I enjoy Christmas at my relatives because I don't have the stress of making room in my small but modest house. Although the toys are enough to drive me bonkers. I would be so much happier if my relatives would each just do one nice gift vs. many gifts. Mainly because we have a small house and the kids are left with twice a year deciding what MUST go and what CAN stay!
You see each child has a toy (bin) shelf in their room. The only toys they are allowed to have are the ones that can "fit" in their bins.
I insist that the toys be grouped by like things. So they just can't have a mess of stuff. Now there might be a few things that are naturally too big for these bins and that is okay. I do make allowances for some things like that, but even then there is a limit.
This is the reason we don't allow them to open things while at our relatives' houses. You see in order to get the item the kids have to make room for it in their room's by getting rid of OTHER stuff. If they don't want to get rid of anything then they can't get anything "new".
My son as gotten rid of one 13 gallon garbage bag of stuff and has only "earn" 1 new toy. My daughter has gotten rid of half of 13 gallon garbage bag of stuff and has only "earn" 1 toy. They have a TONS more toys and will have to get rid of a lot more things to make room. I have a feeling that when they are done they both would have gotten rid of 3-4 garbage bag EACH!!
We do a similar thing in the summer. In the summer they will get rid 1-2 garbage bags EACH. The main difference between Christmas and summer in the summer time there is less stuff and it's POST birthdays. So kid's do have a bit of an overflow of toys for a few months.
What's sad about the whole process is the only time my kids get new toys is on their birthdays and at Christmas. So often the stuff they got at their birthdays are gone by Christmas and the stuff they got at Christmas are gone by the summer.
In other words the toys here will only stay for 6 months!! This is because often the kids rather keep the newer stuff then the older stuff. This is really the reason we only get them 1 toy each (and often wish other would do the same), because in 6 months we know it's going o be gone because it broke or because the kids got rid of it to make room for their new stuff.
So what do you do? Do you make your kids get rid of their old stuff regularly?