20 Things To Do Before 2020

It’s hard to believe, but we are less than three months away from the calendar turning over to 2020! As this new year is just on the horizon, I thought I would share some common things that perpetually stay on our to-do list, or chores we forget about. Get these (or some of these) 20 things completed before 2020 and start the new year with a clean slate!

{1} Make “that” appointment. We all have appointments that we push off because we don’t want to deal with the results or we just don’t feel like we have time to get it done. Your health is important, so make “that” appointment before the end of the year! Dentist appointment, routine well visit with your doctor, mammogram, or an appointment with a specialist you’ve been putting off. Perhaps it isn’t a medical appointment – you need a haircut you’ve been putting off, or other self care appointments.

{2} Finish a project. Anyone else start a project and lose steam? Or maybe your spouse started something and didn’t finish? Set aside time, and plan for it to get the project completed.

{3} Change the light bulb that’s been out. Is this just me, or does it seem hard to change out light bulbs that aren’t working? It seems like every time I noticed that light bulb, it’s an inconvenient time to change it. Set aside time to go around your house with fresh light bulbs!

{4} Clean the cobwebs off the ceiling. This is another task that seems like I notice at inconvenient times. It’s good to set aside time instead of doing it when you notice.

{5} Take the pile to the thrift store. I often have a pile for the thrift store that seems to quickly accumulate. The hard part for me is that it is in a storage closet in our garage, so “out of sight, out of mind.”

{6} Change the batteries in the smoke alarms. This task is so important, but may get left undone because it’s not a chore that noticeably needs to get done!

{7} Back up photos. You can do this onto Google photos, the Cloud, onto your computer, or onto a USB key. We unfortunately lost some of our digital photos because of a computer crash. I have now made it a habit to back up my photos in multiple places. My Google account is connected to the camera roll on my phone, so they automatically back up into my Google photos. I like to have them at least one other location as well.

{8} Dust your baseboards. This is a task that often gets forgotten. I like to “deep clean” one room per week in my house, meaning my baseboards get cleaned in each room about every three months.

{9} Clean your windows. This is another task that gets forgotten. I have to be honest and say our upstairs windows rarely get cleaned on the outside of the house because it scares me to get up on an extended latter! Maybe it’s time we hire someone to clean the outside of all of our windows! The inside of my windows get cleaned on the same rotation as our baseboards.

{10} Go through the pile of junk mail. I now have a “one touch rule” when it comes to papers that come into our home. I deal with them immediately. I didn’t always do this, and I know many people who have a stack of mail and/or papers that need to be dealt with. Set aside the time to purge those!

{11} Delete all the files that you downloaded onto your computer for temporary use. Whether it’s a photo someone sent you, or a form you needed to fill out and send back, our “downloads” folder on our computers can get cluttered quickly. Go through and delete all those items you no longer need.

{12} Take old/unused paint, chemicals, and batteries to a recycling center. These items can stack up in your garage or home since they are not easy to dispose of. I like to go every 6 months to dispose of these chemicals. Ask your neighbor or friend if they have anything as well to make the trip more worth it!

{13} Clean out the gutters. This is another task that we put off! Again, it can be difficult to do if you have a two story home like we do and need to get the extension latter out. This is another chore that could be hired out!

{14} Clean out the dryer vent. This chore is difficult to remember to get done since we don’t see the lint build up in our dryer line. It is something that needs to get done as it can be a fire hazard to let it go too long.

{15} Prune trees. This task is another that you may need to hire someone to do for you. If you have large, mature trees it might be worth paying someone who is skilled in this task to get done for you.

{16} Car care. Get the oil changed, routine car maintenance, car wash, or detailing.

{17} Put away summer items for the winter. Deflate and store pool items, take down hammocks or other storable spring/summer items, cover outdoor furniture for the winter.

{18} Declutter kids’ toys before the holiday season! I always liked to evaluate what toys my kids were not playing with or had outgrown before new toys came in during the holiday season.

{19} Change filters around your home. This is another chore that can be forgotten because we don’t see the dirt on a regular basis. Depending on what type of filters you have, this needs to be done several times a year. While you’re at it, vacuum and/or dust the vents!

{20} Power wash your porch/driveway/walkway! If you’ve never experienced the joy of power washing, you’re missing out!!

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. On the other hand, you certainly don’t need to do all 20 things! This is just an idea of those things that often get overlooked or put on the back burner. Get a few of these things crossed off your list over the next few months and start off 2020 with a clean slate! 

