My kids have too much stuff. This mantra of mothers everywhere is being repeated in my house more than “Mommy, <insert sister name> is bothering me!!“. Where they get all of this stuff is no mystery. I give it to them. Either by purchase or blog product or accepted hand me downs, I have no one to blame but myself.
It seems as my kids grow, the stuff grows. It used to be that I could put them in a toy and they would play for hours. Now, the most simple toys have 750 pieces. All small. All painful to step on. All lost in the myriad of bins and shelving used to pretend I have some sort of organizational skills.
I don’t. In case you were wondering.
The kids playroom has been purged, reorganized and re-reorganized more than any other room in this house. And yet more appears. Mocking me in my attempts to be that mom that always has things under control. But it is more than toys. It is clothing, headbands and even toothbrushes. There is just too.much.stuff in this house! And this is after I have spent a year purging the junk the pack rat of my ex-husband HAD to have here.
Now, I admit. I live under the falsehood that one day they will need this stuff. Clothing gets handed down from daughter to daughter, headbands break and more are needed for them to feel their absolute best and toothbrushes should really be replaced weekly around here. If I find one more on the floor…
Plus, I suffer from ‘I can’t give this away‘ itis. But she had it as a baby. But there was that one day she played with it all day long. But they will be so upset if I toss it! Giving into this condition has left me with a mess of stuff that just needs to go someplace else. Somewhere where it can be truly appreciated instead of cursed as I shove it to another corner.
About 6 months ago, I gave up on toys. I decided kicking them into the room and dragging the door closed was the exact same thing as cleaning. No one really needs to see the carpet anyway. It’s just there to keep the concrete warm, after all. If my kids won’t pick it up, they can suffer the consequences of poked feet from the pain of stepping on flung toys. Of course, we all know this become our problem as soon as it hurts…
Now I am that mom who is constantly answering the “Mom, where is my <insert doll, game piece, shoe or other lost part in the land of insanity>?” Answering ‘I have no idea.’ is not acceptable to them. So I am find myself tiptoeing between the Barbie dolls, baby dolls, cars that they all ride in, Lego pieces and missing parts that suddenly appear out of no where only to go back into hiding when I need it.
It is my fault. I know that. I own it. I have no excuse. My girls don’t need three of everything. They don’t need to keep every review item I get. They don’t have to have every.single.art.project they have ever done sitting in the library. And no child needs 7000 crayons available for immediate use at all times.
But, I have to say, I think the toys get together and hash out a plan to come out of hiding after I think everything is purged and clean. Honestly, the last time I purged, I removed 2 trash bags for donation and the trash. The next day, I could not see the carpet again.
People can tell me all they want that my kids need half of the things they have. And they would be 100% right and get no argument from me. But I think that there is a toy conspiracy and that they hide behind the walls only to come out after I have painstakingly matched little pieces with their masters for hours at a time.
The bottom line, though, is that my kids have too much stuff. And owning it is the first step. The second is to help them grow up and move the stuff to their house. I see it as the only permanent solution. I really do.