Thursday, May 19, 2005

too much junk

OK, Elisa was reading my mind when she posted her idea about de-cluttering her house. I'm on a tear right now. I am currently eyeballing the toybox in the TV room. I had to dig to the bottom yesterday looking for a hackey sack we used to own. En route I found that all those toys are just stored there, never played with, and really not that great. Of course, the hacky sack, was not present.

My kids have always been more interested in drawing, making tents and teepees, outside toys and now, video games, than playing with any specific toys and I couldn't be happier about that. I especially noticed it after Max's birthday. People asked, what does he like? And I really couldn't name anything. Sure enough, after the party, we had a stack of gifts, and he was sort of indifferent about opening and starting to play.I quietly put the unopened items up in my closet, thinking I'll pull them out over the course of the summer, but now I wonder...

One day I took a box of little knicknacks out of Max's closet, and went through the box with him, asking if there was some stuff we could pass along to other kids. He very easily picked out about 50% and never looked back. David was worried that Max was saying yes, to my repeated "can we get rid of this?" just to make me happy. So David would follow up with Max, "are you SURE you don't want this ....". Max was always sure.

I remember seeing a talk show (like Oprah) or something a long time ago. It had a man who was a dumpster diver. He might have been homeless as well. The interviewer asked him, how can you live without having any stuff? And this guy said, I'm like everyone else. I have sentiments, but I can have the feelings without having the object.

I notice clothes in my closet that I will never wear again,. that I save because I can remember wearing them to a party, or to an old job, or when one of my kids was little. I have a lot of kid stuff that falls into that category. But I've got the kids! And in my life right now, I spend a lot of time with all the objects in this house, cramming them into every available nook and cranny I can find, buying bins, and boxes to sort and organize and stack. When right there, waiting for me, are my three kids. They've proven they don't care about that junk, they'd just rather be building a fort -- with me! -- instead of watching me clean the room.

It's all going away.


Julie said...

So does that mean I'm about to get more clutter for my house? The clothes we need. The toys - while joyously received by my daughter - are reviled by my husband. He would have liked for us to have had Christmas this past year with no toys for the kids to open. How sad is that? I told him that a 2 1/2 year old has to get SOME toys from Santa.

I have such a delimma with holding on to clothes. When I return to the workforce will I need those dry-clean-only items I used to wear all the time? Because right now they haven't been touched in 3 1/2 years. And making it even harder is the fact that I've gone down a size from what I ever wore between the two kids. So I don't want to get rid of my even smaller sized stuff in case I go down more, but I'm clinging to the larger stuff in case I pack it back on once I finish breastfeeding. Ugh.

Kathy said...

I was thinking Goodwill, but now that I know it bugs Jim.....

Jim said...

Don't you believe a word of it. I never said any such thing about Christmas. I just think that we should be able to retire certain unused toys (to Goodwill or the trash, I don't care) to make room for the influx of holday loot. What's the big deal if the kids will never miss them anyway right?

(PS - Kathy, if you send them to Goodwill, I'll make it worth your while $$. Let's talk.)