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Stuck

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm stuck. I just had my 3rd baby. There is too much stuff here, it feels crowded just like 3 years ago when my last baby was born. I know there is too much furniture and big items here for how much space we have, but I have no idea what I could get rid of. Or when I look at my kids clothes, I want to have 1 week of clothes per person, per season- but I'll look at my son's 12 pairs of pants and have no idea which 5 or 6 should go. What do I do? Any ideas for new inspiration?

 

We've gotten rid of about 850 things this year, and I subtract from that number when we get new things. The problem is that 2 or 3 things were big items - a bunkbed for the 2 older kids and a rocking chair for me to sit and nurse the new baby in. Someone gave me a big jasmine plant that I love. And no big items have left. :(

 

We definitely need less toys, but I am really struggling with what to let go. The older 2 kids play with everything they have, so there needs to be some other criteria to help decide what to keep and what not to keep. We have no storage for rotating toys.


Edited by SomethingAnonymous - 9/17/12 at 2:56pm
post #2 of 22

I was feeling this way a couple moths ago and i ended up putting almost all the kids toys in our garage for a few weeks and it really helped  i'm starting to feel antsy again though but nothing left is really mine

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well seeing a family in great need helped me think about what we really needed. They had to escape a domestic violence situation and because they had to leave very quickly and secretly, basically only were able to take the clothes on their backs. They need beds, so I realized I felt selfish having an extra twin bed here that's just like a guest bed that we never use. So that's leaving soon and an end table for them. Hopefully getting some big things like that out will help.
 

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Still feeling incredibly overwhelmed with stuff. Too much of my life is picking things up from the floor, putting them away, cleaning them, etc etc. It's too much. I can't manage this much on my own.

post #5 of 22
I feel the same way, all the time. I always end up wanting to get rid of the stuff that is out, but then I realize that that's what they play with, the stuff on the shelves just sits there. I think we really need to work on putting things away, and not having everything out at once. I want to get rid of some of the stuff we have that involves lots of little pieces, but we are a Lego loving family, so that's hard.
I know it was easier with less kids, and that was because I wasn't so outnumbered when it came to picking up after them. With only 1-2 kids it's not THAT bad, 3-4 it's getting scary, lol.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

I feel exactly the same way.. I wish we had nothing with small pieces but they like that stuff. I have tried to say to them that we need to only have one thing out at a time. It's hard to stay on top of. My 6 year old just forgets all the time, and my 3 year old isn't really understanding what I'm saying.

 

I've been able to get a couple small bags of clothing out of the house, things the kids have grown out of. I'm still doing a ton of laundry, like 3 loads a day? Maybe that's just how it goes with a newborn...

 

It's just crazy how crowded it is here. I think it's too much furniture maybe.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well hopefully no one minds if I just keep talking to myself here.. lol. The bed left yesterday but I still don't feel less crowded. If everything is put away, the house looks very decluttered and pretty good by most people's standards. It's just that if several chairs get moved, a vacuum is left out, and a bunch of toys on the floor- it's a small enough space that just a few things out of place literally will turn a normally clear and open living room into an obstacle course that you have to navigate through or risk tripping. Maybe I will have to post pictures for suggestions. Or is this just how it goes with a smaller space? 

post #8 of 22
I think that's just a small space for you. We are in 900sqft and it's tight, even without all the stuff. greensad.gif

I have been reading tons of books on simplifying and it's helped some. And we have gotten rid of SO MUCH stuff it's crazy. I only do laundry every few days, for the five of us. We pared way down on clothes, only one extra bath towel, etc... That has helped a bunch.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

We have about the same space. We've also gone down to 2 bath towels each, 1 plate each, etc. What books have you read?
 

post #10 of 22
I got Living the Simple Life, and I'm waiting for Living Simply with Kids, or something like that. They are by Elaine St. James. I really like them so far! And they are about simplifying more than stuff, simplifying your life. If you don't have time for it, and it's not super important to you, don't do it! It's really helping me to embrace it all. We have gotten rid of so much, we live a very simple life, dh is disabled and home with us, but! I still have a terrible time not feeling like I need to live like everyone else. Not so far as stuff, but when we go have coffee on a Tuesday morning, with our kids who are home schooled/unschooled, I always felt guilty. When we don't HAVE to go to bed at 8pm on a Sunday night, like the rest of the schooling/working world, I felt guilty. These books have helped me let go.
Sorry about going on and on there, I am just really excited about all this!
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

No need to apologize, that's so awesome they are really helping you. I will have to look into them, thanks :) 

 

I cleaned up today, it definitely takes way less time than it used to years ago, so things are getting better. When things are put away it looks so empty in here. When the kids empty every bin and container they have and dump it onto the 5x5' play space they have... it's a nightmare. We have 990sq ft or so according to the floor plans.. but we don't use one bathroom and one bedroom, so I guess we are living in less space than that. My partner needs to clean his bathroom and the 3rd bedroom that was formally his office before he got a full time job outside the house- once those rooms are clean and useable maybe it will be better?

