I've been inspired to do some decluttering around the house lately. I'm decluttering toys, pantry cabinets, my clothes closet, the medicine cabinets, you name it! My motivation came from a book called, Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne. She is convinced that less toys and less stuff in general creates order and stimulates focus in our childrens life. "Less" in our children's environment helps them (and us too) appreciate and value what we have and "less" even cultivates creative play and activity. That struck a chord with me. I just can't do this book justice in my few short sentences and I'm only on Chapter 3. I hope at least this tiny description peaks your curiousity and you'd consider opening its pages too.
The last couple of days I tackled the arts and crafts cabinets that had evolved into a hodgepodge of stuff. It's been so bad I've been avoiding opening the cabinets myself. When the kids, Nene especially, let their creative juices flow with tape, scissors and papers, which is great, clean up equates to shoving all the materials into the dark corner, a deep abyss where who knows what gets buried for ages. So with garbage bag in hand, I filled it up with scraps, broken toys, unused magnet Boards, bits and pieces of crayons, loads of half scribbled coloring books that no one has touched in ages, hard and brittle play dough, just to name a few items. Now, it's a usable space again. We can find the fresh piles of paper and see the containers of crayons and pencils in one clean inviting shelf.
But it's funny how some of the items I throw away always seem to find their way back out! A musical car for example, the one with the incessant tra-la-la-la-la, the one with the battery that never ever runs out, unlike the essential flashlight that never works! It found its way back out of the donation bag. Or the one-hundredth dollar store sponge ball (this one still in its wrapper) that we own, it also found its way out when Declan pointed it out to Daddy who gladly retrieved it for him! Maybe they're like me when deciding to throw things away, "I know the jeans are too small but I'm sure I'll be able to fit into them one day! So I can't get rid of it yet!"
A lot of bags were taken out of the house and it truly felt liberating. There's an added energy in the home and I think the children feel it too. With some cleaned out areas and all their toys put away they surprised me with some clever new games and activities. Does "simplicity therapy" work this fast!?
Nene created a dance partner, Joe Cracker (where did that name come from?!), out of a broom!
And they danced, and they danced, and they danced, and they danced!
Can you say carpet tennis?
Mommy's wooden spoons and a small ball equals at least an hour of fun.
That little Declan has a mighty strong swing.
I'm hoping these are just the beginning stages of our clutter-free, airy, peaceful and creative days!