No Spend Year, August+September Reflections

Reflecting back, September was another tough month for me in regards to my no spend year. In my July reflections I talked about how I realized that clothes shopping in particular was a slippery slope for me. Even if some of the “exceptions” were in my rules. Back in July I allowed myself to purchase items for a trip, which was an exception in my rules. I also began using my Poshmark credit to purchase items through PM, using it as though it were like a gift card – which was okay in my rules.

Throughout August, things were good. I guess the PM credits were allowing me to feel like I could still get new items, but not spend money. But then, towards the end of August I started purchasing items on PM even if I was a few dollars away from being able to purchase the item (I guess hoping I would “make it up” through my future sales.) As I headed into September it got worse. A couple dollars off turned into, “it’s only $5 off,” then “it’s only $10 off.” Again, the slippery slope effect took hold and I was about to roll down the hill out of control! So, I have decided it’s best to no longer purchase things with my PM credit moving forward.

An outfit I purchase with my Poshmark credits

While I would consider this month a “fail” with regards to my no spend year, I did learn from the experiences. What ultimately ended up happening is, when I was going into the Poshmark app to manage my items, I would see items I liked. I would then “like” the item. (If you’re not familiar with the Poshmark app, it’s similar to social media where people follow you and you can follow people who have the same taste in clothing). One of the tricks to selling on PM is to offer deals to people who “liked” your items. I use this trick to get people to purchase my own items. Sometimes the deal is just too good to pass up! So, moving forward, I will no longer scroll through to see what’s out there. And I will no longer “like” items.

Another thing I noticed is how purchasing clothes is almost like a drug – not only with the slippery slope – but when I purchase an item, I’m excited for it to come in the mail. I’m excited to style it with other items in my closet. After I do that, and wear it out, it’s like the excitement is over. I realized it was similar to the effect of a drug, because I noticed I was more likely to scroll on days where I had a bad day, or I was stressed out. I need to learn healthier behaviors in dealing with stress and negativity in my life.

The other thing I noticed, or remembered from when I shopped prior to this no spend year, is it was sucking away my time. Perhaps not as much as shopping in stores, but it still was a time waster. With PM, you really do need to ask any questions before purchasing an item – like “does it fit true to size” or asking for specific measurements. Even just making the decision – making sure it fits with what I thought my needs were with regards to my closet. Then, just thinking about the items in general – when will it arrive, will it be what I thought it was going to be, how am I going to style it. Prior to being on PM in this no spend year, I remember the freedom of just NO NEW CLOTHES coming into my house.

A couple of good things came out of the experience I’ve had over the last month and a half. First of all, I’ve mentioned this previously, but I do feel like I’m really honing in on my style – what I gravitate towards and what I like to wear. I did a closet clean out over the summer, but I’m thinking I need to do another sweep through my closet. I’m still nowhere near having a capsule or minimalist wardrobe, but I do feel like I’m weeding out items more ruthlessly than I had in the past. And I am adding items that I feel like more truly reflect the direction my style is going.

I’m also really thinking about what I should do moving forward after this no spend year. I have another few months to decide what I would like to do after this year is over, and I’m certain it will not be allowing myself to go on a spending spree! I truly want to be more intentional with my clothing purchases. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like, so more to come on that for sure! I do like using PM as a resource to purchase clothing second hand. I highly encourage everyone to check it out! I have enjoyed being able to sell my own clothes on this platform. I have also had great luck with the items I have purchased.

Really quickly I wanted to touch on the home decor piece of this no spend year. If you’ve been following my journey, then you will know that this aspect has been MUCH easier than the clothes. I’ve come up with creative ways to rearrange items and use what I already have. This month I took over my son’s office since he moved to college, and I wanted a new piece of artwork for that space. I printed out a photo I took over the summer on our trip to Hawaii, and put it in a frame that I already had on hand. I have to admit, fall is the toughest time of year to not purchase home decor. I LOVE fall decor! But, I have restrained myself. The one thing I allow myself to purchase that may be considered home decor is candles, and I have to admit that I may have went a little overboard on purchasing fall candles this year! But, rest assured, they will all get used!

The last couple of months have been a bit bumpy, but I’m going to learn from the experiences I’ve had and move forward! Hoping that heading into the holiday season won’t be tricky/difficult! THREE MORE MONTHS TO GO!

The Cost of Clutter

There are all kinds of excuses we use to not deal with clutter, but what if clutter has an effect on our physical and mental health? Some don’t realize the toll clutter takes on the mind and body. It’s worth the effort to declutter things you no longer use, and organize the remaining items for your health!

