I was at my son’s house on Sunday to pick up some packagingÂ he wanted us to put in ourÂ recyclingÂ and trash as he had bought a new sofa and his bins were full. He also had several items to give meÂ to take to the thrift shop.
As I was sitting enjoying a little time chatting with my step-granddaughter my husband and son were packing up the car. SheÂ suddenly noticed what looked like some sort of plush toy jutting a little from one of the bags destined for the car. She asked if she could see what was in it and my son said no that we needed to get the stuff toÂ the car. She began to get upset thinking that he was decluttering something that may be hers.
I am not sure what the item was but he insisted it was just some old toy of his that he no longer wanted, but she was not convinced. As my son left the room with the bag her bottom lip dropped and I thought this was the perfect time to have a little conversation with her about why it wasn’t important as to what was in the bag.
I said, “Did you recognise the thing in the bag as one of your loved toys?”, and she said no. As I know her pretty well by now I then asked, “Don’t you think that whatever that toy was, if you loved it so much, wouldn’t you recognise it even from the little you could see?” And she said yes. I explained to her how she can sometimes get a little too attached to some of her things but if that was something that she loved her Mum and Liam wouldn’t dream of decluttering it. And she seemed satisfied with that.
I then went on to explain what happened to the old toys and clothes that she had grown out of and were decluttered. I explain how some of them where bought at the thrift shop for little kids who’s parents couldn’t afford new toys, and if it wasn’t for her kind donations those kids would have no toys. I also explained how, no matter who bought the items, that the money went to a charity who used the money for a good cause. Sometimes to help people in need. Sometimes to help starving people overseas. Sometimes to fund research to find cures for things that made people sick. And even otherÂ to help save endangered animals like the pandas she loved so much.
By now she was no longer upset and said wait here and she ran off into her bedroom. I thought for one incredible moment that she was going to her room to find something else of hers to give me to take to the thrift shop. Alas she went to get her iPad mini to play games with me. My husband later said she probably got it to distract me so she didn’t have to listen to my raving on anymore. But I prefer to think that I succeeded in making her realise that giving was living and she was now ready to move on to something fun we could do together.
But seriously, it is never too early to include your children in the act of decluttering. I don’t know what that toy was in the bag, but I do hope if it was some old thing of Liam’s or something of hers that Â she had chosen to give away a while back. As you know I don’t think it is a good idea to declutter anyones stuff without their agreement. And having a discussion with your kids about how what they donate can help others is a great way to encourage them to let goÂ of things they don’t really use. Like adults they can tend to cling on to stuff otherwise, just in case.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something that is brown.
â€œIf we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think weâ€™d beÂ happy withÂ more?â€ â€” Unknown