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DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Posted by talley_sue_nyc (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 8, 07 at 18:30

When I did my huge closet clean-out, I put all the donation stuff in the trunk.

It did sit in the corner of the LR for a few days, so it's not like it was sttealthy--not the donating part--but I also didn't really ask permission or draw their attention to stuff.

it's been in the trunk now for a week or two, waiting on a chance to go to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Kids are off from school, and the movie DH was taking them to is near the Goodwill/Salvation Army, so DH figured he'd deliver it, and he asked the kids to help him carry it.

They were not happy, apparently, that some of the stuff was leaving the house without their approval. My DD wouldn't talk to me when I called home to ask about something else.

Now I have to be tough without being mean. I can do it; I have no worries about what I gave away, but of course if they ever really focused on it, they wouldn't be happy.

I'd meant for this to be further under their radar.....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

IMO Rule of thumb is, if they havent wore it,used it or played with it in 6 mo they arent gonna miss it.
If they had stuff they werent using and it was just laying around being clutter and collecting dust its better off being used by someone else.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Oh, I don't have any regrets, and the stuff that was leaving NEEDED to leave.

But they're not very good at letting go. And they'd be mad on one another's behalf, so they'd rev each other up.

I was expecting some crabbing when I got home, but they neither one of them said anything, and DD made an overture as soon as I came in the door, so I'm figuring she decided I must have been right.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

At least you can let your DH see the stuff. I have to hide mine from DH and DS!

DS is especially bad. He doesn't even like it when I get rid of old, hole-y, too small undies. Sheesh. I feel bad for his future wife...


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I know it wasn't exactly how you planned it, but in a way I think it's positive that your dh asked them to help carry the donation. They were made aware of it, and I wouldn't be surprised if they start paying more attention to bags of stuff laying around from now on! Although they weren't happy at the time, they'll probably realize quite soon they're not really missing any of it. Both you and your dh are just being good role models, and they are learning a pattern of ''giving'' which (to me) is as important as decluttering. Good for you, Talley Sue! I hope today is a better day...


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I don't think it is right to throw out the belongings of family members without consulting with them first. I don't think any of us would appreciate it if our family did this to us.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I agree with Premier, I have always squirmed when I read posts here where other family member's stuff was being removing on the QT and posters were egging each other on to do it. I would be devastated if my DH did that to me, and it would introject an element of profound distrust into our marriage.

I would have no problem with straightforward efforts, nagging, or even confrontation if it came to that, but if I discovered that my most intimate partner in life was surreptiously getting rid of my things I would be bereft, not so much for the stuff, but for the loss of trust and respect in the relationship.

In fairness to Talley-Sue, the items she was removing were her minor children's thing, and I can, perhaps, see more latitude for her decisions in this matter as the chief physical caretaker of the household and Mother. But, still, I think it's more likely to lead to a lifetime of good attitudes and relationships towards stuff to work these things out in the open as long as the kids are of an age where their input can be solicited and their decision-making skills regarding it can be practiced and strengthened.

Shoot, if you can't trust that your most intimate family members will respect your space, how are you ever going to develop and transfer that trust to the world at large?

I'm sorry Talley-Sue to not be able to be supportive towards your efforts in this one aspect. I admire your cleverness and unflagging efforts to improve your family's living situation and your home. You are a source of regular inspiration to me.

Molly~


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Your reasons were correct by my book, and this would be hard to do at first, but they need to be involved in what goes, as in be part of the process. They might as well learn we can't keep EVERYthing we bring into the home (or maybe we shouldn't bring so much into the home!) and that things become 'outgrown' and can be passed on...possibly to make room for other things.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I still remember the feeling of betrayal I had when my Dad threw away some of my belongings when I was a teenager. He wnet into my bedroom while I was at school and took stuff HE thought I no longer needed and put it on a burn pile about 1/4 mile from our house. Because these items were very special to me, I walked there and got the stuff. It most certainly created a feeling of distrust in me. I believe that children can be taught to reason from cause to effect (around age 10 or so) about getting rid of things they no longer need. How else will they learn that concept as an adult?


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

well, I'm sorry, but I'm the MOM.

And I firmly believe that I can divide their stuff into 3 categories: the stuff I *know* they value; the stuff I know they *don't* value; and the stuff I'm not sure about.

