kids toys. They actually loved that! As an aside, for the 1st 10 years of our kids lives we bought ALL of their toys and clothes at garage sales and thrift shops, etc. and that way we were not overwhelmed by the amount of money we spent. We had so little money in our budget starting out that this really took the edge off the desire to want to join in the festivities of a holiday or birthday versus that guilt of not having the funds or having to put it on the credit card ( which we refused to do.).

  • Jennifer November 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    This is a great idea and makes so much sense! Thank you for sharing. I’m going to try and implement this year! 🙂

  • Leslie Kurz November 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    We totally do this in our home too. For many of the same reasons you do. My oldest is a late January baby so it is nice to spread things out and have new things for them to play with and enjoy throughout the year. And, all of those presents at once can just be overwhelming, especially to me lol, to sort and keep track of and for the kids to really play with. I think both my kids appreciate their toys more and play with them more if we open them little by little throughout the year/couple months following Christmas and their birthdays.

  • Erin November 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

    We do this also!! My girls love finding new presents and it helps entertain them on those rainy days or days where I need to get some extra work done!

  • Amanda November 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I love this idea! Definitely something I’d like to implement.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World November 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    This is SUCH a great idea! I’m often telling my hubs that our kids get entirely too much for Christmas and birthdays and it’s like they just get overwhelmed and play with nothing instead. When I was little we didn’t get near as much as kids do today and we would play with stuff until it fell apart. These days we donate so much stuff and some of the stuff still looks brand new because they didn’t get much love. This is a good way to prevent that from happening!

  • Melissa MacGregor November 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Oddly enough, my kids kind of do this themselves! They are weird kids. If they get a new Lego set, they will likely not open it for a month unless it was the #1 thing on their wishlist. We usually don’t play new games until it’s a rainy day so I tell them not to open them. For younger kids, this is an awesome idea though.

  • Laura November 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I absolutely love this idea! My daughter will be 1 at the beginning of February and I think we will definitely start doing this. I have two step-sons who are 6 & 9 so they may be a little old to start it with but we can try 🙂

  • Cristin November 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    We used to have a rainy day collection. My daughter is now 7 and we do things a little differently now. She gets one santa gift, one small birthday gift, and one small Christmas gift and that is it.

    2 years ago, I turned the page and started writing a new chapter…we decided no more birthday parties (including family parties), instead, she got to look on a map and pick a place to go on vacation. We spent the same amount on the vacation as her elaborate birthday parties…and she loved the trip way more than any party I have ever hosted for her. From family and friends, she puts experiences on her bucket/wish list…museums, shows, tours, activities…and they love giving them to her.

    The rainy day closet filled with toys and goods was cool when she was little, but now that she is in school, clubs, sports, etc. The toys just sit…so this new chapter is working well for us.

  • April Pendergraft November 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I think that’s a great idea. If I still had young kids I would try it. My kids are at the age they only get clothes ..lol

  • Ashlee November 7, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I have a December birthday and I can’t tell you how sad I was when I was younger (and sometimes as an adult…haha) to get gifts “only once a year” I think this is a great idea! Filing it away to use for future babies!

    Also I wanted to add my love language is very much gifts so I took a minute to think if it would hurt my feelings if my gift was put in a closet but I actually like the idea that if I was getting something smaller it would be enjoyed at a later date when there weren’t all the things overwhelming everyone!

    Thanks for sharing Shay!

  • Michele November 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I think it is a wonderful idea. I don’t have kids but I will be passing this idea on to my sisters.

  • Abbey November 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Love this idea!! I think the gift givers would love it to because each gift gets more attention when they aren’t all opened at the same time.

  • jaimie November 7, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I think this is GENIUS! I don’t even have kids yet and think this is so, so smart – I hope I remember this years down the road!!

  • Amber November 7, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Logistical question I’m curious about! Do you have any rules about how the closet gets opened? Are they allowed to ask or is it only when you suggest/initiate it? I feel like mine would drive me crazy asking/suggesting to open the closet! 😉

    • Mix and Match Mama November 8, 2017 at 5:01 am

      Sometimes they ask! My kids are really good about just letting it be (probably because we’ve been doing it so long).

  • Jennifer November 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Shay! I don’t have any children yet, but think that this is a great idea and will file it away! But two questions: (1) do the kiddos get to pick their gift from the closet, or do you choose; and (2) how do the other kiddos react when one gets to take a gift from the closet? Does it turn into everyone wanting a gift, or can you get it to where they celebrate each other’s accomplishments? Thanks so much!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 8, 2017 at 5:00 am

      They get to pick and my kids don’t fuss over who is getting what/when. This idea really isn’t a point of contention over here. It’s a very easy little thing we do that just seems to work well for all of us.

