Stuff






Can I be honest for a minute? The day after Christmas I nearly had an anxiety attack from all the stuff that found its way into our house over the two previous days. Though I am not a minimalist, I don't like clutter. And though I am not an amazing organizer, I like things to have a "home" within my home. Instead, I was met with great piles of things that needed to work their way somewhere into our home.

For Christmas my kids got an unrealistic amount of stuff. It blew my mind. It also obviously blew theirs. Not only did they never ask to watch tv on Christmas, but also in the days that followed, they asked every single person we saw if they got them a present. So. Incredibly. Embarassing. And if someone did happen to get them A present, they responded with "Only one?"

Here I spend so much time and energy trying to keep our home peaceful. And I also tried so hard to keep Christmas as least materialistic as possible (each kid gets three gifts from us - wear, play, read) yet that's exactly where it went. And there I was, on December 26th, feeling so incredibly overwhelmed with all the stuff we had gotten and trying to find homes for it all.

I took the kids to the playroom and had each kid pick five toys to get rid of. It literally didn't even make a dent. That's embarrassing to me. Especially embarrassing because I don't want to be that person, that family, that places an extreme value on things, stuff. And I almost feel like it's being forced on me. As if I say not, I'm the bad mom or the mean person not allowing people to "bless" my children.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I really don't. But when stuff becomes overwhelming, when it becomes anxiety inducing, what is one to do? I really don't have an answer. Obviously a more thorough purge in sin order. But what's hard is figuring out what toys are most logical to get rid of. Is it the ones that take up the most room? The ones that are the least sentimental? Or maybe the ones that are the most annoying?! Because, in the interest of honesty, my children claim all their toys to be their favorite and too special to part with. But now that we are in January, and the kids are headed back to school, I am sensing a major purge and reorganization of the kids stuff coming my way...which, incidentally, I swear the kids have so much more stuff than Ian and I.

How do you part with kids clutter/cherished items in your home? Do you involve them in the process?


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3 comments:

  1. You are singing my song!!! I am not necessarily a minimalist, but clutter makes me lose my junk. And I can't tell you how many times I day I say, "That doesn't belong on the floor. If it doesn't have a home, it lives in the Donate Box." I'd say there's a gentle balance between including the kids in the process, and just gettin' 'er done. I realize kids are falsely sentimental about lots of ridiculous things, so I tend to purge the jinky-junk stuff when they're at school (Happy Meal toys, Dollar Store junk, etc). They have literally never noticed. But the big stuff, or the noticeable stuff, I try to include them on. I want them to learn from a young age how important it is to not overwhelm themselves with "stuff" so they can care for and enjoy the things they do keep. :)

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  2. And also... I LOVE your school chairs <3

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  3. I used to just declutter her stuff on my own, but now that she is 6 I involve her in it. I would say at least once a quarter we go through all of her things and go on a "don't want hunt" (Abigail coined that phrase! lol) and bag up things that never get played with...or honestly, just aren't favorites. Then we donate them to places like the DAV, Goodwill, or churches and talk a lot about kids who don't have even ONE TOY and how happy they will be to get her nice things.

    I have also read her some little house on the prairie and we spend a lot of time talking about how Laura literally played with a corn cob :P

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