day 17: kids’ collections

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by Janice on 03/10/2012

Its been a busy couple of days, and with Spring Break starting and the BCTF strike, there have been lots of little people in our house. This makes cleaning up the kids’ areas (or any areas) very challenging.

Trying to deal with the kids’ clutter really brought home for me how much stuff we buy for them. After all, they don’t have Visa cards, don’t drive, and can repeat our address correctly only about 70% of the time, so how else did they accumulate so many things?

But I also wondered about why it is so difficult for them to cull things. It turns out that kids anthropomorphize objects more than adults do. I even came across an article from successful parent, that attempts to explain why this is particularly true for 6-11 year olds. And by their argument, collections are essential to development.

Where does this leave me? On the first point, it’s pretty obvious this is under our control and can work with both my strategies to give up shopping for Lent and reduce our Visa by 15% each month. On the second, I had them reorganize the toy room with me today and it became very obvious which toys were favorites. As one of my goals is to move the toy room to the downstairs rec room, I’ve decided to cull toys during that move (when they are not home). I did this during our last home move, and I find they are less apt to notice when all of the items have been ‘unpacked’ into a new area. There were some additional tips in this article from the Minimalist Packrat blog, however, I found myself questioning whether they have tried to get rid of anything with children present.

I was able to clear out colouring books and other items that the girls have outgrown in their craft cupboard. However, I did purchase a new DVD and a couple of small toys this week, so not sure I’ve seen the last of my bad habits : ).


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