Even w/ my DH, if he wasn't willing to throw out holey underwear, I consider it my RIGHT to throw out his holey underwear, or to donate his too-small dress shirts.

When I started that closet, I warned both kids that I was going to deal with the mess. And that I promised not to toss (meaning, garbage OR donation, whichever is applicable) the things that I knew they loved, etc. But that my decision would be final.

as long as the kids are of an age where their input can be solicited and their decision-making skills regarding it can be practiced and strengthened.

This time around, I didn't have time. My experience in the past has been, if I let them think they get to MAKE a decision, their decision is to keep it all. And that's frankly just not acceptable.

Plus, it takes too d*m long! It becomes a huge fight. Maybe I'm not that skilled as a mom, but if I'd involved my kids in every decision about what went out, it would have taken 7 days, not the TWO 18-HOUR DAYS it did. Not to mention, they're not around when I had time to work, or if they are, they have homework, or they need to be in bed.

It seems crueler to me to involve them and then throw stuff out right in front of their face right after they've said they want to keep it.

One thing you don't know--they WERE consulted on several things. I was very proud of DD's decision to give away one of her toys when I asked her if she wanted it, and on another set of toys, I pressured her to give them away, and she demurred, so they're still on her shelf. I'm hoping I'll have put an idea in her head, and she'll finally be ready to give it up.

And even though I didn't make them go through the exercise of being involved in getting rid of every single piece of it, I've given them the learning experience of seeing their home suddenly open up.

FYI, DD was on the phone w/ a friend last night, and I suddenly heard her say, "you should see my closet, my mom went in and cleaned it up, and it looks really great!" And she KNOWS I threw stuff out. She watched me toss some of it, even.

Also, the kids have had these huge craft projects (hats for crazy hat day, the solar-system model, etc.). We took pictures of them w/ their projects from every angle,a nd then we tossed the projects. So please don't think that I am ONLY going behind their backs to get rid of their stuff.

(also, I don't really think of sending stuff to the Goodwill as being all that much of a gift; I've never had much luck, convincing either my chidlren or myself that decluttering involves any generosity--it benefits me mostly; it's not happening because I hear of someone who needs, it's happening bcs I want to get rid of stuff without throwing it out)


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

When my kids were little but still in school, I would clean out the toys and clothes in their rooms while they were in school, and take all the stuff I culled out straight to Goodwill. They had so much, so many toys and clothes, they never missed anything. Nobody ever asked "Where is my Pocanontas nightgown? Where is my Barney the Dinosaur?"


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Vegangirl's memory of betrayal is common. I have heard many adults recall painful memories of their parents throwing out their possessions behind their backs. Funny how people never forget these things.

I don't think being the MOM gives anyone the RIGHT to throw out possessions of other family members.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree, then.

When *I* am the one that is suffering, I have the right to deal with it.

With the caveat that I don't think a LOVING mom just willy-nilly throws out things her children might TRULY treasure.

(my kids save pretty candy wrappers because they like how they look, for God's sake!)

And except for one instance, which was not done behind her back (but which I still sort of, but only sort of, feel bad about), I do not believe I did so.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Talley-Sue, I'm with you! I have a mom and a sister who are hoarders, and cannot part with anything. They need someone to go in and get rid of things for them--but since they are adults, no one does. My mother doesn't live in squalor, (we were there visiting over the weekend) but she does live in a large 5 bedroom house with lots of storage space--and absolutely every closet, dresser and storeroom is PACKED with stuff. She never threw out the stuff I left behind when I moved out 25 years ago--not even when she moved 19 years ago! She also never asked me to come back and take it out. My sister, however, ended up with quite a bit of my stuff that I left at my mom's house. Go figure.

Sorry about the rant, but I think Talley-Sue is teaching her kids that people are more important than stuff.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Thanks for the support, JeanneOH

She never threw out the stuff I left behind when I moved out 25 years ago--not even when she moved 19 years ago! She also never asked me to come back and take it out.

You *could* go back and get it, couldn't you? Or go back and pretend to get it (and throw it out, since you don't want it)? I'd be really tempted to, just so that I knew that was out of her way, and I didn't have any role in the pile of stuff.

My mom got fierce about that, eventually. All our stuff is out of her house.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I think that people in our society tend to forget that Mom and Dad are the decision makers in most instances, and should be treated with the respect that the title deserves. A parent of young children has every right in the world to make judgements about what is right for THEIR family. Talley Sue is an extremely responsible adult and I believe that she was doing what was best for her situation. Children will save something sometimes just because they procrastinate....working with them to clean and clear is teaching them decision making at it's best!


