Declutter and Donation Hunt– AKA my greatest Mom Hack

If you have been tracking with me and my battle against consumerism you may be wondering how I plan to survive the impending holidays all while trying to own less and make responsible decisions for the environment. At this time, I am still trying to gather tips and do my best, but I am also aware that even focusing on ONE element of change at a time can make a difference.

Right now, my focus is on clothing. [check out my post on Project 333 for more details]

Taking the principles of Project 333, you can begin to eliminate excess in other parts of your life. I wanted to share an activity our family did this weekend. We had a great time competing with one another for a cause. In the end, we donated two baskets of items to the local thrift store and threw away/recycled two trash bags worth of “stuff” that was taking up space in our home. We have a long way to go, but I will definitely call this a successful Mom Hack.

Declutter and Donation Hunt


2 laundry baskets

2 pieces of colored paper



How it works:

  1. Create a list of items or areas of your home that need to be cleared out or decluttered (examples: bookshelves, DVDs, picture boxes, medicine cabinets etc.)
  2. Divide your family into teams. We did kids verses parents, but do what makes the most sense for your family.
  3. Decide on a reward. For our family we decided that the winning team picked a Christmas movie and snack for after the hunt.
  4. Create the parameters. We decided that the girls had to work upstairs only and that gave Mom and Dad more space and also kept them from seeing all of the items. We also used Alexa to time us. We had ONE HOUR to complete all ten tasks. [Alexa also provided a good Christmas ambiance while we worked]
  5. Explain the purpose. Before we began our family competition we talked to our girls about the purpose behind the activity. We explained that once something went into the basket it could not come out so they needed to be sure of their decisions. It is also important to discuss how someone else may be in greater need or want of certain items. Our oldest has a pretty good grasp on the concept of service and we have spent the holiday season discussing that MORE items doesn’t equate to MORE happiness. Our youngest is still too young to comprehend serving others, but she followed our example and got joy from helping big sis.
  6. Ready. Set. Go!

Team Mom and Dad were defeated by Team Moon [their chosen name] in the end. The girls flew through their list and collected so many old toys and cleared up areas of the upstairs in desperate need of TLC.

So as we sat down to watch an Elf Story and eat our ice cream [dairy free, of course] we reflected on the activity. We talked about how good it felt to give some of our things a new home. But it wasn’t until my girls asked…

“Mommy, can we do it again!?!”

that I realized just how successful this had been. Not only does the house seem a little lighter, but my heart does as well. I am raising some fantastic humans who know how to feel empathy and give to others.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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