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Me vs the thrift store addict

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can anyone advise me? My child-rearing principles are at odds with my need to keep my house from looking like a giant dumpster!

I've been trying to simplify and declutter. My dh and toddler aren't helping, but my 8 y.o. ds is my real problem! He has a huge amount of books, toys, games, art supplies, furniture....

I buy the kids' clothes at the thrift store, and ds always comes home from there with "treasures." He's actually generous about giving stuff away to friends, but he refuses to "weed" his stuff-- not even for charity or profit! To make things worse, he insists on "organizing" (and I use the term very loosely) his own way.

I don't want to tell him what he can or can't spend his allowance on, and I don't want to get rid of his stuff behind his back. So, do I have any options?
post #2 of 7
If you're not within walking distance, then he can't get there himself. Just don't bring him.
post #3 of 7
I'm with Irish.

Or its his room let him keep it how he wants which would drive me batty.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I forgot to say that his stuff fills his room and the playroom. I need more space for 14m ds Jiro's stuff, and a safe area for Jiro to play. I was more mellow about the overflow when Taro was an only!
post #5 of 7
For the playroom you problaly could designate some shelfs or cabinets as his and he has to get rid of anything that won't fit in his room and his shelves.

My boys share a room and have one cabinet each on the screened porch for their stuff. Anything that doesn't fit their space has to go.
post #6 of 7
It's totally fine to set a limit. He has to accept that because he lives with other people, his things can't take over.

If you really want to throw good-childrearing out the window and just GET RESULTS - I'd let him know that 1) he has to get rid of 2 out of every 10 things he owns (or whatever percentage would bring it into control) and 2) from now on, if he wants to bring a new thing into the house, he has to give away or pass on an equal number of things BEFORE the new thing crosses the threshold!

(The rule is 4 big Tonka trucks in and 4 tiny Matchbox cars out is not equitable. The things out must also make room for the new things in. And make it his responsibility to find a place for that thing to live.)

And here's the bad parenting clause I mentioned above. If he's not complaint to the needs of the household just because, then bribe him! Let him be rewarded for reaching the goal with a CONSUMABLE reward - like a huge candy bar or a box of Captain Crunch (we never buy that so if I do it's a major celebration). It's worth your kid bouncing around for a few hours (make sure he eats it by noon) if your home can be decluttered by 30%.
post #7 of 7
I was going to say what pp said. Can only bring more stuff into house if getting rid of other things. That is our plan as dd gets older. Husband and I already get rid of things all the time, so it is a part of our family culture, to clean out things. Good luck.
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