I was a little disgusted in myself with how much stuff I had. I know that all of it was super cheap but you know what? There were a lot of things that I have held onto for years that my kids won't play with, meaning I let my compulsive clearance and deal shopping overrule common sense.
Just because it is a good price does not mean I need it- it actually means that I am wasting money on something. A deal is not a deal if it just adds clutter to your life- this is something that I have repeating to myself for the past few months because I am working on being content with what I have and banishing clutter in my home.
I used to be all hung up on having a gift closet so that when my kids went to birthday parties I could just magically pull something out of the closet and have a cheap gift. It took a few years but I have realized that I enjoy going to the store with my child and letting them pick out something they know their friend will like (on a budget of course). I like that my kids get the experience of looking around the store to buy something that is not for themselves; it is pretty cool when you see your child actually get excited because they just know their friend will love what they picked out. I am the type of gift giver who likes the things I give to feel personal and to be tailored to the specific person I am giving to because it has more meaning. I want my kids to enjoy giving to others and to enjoy the whole process of thinking of the other person and trying to find something they will enjoy.
Another reason I have become a little anti-gift closet is because I have been burned so many times with buying my kids stuff I thought they would like and then six months later when Christmas rolled around they were no longer into what I bought. Yeah I got the stuff for 75% off but since no one wants it then the 25% I did spend on it is basically money down the toilet.
So, yesterday I purged about 1/3 of what I had. I looked at each toy and asked myself if my kids would truly like it or if it would just add clutter. If the answer was clutter then the toy went into the Toys for Tots pile because my kids don't *need* more toys that they will play with for a day and then toss to the side (I have purged all of their un-played with toys so right now everything they have is stuff they like and our home is finally not taken over by kid junk).
I now just have one big bin of things for Christmas and it feels good to know that everything I kept are things that will be appreciated. I am going to keep this going and now whenever I feel the temptation to buy a great deal I am going to step back and ask myself if it is something my kids will like and if it is something they will play with. There will be no more mindless purchases in this house, and I'm not just talking about toys. I am practicing this in all aspects of my life and it really does feel great to let go of the need-to-get-a-deal compulsion that I once had. A less cluttered home means less stress and more calm- who doesn't need that?