Cut our "stuff" in half! Yes HALF!
A few years ago, when we moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee, we had to transport everything ourselves. This led to a mass purge of stuff. It was strangely freeing and fun! We set up a table in front our home and gave it all away. yes, for free! It was great entertainment and felt good. My only regrets...the big television, I'm still not sure how that happened. The pogo stick, this has been a sore spot with a certain child ever since. It was an accident. And lastly the big furniture I actually left at the apartment. My kitchen set, it was a steal at $50 and I don't think I realized how pricey they really are! My TV table, mostly because Mike made it for me and I loved it! And the Ethan Allen living room set mike rescued from a fire rehab job. It was awesome! The fact is, these things just wouldn't fit. Other than that, the "stuff" I don't miss a thing! I've been thinking about it a lot, then seeing photos of a certain SIL's spotless and "stuff free" home was the the straw that broke this camels back! So it's time, time to do it again. This week I cleaned the big boys room with them. We put the bunk beds back together and moved the dogs crates into the room. We set up good work spaces for school and are working on a simple clothes system. I am thinking 9 or 10 outfits hung on hangers, everything else goes? these are boys remember, they would wear pjs all day if i let them! Does any one else have something that works for them? I will admit to being frustrated all ready as they simply refuse to pick up after themselves. But, if I pause and think back to My bed room and Mikes, during our teenage years, ummmm, I guess I have nothing to say. I just want more peace and less chaos for them. I truly understand how hard it is to concentrate with all that crap, I mean stuff everywhere. So I am working on a control journal for them. Its a fly lady thing. Check lists of basic things to do in the morning and at night to keep it all under control. They are less than thrilled, but it should help. They were great about getting rid of stuff. We packed up the books in boxes(book hoarding is a family disorder and I don't expect them to just change their DNA) we are just storing them for now. less distractions ya know? Thew were able to part with posters, endless paper and even Lego creations (this was a hard one) they went back into the Lego box with a deal of one creation on the desk per week. It took all day, and nothing else got done. Luckily we have MRS P to keep one kid busy, the other little, well, he took advantage of the absence of supervision to dump out anything and everything he could get his hands on.
Next I worked on the play room. I have been working towards truly simplifying this area. So I ousted the remainder of the plastic toys with a few exceptions. All train sets stay. I packed them into crates in the closet. I also kept the plastic animals, these are a favorite and the wooden versions are absolutely out of our budget for the time being. Then I hit the books. Why is this so hard for us? We go to the library weekly! I boxed up about 3/4's of what was in this room. I kept our favorites and special gifts. We listed our toy storage shelf free on craigslist and were able to find a local teacher who was thrilled to get it. She is also taking the books and toys. That makes me happy. I know just how much teachers have to buy out of their own pockets and these are good toys. They will now have a good home. The kids are loving all of the space and there were no complaints about the missing toys. Interestingly, even with the few toys available, they still can completely trash the place, and fast! The good news is, everything has a place, so they can also clean it up!
Today, I will tackle the art/school shelves. I am trying to work towards each child having their own high quality pencils and crayons in a homemade case. This will help them to appreciate them. It will also help with the constant stream of broken and lost crayons, pencils and markers all over the house! so my new mantra ....LESS IS MORE LESS IS MORE LESS IS MORE.
What are you all working on for the new year? Does any one else feel that January 1st is officially, "start over day"?