Tag Archives: Declutter

Prisoner of Clutter?

Toys? Root of Modern Clutter?

In the past few days the article “Today’s families are prisoners of clutter” from the Boston Globe has been trending all over my Facebook feed.  I’m not sure why this article got kicked back to life, since it is almost 5 years old, but it interested me nonetheless.

I was intrigued by the portrayal of 21st century kids as over-saturated with toys.  Growing up, one of my sets of Grandparents rarely gave Christmas or birthday gifts.  It was more of a special event when they did.  They raised 6 kids, who had kids, and there were just too many Grandchildren to undertake gifts for every event.  In contrast, my mom only has one Grandchild.  My daughter also receives gifts from aunts and uncles.

That can make for a lot of toys.

I can imagine this situation reaches a crisis if you have a few kids, and the stream of toys keeps coming throughout the year.

The article states that one problem with the avalanche of toys is adults’ unwillingness to part with the toys and their desire to save the toys for future grandchildren.  A result is Rubbermaid tubs in the garage and nowhere for cars.

What is the toy situation at your house?

I have been lucky to have other relatives in the family to hand things down to.  One child gets all of my daughter’s clothes, and the choicest toys and books.  I don’t want to overwhelm them with toys either!  Other items I sold at rummages (like the Melissa and Doug mentioned in the article) or gave to Goodwill.  Items we still have include Legos, dollhouse, Calico Critters, American Girl dolls, Barbies, dinosaurs, and wooden blocks.  Those items put together are probably more toys than I had in my whole childhood, and that doesn’t even account for the items we don’t have anymore.

It’s hard for me to refute the assertion in the article that today’s kids have too many toys.

Playing the Scenario Out

Will today’s children become parents with tubs and tubs of toys to hand down, passing along the clutter crisis?  I have found that every few years there are a lot of toys we can pass along in one way or another.  Kids make great leaps in terms of interests and maturity and suddenly you both know that an item has served its purpose.  The problem comes in when we — the parents — don’t want to let the toys go.  It’s not Great Depression mentality.  Maybe it’s closer to a wish to have another crack at reliving the joy of childhood.  Certainly some items are “keepers” but saving enormous amounts of toys for hypothetical kids to come decades away means the toys aren’t able to give someone else joy.  Saving things also make a lot of assumptions about what a future child would be interested in — My Little Pony?  Beanie Boos? Anna and Elsa?

I can’t say this article doesn’t hit a nerve.  Though we have come to the very end of the toy buying years, the article will stay with me as we go through bins of toys.  Today we have some Dora Legos, Princess items, games, and craft kits headed for new homes.  It’s a start.

What are your thoughts on the article?  I’m interested in the opinions of those with and without kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KonMari Meets Flylady

Marie Kondo, Meet Flylady.

The Kon Mari Method of decluttering reminds us to let go of anything “that does not spark joy.”  Very useful sentiment, but when it comes to tackling my closet, I follow Flylady.

“Only surround yourself with clothes that treat you nicely.”

I had a day off today, and really tackled my closet.  Gone are shirts that are too short.  Gone are work clothes I haven’t worn since before my daughter was born, definitely gone are pants that are too tight in the waist. . .  they have a lot of not nice things to say.  Let’s not forget the clothes that say, “You paid $85.00 for me and then I shrunk, ha ha ha!!”

IMG_7134One of the biggest hurdles for me when I declutter is the challenge of actually getting to Goodwill.  I hate looking at a pile of stuff everyday that keeps reminding me of an errand that needs to be run. I could go right to Goodwill today, so I was particularly vigorous in eliminating clothes with a sassy mouth.

Another closet problem is renegade wire hangers.  I corralled them all, banded them, and they are in the car to go to the dry cleaner the next time I head that direction.

IMG_7135If you would like to read Flylady’s thoughts on tackling closets, read here for inspiration.

I am looking forward to putting away my clothes tonight knowing I have the right hangers on hand and a place to hang my clothes without having to wedge things in.  Tomorrow morning I hope only sweet-talking clothes will be waiting for me!