Where Did All This Crap Come From?

First, a quick note: my toddler learned to say “No” today. Crap.

Speaking of crap…. where does all this stuff come from? Not the literal crap. I mean, the mounds and mounds of “stuff” we accumulate in a life time. I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning out the closets, drawers, nooks and crannies of my house. I feel like my home is a Thomas’ English Muffin!

Everywhere I look, there’s more stuff. What’s that mantra about getting rid of it if you haven’t used it in a year? Yeah… I’ve been finding things with decade old dates on them.

What’s worse, I think my children are doing this now too. I may have written a while back about my nine-year old daughter’s bedroom. It’s like an episode of “Hoarders.” There is so much stuff in there, when I told her to clean it, she couldn’t fathom where to start. Do you pick up the clothes first? Or, do you start with the trash? Maybe you begin with toys… It was all too much. In the end, after making her “help” me, I waited for her to go to school and I did a clean sweep. I threw away all those annoying little Happy Meal toys that seem to multiply when you’re not looking. And, she was keeping scraps of paper. Things she had drawn on once or twice. She had them all over. I think there may have been sentimental value, somehow, to them. They’re trash now.

Don’t tell my kids, but I plan on doing this to all the rooms of the house. I am going on a One Woman Hunt for all things small and trashable. I’m also going to clear out the big stuff and the medium stuff too! If they don’t play with it, it’s going to find a new home.

I have friends that bring out their toys in rotation, so their kids don’t get bored with them and leave them around all over the house. Seems like a smart idea.

What ways do you keep the clutter under control? And, while we’re at it, how can I keep my toddler’s new use of the word “No” under control too? And where does all the crap go? I’m fond of the Salvation Army. Thoughts?

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christy
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 16:19:46

    I’m fond of putting ads on Craigslist for “free stuff in driveway.” When we combined households, the ad said, “Nominal hoarder engaged to controlling minimalist – Free stuff in driveway.” If the craigslist crowd is too creepy for you (I don’t like to use it when Anton is out of town) then you can call Big Brothers, Big Sisters and they will come pick it up, you just put it out in your driveway. Salvation Army is great…if you need help hauling, there are always 16 year old kids looking for work that would make trip after trip, and they’re cheap! Or good friends with trucks!

    Reply

  2. Misty Rose Loreen Nesvick
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 16:47:41

    Organization? You’ve seen my house. When you find a good answer be sure to share! For the No! We saw a dramatic lowering in the number of “NOOOO!!” fights we had when we increased the number of choices said toddler had. For example- do you want to wear the green shirt or the red shirt. Do you want Cheerios or eggs for breakfast? Anything that we could get away with a “pretend decision” (i.e. either was a win for us as parents) and when there was time to deal with the potential of Toddler decision paralysis (who knew the choice of which shoes to wear could be a 30 minute “conversation” about the pros and cons of sparkles vs open toe) we did/do it. Some parenting book somewhere said something about giving them opportunities to explore their new found “decision making skill” (i.e. answering NO to anything you ask them even if it’s” Do you want a cookie?”) as often as you could so that YOU, the parent, can control….er guide….their little development. Not a cure all BUT it did help. Good luck!

    Reply

  3. Kim
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 21:37:09

    How about taking the stuff to Kid to Kid or Once Upon a Child that way you can get some cash back to buy tubs to help you organize. I go clean out twice a year before birthdays and after Christmas. Best of luck and I’d pray for help to get the kids on board with being organized.

    Reply

  4. Momx5kidz
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 21:49:19

    fyi: Big Brothers/Big Sisters sells all their donations (by the pound) to Value Village, who turn around and sell it…I prefer to donate “stuff” to the Mission on Tudor. They have a Family day, once a week, where they let familes…in need…choose things. The Mission is exceptionally grateful and I prefer knowing it goes to a family in need.

    As to the “purging” issue ( my term for it) I had a 2500 sq ft home. I downsized to a 1600 sq ft home and have now downsized to a small duplex. After the PAIN of the first “purge” I swore I would never accumulate “stuff” again. I furnished 3 people’s apartments-kitchens/bathrooms/bedrooms/the works. Not to mention the toys and books that could have supplied a small village for years! Well, the second house I did it all over again….did I mention I am hard-hearded? Now, I ascribe to the theory, if it is worn or not in use after one season..it goes! So far, three years later, I am doing pretty well. So, like me, it may take saeveral baby steps to get there. Good luck…in the end…it does feel good…really!

    As to kids’ toys: NO toys were allowed in the bedrooms, just one stuffed animal to sleep with. I had a play room (4 small kids) and 4 toy boxes. There were also “community toys-kitchen, blocks, etc. When the toy box was over-flowing it was time to “give to children who did not have as much”. Thr best time to do this is before Christmas every year. Using the incentive, “If there is not room for new
    toys, Santa won’t think you need anything new”. Believe it or not, it works!

    Reply

    • Mom Land
      Aug 26, 2011 @ 22:03:15

      I’ve only ever donated food to the Mission. I’ll consider that one! We have a toy room, but I made the mistake of letting toys in the bedrooms. Bad idea!!!

      Aniela’s iPhone 🙂

      Reply

      • Momx5kidz
        Aug 26, 2011 @ 22:17:53

        Well, you have a really good argument with the kids now to get back to “toys only in the play room”. Going through a divorce, and I’m sure your kids know about this to some extent, you simply need to let them know: “Mom is only one person and she needs extra help now and you could all be a huge help if we could start some new rules”. Add an incentive to this…extra movie night, picking what’s for dinner, decorating their own toy box (removable stickers work great for this-none end up on the walls permanently, etc. Just a thought.

  5. Momx5kidz
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 21:58:41

    Oops! P.S. The other good place to donate is Clare House for homeless single Moms w/kids who are starting over with nothing. I have also donated furniture to them and when they have someone moving out on their own they come and pick it up. It is rewarding to see how happy these Moms are to have help with their new starts. Yes, I know, I am long-winded today. sorry.

    Reply

  6. Domestiç Reclusë
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 02:27:08

    LOL I just recently got rid of a boxful of “crap” toys that my rugrat hasn’t missed yet, nor will she. Most of it was either broken, unused in ages, or the small toys you get from eating out. Her room is ridiculously messy, and when I have her clean her room, she feels overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start. Now that it’s back to school, I’ll probably tackle her room so that it’s both clean AND organized, and then I’ll implement some daily tidy-up ritual for her to do before bedtime so that she can easily maintain her room. Wanna tag team it on Monday? 😉

    Reply

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