One of your fellow readers would like your opinion on something. Please read her message below and add your advice if you wish by leaving a comment for her. Thank you in advance for your help.
I have been on a mission to declutter my house. My house was never a disaster by any stretch of the imagination but in my opinion there was just too much stuff. It stresses me out. Since February I have been working though my possessions. I have removed clothing, nick-knacks, doubles of items, just general excess. I have removed more then 365 items and I am very proud of myself.
Recently I have started to tackle the toys. My house is a toy store, literally. There is not a toy at the store they we do not own a version of. I have two rooms specifically used as playrooms, one is a large basement. My friends tease me and strangers, like contractors make comments about the volume of playthings my two boys own. I did not buy most of them, they were gifts from my children’s very generous grandparents and other relatives. I know this has been discusses before but need some help and reassurances.
I am feeling very guilty about getting rid my children’s toys. My first two going are being sold on Sat and I feel like I want to cry, my stomach hurts. One of the toys being sold was never opened the other never played with. I choose these because there was no attachment to the toys for them or me. I figured they would be easy. Boy was I wrong. I think I feel guilty because these on some level are not mine to sell. But my boys are 5 and 1 not really old enough to understand or support my decluttering efforts.
I think I am also afraid that my disappearing toy act will cause them to become hoarders as adults. So, basically I just wanted to know if the readers here have any advice for mom with a guilty conscience. Thank you for your help.
Here is the advice I proffered to this reader while assuming that she was already taking steps to stop the plethora of toys coming in…
Involve your 5 year old in the decision making. Your 1 year old is clearly too young to care so won’t be affected either way. I always involved my kids and they never had any qualms about getting rid of the stuff they no longer played with. You will be teaching him a valuable lesson about letting go and not living a cluttered life.
You can give him two incentives to let go of things ~ 1. Tell him the cash earned from sold items will go into his bank account. Involve him in that process to a level he can understand. 2. Let him know that the toys he donates are going to children who wouldn’t otherwise have toys to play with. Children can be very generous when you explain to them that others aren’t as lucky as they are to have things.
Pick out the toys he no longer seems to play with that you don’t wish to keep for his younger brother. Choose which ones you would like to sell for him and ask him if he would like to donate the rest to children in need. Show him how his bank account is increasing with the funds from the sales and let him know he will be able to use that when he is bigger for things he needs. Also involve him in the donating process and express to him how happy he will be making less fortunate children with his kindness.
The Weekend’s Mini Missions
Saturday – Leisure activity items, be that sport, craft, digital media, reading material etc. There are nearly always items among these collections that are less utilised than others or in some cases not at all. To narrow down the selection makes the things you do use easier to find when needed. Superseded equipment is a good place to start the weeding out process.
Sunday – Declutter your excess linen. I fact rethink how much linen you really require to cater for yourself your family and a couple of guests. Some people seem to stock enough for the All Blacks (New Zealand) rugby team. This really isn’t necessary especially if you have a dryer and even if you don’t a laundromat is never far away should you have a houseful of people and the weather turns foul.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast