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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The End of a Hoarding Career

My oldest son is at that age where every item he touches IMMEDIATELY becomes a MOST TREASURED POSSESSION which must be maintained at all costs.  These treasures have been known to include empty mesh apple bags, expired coupons, mail-order postcards, and gravel.  I know, I know, he's a little boy and they do that sort of thing.  I don't mind so much the collection of stuff as the storage method - for which I have only myself to blame.  You see, a few months ago I let the boy set up a card table in his room so that he could play with his legos out of reach of his baby brother.  That table soon morphed into a desk which, as desks usually do, soon become more of a pedestal for piles of "stuff" than an actual work space.  The organizational nut in me screamed to sort and categorize and purge but the mom in me melted when my little boy pleaded for his treasures.  But in the end, I finally had to act because the growing piles started to become unstable and were threatening the safety of the smaller members of the family.  Somehow, I failed to take of a picture of this archival wonder - you all would have been impressed, both by the sheer volume and by the breadth of material included in the collection.

On the day I chose to deal with this crisis the kids had dentist appointments.  I don't know if it was the happy gas wafting through the building or what, but it occurred to me that if I had a small desk I could fit it into the second closet (don't hate me - my house is lacking in many areas but I do have an abundance of bedroom closets) and Ian could keep his junk..err treasures...there and close the closet door to keep it all safe and out of sight.  A second sniff of happy gas gave me the reminder about a thrift store located on our route home.  Taking four kids into a Goodwill store is not exactly a fun thing for me to do, but I decided to risk it anyway. Wadda ya know, they had a desk.  The desk cost $2.99.  Yes, two dollars and ninety-nine cents, plus tax. AND it fit in the trunk of my minivan.  AND if fit in the closet.
 The excitement over the new desk encouraged Ian to start things off with an almost clean slate, and he let me discard an amazing number of former treasures.  He was also motivated "to keep the desk more clear so there is room to work at it."  I encouraged him in this.
 With the monster cleared out of the middle of the bedroom, I was further motivated (and Ian was compelled) to tackle some of the other problem areas in the room.  We sorted and purged books and toys and returned them to their proper shelves.
The costume box was also emptied and all the non-costume pieces were returned to their various homes.  From now on, whenever I am missing something - like plastic silverware or a telephone book - I will check the costume box first.
When we were finished, the room looked fantastic.....until Cambo toddled in two minutes after I took these pictures and started pulling stuff off of the shelves again.  Oh well, as they say: boys will be boys.

Happy collecting, everyone!
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4 comments:

The Mrs. said...

Little boys are funny like that! You've come up with a great solution! My 7 year old likes to collect things too and he lines them up around his room. Other than the clutter the room is quite clean, so I just shut the door and let him be. Inside though I am dying!! :) I like order and hate clutter and chaos! If it doesn't serve a purpose or if it isn't beautiful, I don't want it in my house!! :)

Jessica said...

You are so funny; I laughed through the entire blog. However, what makes you think this is the end of a hoarding career? The purchase of one measly desk? Haha, you are in for one gigantic rude awakening.

Anonymous said...

My mother let me keep whatever I could fit in my closet, which wasn't much. Then she joined avon, and those neat, uniformed boxes stacked high in my closet. I saved everything - stuffed animals, kindergarten workbooks, a single drumstick, a straw given to me by a pretty girl in5th grade, a dart gun that had no darts left, half a boyscout canteen, four issues of National Geographic my 5th grade teacher had given me, one walkie talkie... in fact I still have all that stuff in the attic, come to think of it....

- Aaron

KC Coake said...

That does look like a great project. I need to tackle a lot of organizing at my house this summer. It has gotten a bit overrun with stuff.
Thanks for linking up.
KC