My husband is a self-proclaimed pack-rat. There are a lot of reasons for this, and I will admit that sometimes his boxes of odds and ends do come in handy. (Usually to make something I saw on Pinterest.) But he definitely likes to hold on to his stuff when he gets it. Not only that, but he loves to keep little odds and ends that remind him of people or events. Movie ticket stubs, little rocks or pinecones from trips, and things like that. More treasures! More stuff! Unfortunately, my children have started the same treasure storing habits! Every craft, piece of paper and toy becomes a treasured memory. Over time these items have started to pile up. These blessings have started to become more of a burden. When we have friends over our basement floor becomes a dumping ground for each and every treasure they have ever received.
We Have This Treasure…
This past week we went through all our “treasures” in our basement toy rooms. We are moving out of the baby stage and are starting to move into the big kid stage so the time has come to purge the remaining baby toys and move on to the foosball table and crafts. I was utterly shocked at how easy it was for the kids to sort through what stayed and what went. As we went along they got excited about slimming down the amount of stuff we had to take care of and started brainstorming different people we could pass things on to. I learned a lot from my kids that day.
It is a Joy to Bless Others:
It really is more blessed to give than receive. They have been hanging out with another young girl this summer and have noticed how much she likes playing with Barbie’s and how she doesn’t have as many as they do. They went through the ones they have and hand-picked some out to give to her the next time they saw her. This led them to think about other kids in our lives and they began to willingly hand over more and more toys to pass on to others.
Stuff equals responsibility.
The more stuff you have the more stuff you have to take care of. They have realized if they get out all their toys they eventually have to put them all away. They have to keep track of the little pieces so that each game or puzzle is usable the next time they want to play with it. Sometimes they are willing to take on that responsibility, other times the effort is not worth it. This is a simple lesson in priorities that will help them sort through decisions later on in life.
Stuff is Stuff:
When it comes down to it, it is just stuff. They realize that having a fun, clean space to play together is way more important than holding on to each and every toy or puzzle that they have been given. While they are very grateful for all the gifts that they have received, they are willing to part with them and enjoy the memory or the person more than the thing.
What stuff do you have a hard time letting go of? Is there someone else in your life that could use it more than you? Are you teaching these valuable lessons to your kids and giving them an opportunity to do it? If you start purging with you kids at a young age, it might become a fun yearly family event that you can do together.
Do you purge toys with your kids or when they are away at Grandmas?