Monday, August 29, 2011

Mindful Monday: Simplify, Simplify

Right now I am in the middle of reading Simplicity Parenting. Likely I will be posting a review and my personal thoughts on it soon. Until then, let me just say that the messages of Kim John Payne are really resonating with me, and backing up some ideas I already have had, leading where my instincts tell me to go.

When we moved I initiated a toy library/bank. I put about 1/4 or so of the kids toys in a big bin, intending to switch out toys as they looked for the missing toys or wanted something new.

To my surprise everyone, including me, forgot about the bin until recently. So far I am the only one who has remembered. I haven't mentioned it to the kids. Their room is so full of stuff that they haven't even noticed the missing toys.

This Monday I am committing to doing some of the reduction and clean out recommended by Payne in his book.

Who: Family-wide, everyone gets to play! (I'll be the one doing the majrity of the grunt work, however...)

What: Clean out and simplify the books, make a toy-simplification plan.

Why: Brother-Bug has so many books and toys that he is often too overwhelmed to play with them. There is too much choice. There is too much junk - the broken, the excessive, the repetitious. In the books...I pride myself on  an excellent selection of picture books that spans shelves and shelves and shelves. And mostly they live on the floor. There are just too many that we are threatening to permenently submerge under tidal waves of books (I will admit that I can think of worse ways to go...).

How: I have already started by sifting through the picture books in the living room. I have packed into boxes more than 2/3 of the books, leaving out classics and much adored books and ones that I think would be much adored if they ever got time. We went from 3 full shelves to a little less than one shelf. Most books I packed away, to come out again in the future. I will repeat this in the play-room, as well as on the grown-up shelves. There is at least one bookshelf in every room, except the bathroom.

As far as modifying the toy situation, I plan on sharing the ideas from Simplicity Parenting with Papa-Bug and making a plan of when and how we can reduce the toy mountain. I don't want to make a specific plan, because it needs to happen when the kids are not around. But happen it will!


I'm feeling very inspired about simplifying the kids lives - and my life by extension. If things go the way I plan, I will have a whole series of posts about these endeavors and their results. I feel, deep in my bones, that there is too much stuff, too much drive, to much information, to much going, going, going to be a healthy adult. If I feel that way as an adult, how would it be to be a developing child? My heart shudders. So, simplification... Here we COME!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Taylor,
    I found your site!
    This is a wonderful idea.
    It's how we ran our classrooms, too.
    We kept many things in boxes in storage, to bring out as we need them. Then we went by the idea: have only as many things out as the kids could put away themselves. That limits things. We still had writing and drawing things available..but not too many. Some building sets, but not many. etc. We also tried to make it easy to put things away after use; each set of items had a sturdy bin with enough room for all the parts to get tossed in the bin, and a designated shelf for it to sit on, with picture cues on the box and shelf.
    Once kids realized (with continual 'help')that it was easier to put things away as they used them, a few more things could come out. (Though others may be put away.)