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.
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.