The Project Simplify Challenge: Week 1, Kid’s Stuff

I have been following Simple Mom’s blog for a while now, and she is again doing the Project Simplify Challenge.  I have a feeling that Simple Mom’s house is nowhere near as cluttered (and dusty) as mine, but I think that by trying out her decluttering methods, I can feel a little better about my possessions and home in general.

I sometimes feel like all of the ‘stuff’ my family has is a weight on my shoulders, and I often think of how free I feel after a good purge.  Moving from one house to another was certainly a good start, and I made five carloads of donations to Goodwill.  But we still have a ton of stuff, and are accumulating more all the time.  However, when I think about tackling a certain area of the house, I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by it, that I simply do nothing.  Although I have made some progress in the past couple weeks with organizing and cleaning, I still have a long way to go.  If I don’t know where to put something, it ends up in either my basement or the garage.  But at some point, I am going to have to clean those areas, too.

For now, I’m just going to focus on the areas that she’s focused on, and work from there.  Each Monday, she will announce a new ‘hot spot’ with tips, then you have all week to work on it.  She will post pictures of the area before and after the simplifying, and she encourages you to take and post photos of the areas you are working on, too.

Last year I read her posts, but I didn’t take any action.  Maybe we were moving or I was just too lazy, but I feel like this year, I will really benefit from following this project.

Here are my before areas:

The first photo is one side of our family room.  It has turned into a sprawled out area of toys.  The second area is the adjoining room, which is where our kitchen table is going to go later this month.  If you have any suggestions for storage or organization, please let me know because these areas are not a strength of mine.

We are hosting a play date on Wednesday, and since there will be other kids coming over, I am going to leave most of the toys as is until then.  Once everyone has gone home, I am going to concentrate on the toys Logan actually plays with now, and move the rest to the basement.  I will not be donating or throwing anything away until baby Mora #2 gets his or her use out of them.  But I think that it’s important to simplify your child’s play area anyway, because too many toys and books can overwhelm them and be more stifling to their creativity than stimulating.  Most of us are able to give our child an overabundance of toys, but when it comes down to it, our children don’t need to have so much.  I read a book called Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and it really made me think about all the stuff our children have vs. what they really need.

Here is the link to Simple Mom if you are interested in starting the project yourself and checking out her tips.  I’ll be posting again on Friday with the results!

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