I tackled the closet in the girls' room today. Our middle daughter helped when they got home from school. She's not capable of figuring out what to do with things or where to put them unless I tell her, so I told her. Most of the time, she willingly worked and helped out. A couple of times (when she was missing her favorite television program that she's likely already seen a thousand times) she'd get a bit frustrated. It didn't happen often, and she got to watch her show when we took the boxes from the closet to the living room to sort.
Once again, our youngest would sign that she was "finished" with something, if she no longer wanted to keep it. I had to have her set some stuff down, because her hands were so full she was having a hard time signing. And our middle daughter was gladly saying "Keep it NO more! No more keep it!" I wish I could bottle her enthusiasm and use it on days when it's hard to get going. I'm totally in awe of both our girls. They amaze me.
Unbelievably, we sorted through almost as much as we already went through the other day in the bedroom. I am in shock. I honestly think that with everything we went through today, the two plastic storage containers that we still have to go through that contain dollies and dress up clothes, as well as what we already gave away, I think they probably only have 1/6th of their toys left! Seriously.
I don't know what's more shocking. That we got rid of so much, or that they had that much in the first place. Probably that we were able to get rid of so much. Ready to be shocked again? This does not include the copious amounts of toys in the garage, in the storage shed on the driveway, or on the back porch that I have yet to go through. By the time I get rid of all of them, we will probably be down to 1/12th of what we have had around here for toys.
I have really struggled with getting rid of toys. For so many years, the kids were at the same level developmentally without showing much progression. As a result, we had to come up with more toys for birthdays and Christmas, etc. that they didn't have but that would help them learn. To say that we ended up with too many toys would be an understatement. And while I've gotten rid of many of the toys over the years, I obviously haven't gotten rid of enough.
There was only one thing I hung onto for myself in all of this. I was able to part with a couple of stuffed parrots I had in my own bedroom as a teenager, but I couldn't give a little pillow away. My memory is a bit fuzzy on it. I don't remember, if I made it for our oldest, or if my niece made it and mailed it to her. But it's a little Precious Moments pillow made from a panel of fabric. I just couldn't let it go.
I have a picture of our oldest as a newborn with it. She was 3 weeks old in the picture. And she was smiling at the dolly. And I'm going to keep it for now. I can't bring myself to let it go. Not yet. Besides. How cute would it be to get a picture of her baby beside the same pillow some day?
Yeah. That's what I thought. :)
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.