Prepare for Christmas – Minimalism with Children
I am about to walk into my kids bedroom with 2 bags. One is for garbage. You know. The pieces and parts of “special” toys that broke a long time ago, but the kids are too attached to to get rid of. Tiny small clutter that nobody else would want and you certainly don’t want. The things you step on in the night. The other bag is for excess. They toys, books and games that still have lots of good use in them, but the children don’t play with them, because they have either outgrown them, have other interests or… dare I say it. They simply have too much.
You have heard it before. Kids don’t need a lot of toys to be happy. But somehow, most of us have way more toys in our homes than our kids need or can really play with. When a child’s play space is cluttered, they tend to play with everything less, respect the toys less and more things get left out, stepped on and broken.
We do a toy purge twice a year or so and since Christmas is coming up and inevitably, an influx of new toys, this is the perfect time to prepare for Christmas by getting rid of the old. Passing them on to other children who might use them more. When the purge first starts, sometimes the kids resist and cling to what they claim is an old favorite (Really? Funny how it has been laying on your floor untouched for months…) But what’s cool is that once they start to see the transformation in their room. Clutter being replaced by tidy and chaos by order… they get excited and the WANT to get rid of more. Getting started is always the hardest part.
Sometimes, they volunteer an item or game, saying they never play with it anymore. Or better yet, when it is something nice, but they truly want to give it to the less fortunate. My first reaction is to protest, “No! That’s really nice and so and so gave it to you last year! You ought to keep it and play with it. Or maybe your brother will like it when he gets older!” But I have to stop myself. I am raising human beings who I hope to grow up to be generous, free adults, not hoarders, who can’t stand to part with their possessions. So I learn to let go in the process.
So, I am about to walk in with two bags. When I emerge my kids will have more space, more freedom, more order and less stuff. In fact, the more often I do this, the more often they ask… Mom, isn’t it time to you know REALLY clean our rooms?
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