Thursday, 19 February 2015

Less is more

I get very overwhelmed with visual clutter.

I really don't like tripping and stepping on tiny little toys (especially at night while I'm tending the fire place).

How did all of this creep in?  Didn't we just go through everything a few months ago?  Did I really need/have all this out when we ran the home daycare?



Recently on my newsfeed I saw an article about the benefits of less toys.  I took some time to observe the boys' play.  I noticed that they seemed to play with the same few toys over and over, neglecting much of what was in the shelves.  Other times they would dump a lot of bins on the ground and grab one toy to actually play with.  We have a lot of wonderful play things but with too many choices it can get overwhelming and looks cluttered.

Our house has no basement and very limited storage (one closet in the house and some space above the hall ceiling).  We also have the playroom/main living space as the first thing you walk into from the front door.  We used to have the playroom down the hall but no one used it so we rearranged to suit our lifestyle.



I love a good purge and clean up.  We desperately needed to tidy up after the boys' had their friend over at the end of last week.  So I started with my own things and moved on from there.  I asked the boys to help me with their bedroom and consulted about toys with them.

In one weekend we removed two bags of trash and 5 boxes for donations.   The donations went to family, a free recycling FB group page and the local Goodwill store. We also put half of the toys that were left into storage.  I found the shelf in the bedroom cupboard was a great place to store things they may want, sort of like a toy library.  We will decide later if we want to keep those items too. Baby items went above the hall for later.



Next week I'll see if the boys want to put some things from their room in storage under their bed so they can enjoy what is on their shelves.

We still have lots out but everyone's journey is different.  We are at a different stage that other families. We  homeschool so we are at home using the toys all day long.  Things have gone so well we are slowly removing more each day.

And the results???




Fabulous!  The boys totally were on board with putting un-used toys into storage.  Immediately they began to play with things they hadn't noticed in months because they could see it.  They had a friend over and played for more than 5 hours with the Playmobil.

For me I'd like to de-clutter more.  It is so much easier to clean and tidy.  I feel less stressed already just walking into the rooms.  I think I'll take it slow so as not to overwhelm everyone.

Here are some more links to get you going if you'd like to free your space.

Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids
Nourishing Minimalism
Simplicity Parenting