More Noah Progress

Noah went through more of his non-plushie toys today. We are trying not to push him too hard, but we do try to steer him towards certain toys or set certain limits for him. When we see that he’s hit a wall in the decluttering process for the day, we stop, and we praise him for being able to let go of stuff that he really won’t miss. (In fact, he has not asked for anything we decluttered together – not even the stuffed animals! – and it’s been a week for some of it.) At four, the idea is to teach him about not hoarding, not being a pack rat and learning that less can be more, especially since the less you own, the more time you can spend playing and the less time you spend cleaning!

I do find myself having to watch my words, because sometimes I want to say, “but you play with that so much!” and really I ought to say, “okay, sure. Why this one?” (and the latter question is just to make sure he’s thought it through). Perry the Platypus from the last post is a great example; I felt like he played with Perry a lot but he felt like it was too frustrating of a toy.

In addition to the stuffed animals, this is the box of toys he has chosen to get rid of:

I’m glad to see that green skull go and the train tracks will be sold so he can have some pocket money. It surprises me what ends up leaving but, truly, he has so many toys that he has no room for new ones and there are already a couple of things on his personal wishlist to get.

While I’m at this, I’ll share my own bit of decluttering today. (I tend to focus on my stuff or Noah’s stuff or else it gets overwhelming for me and, well, chores still need to get done.) I love the Forever stamps provided by the USPS and I had bought multiple books back in 2006 and 2008 when I needed to mail wedding invitations and birth announcements, respectively. Since I overbought, we’ve been using these stamps since and a lot of the $0.39 and $0.02 and $0.41 stamps were in a pile, getting unused. Today, Joshua looked up the cost of postage for one letter ($0.45 now!) and I did a little math to use up most of what was left. This is the result:

Not too shabby. Getting rid of clutter (yes, this counts!), and saving some money without any effort. Love it!


Decluttering Sentimentals

It’s hard to let go of sentimental items. Everyone I talk to about minimalism and decluttering has admitted that, even though they want the space and lack of clutter in their life. I actually managed to get rid of a lot of sentimental things last year when I went through my dad’s stuff and only kept a very few items, like his coach shirt from when I played softball.

Lately, it’s been more of a “I just don’t want to get rid of this because I like it” and that had me at a standstill. I mean, you can say “I like it and I want to keep it” about pretty much anything you own. You did buy it, after all. Then you may have added some sort of sentimental tag to it and you’ll say it over and over while it weighs on your mind.

That’s been my problem. My most recent round of decluttering was to finally go over to our shelf that displays a lot of our “pretty” things (like my Willowtree collection) and pull out the things I didn’t want to keep. I kept a Precious Moments snowglobe to give to one of the kids but decided to donate a plastic one I paid $3 for in a souvenir shop. (Actually, Noah is playing with it for now because he’s never really used a snowglobe before but it’s going to be donated.)

I decided to share a few examples. You can see my progress from about 15 minutes of work. Imagine all of these items together and then think about how much space I’ve cleared up to devote to things we care about more!

I bought this because I thought it was pretty and then kept it, intending to give it to a future daughter. Now I have a daughter and the cup set is cracked. Whoops.

I don’t think these are sake cups but I’m not sure. I used them to hold random trinkets – trinkets I no longer have.

A glass cat I just kind of ended up with. I loved it and kept it because it reminded me of my huge cat, Omega, but the ear is chipped and Omega lives with someone else now. This figurine might actually cause more pain than happiness, so off it goes.

I bought this at Goodwill once, intending to use it for jewelry. Well, I have a jewelry box and very little jewelry as it is, so this has been on a bookshelf since I bought it.

To tell you the truth, I don’t remember where this came from. When my dad died, it ended up back in my possession, so I never let it go. I’d look at it and say, “I could declutter that!” but then I would pause, think of the sentiment and keep it. No need, any more.

I bought this little cat faux painting at a thrift store when I was 11 or so. I kept it for so long because I like the idea of it and I had it sitting in my bathroom at my dad’s apartment when I was a preteen but it’s been over a decade, now. Time to let it go.

So you see, I kept a lot of this stuff simply because I “wanted” to, but now that I’ve made the decision to let it go, I don’t actually miss any of it. I also found that by getting through this hurdle, I’ve broken past my block and I can continue purging stuff that I no longer want to keep. I’m still learning to look past, “but I like this” and go to, “do I like something else better?” I actually learned that lesson from helping Noah go through his plushies!

(The park entry will have to wait. I apparently have 200+ pictures to wade through before I can post any. Thanks to terminal and Joshua, I can re-size them all at once with a simple command, so that won’t make me drag my feet at least.)