Late last night I was reading some information by Rachel DeMille about Thomas Jefferson Education, a homeschooling philosophy, and how she applies it in their home. I found this quote that totally sums up why I'm tossing.
"One of the biggest drains on my time and energy that otherwise would go to educating myself and mentoring my children is caring for the family's possessions."
YES! How many times have I been cleaning up after the mob, wishing I could be reading a book or playing a game with them instead?
She goes on, talking about how once a month they have a "systematic purge" to clear non-essentials - unused clothing, toys, and anything that doesn't have a "good place" or is hard for the children to take care of.
The once a month would definitely be an upgrade from the once every ... years it now happens (we're drastically improving!), but what REALLY amazed me is how she continues.
"I have a friend who simply made a list of "keepers" off the top of her head and left it for her husband's reference. She asked him to carry everything else away while she and the children were gone, so that neither she nor they could change their minds about anything. The kids now have a large shoebox full of toys. They have little difficulty caring for their things. Their imaginative play has not suffered with the lack of the things they used to have. And lap-time has improved in quality now that she doesn't feel guilty about the pickup she's not doing. The house doesn't need it anymore."
WOW. Don't know how happy the kids would be for that, but their rooms would feel a lot nicer. And to go further, applying that, even if not quite so drastically to every other area in the home.... This one is going to have me thinking for a while. I already recognize that it's harder to toss when you are looking at the items, so to stand outside a closet for example, write down what's important in there and let someone (or yourself if you've got the willpower) toss the rest? Hmmmm... It is an entirely different way to look at the job if you're thinking about what you should keep rather than what should go.
BTW, I saw this great post last week about tossing DVD cases. I bought a case for the DVDs but haven't entirely talked myself into it yet. Jamie? :)