 

Is it sad that today my son ripped his shirt and my immediate first thought was "oh yay something else I can get rid of!" lol!
 

post #12 of 22
It sounds like you're doing pretty good given the size of your place. We just constantly reevaluate our stuff. It's so much easier to get rid of things now. We only have one child, but we keep the toys in a zippered beach bag that way it's easy to pack the toys up and toss them in a closet out of the way.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingAnonymous View Post

No need to apologize, that's so awesome they are really helping you. I will have to look into them, thanks smile.gif 

I cleaned up today, it definitely takes way less time than it used to years ago, so things are getting better. When things are put away it looks so empty in here. When the kids empty every bin and container they have and dump it onto the 5x5' play space they have... it's a nightmare. We have 990sq ft or so according to the floor plans.. but we don't use one bathroom and one bedroom, so I guess we are living in less space than that. My partner needs to clean his bathroom and the 3rd bedroom that was formally his office before he got a full time job outside the house- once those rooms are clean and useable maybe it will be better?

Is it sad that today my son ripped his shirt and my immediate first thought was "oh yay something else I can get rid of!" lol!

 

smile.gif

Maybe put some of the toys that they dump out up high in the closet? So they have to ask for them, then you can have them pick up before getting more down. I used to be so good about having the kids only play with one toy at a time, but now.... Lol. It's hard with a toddler dumping everything he finds! I do have a few things on a high shelf, like our nice wooden waldorf puzzle, wooden blocks, etc... Stuff that cost a lot and I don't want lost! I only get it down when I'm ready to supervise.
I have actually found that the less toys the kids have, the less they play with toys. They look at books, which we have HUNDREDS of, so that's a mess too. They play outside, they run in circles, they ride the scooter and trikes around the house.
Reading Little House on the Prairie is what really changed our frame of my a couple years ago. They had so little but made it just fine. I always keep that in mind!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

So true. The less toys my kids have the more creative I notice them being with what they have.  I think it's really good for them. 
 

Oh gosh.. the riding the bike in the house thing happens here too and it drives me nuts. We don't have enough floor space for bikes to be laying around.

 

I have found some storage space in closets in other rooms, on a high shelf- I think some toys are going to be put away. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

I think the reality of a small space is that if you leave 1 big thing out, like a vacuum, it feels very crowded.

post #15 of 22
Oh I know, anything, anything!, out, is a mess. I think that's why I decided to get rid of as much as possible.

I actually don't mind them riding the trike and scooter inside, but the big bikes stay outdoors.
post #16 of 22
We're also trying to get rid of as much as possible out of our rental property, we are soon buying a 558 sq ft cottage (2 adults, 2 children) and even though I've been decluttering for two years now on and off it seems like we still have a lot of stuff , even though bags and bags have left the house. I'm working on it daily now up until the move, to try and make a difference. If I don't, it's simply not going to work. I dream off a clean slate and very simple rooms...tricky with children!
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingAnonymous View Post

So true. The less toys my kids have the more creative I notice them being with what they have.  I think it's really good for them. 

 
Oh gosh.. the riding the bike in the house thing happens here too and it drives me nuts. We don't have enough floor space for bikes to be laying around.

I have found some storage space in closets in other rooms, on a high shelf- I think some toys are going to be put away. Thanks for the suggestion.

I think the reality of a small space is that if you leave 1 big thing out, like a vacuum, it feels very crowded.

We're hoping to buy a very small Dyson vacuum which apparently can sit on someone's hand (?!) it's so small, but I haven't see it in person yet. We have a teeny tiny cupboard which we are planning on storing it in in the new house which also house the fuse box!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Oh wow, let me know how that goes, sounds cool!
 

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingAnonymous View Post

No need to apologize, that's so awesome they are really helping you. I will have to look into them, thanks :) 

 

I cleaned up today, it definitely takes way less time than it used to years ago, so things are getting better. When things are put away it looks so empty in here. When the kids empty every bin and container they have and dump it onto the 5x5' play space they have... it's a nightmare. We have 990sq ft or so according to the floor plans.. but we don't use one bathroom and one bedroom, so I guess we are living in less space than that. My partner needs to clean his bathroom and the 3rd bedroom that was formally his office before he got a full time job outside the house- once those rooms are clean and useable maybe it will be better?

 

Is it sad that today my son ripped his shirt and my immediate first thought was "oh yay something else I can get rid of!" lol!
 

Could you make the one bedroom that isn't being used a playroom?  It sounds like a lot of what is bothering you is the clutter of children's toys (something I completely understand!).

 

Are your children old enough to decide for themselves what toys to get rid of?  You mentioned the family in need.  What if you told them that there are some children who have no toys and would be very happy to have something to play with, and ask if they would each pick two things to give to those children, or something like that?

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

I decided to box up one 18 gallon rubbermaid tote of toys and put them up on a shelf in our closet. I am tempted to box up even more and just experiment with them having down just their shelf of books and maybe 5 toys/activities each. The good news is I think I could box almost every toy in just a couple more of those totes. But it's amazing how just a few boxes of toys can mess up a room.
 

 

nstewart- my oldest (age 6) is old enough to tell me what she does and does not want. Today she decided to get rid of 2 necklaces, just randomly on her own :)

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