Merriam-Webster’s definition of clutter is: to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness. In the definition alone, we see that clutter impedes us and reduces our effectiveness. When our minds have to consistently process excess things in our environment, we are using brain space to process that input which makes us less effective.

Clutter is bad for your physical health.  It has been linked to cortisol production, the stress hormone. Research from a 2009 study out of UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) has shown that women who perceive their homes to be cluttered tend to have unhealthy patterns of cortisol levels. Interestingly, men did not have the same cortisol response with regard to clutter. This could potentially be because women tend to take on more of the household chores even if they are also working full time. Clutter is also linked to lack of self control, resulting in unhealthy eating habits. According to a Cornell University study from 2016, stress triggered by clutter may also trigger coping and avoidance strategies, like eating junk food, oversleeping or binge-watching Netflix.

Physical clutter often leads to mental clutter. When our eyes are being visually overloaded, it takes away from our brain’s ability to focus on and process other tasks at hand. Many people don’t realize that clutter is this distracting to our brains. Other people may have the urge to straighten up a bit before focusing on some work that needs to get done. This is a natural tendency we have because subconsciously we know the clutter distracts us.

In my experience, clutter often leads to procrastination. You might be surprised to learn that I have not always had a handle on keeping our papers organized. Especially when my kids were young, it was a lot to keep up with and even now it is still a struggle. If you need to pay a bill, but in order to pay that bill you must dig through a stack of papers, books, and other miscellaneous items on your desk or table, you are less likely to just get it done. Simple tasks feel overwhelming when dealing with clutter.

Don’t get me wrong, decluttering doesn’t come without its own consequences. Getting rid of items can be equal to physical pain, especially for someone who attaches memories to or overvalues their items. But this pain is well worth the end result. The best way to avoid clutter in your home is to slow the inflow of items that are coming into your home. I have found, for myself, that purging is best done in small doses. Choose one drawer, or one shelf in a cabinet or closet today to begin the road to better health!

10 Areas You Can Declutter In Your Home

There are several areas in our home that we could evaluate our things and determine if we could let go. Here are 10 areas to consider and ideas on how to let go.

1) Multiples of one item. Having multiple of one item is an easy place to begin decluttering. While there are certain things you may want to have multiple of in your home (we have multiple pairs of scissors since they seem to disappear easily!), often times we don’t need those multiples we just accumulated them over time. An easy place to find multiples is in your kitchen.

2) Unused gifts. I think it is a universal feeling to feel guilt getting rid of something someone gave to you. Even if you are someone who doesn’t attach sentimental value to things readily, it is difficult. I’m sure it’s even more difficult for those who do attach sentimental value to items. When someone gives you a gift, that item now belongs to you. You can appreciate their gesture and experience the joy of the act of giving in that moment, but if this item is not useful to you or brings you joy then it is silly to hold onto it just because it was given to you. If the person who gave you the item would be upset because you didn’t use it or you gave it away – that is an issue they have, not you. Usually, your friends and relatives would not want an item they gave you to cause stress or clutter in your home. I think most people would rather the item that they spent money on would be given to someone else to be useful than to sit in a drawer or closet in your home.

3) Sentimental items (especially large ones). This is a tough one. Obviously we don’t need to get rid of all sentimental items. It’s okay to hang onto items that have meaning and remind us of events or times that bring back positive thoughts. However, we need to evaluate how many things we hold onto. Do you hold onto a napkin touched by your middle school crush? Okay, maybe that’s going too far, but you get what I mean. It’s okay to give yourself limits on what you keep as far as sentimental items. Choose a box or two, and keep only what fits inside those boundaries. Some items, especially large ones can be kept digitally by photographing the item(s) prior to letting them go. Typically, the picture of the item will bring back the same memories as the item itself. Also, if you have sentimental items that cause negative feelings, I would recommend letting go of those items. There is no need to hold onto something that causes you pain.

4) Clothing items that don’t fit you. Obviously there are exceptions to this. If you are pregnant or in the process of a weight loss journey it makes sense to have a variety of sizes in your closet. However, if you are holding onto a piece of clothing because you might one day fit into it, that is not a good motivator. Let go of those items and if you do lose the weight, you will be able to purchase new clothes that fit. On the other hand, if you have lost weight and are hanging onto clothes that are too big, in my opinion that’s not good either. You lost the weight, stick to your new healthy routines and you will likely keep the weight off.

