Saturday, May 28, 2011


stuff, stuff, stuff. Oh i feel we are just drowning in it sometimes.

Yesterday afternoon we had a blow up about the amount of stuff and therefore mess we were living in. Andy said that I spend about 75% of my time tidying up, and right he is. Time I could spend with the kids playing or crafting, or baking or knitting or resting (god forbid) has been spent going around picking things up and moving them from one place to another. Things that people don't really use, or play with or appreciate. So, in true Andy style (he doesn't do things by halves) he cleared the playroom...
This is all that is left. He threw the rest into the shed where I went to (somewhat sheepishly as it was me who hordes all our stuff) to sort it out. I made 3 piles: recycling/bin, charity shop, keep. We filled the recycle bin and we have filled the car ready to take to the charity shop. While I was doing that the kids helped sort through the things they really want to keep and the things they were happy to pass on. Andy built some shelves in the shed and the things the kids decided to keep are now kept like this...

They can ask for what the want to play with and we'll bring it into the playroom and at the end of the day/ time playing with it we will put it back on the shelf.

I feel good that things are much simpler now. I was surprised by how little the kids actually wanted to keep, but not surprised with what they wanted to keep: lego, some books, the dolls, dolls clothes, a few dressing up costumes and a few vehicles.

I am still having pangs of guilt when I look at the charity shop pile, remembering who gave us what and feeling bad that we are not keeping it. But then my little brother reminded me that people probably don't expect us to keep everything forever, and that when something has finished it's life with us then we really should be passing things on.

So now the house is clear and clean. It is a blank canvas, we can teach the kids much better this way how to keep things tidy. With fewer things there is less to make mess with and more room to give each item it's own place.

That's not the end of it though. After the bulk of the work we had a family meeting about how not to get into such a mess again. I have pledged to stop accepting things passed on from other people and also to stop buying bits and pieces from charity shops. Rebe pledges to stop bringing passed on things home from friends and to only borrow things.

We have all agreed to spend half an hour tidying up together after dinner.

We have also decided to that once this year's birthdays are out of the way we are going to ask friends and family to stop gifting us 'stuff'.

One of the best presents we received recently was from my little brother who for Christmas gifted us 'an experience'. Giving us the gift of a swim, a trip the cinema or the zoo would give us wonderful memories and bring us so much happiness (and much less tidying up). Rebe and I have even been discussing opening a little bank account and calling it 'The Angel Adventure Fund'. We could save up lots of birthdays and Christmas's' and in a few years have a real adventure like ice fishing or go to a real jungle or to the great wall of China!

Phew a lot of writing there (you still with me?) But this weekend hasn't all been about clearing the clutter...

Beautiful Friday morning sunrise (don't ask what I was doing up at that time)

Rebe made Joa this great book...

'Johuais booc' - Joshua's Book (look at the little curls on his head *love*)

'Wot doo U It ? (I love her back to front question mark) boob' - What do you eat? Boob

How sweet is that?

We made these mini no bake gingerbread houses today. Rebe saw them in her favourite craft book (it's in German, but it's the best craft book we have!)

Even though the wind is still howling down the estuary we got down to the beach to do a bit of digging...

And this little man is doing lots of walking practice, enjoying the feeling of sand between his toes...

He's already taken a few steps on his own. Oh my wee baby is becoming a wee boy :-)

Hope you are having a lovely weekend x


  1. Oh an adventure fund is a great idea... I would def add to it. Much easier than trying to think of something and posting it over.
    I would love to have a clear out too. Tried a couple of weeks ago but the kids cried about everything I wanted to chuck, even the things they dont play with.... It will have to be a night time project I think.

  2. Laura, you and I are on the same growing path. Maybe it has to do with integrating a new being into the family.

    I am purging like crazy with all my stuff. It is scary and invigorating at the same time.

  3. We so need to do this but had the same experience as Amy, they unpacked most of the charity shop stuff and demanded it back!

  4. Well done on the clear out, I also seem to spend half my life moving objects from one place to another and dream of a less cluttered life. I love what your bro said and will be clearing the girls room with that in mind when they go back to school.

  5. Last weekend I finished sorting out my old clothes and shoes and have donated six bin-liners of stuff to a charity shop (in batches). Feels good to have more space, less stuff.

    I will happily stop buying you presents made of stuff. I have run out of ideas anyway and sensed a) that you don't need toys to play and b) they wouldn't always be welcome anyway.

    Will happily contribute to the Angel Adventure Fund in future.