Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One step away from Hoarders

At least that's what it feels like in my house.

I am trying to go through all of the things that I have no use for, which inevitably comes to stuff that the kids own or have made. I am not completely crazy, at least--I know that I'll never need whatever random finger painting Henry pokes at twice before moving on to the next sheet of paper (I think I need to buy stock in a fingerpaint paper supply company), so many of those end up in the trash. But still, I find myself feeling bad about getting rid of random things, such as the bag of polished stones that Henry just had to have on one of our trips to the Zoo. I had thrown them out, because, really, does a three year old need a random bag of rocks that he hasn't actually looked at since about two days after getting them? But I found myself pulling them back out, because, I don't know, I'm stupid, I suppose. (I also like commas, and starting sentences with 'but'.)

I assume it goes back to me not really having anything from my childhood, so I feel bad about getting rid of anything from their childhoods. But (#3), comma, I know that they aren't going to care about not having the bag of stones or whatever item in one week, let alone 25, 30, 50 years. And it's not like I have any use for them, other than for them to clutter up the house and get in the way. When we moved into the bigger house, we were like, yes, we will never fill up this house with commas stuff, we have so much roooooom! But (4) here we are. And we have only had kids for a little over three years. What happens when Ian is making all sorts of art projects and wanting all sorts of bags of stones? What happens when they (gasp) start school and start bringing home even MORE projects and things? (Anyone have any advice on that front?)

I guess my choice is to cut down on the clutter and deal with the feeling of being a jerk by getting rid of their precious things, or I can realize that in the long run, the bag of stones or whatever isn't going to make a difference in their lives, so why live in a cluttered house, and raise kids thinking they need to hold on to every little thing? I say out loud that it's the memories that matter most, not the things. Maybe it's time I start listening to myself.


  1. You can teach them to store those art project in the Blue Bin (Recycle bin) :)

  2. Speaking from experience as a life-long pack rat, I know how hard it can be to get rid of things. But we, too, are running out of room. I've been so desperate to clear out the clutter (though you wouldn't know by looking at this place) that I've even been able to come up with a reasonable alternative. A lof of what I saved had no value other than the memories the items brought back (like your rocks) so in the last year I've (slowly) started taking pictures of those items before donating or trashing them. Pictures don't take up nearly as much room, especially in this digital age.

    And for the artwork, I've heard of this app and keep meaning to look into it. It's called Artkive. I think this dad created it because he had a bunch of boxes of forgotten artwork. You take a picture of the painting or whatever in the app and then it is stored for you to look at later. You can even order books or prints of the artwork later.

    Now if I could only figure out how to weed through the toys and put some away without feeling guilty!