If ever there has been a book on parenting that has revolutionized the way I view our children’s environment, it is this one. If ever there was a book I wish everyone parent could read, it is this one. I was completely blinded by our culture of MORE, MORE, MORE and CLUTTER, CLUTTER, CLUTTER! My kids need the best toys, tons of choices and new things often right??
Kim Jon Payne author of simplicity parenting says that is not the case. He has done study after study of families who DRASTICALLY cut down on the amount of toys, clutter, busyness, and screen time. The results? Among other things, children with A.D.D. who no longer need medicine and siblings who play together better and fight over toys less.
He makes the compelling point that it wasn’t until the past 50 years that toys were even available for purchase outside of Christmas time. Now toys are for purchase at the grocery store, and even the gas station. Toys are given for every occasion and no occasion at all. Our children feel entitled. As a small child looking up to the mountain of toys they become overwhelmed with choices and the result reaction is stress. Entitled stressed out children can’t help but to behave selfishly, jittery, and unmanageable.
I have always been frustrated with clutter and a desire to do something about it. This book certainly put me over the edge…in a good way. We had a yard sale this past weekend where we cut down at least 70% of all toys. We also created a toy “library” as suggested in the book where several toys are put in boxes in the attic and will be rotated with others on a periodic basis.
A large portion of their toys were broken or missing parts and many of them were overlooked in the sheer volume of choices. The results? It hasn’t quite been a week but my kids haven’t missed a thing! They still have their most loved toys and I have certainly not missed less clutter to clean up a the end of the day.
There is only so much square footage in our home. I much prefer it to be open with room to play instead of packed with unloved items.
It is such an overwhelming feeling of freedom to have LESS STUFF weighing you down! I am on a roll! We have shelf and closet space I thought I would never see empty. My husband is thankfully totally on board and we have helped each other decide what is worth keeping and what is not.
The new rule? When an item comes into the home, something else goes out. It really helps us to decide if the new item is or isn’t worth bringing home.
Simplcity Parenting also has super helpful tips on how to create “rhythm” in your home by creating schedules and routines.
I love your feedback. How do you simplify in your home?
* Update. It has been several months now since I first published this book. My kids still have never missed a single toy that is gone. And the toy library is amazing! Every few months they get “all new toys” (from the attic!) and then I fill up the two bins with some old toys..that will soon be new again!