Now I would count the items in this room but it’d take me forever. She isn’t buying into the less is more mindset but as you look through the pictures please remember she had LOTS more. I don’t necessarily think we spoil her by buying lots of stuff for her though we do frequently buy her stuff. She is our only child. For several years she was the only grandchild on my side and the only great-grandchild. For even longer she was the only grandchild on my husband’s side. My husband’s mom is a bargain hunting, yard sale junkie. If there were trophies to be won for purchasing “bargains” she’d have them all. What I’ve learned is that it’s not really a bargain if you don’t really need it. I’ve also learned that you can’t base needs off of what a young child says they need.
My daughter absolutely LOVES all of her stuff. Everything is her favorite and she remembers everything. The squeaky turtle bought for her when she was two? she remembers – where she got it and who got it for her.
She got bit by the clutter bug hard. Gotta love my daughter – but she doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I always dread seeing certain family because I know we are going to be bringing home new “treasures”. porcelain dolls, dollar tree finds, funky clothes, books, coloring books, their junk mail. Yes my daughter falls in love with junk mail, catelogs, coupons and scraps of paper. She collects rocks, coupons, stuffed dogs, squinkys, mighty beans, littlest pet shop animals, polly pockets, my little ponys, zhu zhu pets, leaves, books, candy wrappers (not laziness but because she likes them), pieces of yarn, paper, acorns, pine cones, winter gloves and Christmas socks.
I’ve asked my mom to do a lending library for books and toys so that I can bring them back to her for the other grandkids to enjoy. She graciously accepted and understands how overwhelmed I get so she has cut back dramatically on gifts for my daughter to bring home. – small measured doses. His mom would flood us with yard sale treasures every Saturday. Toys and items constantly flowing in for my daughter. People give her stuff – every Polly Pocket item ever made? Check we got it for free. More My Little Ponies than what 10 girls could play with? check. again for free. Dora kitchen set, baby doll strollers, carseats, giant snowmen, check, check and check.
When we did that yard sale for a friend she told my daughter she could have whatever she wanted. I cringed inside.
I’m complaining – they all mean well. We’ve gotten so many things for free from who care. I get flustered and overwhelmed but some of the things we really needed and couldn’t afford. My daughter’s bed and sheets were all free. We couldn’t have afforded such a nice mattress set for her and sheets are expensive. Our couch and recliner, though not my style were free, given to us by his parents. Our couch in our family room that I love also free courtesy of my mom, who gave it to my brother, who gave it to my sister, who gave it to us. Many of my daughter’s beautiful clothes including her favorite pair of Uggs and some high end clothes given to us for free from my boss. Winter coats to keep her warm. It has really helped us stretch our money. I typically only have to buy her 2-4 outfits when she outgrows her clothes because my boss’s friend’s daughter must go through growth spurts at the same time so when my daughter outgrows hers we always seem to get a new bag.
Our microwave? a wedding gift, our dressers? a yard sale find. My daughter’s dresser? free from my brother. I need to be a better guardian but I also can succeed by not letting the unwanted items linger in my home. I’ve sold alot of stuff which often feels selfish as I should be blessing others but I sell the items super cheap. I also donate quite a bit too. My massive amount of clutter came in super helpful when my town flooded. They needed clothes – I had a 100 white t-shirts from when I owned a tshirt press. All the beautiful clothes? there was a desperate need for clothes my daughter’s size. Underwear – the extra packs I bought and were given to us put to good use. All those unused coloring books went to children who had lost everything along with boxes of school supplies, art supplies and hygiene items I had unfortuneatly stock piled. Bags of towels and sheets were donated – given to us by friends and family put to good use by people devastated by the flood.
That flood helped us. It brought our community closer and brought my family closer. My husband, daughter and I felt so fortunate that we didn’t lose our home and stuff. We felt sorrow and grief for those who lost. Countless pictures of lost and devistation called us to action to part freely with items that were just taking up space in our home.
Most people don’t know how much we had. I was so ashamed by the sheer amount that I couldn’t have people in. My storage unit was bursting and I made regular trips there to add more. I couldn’t stop accumulating whether it was free, given to me or purchased. I needed stuff. People weren’t invited in when it was at it’s worst. Pictures weren’t taken inside the house because I was ashamed. ASHAMED! I would love to have more before pictures but they simply don’t exist because I would never have taken them. I have various pictures from the last two years but that’s after I found Fly Lady and then Miss Minimalist.
Here we go!
Embarassment awaits – I found some before pictures of my daughter’s room just now. These are not before before but beginning of summer before.
This is what you saw when you were near her doorway.
This is what happened every time she played.
This was the top of her dresser. There were too many clothes than what the dresser could handle. Please note this room also used to have a student desk in here and a night stand (the one that is now in my room).
This didn’t happen over night but rather over the course of 6 months.
Still cluttered but a lot less stuff. The before picture was after downsizing. This one is much better. I’ll share what she chose to keep on her dresser – Goldie and Goldie’s tank and food. A jar/ vase with a few rocks and shells from her collection. the plants vs. zombies house, the signed bowling pin and birthday hat from her 6th birthday, a timer, a toilet paper owl she made at school, a rather large pack of C Batteries (bought with yard sale money) and a jewelry box that she rarely if ever uses.
Her purse hanges on the door, nothing behind or under. Her two monster high wigs hanging on the door. I HATE the stickers all over but you really have to pick your battles.
That massive white tower used to be full of Polly Pocket with an additional tote for Polly Pockets. Now? just the three bottom drawers, this also now houses her littlest pet shops, her squinkies, her jewelry and assorted small toys. The black set of drawers? her dress up clothes and dress up clothes for her babies and toys.
Not too bad – much less than what used to be here. a box of for paper collection, and her musical instruments. a shoe box hanging out next to the tv stand.
Her toy net and shelf.
her toys whittled down enormously
more floor space
her bed. The two giant snowmen are not regular guests. she typically has a small stuffed dog and small elephant, her dog happy napper and her dog pillow pet, two pillows and tons of blankets.
so definately not a minimalist room or even a Lagom room but no longer the room of a hoarder. it’s a work in progress.