Sunday, March 27, 2011

Project Simplify, Week 3 Report

The first 6 pictures are "before." I set out a Keep Box, a trash bag, and a Sell box.

Let's just say I didn't play by all the rules, but I did what my priorities dictated. The Project Simplify "hot spot" for week 3 was toys and kids' clothes. My youngest (the only "kid-kid") simply doesn't have many clothes to deal with. Easy. He's good at folding clothes, and he likes to organize, so getting his dresser in order was a cinch. Didn't take pictures of it.

The toys needed the concentrated effort, though. Joel doesn't have a lot of different toys (on purpose) but what he has sure did need " a going through." There was no good reason to keep toys in plain view when we have plenty of behind-door storage in our family room's entertainment unit.

I was pleased with the progress and the results. I was probably more pleased with the process, honestly. As a mom, what I noticed was growth in my youngest son's ability to part with things. He's a 9-year-old "saver". He's the kid who has begged me to save bottle caps, soda can tops, gum wrappers, cereal boxes, inch-long pencils, you name it, because "I can make something with it, Mom!" Well, I applaud the creative intentions, but the reality is, his junk sits there in a drawer looking like bottle caps, gum wrappers, and useless pencils, not something that the Smithsonian is gonna pay us for. So I generally put an immediate halt to his "collections." He is allowed to collect coins with his Dad, and I don't throw out Legos (except...shh..a few now and then). If he were a poor child, I probably would let him save that crap, but if he doesn't have an immediate plan for something, out it goes. I make him sit and do the art creation or throw out the "goods"! I don't want him to have to break a hoarding habit when he's an adult, no matter how well he could justify it in the name of creativity. The truth is, creative juices flow better in clear, orderly space. If I can spare him half the misery I've endured by "collecting" stuff, I will. I have been handicapped in this area my whole life, and only in the past couple years have I started finding freedom in really letting go.

Anyway, on Monday, I said, "We'll work for 30 minutes, starting with the stuff behind this door, then work to the right. Throw away obvious trash, anything missing parts or pieces or can't be sold. The first section will be for your finished Lego creations." He sorted through Legos by color and used his Lego storage tower to organize pieces. I kept my promise by letting him quit after 30 minutes, and he declared, "That was easier than I thought, Mom!" --smile---

I dusted, made labels, and rearranged stuff. My plan was to put within easier reach the toys and art supplies that younger kids use when they visit. *Art supplies that won't ruin anything, mind you, if accidentally "discovered.")

The only cats we'll ever own are in this drawer.

I like his creative "Guns" label.

Plenty of space, yes ?

We worked 3 hours together in sum last week, and ended up with clean, organized, decluttered spaces. The toys can breathe again.