This week I’m contemplating how and why my family has so much stuff. It seems that the things in our house are growing like mold spores. How does it all multiply?
A few days back, the thin layer of toys and junk which coat our floors and counters no longer seemed to be just another element of life with kids. Instead it struck me as an affront to my sensibilities.
I kind of freaked out.
Why did we let it get to a point where, even when the house was “clean,” there were cluttered drawers, messy closets, and endlessly migrating piles of things surrounding us, one might ask. I’ve always tended toward rigorous tidiness; what happened to me and my organized cleanliness?
I’ll tell you what happened. I delivered my fourth son. With the swelling of our family size, came an unwelcome troll of a houseguest: perpetual junk everywhere and less time to deal with it.
So I sent my jewel of a husband off to Grandma’s house with our brood, and I spent a heavenly evening relentlessly pitching out, cleaning deep, and bagging up loads of STUFF that is taking up too much of my mental and physical energy.
Eight giant bags went to goodwill and I filled an entire garbage can. Half of the toys now live in storage–they can entertain the boys some winter day when we are all clawing at the walls–and they won’t be recreationally dumped out constantly in the meantime.
So very, very cathartic.
With birthday season (for some boys) approaching, and the Christmas season hot on its heels, I believe my mantra for gifts will be this: it had better be useful. And also this: keep it simple. I may include this as well: if the thought of Jack dragging it through the house and either a) launching it off the deck, or b) hurling it into the window well spurs feelings of rage, DO NOT BRING IT HOME.
There it is. We may now proceed.