How to Transition to Gifts That MatterRemember, it’s your home, and you are in charge of what comes into it. Guilt shouldn’t have a place among the reasons we keep things. The space shown here is a little slice of heaven, if you ask me. I can see curling up with my girl on the window seat, sharing a story or watching her build things on the wide-open floor. Because there is a place for everything, everything can actually go back in its place. Know what I mean? Here a few powerful ways you can help family and friends transition from too many gifts to gifts that matter:A month before the next birthday or holiday, send everyone a personalized note. Let people know your family is working to scale back and declutter, and in the spirit of those efforts, you’ve made a little gift registry you hope they’ll have fun choosing from. The registry list might include things like movie gift cards, gift certificates for the local play gym, a play date at someone else’s house or lunch at a favorite restaurant.For close family, a personal call or a face-to-face visit can make a huge difference. It can be very frustrating when gifts keep coming despite your requests, so it’s important to let them know your kids have more than they need and you’d like their help teaching your children that spending time together doing things is an irreplaceable gift.Work with your children on a clean-out twice a year. Have a box for donations, a box for keepers and a box for broken or trashed toys. Some children worry that their toys will be lonely or sad to leave; suggesting that they give their toys a kiss, wish them well in their new home and put them in the box can be very comforting for them.Learn to say, “No, thank you” to hand-me-down train tables — I mean, toys you don’t need or particularly want. Kindly suggest that those toys go to a children’s shelter or that they get posted online.Practice what you preach! Give family and friends useful and meaningful gifts. Offer to take their kids for the day, get a gift certificate for a car detailing or a manicure — think of things they might not do for themselves.Around the holidays, ask your children to make a list of five things they would really like to receive, and don’t limit it to toys. Offer up Mommy/Daddy time or a kids' cooking class. Stick to those five things and refrain from going overboard. Make the holiday about being together, not buying, and you’ll be well on your way to a much less cluttered, but still fun space!