Saturday, February 6, 2021

Our First Declutter: Part 2!

I wrote about our first week of decluttering, and the first post was so lengthy I decided I should break it into two separate posts! You can read the first days of declutter here!

Day 4, Thursday, February 4, 2021:

This is kind of the day I have dreaded from the beginning. I had planned this specific day because I knew number one, it was one of the only days we didn't have anything to do at church in the evening, and since my girls weren't home, Stephen had mentioned "Boys night out." So I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to go through some toys...

But first, while the boys were at home doing school, I worked on putting away some clothes hangers (we have hundreds of clothes hangers.. some were just hanging in the closet, many were on clothes we donated or packed away... but there are so. many. clothes hangers!) and my hubby worked on the kitchen! We do have a 'pantry project' we are working on, but we worked on the two cabinets that are constantly acceesed. One was the one with our plates/bowls and coffee mugs. As per minimalist suggestions, Stephen separated six plates, six bowls, four plastic lunch plates and four plastic bowls. All the other (I think we had something like 34, with an additional 10 to 15 stored in another cabinet!) we stored in the cabinets above. This way, when we do have company we can easily access them... but they won't always be there for us to take several plates. With fewer plates, you're more likely to just take one instead of dirtying up several. This will be interested to see how this works out! But its SO much more clean and non-stressful!

Next, he worked on coffee mugs. This was more difficult because several of the coffee mugs will fit into the 'sentimental items' category because they were gifts. Yet, the reality that we just had too many was a true one. We decided on about seven mugs that were our favorites. We took the ones that we could bear to part with and put those in a box to take to the church so our church members that spend a lot of time in the family life center (especially with our morning services being in that area) will be able to use nice mugs rather than the styrofoam cups. The ones we just had to hold onto, went in the storage cabinets above. Out of sight, out of mind. I was also able to store up a good amount of counter space, as now I can fit the coffee beans bag and the filters in the cabinet beside our mugs! It made a huge impact!

Then we worked on the other cabinet. We have a few drinking glasses that we've gathered in different sets over the years, but more often than not, we reach for our mason jars. These are our go-to drinking glasses. Isn't that southern of us? lol. We also love them because we have plastic lids for them so when we mix together our energy drinks we can mix them in the jars with the lids. So if it wasn't a mason jar, I stored it away! Also, over the years I have accumulated a ton of those plastic party cups that you can get at Walmart and the dollar store. My kids like these a lot, so I kept out about six of them. Mostly Star Wars, since my girls usually drink from the mason jars as well. I also kept our our four Tervis cups, and the boys large 32 oz tervis cups. Two Yeti's, and for cups, that is all!

A few months ago I packed away our 40+ piece dinnerware set that my aunt had given me to give to my sisters, who actually entertains and I do not. It was black and elegant, much more her taste than mine. At that time I purchased six brighly colored dessert plates from the dollar tree, and I love those! So I kept those. I also purchased these hanging hooks back in December and haven't used them for anything yet! So I took only my pretty measuring cups (My Pioneer woman ones my daughter got me for Christmas a few years ago!) and hung them on the hooks. Who needs so many measuring cups? I cerainly didn't! Yet I had them anyway. I put in the donation box tones of water bottles, plastic cups, bowls, and storage containers. I have so many storage containers without lids! There's no need to hang onto those. Now my cabinet is far easier to access and much more plesant to look at! I hope that it will reduce on the number of dishes we wash as well! We shall see!

My husband took my boys and off to Chili's and the arcade they went! And into their room I went!

