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project:simplify • week three

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

So…I never posted my “after” pictures from last week’s challenge. If you’re supposing that is because I never quite finished last week’s challenge, you would be correct.

Here’s what I did finish—

Most of the paper I kept from my desk-turned–sewing table is neatly organized in the secretary desk in the front hallway. It is taking some getting used to—I’m accustomed to having to dig through piles of paper strewn about several drawers to find anything, so just being able to flip down the top of the desk, reach in, and grab what I need is a little jarring to me at the moment. But, as I suspected, it turns out that everything we needed out of the other desk fits neatly into the top (and half of the top drawer) of the secretary.

What I didn’t finish…the magazines, the scanning, and organizing my sewing things in the other desk—which, technically speaking, wasn’t really part of this challenge, but since I’d cleared all the paper out of the desk I was really hoping to get that done last week.

What can I say? Life happens. So this challenge remains a work in progress.

::

Now—this week’s hot spot. The kids’ toys and clothes.

The timing of this one is actually perfect, for two reasons. First, our landlord is putting the house back on the market next month & one of the things I am hoping to take care of before that happened is the toy clutter, so that prospective buyers don’t have to crawl over mounds of toys when they come to look at the house.

And second—I did a little experiment last week, prompted by Julia’s flat-out refusal to pick up any of her toys one afternoon: I bagged up everything that was on the floor & put it in the attic for a few days. I wanted to see what would happen if she had only a few toys—the ones she hadn’t dumped out on the floor that day—to play with. And do you know what? Not only was she perfectly happy playing with just these few things—she actually cleaned up when she was finished playing, without my having to ask!

So this is just the opportunity I’ve been looking for to go through her toys really carefully, keeping only the things she plays with often and donating the things she typically just dumps on the floor and then steps on. I’ve been resisting doing this for a while because—honestly—our kids don’t really have very many toys, and I thought culling their collection further seemed overkill. And because of this, I’m probably not going to donate the “give-away” toys right away; I want to make sure I don’t get rid of anything they’ll truly miss, and also that I have some things to rotate in and out to supplement what we keep out for them.

The kids’ clothes aren’t really an issue for us because the sheer volume of hand-me-downs we get from friends and family (one of the benefits of being the last of your friends to have kids…) forced me to come up with a really good storage-and-rotation system for clothing early on. So I’m going to focus this week solely on the toy situation—I am also trying to get Julia’s kitchen finished, since I’ve finally pulled together all the odds & ends I need, and the timing of this also works well with this week’s challenge. Stay tuned…hopefully I’ll be more on the ball this week & will have some results to show off this weekend.

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