My house is a battleground in the war on stuff, and the humans are losing.
The adults are by no means blameless, but it's the tsunami of kids' stuff that's truly overwhelming.
Toys and pieces of toys, books and magazines, clothes and dress-ups, pens and pencils, drawings and craft projects, lunch boxes and drink bottles...
Just this week we added the contents of two showbags – one for each child at $26 each - from our trip to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
I was not surprised to see that almost three out of four Australians believe they're over-spending between $100 and $999 a month on each of their children.
That's according to a survey of 1001 people in February, commissioned by new gifting app Purposit.
A handful spend more than $1000 a month on unnecessary items for each each child, which boggles my mind. Those families must have awfully big houses to go with their deep pockets.
Almost one in four said less than $100 a month.
I only buy toys for Christmas and birthdays, but I spend up big on experiences.
It may not be "necessary" but I don't begrudge spending money developing hobbies such as music or sport. And I'd argue that trips to the zoo or theatre are educational.
At least experiences don't clutter up your house and contribute to landfill. At their best, they're laying down memories of happy times spent together as a family.
But my focus on experiences doesn't stop the mountain of kids' stuff growing ever larger.
Our culture of exchanging gifts is largely to blame, and not just at my house.
My monthly expenditure should also count the $30-50 a month I spend on presents for other people's children. I want my kids to go to birthday parties and make friends, after all.
It's payback time when it's our turn to host – at my twins' birthday party in February we had 15 small guests who came laden with presents for one or both hosts.
Most parents would say that gifts are not obligatory, but it's hard to fight the tide of pint-size expectations.
It's one of the reasons I've told my kids they can have a party only every second year, and we'll go on a special outing on the alternate years.
Even without a party, the presents will still flow in from doting relatives and family friends.
The worst ones are plastic and made of component parts that end up going everywhere. In the case of the Bunchems, little plastic burrs that you stick together to make different creatures, it was nearly calamity when they got into a beloved doll's hair and it took literally hours to untangle.
Despite my having listened to the audio book of Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we are not very good at getting rid of old things.
Even Kondo advises against throwing away other people's possessions and I believe this applies to children's belongings as well.
I know some parents cull their kids' toys when they're not looking, but l'd rather do it with their permission so I can teach them how to do it for themselves.
One of my children still misses things that left our house three years ago, but he's not going to learn to manage his instinct to hoard if I just sneak things out in the dead of night.
It's a bit like parents who hide vegetables inside a cake – it's a short-term victory that helps achieve nutrition today rather than building healthy habits for tomorrow.
Far better to stop the crap from entering the house in the first place.
This is why I like the sound of Purposit, the company behind this survey. It's a new app that lets parents decide on the gifts and experiences they want for their children and then people can contribute.
Contributions incur a fee of 2.9 per cent plus 90c to cover costs.
The advantage is it helps you afford worthwhile signature gifts and cut down on the crap. That would be better for the environment, parental sanity, and hopefully make the kids happier in the long run.
They might lose the joy of tearing open wrapping paper, which is such an integral part of childhood. But I'm not too worried about that because inevitably not everyone would get on board with Purposit.
It could help you take it slower with the physical presents they do receive and spend more time acknowledging the giver and appreciating the gift.
Meanwhile, those using Purposit wouldn't miss out because the app lets you share photos and thank you notes so the giver has the joy of seeing the child enjoy the gift.
If friends and family are giving my children the things I really want them to have, then I can spend less.
I'd ramp up my giving to children who are less lucky than mine through some of my favourite charities such as the Smith Family and Oxfam.
It would also help me focus on my longer term financial goals.
Finder did a survey of 2004 Australians in February to ask about the financial milestones that indicate someone has "made it".
Nearly three out of four nominated paying off your mortgage, and more than half also mentioned having enough money in your super account to retire.
Owning an investment property and being able to retire at 50 were also considered signs of success.
Other benchmarks included annual holidays overseas or being able to purchase a holiday house.
The top aspirations that Australians have for their children, according to the survey, are sending them to private school and helping them with their first house deposit.
No one thinks that a house full of children's toys is a sign of financial success, but that's what many of us are unwittingly choosing.