5) Unused electronics. This could maybe be under the “multiples” category, but I decided to talk about it separately since so many of us have closets overflowing with old phones and laptops. Typically, when you get a new phone, computer or laptop, you don’t use the old one again. There may be a small chance that your new one breaks and you do need a “back up.” If you feel more comfortable having a back up, then just keep one. By donating these items, they maybe could get a new life for someone in need. Along with these items are all the cords that come with it. If you get a new item, it will likely come with the appropriate cords so you can send the cords along with the old items. Cords do seem to multiply, at least in my house! I’m sure at some point we purchased these extra cords, but this is another area to evaluate if you really need to keep these items. Even as a professional organizer, I have yet to convince my husband of this!

6) Pieces of unused furniture. This one is tough because furniture can be expensive. Furniture also takes up a lot of space. Look around your home to see if there is a chair, a side table, or a coffee table – maybe even a bed or sofa – that could go.

7) Toys! Many of us are fortunate enough to have very generous and giving family members and friends. That coupled with how cheap toys are, and how easy they are to acquire, leads to heaps of toys around our homes. I remember when my kids were young, toys seemed to seep into every room in our home. They already had designated space in our game room, my boys’ bedroom, and my daughter’s bedroom. Not to mention, we had a playroom lined with toy storage shelves with bins! I’m very thankful that my children had such giving and loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family friends. In hindsight, I wish I had chosen boundaries for their toys, and had them help with the process of letting go of old toys to make room for new ones. Often times, kids get overwhelmed with too many toy choices and end up gravitating toward electronics instead. I think having less toys promotes creativity.

8) Home decor. The styles and our tastes are ever-changing. It’s okay to acknowledge that and let go of items that no longer fit your home decor style. Often, we keep items because we spent money on it, and may feel guilt about letting it go. These feelings lead to overstuffed cabinets and closets filled with home decor we might use, but probably won’t. Be realistic about whether an item truly does bring you joy, or is beautiful to you, or if your judgement is clouded by the feelings of guilt. These items could be used and enjoyed by others instead of hiding in the back of a cabinet or closet in your home. An idea is to think about any family members or friends who would want certain items. I recently wanted to part with these miniature chairs I had in my home for many years. I have a friend who always commented on those chairs when she was over at my house, so I asked her if she would like them. She was happy to get them, which made it easier for me to part with them.

9) Extra toiletries or cleaning items. Do you keep extra toiletries or cleaning items in your home that sit at the back of your cabinet? Evaluate what you will actually use and get rid of the rest. As I have mentioned several times, it can be difficult to get rid of items you paid money for. However, if you are storing the items but not using them, it doesn’t get you that money back to keep holding onto them.

10) Paper, notecards, ect. Paper trails are probably the most difficult thing to declutter. I myself struggle with decluttering these items, and knowing what’s important to keep. Many bills can be sent via email and accessed online if you set that up in your account settings. Other paper items can be scanned and kept digitally. I recently learned about Scanbot, an app you can use to scan in paper items before discarding them. Same with kids papers and artwork. Consider scanning things in and keeping them digitally. If you would like to keep their original artwork, I put together a scrapbook for each of my children with their special artwork. Another area is note cards. Evaluate how often you actually need/send note cards to determine how many makes sense to keep around your home. Many of us send notes digitally, even birthday cards! You may be someone who likes to send tangible cards, and that’s great! Just evaluate how many you need around your home verses how many you own. 

This is certainly not an exhaustive list! There are many other areas in our home where we could reevaluate and declutter. These are just some ideas to get you started!

No Spend Year, July Reflections

Well, here I am officially more than halfway through my no spend year. July was another month in which I really struggled. Looking back, I think I made excuses and to be completely transparent, I feel like this is the month that I have failed. But, failure equals learning. I am beginning to realize that failing is okay. Not “okay” as in don’t try, but as in failing at something leads you closer to success as it is an opportunity to learn how to do things differently moving forward.

This is the backpack I got for our trip. I did get it off Poshmark with my credits.

Let’s start by talking about a couple of the “rules” which I made that led to the choices from this month, that looking back I might have done differently. The first rule was that I could buy things for special occasions, unless I already had something that worked. This month, my husband and I took our son – who just graduated from high school – on a special trip to Hawaii to celebrate his accomplishments and to spend time with him before he went off to college. Usually when we have a trip like this, I like to purchase things specifically for the trip. I like to have new outfits that work well for whatever location we are going. The first thing I purchased for this trip was a new backpack. I don’t own a backpack. I usually use an over-sized purse for my carry on item, but we would be doing several hikes which I would need a backpack. With this item, I could have used one of my husbands old backpacks, but that wouldn’t have looked cute/feminine 🙂 so I justified that it was necessary to have my own.

