…and just when I start to fool myself into thinking my kids are into the 5Down thing, I venture into Clara’s room, thinking I’ll pick up a few of the 10,000,000 things strewn about her room, when I bend over to pick something up out of a toy basket only to find that it is a pair of underwear. A pair of underwear. In a toy box. I can’t decide whether this means she removed and flung them or that she “cleaned up” her room by simply shoveling whatever was on the floor into the closest receptacle. I could go on about her hoarding, I could rant and rave about the quilt bunched up in the corner opposite her bed, the actual garbage stuffed into her nightstand drawer, the socks on her desk…but it almost makes me break out in hives.
I honestly don’t get it. I think it is something unhinged in her (and mine and Solomon’s and Mike’s and Max’s) brain that causes us to look at a single object and instead of enjoying that object we inevitably have the same thought:
“I need to start a collection.”
My mother is of the opinion that Clara needs to learn to organize better. I’m of the opinion that she needs to stop simply letting things fall out of her hands onto the floor, or into a nearby basket.
I’m also thinking it might be time for a “Packing Party.”
This is an idea that I think* generated with The Minimalists. You can read their super-long post about it, or I can give you the gist of it with this excerpt:
” We decided to pack all my belongings as if I were moving. And then I would unpack only the items I needed over the next three weeks.“**
Yep, that’s it. It’s a clever way to figure out what you really need. Now, granted, Clara doesn’t really need much of anything, and I’m not convinced that packing up the kids’ clothing would result in anything other than them being incredibly late getting dressed every day. But all the other stuff in their rooms? It’s worth a shot. For example: I picked up a doll that was hidden under a pile of assorted toys, garbage, books, packaging (you name it) and said to Clara “I’m getting rid of this doll” to which she responded with a wail “NO! It’s my favourite.” I spared her the agony of attempting to come up with a name for the doll…and chose another one to turf.
I seriously don’t think she cares about the vast majority of her belongings. None of the kids really do. But do I dare go to such an extreme? What would you do?
Day 170 scorecard: 850 down, 975 to go.
* I attempted some desultory research and abandoned it because it started to feel too much like work. If someone else came up with this idea first, let me know, and I promise I’m terribly sorry.
** and, so the theory goes, get rid of anything you’ve not unpacked in the 3 coming weeks.