I think one of the best things about Project Simplify (and decluttering in general) is that one good thing tends to lead to another. As we make our way through the five weeks, I’m finding that I’m also tucking away ideas for what areas I want to tackle if they don’t come up as one of the hot spots. On Sunday night, I went downstairs to put in a load of laundry and was reminded that the playroom has been total chaos lately.
I made a mental note that a major playroom rehaul would be my first priority for continuing to declutter once Project Simplify is over, so I was super excited to read that toys and/or kids’ clothes were the next hot spot to be subdued.
Before: All four of us had gotten completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of toys. Everywhere. All the time. The boys were hardly playing with anything. I think they probably just didn’t know where to start—they would dump out a bin (that was a mishmash already) and then just move on. It was ugly.
The Plan: Although Tsh suggested that we involve the kids in the process, it was just too much. I think next time we do a purge, we’ll be able to ask Simon (and Ian when he’s older) to choose one or two toys to give away, but this first time, we had to make major cuts, and the only way it was going to get done was on the down low. We gave to friends or donated five bags of toys, and we put away the baby toys that even Ian has grown out of, the toys that the boys just don’t get how to play with yet, and about a third of the trains and trucks (to be pulled out as new and exciting in a few months).
After: I wasn’t surprised at how good it felt to get this done, but I do have to say that it has been even better than I expected. I had been pretty sentimental about some of the toys that didn’t make the cut, but the boys’ reaction has more than made up for any angst I felt about letting toys (just things, after all) go. They don’t, of course, even notice that they are missing any toys, and I can already tell how much they are enjoying playing with the ones they do have now. And they are really playing trucks and tools and blocks instead of just dumping them out and kicking them around or tripping over them.
The Best Part: I kept the actual bags out of Simon’s sight so that he wouldn’t melt down over any specific toy, but as we drove to the People’s City Mission this morning to drop off the bags, I talked with Simon about giving some of his toys to other kids who don’t have as many as we have. He seemed to be okay with that (he was, of course, more interested in all the construction on N Street), but I wasn’t really sure how much he was really getting it. Then this afternoon as we were getting ready to pick up Jason from work, he came running out of the house clutching a toy. I asked him if he wanted to bring it in the car to pick up Daddy. “No, Mommy,” he answered. “I want to give it away. I want to give it to some kids.” Heart. Melting.
And I’ll share as a sidenote that I also got the kids’ clothes all rotated out for the spring/summer. I didn’t expect to be able to get that done this week because it is such a huge job, but it just kind of fell into place today. Simon was actually a big help in putting his own clothes into his dresser drawers, which is fun. We also finished up the dressers in our bedroom this week. We’re still not finished with the paper clutter, but we’ll keep hacking away at that.