Monday, January 14, 2008

Cleaning Out

Everybody wants more space, but nobody wants to give up their stuff. ~ Andy

I'm in purging mode. The new year usually does that to me. I think it's mostly due to the space that comes at the end of the holiday season. November and December are full of special events on the calendar, special foods, special decorations. Come January, the calendar opens up; we renew our commitment to eating simple, wholesome foods; and I, for one, am always amazed by how open and clean and bright the house looks once the Christmas decorations come down. All that space is refreshing and light and freeing, and I am usually inspired to find even more of it. Thus, purging.

Andy and I attacked the play room this past weekend. It was terrible. It had become a big toy closet, and our daughter rarely played in there. In one of those lovely moments of congruence, we started talking about creative and imaginative play, child development, and the value of order in a child's life. I believe that play is a child's work, and that children play and learn better when their environment is orderly and beautiful. So we went to work. We filled two big bins of excess stuff - one with toys that are good but too young for our daughter (to save for any future siblings), as well as current toys that we'll rotate through the playroom; the other with toys of which to dispose. Every remaining toy was given a home. It is amazing to already see a big difference in the way our daughter plays. Now that Mrs. Potato Head has all of her parts gathered in one place, our daughter plays with it frequently. She has spent hours putting together her train tracks and her USA floor puzzle. She has been riding on her rocking horse, which hadn't been used in a really long time (too hard to rock a horse when it is surrounded by toys).

It's really great to be able to use that room in the way we had originally intended. We implemented the rule that our daughter cleans it up every night before bed, which she thinks is great fun. Now I'm inspired to do more in there...I'm thinking her original artwork on the walls, maybe a bin of colored rice, a more attractive way to store her books...this may quickly become my favorite room in the house!

5 comments:

janenetindall said...

How wonderful, can't wait to see it! I can't wait until our remodel is done...I'm soooooo ready to purge and organize, but I need a place to put things first. By garage sale season, we'll be ready to have one ourselves, and we will be that much closer to be out from under the tyranny of stuff. I can't wait! You might post photos of the playroom, it would be fun to see what you've been talking about...

Bob said...

Just don't let it become a cycle. "Purge", okay. "Binge", no-kay.

Tiff said...

Just so happens that i'm doing the same thing to our playroom. There is just way too much "stuff" everywhere!

The Chicken Lady said...

I wandered over here from Happy Zombie. I'm a Washingtonian surviving in Wisconsin. Love the snow!! :) Can't wait to get back out West. Your blog is fun and your daughter is adorable! I'll be back!! :)

Linda said...

Doesn't it feel good to purge the things that you don't need, and/or want anymore. I have been in purge mode all month, but have not had much time to do any of it. I finally attacked my sewing room last weekend. Now I need to do the closets!