Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Too. Much. Stuff.

Look at this mess. No, seriously, look at it, it's a mess! I don't normally share our messes with the entire virtual world, but I'm making a point here. I went into the girls' bedroom the other day, took out the crib, and attempted to de-junk. I decided instead to remove just about everything from their room, and THIS was what was left when we limited "bedroom" stuff to a bed, dresser, and the Little Tykes kitchen and brought everything else out into the living room to be weeded through:

Oh, and check out the bedroom "after" while you're at it:

I imagine any parent of just one child knows that the stuff adds up. Kids accumulate "stuff" in alarming quantities, and only a teeny little portion of it actually sees regular use. Their clothes overtake laundry bins, closets, dressers, and any other occupy-able space. Imagine what it's like with FIVE of these little packrats!
This habit needs to change. I've purposely left the pile of toy carnage in my living room overnight just so I could wake up to it today and reflect on just how much STUFF we don't need. The girls haven't seen the need to forage through the pile. It's still there. A pile of untouched, unloved, and in-the-way STUFF. You should see MY bedroom. Oh, my. It's frightening how much Pete and I can't put away simply because we have no place to put all of it.
What is going on? Why do we spend so much time and effort and money on "stuff" that either doesn't get regular use or that we think we should have, only to put it in a pile and forget it exists? Is this good stewardship? I am ashamed to say how much of this mess is my fault; I've fought for years the habit of giving our children way too much of everything, just because it's what I had. Do kids really need two huge dishcrates full of stuffed animals when they truly only "love" just one or two? Do babies really need all the "gear" we are convinced they do?
Looking at floor plans for the housing area we could potentially move into in a few months, I'm struggling with keeping my head from tilting sideways at the screen. We may have a tiny little apartment now, but it looks as if an extra bedroom isn't going to solve the problem. Neither will having fewer people, to be honest. We just have too much stuff!
This is embarraassing.


Joyce said...

I so need to do that to MY bedroom! Good job!

Leah said...

I think there are tons of us that can SO relate to this. We are in the process of cleaning our bedroom out and converting our third bedroom into Natalie's room. I thought I had made a lot of head way until I emptied out the entertainment center in there, so it could be moved. It's crazy and embarrassing to have piles everywhere. I will conquer it though. You'll probably be able to purge a lot when you move, but I know how frustrating the process is!

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