Thursday, June 25, 2009

stuff management

It probably won't surprise you to know that I congratulate myself on my mothering now and then. And I bet all mothers do, or should do, regular rounds of self praise for their hard work. What specific area am I directing the praise now, you ask?

Stuff Management.

After Christmas and the boys' birthdays I've gotten into the habit of sorting through our toy shelves and book baskets. I pack away toys that are dusty with neglect. I rearrange things to give hidden toys more spotlight. I fix broken books. I pull out toys that seem new again after a few months in the closet. And I stick to my promise that our apartment will not, under any circumstance, become a toy wonderland.

But that goal is getting harder and harder to meet.

Now that Isaac actually plays and has toys of his own, our shelves are getting cramped. There is spillover into baskets and boxes placed in hidden corners. Shelves that didn't used to hold toys are now toy territory. I might be losing the battle, my friends.

This time, as I sorted through, I was hoping for a huge pile of goods to tote to the Salvation Army. But it didn't happen. As I surveyed things it was hard to find things that the boys didn't play with. A lot can be said about my boys. They are loud and crazy and I'm certain my neighbors get frustrated with our noise. But what's also true of them is that they play. They seriously engage with their play. Which I love, because then I can serious engage with mine.

So here's the decision. Do I purge more toys in the name of freeing up space? Or do I keep them in the name of freeing up time? I guess, like most things, I'll try to find some middle ground that we all can agree on. Until then, that space under the bed is looking like it might fit a few more boxes of stuff. I'll have to see what I can do.


Melissa said...

I hear you! I've been doing a lot of reorganizing, but haven't been able to get rid of much. Atticus and enzo compliment each other toy wise. Atticus likes to use the train table for art projects. Enzo likes to use it for, of all things, trains! And with Atticus, I put trucks and things away finally, because he just wasn't playing with them. But I kept them in case "the baby" ended up liking them. And when I since I pulled them out a few months ago, they have been played with more than they have in the 3 years that we've had them!

The boys have a birthday party in a month. Usually before the party I like to get rid of things to make space for new ones. But I don't know what to get rid of!

debs14 said...

We have boxes full of 'stuff' that the kids played with when they were little (now 22 and 19 they are hardly likely to ever want to play with them again) that I just can't throw away because I remember what fun they had with them! Toys that bring back happy memories and board games that we used to play as a family after tea on a Sunday. I am too sentimental but I just can't make myself get rid of them.

Firefly said...

I just realized that it says "stuff management." I read it twice before as "staff management."

I get it now.