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Yes, working with them is the key and I think we can all agree that Talley Sue did that. My dad did not in that instance and many others. I know that he did the best he knew how and we have a good relationship now.

And I am all for the parents being the parents. I have 3 adult children that were raised to respect us as parents because we treated them respectfully and they turned out very well and I'm proud of them :-) They knew who the parents were and who the children were too.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Hey Talley Sue-- YOU GO GIRL!! I fully understand what you did and why you did it... and I respect you for it! I have 4 kids so I KNOW a line has to be drawn somewhere as to what can or can't be saved.

For all you nay-sayers-- First of all, it was a CLOSET! She didn't 'invade' their private space or go through their personal belongings. She didn't get rid of anything that had any type of significant meaning. In the long run, her children will respect what they have much more because the actual items are important to them, not just saved to clutter up a closet!

Jannie-- I still clean out dresser drawers in my kids rooms when they are not home. Otherwise, we would still have items outgrown 2 sizes and 20 lbs ago because it was always their "favorite". I don't feel the least bit guilty over it either! I too have never had them ask where something is~~


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

For all you nay-sayers-- First of all, it was a CLOSET! She didn't 'invade' their private space or go through their personal belongings

well, I'll confess--these WERE their personal belongings (it's more a "belongings" closet than it is a "clothes" closet--almost no clothes were in the mix). Outgrown slippers, toys given to them as a gift when they were MUCH younger, stuff like that.

Though very few of the crafts they created (that's the one I regret, though it wasn't done secretly), VERY few of the tchotchke's they accumulated as souvenirs (i think one of them that was getting dirty and cldn't be cleaned well).

Of course, kids under the age of 14 don't have all that much *true* privacy. There's very little they do that I don't know about; few of their possessions escape being handled by me.

(honestly, I'm not sure how much privacy *I* have; any that I do have is bcs they are in bed or out of the house).

But precisely because my kids really have no true privacy, I know what they value. I *hated* those crazy hats (I mean, they're huge; someday I'll see if I can dig up a photo and post it). I'd have *loved* to simply toss them one day while the kids were out. But I would never.

If my DH's treasures were creating such trouble for me that I felt I *had* to go behind his back to toss them, then there would already be some serious problems in my relationship w/ him. If he chose his crappy stuff that he never looked at over my happiness and the ease of functioning in our home, I'd be just as crushed. (He won't, won't, won't pare down the 2 big shelves of LPs, and it's making me a bit grumpy at him. I can only imagine how I'd feel if my DH refused to part w/ crummier stuff that was causing more damage to my homelife!)


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

By private space or personal belongings, I meant their desk drawers, a purse, etc-- I consider a closet full of outgrown slippers and toys to be fair game!

(I know what you mean about privacy-- I am dreaming for the day that I can use the bathroom or talk on the phone without being interrupted!)


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Since I do not have children I will never experience tossing my kids stuff or having to face the decision. My hubby is SO MUCH BETTER than I am at tossing or donating his things. So that problem averted too.

I will just say that the post I read about our Tally Sue cleaning out the closet in two HARD days is the one thing that helped me keep my sanity on our three room re-arrange with the TV ordeal. I still have a little pile in our closet that needs dealing with. I kept telling myself when I was actually in pain from lifting all of the stuff that had to be lifted and moved that Tally Sue could do it so could I and I kept going when I just wanted to crumple on the floor and cry.

I also sent a big box of stuff to seniors here and another big box to the dump. It was the only way to make it work.

So good or bad Tally Sue you made my life easier and kept me going even when you did not know it. :^))) Thank You!!

I am going to go make dinner then I am going to finish the closet and maybe even a picture for you all. Do I dare??

Chris


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I'm backing you 100% Talley Sue!!!

Perhaps in the future -- when you SUGGEST that they sort through their clothes or items (with time limits) -- they will realize that you are a woman of Action! LOL!

Sorting and decision-making will always help them realize the importance of Family and Space over "old stuff" Treasures can be sorted, labelled (date, info and time) and stored.

Also -- that they realize that their "extras" might benefit another human being too ------ and that such actions are the true soul of Recycling ......

