Sunday, March 21, 2010
Too much stuff
With my youngest easing her way into creche this year, I am looking forward in the near future, to a bit more time 'to myself'.
But, before I get to the fun stuff, I have resolved, and pledged to my husband, that my mission in the next few months is to seriously declutter the house. We have many terribly messy areas that have been neglected and now have built up an accumulation of crap. Making our mess worse, we also have too much stuff in the house.
Last week, I had already started clearing small sections of the house when I came across this article. Written by a family psychologist (American, with his own website of course), it very simply states that kids these days have too many toys, creating too much clutter. In the 1950s, children had approximately 5 toys each, yet were able to play independently and imaginatively for hours. Nowadays, most of our kids have way too many toys, yet are perpetually bored and unable to find a direction to play in. Even worse, these toys are mainly crap and rob children of their imagination. He advises getting rid of any toys made after the 1950s and making available only a few toys.
It got me thinking (light bulb moment) - when I was a girl, I also had very few toys. And my parents certainly didn't sit on the floor and play with me for hours. Nor did we have a Wii, DS or Moshi Monsters. No, my brother and I were left to our own devices, and would play on our own. I would ride my bike, invent games, draw and god knows what else. These days, the girls have an abundance of toys in each of their bedrooms, plus a whole play room devoted to them. Yet, they are often too overwhelmed by the clutter and often come to us to play with them or give them ideas of what to do.
Our kids have too many toys!
Just over the weekend, I have donated three huge garbage bags of unused toys to the local charity shop. I have also decluttered Yasmin and Layla's rooms by leaving only books and one or two games in their rooms. A cupboard in the hallway has been designated the games cupboard, now housing all board games and puzzles over three shelves. Much better. I will continue to pare down all the kids toys, and all the stuff in our house, as much as possible in the next few months. I will post some 'after' shots soon.
Getting rid of stuff that feels wonderful. Try here, here, here and here for more inspiration.