Now I didn't sneak and get rid of all of my kids toys. I talked to them before hand. There were a few videos on minimalism that I wanted the kids to watch with me, and we talked about the benefits of having less stuff. We talked about how they would have more space, how they would be able to enjoy the things they really love if the other things weren't all over the place, and the best benefit of them all- their cleaning time would be reduced dramatically! That has been a major issue of stress for all of us. I feel like I'm always telling the boys to clean their room, and they honestly admitted that they feel like they really are always cleaning and never having it finished. We agreed on this: I would go through their room for them, but I woudln't throw away anything that wasn't broken. I would pack away all of their toys that they didn't play with and put them in a storage container in the closet. We would leave the toys in storage for six weeks, then we would revisit the idea. If they could think of toys that they had missed, we would get them out. If they didn't enjoy the cleaner, less cluttered room, we would get them out. BUT- if they enjoyed it and found themselves more at peace, we would leave them packed away for awhile, or donate some of them. They both whole heartedly agreed to this. They wanted me to do it rather than allow them to be a part of it, which is fine. They talk about 'minimalist muscles' a lot and its hard to expect a child to understand something that its even hard for me to understand. Yet, I think that with time they will feel a sense of peace and calm that they will understand why its better to have less.

This. Took. Hours.

I played youtube videos by Joshua Becker the the Minimal Mom for motivation! This is one of my favorites...


There are a lot of suggestions on how to do this. The Minimal Mom has an awesome video series about decluttering toys, and she suggested rather than going through each toy piece by piece, you chose toy categories that you want to keep. I kind of combined both. I chose categories that I wanted to keep... 1) Legos 2) Matchbox cars 3) collection items (football helmets for Hudson, Mini-Boos for Sawyer) 4) The 'people' toys that they play with a lot, which is a mixture of Imaginext people and Playmobil and 5) Their imaginext collection of houses. The houses are big and bulky, but they play with them all. the. time. However, we have them on a shelf in their bedroom that holds those well! So with that in mind I went through and sorted out their toys. There were a couple of items that didn't fit into those categories that I saved in a storage cube, one per boys. This is their personal cube, where thier collection items go.

Legos. This was absolutely the hardest part of the cleanout. Not only becasue there were just SO many, but because it really surprised me of how far I had just let the lego collection go ! How much money had been spent on so. many. lego sets... and how little of them were still not put together.

I mean, really?? What in the world??

Lets just put this into perspective... here are some of the lego sets that I know of that we, or someone else has purchased for my boys in the last three years...

The Lego Pirate Rollercoaster (retired...) between $99 to $150 on ebay now, so I'll go with $99
Lego Fairground Carosel 89.00 Lego Toy Story Carnival 49.00
The Hidden Side Lab: 15.99 Graveyard 29.99 Beach Buggy 19.99
2 Lego Creator Houses: 39.99 Each
Hidden side bus: 42.99

So that's $425.94.. and guess how many of them are still put together??
The bus is kind of in tact... about half of it is built.... The rest of all of those pieces are in that HUGE container! And since they are specific to the actual box they came in, they won't work for anything else.
What a bummer.

I'm also quite positive that isn't the only sets that we have, just the ones that I can remember. So, I did even to through the legos. I looked for really good pieces, the ones like I played with when I was a kid in my small container of legos that kept me busy for hours. Ones that they could build things and rebuild them with! And that was all. All of the rest, all of those teeny tiny pieces went into the storage totes, and into the storage closet! I left a box of people (this is what they play with most) and three boxes with the best pieces in them.

My son actually took the "After" photo for me! He came home and was so excited he asked if he could
take a photo of it! I think that spoke volumes about him being impressed!
He was also excited that he could actually play on his rug that he got for Christmas!
The boys say they LOVE minimalism! Hahaha, even though I'm pretty sure that the number of matchbox cars that they own disqualifies us as minimalists lol! But we are new to this, and we have so much less clutter!

So its only been a couple of days, but the boys still have a clean room! It only takes a few minutes to tidy up their room. They absolutely LOVE this! So far, Hudson has declared that he loves minimalism lol. I'm sure that we will get to a point where we will start to miss a few things, but maybe I'm wrong! So far, its been a much better experience to have less things in their room! I'll definitely keep you updated on this through the month and let you know how it goes with minimalizing my kids room!!

And since I've promised I would share some of my favorite videos, here is a great video from the Minimal Mom about toys!

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