Wednesday, August 25, 2004

powerlessness and letting go

I am always reminded, usually by the slap in the face method of remembering, that life is often outside of our control and that we are powerless to change many things. We are dealing with the loss of our cat, my mom is dealing with some personal health issues, and I am dealing with some issues of my own... all of which remind me, brutally, honestly, intensely, that there is little I can do to change many of these things. So, we move on and we get over ourselves. We accept that this is the way life is and we deal. Not well sometimes, but we deal.

I have been thinking a lot today about clutter. I look around my house and think of all of the extra things that I have that I don't need. The kids have too many toys, stuff they don't play with anymore. I have problems with throwing it away. At least in Singapore, right down the street from our house, we have a Salvation Army where I can donate the goods. But, so much of the problem is in my own head. I come by my pack rat syndrome honestly. Both my parents’ horde. My sisters do too, in their own way. So, I have come up with a solution, I think.

This is the plan for de-cluttering my children's stuff.

Step one. Get rid of anything broken. Throw it away.
Step two. Divide the remaining into three piles. Really don't ever see a need for, outgrown or not used. This goes into the immediate donation pile. Second pile, stuff that we may use again, or the kids don't play with anymore, but still has potential. This will go in the "storage" box. I will keep one container of goods in storage for 3 months. We will reassess the toys in 3 months, perhaps rotate some out for play and some of those currently being played with will be returned to storage. Those which we are ready to let go off will then go off to the Salvation Army.

I am not sure how well this will work, but it is a plan at least. As we look more seriously at the Waldorf school, one of the recommendations is that they toys the kids have at home resemble the toys at the school. This is to reduce confusion as to what is appropriate and what is not. I have always liked wooden and simple toys, and many of our toys already meet these criteria, so the transition, for me of the plastic toys will be a welcome change. BUT, we will see how the kids do.



1 comment:

Blythe said...

I've been thinking about toys, too, so this is interesting to read about how you're going to 'thin' your supply.

I noticed recently that Jonas plays with probably less than 10% of his toys! And most of the ones he doesn't play with are cheap plastic crap that we got from the night markets.

We are moving soon and view this as a great opportunity to GIT RID OF STUFF! Can't wait. (I'm amazed by people who don't move as often as we do and still manage to not over-accumulate stuff.)

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