Well done on taking Action! :)


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

You're welcome, Chris! (now I feel like a wimp; I may have been up until 2am, but I wasnt in physical pain!)

And yes, you do dare w/ the picture--don't let me be all alone w/ the snapshots!

(I still sort of wish I'd taken "before" pics,though I think I'd have been mortified to post them.)


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

OK Tally Sue you asked for it.

Showing the TV because what it is sitting on was in our walk in closet that is 5 foot by six foot. The base the TV is on is 63 inches wide and was against the back wall of the closet with two book shelves loaded with books on them sitting on top of it.It is made of solid oak and heavy and also loaded with bullets and guy stuff.

The hard part is I had just moved this piece into our closet a month ago or so. It is the bottom to our gun cabinet. Long story. Another big house re-arrange.

The horse is an old chalk TV light and I use it all of the time. Soon as time permits I plan on doing mosaic on the funny wood stand hubby built to hold the TV up off the satellite receiver.

This book case now was loaded with things in my studio that had to be moved so I could bring it into the house and use in our closet. The other two book shelves I was using I cut down and made shoe racks out of removing those horrible wire put together box things. UGH they were awful!!

I collect chenille spreads and change them often. This is what is stacked under the pink rug. I keep the rug there to keep dust off the spreads. We have two kitties and things have to be washed all of the time. And I just like to change the look of a room on a whim.

The real reason I was in pain is the TV blew up at 4 in the afternoon just as I was shoveling off a truck load of compost for the yard. Hubby came out and said we have to go to town right away and get a TV. Town is 100 miles round trip. I dashed in cleaned up and off we went. So I was tired before I even started on the re-arrange. I just had to keep going. TV would not fit old entertainment center so the fun began. NOT. LOL

Chris




Gun cabinet base turned TV stand

New Book Case

Closet left. Hubby's stuff

Closet Right my stuff



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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

That gun cabinet cum TV stand looks like a handy piece (though I can bet it's heavy!), except not in the closet, I'm thinking. Are you glad to have it out?

You know, that shallow bookcase looks like a handy way to make the most of the center wall of that square-ish closet.

Square closets are hard I think (though I've never had one) bcs of the corners. Corners aren't great for either shelves or hanging clothes, bcs of access problems, and bcs the act of turning the corner actually robs you of linear storage space.

but your bookcase leaves room for you to think of the closet as having two full sides. You have a little bit of dead space in the corners, but not that much.

Do you feel like your home has turned into one of those "15" sliding-tile puzzles? Where you have to move pieces 1 through 8 out of the way before you can put the other pieces in place first?

The end results of your moving look very simply and streamlined, but it's easy to believe that getting them there, wasn't so easy.

I bet bed felt good after all that work!


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Oh, I love to see pictures of an organized space! Good job there; thanks for sharing. I like the bookcase between the two sides too; very practical and like TS said, streamlined. A picture is worth 1000 words!


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Oh I have to agree w/Talley Sue as well. I think as Mom's we KNOW what kids play with and what doesn't...because frankly, we're the ones that get tired of it all and start picking it up. My dd is an only child and she as well will keep stuff she never uses...including too small clothes, holey underwear, and toys she has no idea that she has because she doesn't play with them. But you show her and she wigs out! She didn't remember she had it! I bought it, I am the MOM, I get tired of hounding them and out it goes, however not without warnings. Had they not looked at it, they'd never in a million years know it was gone. I know....by experience. I also say...you can't learn to pick it up, 1) you either have too much, 2) you don't care about it, 3) loose the privilege to keep it. It's mine to do with what I like. Go Talley!


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I have been busy lately and haven't been here in a while. I know Talley Sue has mentioned in the past that her dd had trouble letting go of anything - much like my dd used to. Maybe it was good for your kids to help get rid of the stuff. Your dd seems to like her newly cleaned closet, so maybe this will help her in the future get rid of things herself. My daughter now leaves a box or pile outside her door every once in a while of things she wants to get rid of and I take care of it (decide whether it's trash or donation). When she was younger, though, she wouldn't part with a piece of scrap paper or broken toy or outgrown clothing without a fight or at least a whole morning or afternoon of me pointing at things on the floor of her room saying "What do you want to do with this?"


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Hey, RJVT--how are you?

I feel like I haven't "seen" you in a really long time!

It's heartening to hear that your DD now will let go of things; when mine was younger, she was like yours, and I sort of despaired of her ever being willing to initiate getting rid of something.

