The attempt to clear the extra clutter out of the house is going rather well. The ticker on the sidebar is not totally up to date since I have not counted every bag of clothes that has gone out the door or the clothes that ended up in the trash or the huge gigantic pile of cardboard boxes that has been removed from the upstairs. We still have quite a lot of work to do. This weekend I tackle the playroom now that I have finally been given the approval to do a brutal purge of toys. Alan has always been reluctant to purge the toys too much because it can be a waste of money and the kids could get very angry. But I think he has finally reached the point of being sick to death of fighting with them on the mess. Me too. Ok, I reached that point a long stinking time ago. I'm hoping my motivation lasts through the weekend so that I can truly purge the playroom. With older boys and elementary kids and toddlers and preschoolers, that room has accumulated way too much junk and most of it is rarely played with.
As I watch the bags of clothes and junk leave the house, I am slightly in shock over how much stuff we have in this house. One the clothes front, it's amazing because just this past September at least 12 bags of clothes were donated. I think the hand-me-downs reproduce in their bins. Really I do. But this has forced me to rethink not only our dependence on stuff but how we attempt to help other people. I tend to view the hand-me-downs and extra stuff in much the same way I view our pantry stockpile. It provides me with a sense of security. I know as long as I have those bins full of clothes in the basement, I won't have to worry about being able to provide for the kids if we get hit financially. On the other hand, if I'm keeping too much, it does become hoarding.
We've been incredibly blessed with family and friends who have passed things along to us that they no longer need. We also try our best to pass along things we don't need to others. But there are some days when I question what people are thinking. Coming home to expired car seats on the porch or bags of ripped, stained clothes and broken toys, I question how people think they are really helping. It's like there are some folks who just think "Hey, there's a large family, they can use anything we were going to throw out and will be happy to get it." Yup, we are thrilled to have folks think of us but not so thrilled to now have to find a way to dispose of junk. This has forced me to be more mindful in how we attempt to help other people ourselves. Hopefully we are not just passing along our own junk to someone else who now needs to find a way to dispose of it.
Before I ramble myself into a circle, I'd best go find a box to fill with the stuff we need to send off to the thrift store and see if we have more books to clear off the shelves and convince myself that it really is ok to let go of the last of the baby boy clothes. Man, that one is hard. No, it does not mean we are done having kids so those of you thinking that can stop the premature celebration and thinking we have finally come to our senses.. It just means we realize someone else could benefit from it right now.