Saturday, May 22, 2010

[JessFinds] Living Simple, or How I am Failing at Clutter Control

I just posted about one of my favorite blogs and then I swung around in my office chair, surveyed the room around me and cringed.

When we had Miss Crab, we stuck to a very simple aesthetic. She had quality toys in a limited amount. A few craptastic-plastic pieces that would go the way of Craigslist or a friend the minute she outgrew it. I swore we would never have the jungle of brightly colored plastic.

Gonzo came along, and we continued with this aesthetic although the volume increased a bit and we got a little more lax. Still - no jungle.

No jungle ... but a mess nonetheless. My children do not pick up after themselves. Hell, my family does not pick up after themselves. How did this happen? How is it that my eldest attends classes in one of the most orderly schooling methods (Montessori) and yet can't seem to put anything back in its place? Or that my youngest when faced with "pick it up or I will throw it away" will say "throw it away" defiantly?

Piles of crap. My house looks like a mini-episode of hoarders. No wonder I look longingly at design blogs! My children don't enjoy the toys they have because they are scattered, bits and pieces everywhere. Some upstairs, some downstairs, some in the linen closet (??).

What methods for culling the mess do you use? I am a unnervingly balanced left brain / right brain gal - ok, maybe a little more left brain leaning - and I wonder if that is where my inability to stick with a system comes from. Some things I love artistically displayed...some things I love appropriately boxed and labeled. I have a love affair with my label maker, closet systems and storage boxes. I also have a love affair with haphazard style, creative displays of found objects and eclectic travel momentos.

I need direction. I want to start tossing things until there is little left. 


Joanna said...

We use a simple system with our 15 month old, and plan to continue using it when our next little one arrives (in a few days). I rotate which toys are in play, and which toys are in storage. We have only about a quarter of our daughter's toys out at a time (about 5 or 6), and we'll switch them out for "new" ones during nap time every few weeks, or whenever she seems to be getting bored with what she has to play with. Also, when we get new toys from family, we only bring them out one at a time. She still has a few toys from Christmas that she hasn't played with yet. It definitely helps keep our tiny apartment much, much neater.

Joie said...

Purge, purge, purge. That's my system and I'm sticking to it!