This was the week to sort the crawlspace, clean out the detritus in one of the sheds, and thoroughly weed the overgrown summer gardens. Rain or no rain, it had to be done.
With labour day behind us, I packed the hottest weather clothes away - liberating tonnes of space in my closet, (its still too early to bring out the cold weather clothes). I am enjoying the roomy closet, even though it's temporary.
Another victory: We took obsolete electronics to the electronics recycler.... that 10 year old computer tower, a satellite dish and 2 receivers (it was an awesome system at the other house, but this place can't get a signal)
Also prone to obsolescence: Toys!
As the kids grow, their toys change. Keeping on top of the pruning process is a must in this age of excess. The kids get spoiled every year with a glut of toys thanks to family and friends, cheap toy opportunities, birthdays and gift giving holidays. Over the years the baby toys have had their phases... baby toys, preschool toys, learning toys, young kids toys, and soft stuffed animals. Now the more complicated kits and collections are slowly being weeded out. This weekend I found 2 large boxes of forgotten toys in the crawlspace and had the pleasure of donating them without any complaints.
The secret to having them agree to let go? There is more than one way to do it.
- Tough-love Technique: Telling them that if they can't put it away, then it must not be very important to them. Sometimes they simply have too many toys to put them all the way. If there is no home for the toy, I encourage the kids to get rid of less-loved things to make space. It can lead to tears, but it's necessary in a finite world.
- Spacial Awareness Technique: Telling them they need to get rid of the old to make room for the new (good before birthdays and holidays). If they get rid of a lot, they obviouusly have high hopes for the incoming haul! LOL
- Charitable Heart Technique: I plead that they don't play with it anymore, but it is still so great, wouldn't it be nice if it could be passed on to another lucky kid now while it's still nice? (that last one works every time on my youngest generous son). Lovingly pack the items off to charity.
- Enterprising Technique: Offering to post toys online for sale and they can keep the money (good for the toys that are always popular and still in good shape). They learn the issue of depreciation, and that if the toys are broken or missing parts that they are useless.... leading to the last point...
- Take Care of It OR ELSE! Technique: If it's broken or I find it's pieces all over the house I retain the right to toss it, no matter how much it's "loved".
What is lurking in your crawlspace/attic or storage that is obsolete? Decluttering once is not enough. Regular maintenance is necessary in the age of upgrades.