Not exactly treasure, or should I say beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!! Let me explain, I was lulled into a false sense of security by Project Simplify – I was. Week One was totally easy – Cleaning out my closet was a breeze!!! Week Two and all the piles of paper was okay, and Week Three looked reasonable but then then I dug a bit deeper and it hit me between the eyes!!!
The title of the Project was kids clothes and toys… right, I have that under control…
- Clothes: We don’t have many, there isn’t space and we really don’t need a lot of clothes. Each kid has three drawers, bottoms, tops and undies. Two or thee long sleeved items and tow or three short sleeved items and same for legs!!! That’s it. The only problem really is they can get messy. So once a week I relieve whoever is packing the laundry away for the day of their duty and do it quickly myself and straighten their drawers out. If anyone accumulates too much of something then we just pop extras into the donate bag at the door and we are done.
- Toys: We have a system for toys, a few select types of toy that we collect and that’s pretty much it. We keep our toys in tubs and tidy them up before meals. At the end of the week I check through each tub and fish out anything that has landed in the wrong tub – but mostly our toys are pretty much sorted and under control…
So it seemed that this weeks challenge was pretty much attainable – insert wild nervous hysterical laughing here. My children are people too and I respect that my need to own nothing is not necessarily their need!!! And so they each have a shelf of treasures. Now in reality they are pretty good at decluttering, they know the steps to curbing chaos and they can move from one stage to the other and they are pretty thorough. But I have not been getting to it often enough… NOT AT ALL!!! And we never get around to it during school time, and we haven’t done any decluttering of their stuff/treasure all summer, so it has been a long while and I was dreading it… totally dreading it!!! I could have stopped this weeks challenge while I was ahead but I decided in the interests of enabling my treasure hunters to delight in their possessions rather than fight with their things every time they want to find something, that I would help them out.
So we took out all the stuff and there was lots of it and it was mostly dreadful!!! Boxes and boxes of it…
Heaps of contraband… batteries and marbles are totally not meant to be lying around… and that was just a handful… there was buckets of the stuff… and I won’t mention the bazillion little bits of LEGO…
Then we tossed out the rubbish and there was masses of it… every candy paper, every envelope from every letter, every pamphlet… and we sorted it: stationary, their passion and their papers and little bits of junk that they love to own!!! Papers we dealt with last week, there were lots more stuffed in all over the place, we just added them to our envelope system and moved on!!!
And containerize, we had more than enough left over boxes and everything went back onto the shelves:
And then repeat the process for each kid.
And here is the epiphany, from my oldest son: Every time we spring clean we are refining our stuff… we think we can’t throw another thing out and then it doesn’t fit in the space required and you can actually throw out quite a bit more… In light of that I repeated the process: on Tuesday and Wednesday and took a break and Friday… and I know if we did it again more stuff could go!!!
For myself I have learnt not to do this myself, they have to do it and I am there to guide them… If I sort their stuff we always end up mis-communicating… “one man’s treasure is another man’s poison” after all!!! So they do the tossing and I do the asking: “Do you love it? Or not?” The fact is if they get to do it they toss out a lot more, I am too nice and understand their need for clutter, they get tired of sorting through junk and are happy to ditch… They do it, it works much better for us!!!
Really they love their stuff all organized and yet it tends to chaos so easily… the key is all about putting things away where they belong and not just tossing it onto the shelf and hoping the item will find its way home. We have been talking a lot about treasure lately and if you are not looking after your stuff well then it isn’t a treasure and donate it or recycle it… I think after this big sort they may well agree to putting things back where they belong when they use them!!!
So there was a lot of stuff in the boys department and I never got to the girls, who don’t have boxes of wire and torch innards and strings and things!!! I am hoping to help the girls tomorrow afternoon, at least before the next challenge is released. Oh let the next challenge be the bathroom we have precisely twelve things lying around our bathroom – thirteen if you count the loo roll. Just ten toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of shampoo – please let it be the bathroom!!! And please may it not be the garage or defrost the freezer… the garage is not part of the house, surely and the freezer is meant to be so iced up as to be useless to man or beast!!! Hmmm I must say I am feeling a little nervous about forthcoming challenges!!!