This time, she did send some stuff away, so I'm hoping that this is the beginning. Now I just have to make the time (and the attention) to steer her toward it now and then.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

I think you did a great job, Talley Sue. I think that many children get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of junk and cluttter and have SO idea how to streamline-- mine are just like yours! Each of my kids has one drawer which is private drawer for treasures and anything else that is not to be gotten rid of. Anything else is fair game. Of course we try to be as respectful as possible of the childrens sense of ownership and privacy, but we are the parents and need to make decisions like this. one of my children used to hate changing clothes and bathing-- but still i made him, and afterwards he was glad. Same with the cleanouts-- afterwards they actually thank me!!!! As the kds get much older we can include them more but only when they are able to actually "get 'er done."


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Yes, it's good to come back here. I haven't had much time lately, but I started reading the "YAY..." thread the other day and that inspired me to get back into sorting through the dreaded pile of kids last year's school papers in my room. They are junior and senior in high school now and I don't keep much anymore, but I do like to go through it and keep a few good papers and more importantly I think, just see the overview of what they actually DID last year. So most of it gets thrown out, but I actually spend a bit of time going through and reading it before I toss. Which takes time and, frankly, I think I kind of procrastinate because it's a little (only a little) sad to see them getting older. But also a little exciting because soon they will be moving on to the next phase.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

re: "I don't think it is right to throw out the belongings of family members without consulting with them first. I don't think any of us would appreciate it if our family did this to us."
every family is different. we are not a democracy at our house, but a benevolent dictatorship. unused items (including mine) get a 6 month quarantine in the basement. if they are not asked for in that period, they are out! and usually it's not with the kids' knowing or seeing the donation. it would be just as easy to say that i think focusing on things is wrong, but i won't say that. cheers to you talley sue!! long live the "queen" of organizing!! kren


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Yay MOM!

I especially try not to let my kids collect trolls. I really don't like trolls. Am I being subtle? I hope not.

Gloria


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Talley Sue,
You know I'm coming from the opposite end of the spectrum, but what you did was awesome!!

And if anyone has a problem with her throwing out her kids' stuff, let me just say that if her kids don't learn this stuff now (being organized, not having too much junk/stuff), then they will never learn it and they will grow up to be just like my mom. And my mom is a nice person, but she never did grow up. That's all I'm gonna say.

~Surfer~


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Thanks, Surfer--and it's good to see you back around. Congrats on finishing that thesis. You must be pretty proud, and relieved.


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RE: DH let them see the stuff that was leaving!

Somewhere I can actually have some input instead of questions (if I could only implement it and stick to it myself!)

My parents used to make a deal with me. They'd give me a few small boxes and say "Go through your books" Or "Go through your toy bins" For every small box I filled I got a small amount of money. With that amount of money I was allowed to buy ONE new thing of whatever I donated/got rid of. For books, I was allowed to have the money that the used book store gave us for them.

So if I filled 5 boxes with say...30 small toys. And I got one dollar a box, I was allowed to buy ONE 5 dollar item with it. Money from books I was allowed to buy ONE new book, or ONE new toy.

I think teaching kids that by getting rid of things and creating space, you have space for new things is important. When you just ask them to get rid of their things, they're going to be hesistant to give up much, if anything. But if they realise doing it will create space for something better, or more exciting, they might do it. They did it every 6 months or so.

The rule was also that whatever I bought had to fit where everything I got rid of, came from. I could clean my toy bins out, and buy a toy that didn't fit in any of them. If I wanted a new larger toy, I had to give up a larger toy I already had.

Of course this only works if your kids are old enough to understand that once its GONE its GONE. It's not you fill up your box, get two bucks and a new toy, and all your old ones back. And you have to make sure your kids aren't tossing out all the things they love because they want a lot of money.

I guess you could regulate it a little better if your kids tend to do that. "If you can fill up one box a week, you'll get X amount of money and in X amount of weeks you can go buy this"

They also did it with clothes once I was a teen. "If you fill up this bag with clothes you don't wear, we'll get you one pair of jeans/a shirt you really want"

I still do that. If I buy new clothes, i don't allow myself to put them away or even wear them, until I have made space for them by getting rid of other clothes I don't wear. If I buy a new black shirt, I get rid of two old ones I don't wear anymore" etc, etc.


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