I purchased these dresses and sandals for the trip as well.

I also chose to buy a few new dresses, as I did not have any lighter colored/summer specific dresses. Looking back, the dresses were not necessary as we ended up getting take out most nights as we were really tired after the long day doing active things. The two times we went out was to very casual restaurants. I also bought a new pair of shorts, as I only had one pair that fit me comfortably. I had gotten rid of several pairs of shorts that didn’t fit me during a closet clean out. I also purchased a linen shirt that I thought would work well in Hawaii – looks and for the climate. Lastly, I purchased a pair of sandals. This was one item that I didn’t really need, but I was going for a specific look and the sandals I owned did not look right with these outfits/dresses. I say I feel like I failed this month because I know I could have done without these items. I had a specific look in mind for this trip, and I justified it by telling myself that these pictures would last a lifetime. Even as I type this, it seems a bit ridiculous, but it’s where my brain was at when purchasing these items.

I purchased this shirt and these shoes with my Poshmark credits from what I had sold.

Another “rule” I gave myself is that I could use gift cards to purchase things. I do have a gift card to an online clothing boutique, which I still have not used. I have sold several pieces on Poshmark, and had “credits” – which I talked myself into believing was like a gift card. I did use my credit to purchase a shirt and a pair of shoes. The shoes in particular have been something I have had my eye on for a long time now, longer than before this no spend year. The shirt I got to replace a similar long sleeve shirt – which I liked but rarely wore since I don’t wear long sleeves often. If I’m cold in the winter I tend to layer instead. I am happy with these purchases, and I feel they fit well in my wardrobe, however in hindsight I’m not sure I should have used the credits like a gift card. Poshmark has been good and bad for me. It has been great to sell my items and get some money back, and knowing the items will be loved by someone else. It has been amazing to get such good deals on items, and it’s always good to buy clothes second hand. HOWEVER, when I go on the app to manage my items I have to force myself to NOT LOOK at what’s available. Moving forward, I would like to use this app, but only to look for something specific. It’s really hard to pass up these good deals! I haven’t fully decided yet if I should continue to look at the money I make as a gift card or not.

I continue to not really struggle with wanting/being tempted by home decor purchases. If anything, I feel like I have plenty and I don’t want more. I am learning to appreciate items I see in the store, and not have this need to take it home with me. We’ll see how I feel this fall as it’s my favorite season and I love all things pumpkin!!

This month has been eye-opening. I have learned what a slippery slope it is in justifying purchases. I feel like I am STILL – 7 months in – not at a place where I feel restrained in my purchases. I want to get to a place where I am completely intentional with my purchases, and after this month I just don’t feel “there” yet. I am hopeful that in the next five months I will continue to learn and grow.

One other thing I find myself noticing over these last 7 months, is consumerism mentality. When I was in it, I don’t think I noticed how time-consuming and distracting it was to my life. Being an “outsider” I notice people’s behavior when I am out shopping. I’m not sure I’m able to put words to what I’ve seen, but the best way I can describe it is like we’re ruled by things – our time, money, thoughts, energy. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I love beautiful things. I like putting outfits together and making my home beautiful, but I don’t want that to dictate my life. My hope is that after this year, my brain will be re-trained!

No Spend Year, June Reflections

Well, there goes another month in my no spend year! June went by so fast I barely noticed being bothered by the no spend. That’s not to say I did not see things I wanted. I looked back at the journal I’ve been keeping and there were some things scribbled down at the end of May that I was obsessing over. Again, I have really only wanted clothing items. I continue to enjoy the fact that I have not brought in any new household items, and I continue to declutter them!

Some of the items in my Poshmark closet.

This month, I started the process of cleaning out my closet. I did this a little over a year ago, but obviously more things had come in since the last declutter of my closet. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been selling things on Poshmark. It has been so freeing letting things go, and even better to get some money back!

This is the current state of my closet. I know I still have a lot, but I plan to do another declutter in late fall.

I waited quite a while in the no spend year before tackling a closet declutter. In part because I have noticed clothing is the thing I am struggling most in the no spend. As I have stopped the inflow of clothing, I’m learning what specifically my style is. I have noticed the things I gravitate towards, and the things I tend to not wear. I have also been doing this experiment where I wear items that I know I haven’t worn in a while, and if I don’t feel fabulous in it, it goes! When new clothing items were constantly entering my wardrobe, it was hard to tell what my style was and I would often gravitate towards wearing the new items – because they were new!!


