Monday, August 18, 2008

So, This consumed my day

My house has been making me very unhappy, but I haven't been in the mental state to do anything about it. I have to walk through my kids toy room to do the laundry and every time it drives me nuts because I am stepping on all their CRAP. Even if they have this whole room picked up, it still drives me nuts because it's not put away neatly. So, yesterday I was doing laundry and something in me just snapped and I decided it was finally time for me to do something drastic. So, I told the kids I was cleaning the play room and they were not to help me. (This made it easier for me to get rid of stuff without my oldest getting upset at me) So, I spent oh, about 6 hours or so going through everything in their playroom, organizing it, throwing stuff out, and putting things aside to donate. I got rid of about 6 big shopping bags full of stuff, plus a large pile of bigger toys. It has filled the back of my van up. It really was not fun, but I am soooo glad I did it, I feel much better now, and now it will be easier for my kids to keep their playroom clean and they know how I expect it to look.

Here's the before pictures, I know, they are a bit scary.(I was terrified!)Here's the after pictures, (Big sigh of relief)

Now I must tell you what has been on my mind about all my childrens stuff. I know they have a ton of it and it drives me nuts, even after getting rid of a ton, they still have too much. I have this philosophy I guess you could call it. We used to take our kids to the dollar store every once in a while as part of our reward system. I have decided that the dollar store is evil. It is just another way of polluting. First, all the stuff comes from like China or someplace where whoever is making it isn't getting payed very much, and the process of making all this stuff pollutes the earth. Then our kids would pick something, play with it for like 3 days and then it just ends up in the trash polluting again! No more dollar store for us! Not as many other toys either!
I have also decided to rethink presents for birthdays and Christmas. I am going to start asking family that in lou of toys that they give money instead that my children will put in their savings accounts for college. I'm thinking Christmas this year might be like one nice gift, and then I think it would be cool to have all handmade gifts. So, that's my thoughts for the day, I know it was quite lengthy. I feel much better now, it's amazing to me what cleaning out a space can do.
My Children were very thankful for the job I did, and they have agreed to keep it clean, my youngest kept saying I love you so much Mom, it looks perfect! That made me feel good too!
Now if only I could get the rest of my house clean!


Julia said...

Yikes. I do that about once a year in my kids' room.It makes me grumpy all day but it's so worth it.

My SIL has never bought my boys toys. She always asks what clothes they might need or gives them a "coupon" for an outing with her. The outings are my favorite gift from her! Because of that, they have a closer relationship.

Joanna said...

You have totally motivated me with the post - tomorrow, the toy collection for the sally army begins!!

elizabeth said...

Hooray for you!
i just did the same thing for my boys and I feel like there's still too much, too. We instituted the one good gift rule last Xmas but didn't expect all the toys from friends. So for the next birthday we made sure everyone knew. We're in this odd culture that everyone has to buy gifts for everyone. What's wrong with a heartfelt card? Even a generic one. Or a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread.? Some jam? herbs I think are a great idea!
I'm trying to spread the word that all this gift giving is really just wasteful, like you said, more pollution. We should start a new movement that less really is more.
Ooh. We should start some sort of thing come December for bloggers who pledge to give less. In not so scroogy terms.

Shana said...

Good for you! We've been concerned about toy accumulation with our baby and we've let it known in the family, my mom offered up this suggestion, I think it might work for older kids too (at least once!) our daughter is born in December so the whole holiday thing could get really out of control if we don't start now, anyway my mom suggested that we send out cards around our daughter's first birthday that say "instead of a traditional gift we ask that you put together a written memory and perhaps a photo about our baby's first year" and then say if that doesn't feel like enough that we've started an account for her education. I think this could work, maybe even as an ongoing thing and you could put together a cool scrapbook for each kid? I don't have older kids so I don't know. . . again congrats on paring down the clutter!!

Lisa said...

I found your from Amy's BLOG and LOVED this post!!
Less IS More!!
Good for you :)

christi said...

I did the SAME thing last week. I cleaned up the toy room and threw out the crap that comes from the dollar store. Also, whenever the family (or friends) ask what the kids want as gifts, I always suggest a book. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too many books.

Mary Ellen said...

Our family isn't particularly religious, but... When my kids were little we told them that three gifts were good enough for baby Jesus, and three gifts would be good enough for them. It worked for us.