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There has been so much going on in our lives right now. Between just being a Mom, and trying to really put more into this blog, as well as remodeling the bathroom, and other life stresses, I found myself getting completely overwhelmed.
I found my stress came out towards the house. I was tired of picking the same thing up over and over and over again. I was tired of feeling like the only one who cared to have a clean house. So I stopped cleaning beyond the absolute necessary chores.
So then one day, I was talking to my mom, and she told me something she’s often said before
Less is More.
Yes Mom, I know, but so many things have an emotional attachment to them. I often have a harder time getting rid of items then the kids because I remember what we were doing when we got them. And as before when she’s given me this simple advice, I pushed it aside, thinking I couldn’t do it. I’d be the mean mom taking their toys away, the mean wife tossing things away and saying no to more “stuff”.
And then a day or two after I talked to my mom I came across this post –
This time, my moms advice came back to my mind, and I knew I needed to make the change. We needed to get rid of a lot of the “stuff” cluttering up our house. Not just for my sanity, but to bring our family back to true happiness. We’ve spent too many days crying over toys, not finding that special toy in the mess, and tears and tantrums because “It’s too hard to clean up Mom!”
Before I made my plan of action, I presented the idea to Mark. We believe in team parenting, so I wanted to make sure he was on board, and felt good about what I was about to do as well. We gave it a day to think about, and then presented our plan of action to the kids.
Hey Kids, Mom and Dad were thinking, we have too many toys.
Noooooooooo! Don’t take our toys away!!!
We’re not taking your toys away! Calm down and listen please.
And then we did it. We involved our kids in the process to make room in our life for more family activities, instead of more toys.
The Idea: Earn money by selling toys at a yard sale. Use the money for a pre-chosen family activity.
The Plan of Attack: We told the kids they didn’t have to sell any of their toys, but if they did we could earn money for something we can’t normally afford to do. Mom and Dad wouldn’t make them sell anything, but we would encourage them to minimize and choose only a few favorites to keep.
We began with the stuffed animals. 2 large bins of stuffed animals stuck in storage, with more hanging around the toy room was a bit much. We involved the kids, and had a stuffed animal sorting party. Mark and I pushed to get each Princesses pile down to 5 stuffed toys. We ended with 1 full bin to sell (and a very happy Mama!). Now every night as we clean up the toys as a family, some may get tossed into our yard sale pile as the Princesses realize they don’t ever play with it.
The Goal: Bowling! Frequently we hear requests to take the kids bowling. Bowling can get expensive, and exhaustive with all the kids – but we know they enjoy it, and it will bring us closer as a family. It will be affordable as well. For me though, I will enjoy more time with the kids playing, instead of cleaning up their crazy messes as they try to find that 1 toy hidden in the depths of the toy box.
Think About It!
Are you being overrun with clutter?
It might not be an insane amount of toys (my kids really don’t have that many), but if it’s enough that tantrums are a daily occurrence, and you feel overwhelmed just looking at them – then you probably have too many for your space and your kids.
The tantrums truly tell us something. It’s kind of like a hidden message. To me “Mom it’s too hard to clean up” really was saying “Mom, I have too many toys, and I’ve just as overwhelmed by them as you are”