I have been using Pinterest as another reference to see what types of clothes I tend to like. In the past, I used my style board on Pinterest as a place to pin outfits that would work with items I already owned. As I go back and see what I like, I’m able to weed out even more items that I know I don’t wear – usually it’s items I once liked, as I have seen my style change over the last 8-10 years, or it’s items that I thought I would like but ended up wearing them very little or not at all.


I’m still working on my closet clean out as of today. I have been struggling to know how much to keep. I tend to wear a uniform, and I like variety within that uniform, so I’m struggling to let go. I gravitate towards plain shirts – white, grey, and black, but I have a variety of styles of each color of shirt. It’s a work in progress for sure! Even for me – a fairly organized person!

Our bedroom’s new look!


The final thing I wanted to talk about is how I have continued to feel like I have so much more energy and time. I have been working on all kinds of house projects. I painted our bedroom and the trim to freshen it up. I have started to paint the trim in the remainder of our upstairs as well! I was able to get my extra clothes uploaded to Poshmark and organized so it’s easy to package them up to send off. I have actually sold several pieces! Most recently I have been teaching our youngest son to drive as he just got his permit.

Organizing Toys

I have three kids – age 22, 18, and 15 – so we have experienced every stage for toys. We have also experienced all you deal with in owning toys: buying/receiving, storing, cleaning up, purging. I have three different types of kids too when it comes to what they like to keep and what they can let go of in regards to toys. I have one who saves everything, one who keeps almost nothing, and one in between.

Toy organization
This was how I had our toys organized when we lived in a 700 square foot apartment. You can see the photo labels on the bins.
Toy organization. Organized playroom
This is the playroom from our previous home, when our kids were young.
Toy organization. Organized playroom
This is what our playroom looked like at the end of our playroom days, in the house we currently live in.

First, I want to say that I am very grateful that we have such generous parents, grandparents, and siblings in regards to receiving things for our kids. However, our kids had too many toys. As I look back, I wish that I had done things differently in handling how to deal with toys. I hope to help someone who is still in the thick of it or just beginning the journey.

Our boys’ room with their toy shelves.

We used to live in a very large house that had a playroom and a game room – both of those rooms housed toys. In addition, my daughter had some of her toys in her room and our sons had some of their toys in their room. That’s a lot of toys! One thing I did that helped with the chaos of all the toys is to have organization systems in place.

Our daughter’s room and her toy shelves.

Having a place for everything gives boundaries and helps the kids learn how to organize. I grouped each type of toy together. When they were very young, I took a picture to represent each group, laminated it and stuck it on the front of the box. Also, any toys/arts and crafts/board games that I wanted them to have help with I stored on a higher shelf where they couldn’t reach. Over the years I had different types of bins and storage containers. I started with plastic bins – which were more cost effective, and easy to attach photos to the front of the bin. We have also had baskets and wooden bins which were more aesthetically pleasing.

In hindsight, I wish I had done a better job of teaching my kids how to purge and let go of things. My oldest especially has trouble letting go of things. I used to feel like this was my fault, but given our middle child has no problem with this I think it is a temperament thing. I do believe it would have helped her to learn how to think about things in terms of what to keep and what to donate or discard if I was able to guide her starting at a young age.

This was our game room. You can see some of the toys on the shelf, and there were more in the closet. Notice my 3 year old playing on the computer and not with the plethora of toys we owned.

As I look back, I think my kids were at times overwhelmed with all the toys, and may have resorted to playing video games or playing on the computer more often than I’d like to admit. I remember having to direct them – to come up with ideas of things they could do. This wasn’t always the case, but I do wonder if they had less toys to choose from, if they would have been more creative in play. {{As I’m putting this blog post together and looking through the photos I had in mind to share, I’m even more regretful! We had an overwhelming number of toys!}}


I also think of how much of my time was spent organizing, reorganizing, cleaning up, and purging their toys. I think if they had less toys I would have had more time to spend with them. In hindsight, I would have had better boundaries for my kids and allowed them to make the choice as to what stays and what goes. This would give them the boundary, like whatever fits in this set of boxes, but would give them the autonomy to make the choice as to what is most important to them. Now that we are done with the toy phase, all I can do is pass along any wisdom and experience I gained in going through that stage of life!