Let the Madness Begin

Today I am thankful that we have a working shower and hot water heater.

I’ve spent most of the day cleaning. Not because my house was so dirty (although, ahem, it could use some help, too). But because I told my kids that they needed to get rid of the things they’re not using. We start this massive annual declutter every November in preparation for the holidays and the new year. I am trying to declutter our entire house, and convince the others who live here that we need to be less attached to things.

Their goal this year was 30 items each. 7 year old Charlotte reached her’s easily, because, while she may have a ton of stuffed animals and Littlest Pet Shop pets, she doesn’t have a lot of junk. I convinced her that she didn’t need 5 pillow pets (thanks, grandma) and that some of her toys were just not being used or in very good shape, even though she’s taken good care of them. It did take a little prodding, but she did the bulk of the work herself.

My 9 year old son is another story.

Despite a warning not to do this, his first offering included 5 broken toys, 10 pieces of broken toys, and some tortured little green army men.  His next two attempts were not much better. I ended up doing a massive clean up (and yes, he was right there alongside me) getting rid of all the trash he and his brother have accumulated in their room, discarding broken toys, and serving as the judge of what they would keep and what they would donate. By the time we were done, I was in a rotten mood. It really bothers me how carelessly they treat their things, when I know that there are so many kids who have so little. It makes me wonder where I have gone wrong as a parent.

How do you deal with this in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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