Gift giving is an important part of many cultures and holidays; and although many of us are working hard to shift how we give gifts by focusing on consumables and experiences, toys for little ones remain one of the biggest clutter challenges. That’s why episode 27 of The Positively Living Podcast is about decluttering toys! 

Danielle is the owner & parenting coach of Wholeheartedly. She created her business to come alongside parents to equip them with deeper understanding of their child’s behavior & problem solve their unique struggles, helping them feel more confident in guiding their children in the early years. She believes all parents want what’s best for their children, but becoming a parent is the hardest & most important role we’ve ever signed up for & the one we’ve received the least training for! She offers 1-on-1 parent coaching to come alongside parents to equip them with the tools, mindsets & perspectives they need to be the parent they want to be. She also started a podcast called Failing Motherhood to normalize the struggle and share vulnerable stories of feeling like a “failure”, driving home the message that YOU are the parent your child needs.

Danielle and I connected as fellow coaches over our appreciation for decluttering and the need to see the WHY behind what you own. The reason we both believe in decluttering is because we both see overwhelm in clients come from having “too much”. We aren’t saying you need a certain amount of things — which is often a misunderstanding applied to the minimalist movement — but when it comes down to it, the fewer items you have, the easier life will be for you. Danielle says “The less you own, the less owns you.” And that is true for more than toys!

Today Danielle and I cover the physical side of decluttering as relates to children’s toys, but as you’ll see, mental and emotional decluttering are never far away. Understanding how your family works best and what both you and your space can handle is a key component to having the right amount of things in your environment. 

Danielle and I discuss the three biggest reasons why parents are stressed out with excess toys: 1) the well intentioned desire to have the right toys for development 2) generous family and 3) sentimental gifts and hand-me-downs. We dig into each and give you perspective on each as well as permission…permission to do what’s best for your family. 

Much like Episode 22 with Katie Zurawski on Clutter Free Gift Giving, Danielle and I talk about engaging the family and being self-aware with how you and your family approach gift giving. She mentions the Five Love Languages as well. We also cover engagement and communication with children, what to expect from them, and how to handle budget and value concerns (especially when it comes to expensive children’s items). The most encouraging part is that these are lessons that will carry them through to adulthood and will create an environment most conducive to development, growth, and love…and don’t we all want that?

One of my favorite takeaways to figure out the best toys is to think in terms of how the toy teaches versus entertains. Both have their place, but if the developmental influence is important to you, then go with the simple tried and true options like blocks. They are classics for a reason. If you are looking to buy toys this holiday season and would like more specific recommendations, be sure to visit Danielle’s site for her Christmas Gift Guide, which is categorized and organized to make it easy to see her suggestions.


Parenting Wholeheartedly



Calm your BIG Emotions Workbook

Failing Motherhood Podcast





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Work with Lisa! 


Five Love Languages

Episode 2 Declutter your Life with the SIMPLE System

Episode 6 Sorting Out Life with Super Organizer James Lott Jr.

Episode 17 How Simplicity Sparks Joy with Tim Lucier

Episode 18 Declutter through Delegation with Liz August.

Episode 22 Clutter Free Gift Giving with Katie Zurawski

Music by Ian and Jeff Zawrotny

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