I am continuing my commitment towards reducing the clutter in our house and we made another trip this week to take a trunk full of randomness out of our life. The stuff that we got rid of was mostly Emily’s clothing that was too small, some household decorations that were gathering dust, my old set of pots, and books that were overflowing in my bookshelf.
Did you see anything of Ethan’s on this list? Nope! As we pulled up to the drop-off box, he watched me silently as I loaded everything into the Goodwill box and said good riddance to the stuff we did not need.
When I climbed back in the car, he continued in this silence until we pulled up to the grocery store…and then he burst into tears.
“Mommy, why did you get rid of Emily’s hat?”
“Ethan, that hat didn’t fit your sister. She is getting too big and so we needed to get rid of these things that were too small.”
“But, mommy, why did you get rid of those special lids?”
“Ethan, those lids went to the old pots that mommy had. Remember, mommy got new ones for Mother’s Day and now we don’t need those anymore.”
Each item, he had noted as I put them in there. Honestly, I never thought that it would be an issue because none of the items were his, but he seemed to take my war on clutter very personally.
Over dinner, I shared with my husband about Ethan’s unexpected tears and how I never thought he would cry over the stuff like that. Ryan went into a deep explanation with Ethan about how we wouldn’t be able to walk in our house if we didn’t get rid of things and how he couldn’t play in a house that had stuff piled up. And then he said the funniest thing ever…
“Mommy, what you need is Space Bags. They will smash your stuff into little piles and then you won’t have to give my stuff away. You just need a vacuum hose, to suck out the air, and then you can fit up to four sweaters in one bag and slide them under the bed.”
That is when I knew that we made the right decision. I also vowed to switch to as much commercial-free television as I could.
In all seriousness though, do you find that your children help contribute to the clutter because they are attached to things? Do you declutter in secret or do you let your kids know when you are getting rid of stuff?