Tag Archives: purging

Stuff

Every year, around this time, I become a bit faint of heart. After the excitement of buying gifts for my children (I LOVE to give gifts), I look around my house and think, “we already have so much stuff!”. I’m not a fan of clutter and I become overwhelmed by the amount of toys the children have already that they don’t play with.

I watch a lot of HGTV while cleaning the kitchen and I’m a big fan of the tiny house living shows. I cringe at the idea of living in 200 square feet with three children but the idea of simplifying life and having less stuff appeals to me. I’m actually quite good at getting rid of stuff. Every season I go through the house and clear out what is not being used, that being said, it is a lot harder to go through my children’s toys. You know that dreaded moment when your child comes up to you and says “where is my favorite bear stuffy?” (that she hasn’t touched in a year) and you shrug your shoulders and change the subject because you know it went to Value Village six months ago?

To avoid this kind of evasive lying about where their toys have gone, I try to get my kids involved in the purge, with the disclaimer that we need to make room for the new toys they will be getting at Christmas. It is always a valiant effort but my suggestions mostly go unheard and they seldom come up with more than a few small things they are willing to part with.  And so it accumulates and I wonder, how do I make them understand that they don’t need all this stuff?

I hate stuff but I loved giving my kids stuff. Yes. I am a part of the problem. Yah, you too Grandma.

I live in a bit of a hippy pocket of the world where there is a push to buy quality toys, things made to last, wood toys, toys made of recycled materials. Recycle, Re use, Re purpose. I get it. I agree with it even. But I also get where one friend comes from when she says she likes to buy her kids “two second toys”: stuff from the dollar store that they will love and lose, use and break, stuff that spends a limited time in your home. Don’t you find that it is this kind of super cheap stuff that children seem to gravitate to and favor over the fancy toys?

I am trying to take a middle road this Christmas. I want to delight my children without stressing myself out about accumulation. A puzzle, a small toy, a stuffy and a stocking full of edible good, new socks and two second toys. But what about the accumulation of last year, and the year before? How do I make them cognizant of how much they have and how little they need? Are these presents still too much? Am I encouraging them to buy into a consumerist culture?

I am a big part of the problem. Gift giving is a big love language with me and I struggle with this on a year round basis, not just at Christmas time. However, at Christmas, when the true reason for the season really has nothing to do with Santa Claus and Christmas presents, my baseness in this manner stares me hard in the face.

How to purge my house of all this useless crap and how to discipline myself to not to fill it back up? That is the question.

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Filed under From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family

Let It Go, Let It Go, Not Holding Back Anymore

I find it rather fitting that the last post I did was about mothering since the nature of that very job is the reason it has been so very long since I have blogged (FYI, having a third child rocks my world. Who would have thunk it).
I’m back at the keyboard because I am feeling emotional and when my emotions go into overdrive nap time becomes blogging time. I’ve been going throughout our house and purging. I mean really truly purging. Every other season I go through clothes and toys and get rid of the excess but this time I am getting down to the nitty gritty- those hard to get rid of memorabilia of the past and the boxes of “someday, maybe I’ll use this for something”.

My old stuffies, forever immortalized in this blog post!

My old stuffies, forever immortalized in this blog post.

My heart was aching last night as I went through boxes, pulling out the old stuffies I have held on to: the duck my aunt and uncle gave me after I had surgery, the mama bunny and baby monkey I dragged around as a child, the Winnie the Pooh my brother spent our whole trip to Disney Land finding creative ways to “kill”. Let’s be honest though, they are old, a bit dirty, and my children certainly don’t need any more stuffies. I took the advice of my storage and organization teacher and took a picture to remember them by then shoved them into a bag along with other pretty trinkets I’ve kept in boxes for years.
I often hold onto objects, stuffed in boxes, because they hold memories for me but when I think about it, it is more honoring to those memories to take a picture and pass on the objects to someone else who can enjoy them. True confession: I couldn’t put my stuffies in the trash, I sent them to Value Village along with the nicer stuff and if they don’t want them they can do the dirty work. My sentimental heart can only handle so much!
I also have a good fill of space taken up with “someday, maybe” objects. My old martial arts equipment: “well, maybe I’ll join up again someday”. Half finished crochet projects: “I’m sure I could figure out where I left off”. Pieces of extra fabric: “maybe I could make Sofia a costume from this someday”. Clearly I need a verbal spanking. Here it is self: “martial arts killed your back, you’ll never be able to figure out what stitch you left off at and you’re too flipping busy to craft a custom Halloween costume. This is how people become hoarders so get it gone!”
Clearly I digress…but the fact is that just because I have a large garage doesn’t mean I should fill it with boxes of stuff. As I purge my memorabilia I am also encouraged by the idea of clearing out our garage to the point that we can make it into a functional crafting/reading space. Since I have finished decorating the rest of our house you know how exciting it would be to have a new space to decorate in my home!
What about you. Can you relate to the need to purge and the misspent heartache of doing so? Why not join me in this cleansing process? Take a picture and move on friend!

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Filed under At home, Organization