A reverse advent box is an idea I saw on Pinterest a few years ago whilst doing some Christmas planning.

Advent is a time for reflection on the run up to Christmas and this is a great time to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are. Although each year we have a big clear out before Christmas its normally just a practical thing to make room for the new items we are about to receive. This advent though, I am continuing our fairly recent tradition for our family and that is the reverse advent box.

The box

First get a box. Any box! I had a spare fruit crate in the garage doing nothing but a cardboard box will suffice. Then you can write on it or stencil with spray paint (you’ll see I need more practice at this!) and write on it what it is for as a reminder for your family members and an advert to any visitors to your home on what you’re doing as it might inspire them too!

advent box stencils

Once that’s complete you can choose to segment the box into 24 sections with more cardboard, or line it with shredded paper or just leave it as it is… it really doesn’t matter 🙂

stencil complete on advent box

Who to gift it to

Then each day of advent, add something to the box which could be utilised by a homeless shelter or wherever you intend to gift it on Christmas Eve. You might wish to do a collection for a food bank and have a sort through your own cupboards for in date items which could be donated, or you might pick a women’s refuge and give up your stockpile of toiletries. One for a local children’s hospital filled with pre-loved toys would also be a fabulous idea for your reverse advent box. This year we did one of those separately to get our children involved in decluttering for a good cause too.

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D E C L U T T E R Each year around this time we have a good old sort out of stuff we've accumulated throughout the year and take to charity but it can be hard getting kids to give up their belonging 🤷🏻‍♀️ In the past I've gone through their clothes and toys after bedtime and extracted what I know they don't play with anymore and items that no longer fit but this year they're at the age where we can talk about helping others 😇 and get them to think about those worse off and how fortunate they are. This box is one of our new family traditions 😍 Please feel free to copy our box and get your children on board with their own pre-christmas declutter 🎄 I think @mariekondo would be proud of my kids giving pre-loved joy to other children 😭🥰😭 #joytotheworld #sparkjoy #mins #minsgame #minimalism #minimalist #simpleliving #simplify #prepping #declutter #konmari #mariekondo #findjoy #clearout #charity #donation #minimalistliving #slowliving #thingstodowithkids #teachkids #christmas #itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas #makingroom #nesting #theminimalists #reverseadvent #reverseadventcalendar #ukmoneybloggers

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We’re filling ours for a nearby homeless shelter.

Fill it for free

Filling a reverse advent box shouldn’t cost anyone money. As well as having clear out at home of unwanted belongings, I intend to give myself the extra challenge of filling it with items I can get for free, mostly through the supermarket apps. I use: Checkout Smart, Top Cash BackBargain BoozeShopmium use code KMMAGUHX to get a some free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

reverse advent box free baby food

This will give real variety to the items I am going to have in my box. I supplement mine with hotel toiletries I have picked up during the year. In the past I’ve also added walking boots, unopened Hallowe’en sweets and even Christmassy DVDs too.