Wife, mother of two young girls. Lives in a good size apt, has done a nice job of setting the place up but can improve some areas. The main issue is being more conscious about what comes in and getting a routine system for getting things out.
This post will show you some of her real responses for how/why excessive things come into the home and how she can stop it. Tomorrow's post will focus on why she has a hard time editing.
The main thing to remember is that things should be seen as tools that help you live the life you want to live. That your things should add to life not take over it! Be conscious about what you take in and you'll have less to deal with at home. It's hard at first, but it's just a habit to get into; think before buying/taking...
>I love the look of joy on my child's face when I buy her a little something when we're out. I really just want to make them happy. Though I will admit when we get home it usually ends up at the bottom of some drawer never to be seen again...
Relationships are more important than material things. No object is more important than the time and love you share with your family. Children need love, affection, and attention not more stuff.
>So many people offer me their outgrown clothes and toys for my kids. I pretty much take everything, cause I feel bad saying no, but after going though it, if and when I finally get to it that is, there's usually only a few things that I would actually keep.
You're allowed to say no when someone offers you something, whether it's a friend with kid's clothes, or free gift with purchase at the make-up counter. You pay for things in more ways than money; you pay in time, energy, and space. And I don't know anyone (especially a mother of two living in nyc) who has extra time, energy, or space! Yes sometimes it's nice to take things these kinds of 'gifts', but at this point you shouldn't take anything until you've gone through the bags and bags you've already have.
>Toys are always coming in, especially at birthday time, help!?
For children who are old enough, get them involved in non-profit organizations or charity. Instead of asking for gifts you can take donations, and instead of giving gift bags you make a small donation. You can still get your child a gift and give it to them before, during, or after the party. Tell people not to bring gifts for kids 1-2 years. The child doesn't know the difference anyway. I know parents who wrap up toys a child hasn't really played with so they 'at least have something to open', which while I don't love the idea of the whole 'something to open' part, it's a pretty good idea.