  • Marta November 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    We do something similar. It is important that they enjoy the season for what it is and not concentrate on the material aspect so we allow them a list of only 4 items. They are highly selective. They pick one big ticket item and the rest are moderate gifts. The gifts other family members give them get stored away (not clothes, like you I would hate for the clothes to be outgrown) and often given around their birthday or donated to church.

  • Kathy S November 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. My genius idea for birthdays is to have them open a present then immediately write the thank you note. That way they aren’t tearing through gifts and they can stop and think about the person that gave it to them. It slows down the unwrapping process and speeds up the thank you note writing process so it isn’t hanging over their heads later.

  • Lindsay D November 7, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    What a great idea!!

  • Melissa v November 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    This is a pretty cool idea. My only reservation would be that some items are really only ‘hot ticket’ items or really popular and desirable for a month or two. Then, that dies down and they are on to the next big thing! If they chose to have that put in the closet, there’s a good chance that in 6 months or so, they wouldn’t have any interest in it.

  • Melissa v November 7, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Posting another one 🙂
    We actually do something similar in our house. However, instead of stashing away in a closet for themselves , they select a few gifts to donate to a charity. As they get older we plan on letting them choose the charity of their choice, but for now we select on their behalf since they’re a bit young. Just a thought!

  • Hope Adkins November 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I do this as well. My 2 yr old gets so many toys and gifts from family and friends but gets overwhelmed and doesn’t really “see” all of her gifts because she’s so focused on a few things. She will play with a new toy for a few weeks/months and we will bring out a new toy. We still have things from last Christmas that haven’t been put together yet. Our storage space is limited so this also gives us time to go through toys and sort what to keep for the next baby and what to donate to someone in need.

  • Darcy November 7, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    This is genius! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Debbie Dunbar November 7, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Such a great idea. Too bad my kids are all grown! And your kids have grown up so much this year!

  • Melissa November 7, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    What a fantastic idea! My son is 4. Do you think it’s too late to start something like this with him?

  • aimee havens November 8, 2017 at 12:01 am

    I didn’t read all the comments so this may already been posted. But having been a teacher for 20 years in the public school system from 1st to 8th grade, I’ve seen a lot, a WHOLE lot, of kids who don’t have anything. Your kids get a way different perspective to have so many new things they can store them for later. It might be nice to work in some giving into this scenario. I don’t mean giving the gifts or toys that are used up and easy to give away. I mean maybe you pick 3 to open and one to give away before you put them in the closet. It would really be interesting to have the one that is your “pass it on” gift to be a present you choose before you open it. I’m not assuming your children are like this but I see a huge increase in the mentality of entitlement. When I have bought something for students, I hear a lot more “can I have another one?” versus an authentic “thank you” and being satisfied. Quite honestly it’s the students that have everything that think they are entitled to another one and the students that have nothing that appreciate what they have been given. If done right, that feeling of giving something up to make someone else happy, can be a life changing experience in children as young as yours. I had a first grader last year that gave in everything she did. When she cleaned out her desk, she saved the markers she didn’t want to give away. She had the most generous heart. It wasn’t by accident she was so generous. I could list the ways her parents nurtured that giving heart. So much so, it became who she was not something she did.

  • Heidi November 8, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I LOVE this idea but I’m wondering how it works the day of the party. Does the child pick the 3 gifts in front of all the guests? Like most kids, I’m sure they want to take the toy out of the box right away and play with it so the 3 gifts would need to be selected right away? If so, how does that go over with your guests especially if their gift wasn’t picked?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 8, 2017 at 8:30 am

      We typically have so much going on during parties, that my kids don’t open presents. With food, games, family and stuff over…it’s a little chaotic, so that hasn’t been an issue.

  • Beth November 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    This is a wonderful idea! Children can be overwhelmed easily and in America we overdo it at Christmas and birthdays. I have done this same thing over the years. And my children love to open something new down the road. I have even taken it a step further. Example: my youngest got 3 different Barbies for her birthday. She opened one right away. I held two back. The second Barbie came out a month or so later and the other went to our overage closet. It’s located by my wrapping closet. We have enough Barbies, so that extra one (that my child never asked about again, if I may add!) went into the gift closet. Gifts can be donated for toy drives or grabbed in a last minute panic to wrap a present or for a gift exchange at school. Other may scoff at the practice, but it works well for us and helps to combat my children having so many toys – and books, and gadgets! It’s all too much sometimes.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Kelly McNellis November 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I love this idea. I’ve kinda done the same concept of holding some back, just not putting them into one specific space. I might change that after reading this 🙂

  • Jes November 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Aaaaannnnd THIS right here is why you’ve officially earned the title of Mother of the Year. What a great idea to help you kids understand the concept and value of delayed gratification. I saw when my first niece turned two… she was honestly more happy with the bag the toy came in than the toy itself. Then we shoved MORE presents in front of her because that is just what we’re supposed to do (??!)… so honestly that is on us. Now, I do my best to give more experience gifts 🙂 Great idea Shay for the inevitable physical gifts given!