With the long summer break on the horizon, I am desperately trying to knock this house into shape before two children are running wild in it all day long. I know most families face the same issue; little piles of junk discretely piling up all over the house that are never sorted out. I’m presently waging war against those piles of junk and either tidying them away or throwing them out. It’s tough, but I am determined to win.
Last week I cleared a whole load of stuff out of the kitchen. You know the kind of thing; batteries that may or may not be fully charged, old take away menus, plastic cutlery bought for some long forgotten picnic. I took three bin liners and two large boxes to the dump. I recycled what I practically could but the boxes had to go into the container destined for landfill. There were just too many ity-bity tiny things to sort out.
Yesterday I took on the unruly pile of toys that has been languishing in the corner of the living room since Christmas. This was particularly galling as I had a massive clear out back then but over the past seven months it’s crept back and grown in size.
In a bid to regain control of the living room, I bought a toy chest. I’ve issued a diktat that the family will be forced to comply with; if the toys don’t fit in the toy chest, some items must be tidily stored elsewhere or recycled.
For a variety of reasons I found yesterday’s clear out particularly hard work and actually quite depressing. By nature I am, you see, the ultimate anti-hoarder. If something doesn’t have an obvious and immediate use I am only too happy to sling it out. Living with a young family, I don’t have that luxury. Clutter just comes with the territory.
Going through that pile of toys I found random playing cards, misplaced parts from board games, the odd bit of very specialist Lego and so on. It made me realise that my wife and I have work to do. We’ve got to make the kids really appreciate the toys they’ve got and look after them properly.
The result of yesterday’s clear out was three boxes of old toys and a couple of bin liners of stuff removed from the living room. That probably sounds like a ludicrous amount but I should explain a couple of the items were very large, bulky, baby toys that Toddler Adams hasn’t played with for months.
My gut instinct was to chuck this lot in the car and take it to the ‘toy bank’ at the local dump. I stopped myself and thought I’d better hold-on for a couple of days in case any of the toys were missed.
When we got home from school last night, my eldest child, Helen, thought it would be fun to empty out the toy chest and use it as a hiding place. No doubt sensing the anguish in my voice she did exactly as she was told and put every single toy back again.
The toys that were boxed up were stored in the garage. How many of them do you suppose she asked about? Yes, that’s right; none whatsoever. Helen didn’t even seem to notice that they toys were no longer in the room. I take this as a sure sign I can get rid of the lot.
What’s your experience? Can you relate to this ? How do you deal with clutter and junk in your house?
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