Less is Absolutely More

I’ve always tried to rotate toys and only keep a reasonable amount of activites out at a time. Somehow between being really pregnant and then having a second child I lost my focus on activities and managing the toys. X’s interests had broadened and I was worried about packing something up that he may want to play with. 

Then I felt overwhelmed. I felt overwhelmed by the boxes that never got unpacked when me moved, because I was too pregnant. I was overwhelmed by the baby clothes Q had already outgrown. I was overwhelmed by the tornado of mess that follows my husband around in our small home. I was overwhelmed with the fact that I was constantly cleaning but there was still clutter everywhere. I was overwhelmed by the fact that soon my husband wouldn’t be here to watch the kids all weekend while I cleaned the house.

Then I read Marie Kondo’s infamous book. I wanted my house to spark joy and be easier to clean.

So I started my “KMing” journey. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ve certainly made progress.

I’ve sorted through closets, unpacked lost boxes. I’ve sent bags and bags of stuff to charity. With each bag that leaves I feel a little lighter. With each finished organizational project I am better able to utilize our crafting and sensory supplies-because I know where they are. I got rid of toys I hated or toys that don’t align with my parenting goals. I kept less out on the shelves. 

Then Christmas happened. While the volume of gifts was reasonable and I’d packed away old toys to make room for the new- X wasn’t motivated to play independently. Plus playing with his brother involved dumping every toy in the house in the middle of the livingroom and walking away. It wasn’t working.

I realized that most of the toys out were amazing, but required adult help. Plus there was still too much. 

So I packed things away. I pulled out a few things that would spark independent and creative play. I rearranged to bring fresh inspiration. And I did something I’ve never done before, I cleaned out our play kitchen. X loves his kitchen and uses it regularly. But it’s always the same pot and same felt vegetables that get used. So why do I keep so much stuff in there? Dishes, felt food, pots, pans, a sandwhich making kit…I took it all out. I put our Melissa and Doug ice cream set and cookie set inside, closed the door. I anticipated a mad (almost) 3 year old and pulling it all back out.

What happened, was magic. He played with it for hours. Using each piece as intended, going through all of the steps and then starting over to do it again.

Then this morning after breakfast he asked to watch a movie. I agreed because there had been no whining or crying or tantrums (mornings have been a little rough around here lately). Then he said “never mind Mama, I want to make cookies.”

And so he did.