Ok. And junk. My junk.
Those of you who know me well (or have visited my house even once) know that there are so many things everywhere. Even though we have less furniture than most (though we are gaining on regular people) because we purged heavily when we went to Ecuador last time, we still have so many things.
And I am a semi-packrat. I say semi because I work hard at not being one, but it is definitely my natural inclination. If I didn’t occasionally intervene in my own junk it would be nuts. Ok, it would be beyond nuts, because right now (after 1.5 years of living in the same house) it is pretty close to nuts.
When I begin to purge things I have the worst internal battle which I am sure that so many struggle with. “What if I need this later?” “Even though the older kids don’t really like this (but I do) maybe the baby will like it when she’s older…” “I remember when I got this, that time was so fun/special/great, and this (piece of junk) makes me think about it. I can’t possibly let go of this…” And so on.
[An idea suddenly occurred to me, that when I find junk that I don’t need to save that reminds me of something special, I should write it down in a notebook of memories. Then I can have ONE things that contains it instead of lots of randoms. I have taken pictures of things in the past, but probably writing it down too would be better.]
The biggest annoyance to me lately is TOYS. People with more than three kids, how do you even survive??? I admittedly buy the kids too many toys. I try to buy high quality toys, but I also let them buy pure junk from the dollar store, etc. And, truthfully even if I were to buy exclusively “high quality” toys, there are simply too many out there, and my kids don’t need to own all of them. Also we are blessed with a lot of generous family members who spoil our kids with lots of gifts, and lots of excellent hand-me-downs from my younger siblings (hello 3 awesome giant bins of legos, robotic construction set, etc.!) The fact that all my kids have birthdays in the two months right before Christmas doesn’t help either. So naturally come January I feel ready to explode/purge.
On top of the actual feeling of suffocation from too many toys (and breaking your ankle/impaling your foot with toys every time you cross the room) there is also the idea of how too many toys ruins your kids. I read this article a while back, and while extreme, I sometimes want to take away all my kids’ toys like this lady did. I do find that when my kids have too much stuff it becomes worthless to them and they begin to act more greedy/entitled/demanding/begging for things. And that is stinky and not how I want my hooligans to behave. Sometimes I do take toys away for a while, but I have yet to take away all the toys forever. I still maintain that is too extreme.
Anyway, I am rambling. The point is, we have too much stuff in our home. And I am fighting desperately (against myself) to stop. It is hard to stop the purchasing (oh this is on clearance at Target, maybe I will use it one day…) and also hard to purge (but I love the print of this shirt that will never fit me correctly…) but I press on. Last week I went though my closet and made myself try on everything that I hadn’t worn in a year to prove to myself that I was going to keep it. This was a good start and I filled a really large cardboard box of clothing. Today I am tackling toys, I will be purging and also storing some away to rotate in and out so they don’t always form a layer on the floor. The kids always want to seem to save the broken junk they never play with, and so this will be an activity I will will be trying to do alone. Wish me luck…
Anyone good at not keeping a lot of stuff? Or keeping it orderly/useful? Any ideas other than moving out of the country every so often?