I have started the annual "make way" project. The mission, rather impossible at times, is to reduce the junk and useless crap that we have gathered in our wardrobes, closets, bookshelves, children's boxes. This project might be annual but in the sense that only once a year I actually manage to reduce the montain of junk by carrying it out from our apartment, and if we are lucky I even get rid of it (instead of storing in the garage or in the cellar). The rest of the year the junk get stacked up in our extra bedroom, and if visitors come to stay the night I nicely ask hubby to get the junk up to the attict storage. But getting rid of junk is my way of not getting too hooked on the idea that we need a bigger apartment. Every cleared bookshelf gives us another month of wellbeing in this lovely apartment.
Since child I have been a master on this task. I can continue for hours. Usually I get so caught up in an old interesting book that I had completely forgot about, a cd with excellent music that I have not listened to for ages, or looking at old pictures remembering the good days. Yesterday I found Plantley's "No-cry discipline solution" - it must be the best handbook ever written on children with a temper. Unfortunately I have never found the time to read it, though. Today I found our wedding pictures, those that were never included in the photo album. A and I had a good look at the pics together. I even promised her that she'll get my brides gown once she gets married....In lack of other hobbies, I would say that this spare time venture is one of the most fullfilling that I have, if results are not measured....
But as said, this is the time of the year when I actually do get things done although I momentarily get stuck somewhere else. Yesterday I managed to fill a huge bag with old childrens clothes, going to the flea market to sell in August. Organizing children's outgrown clothes just shows how hooked we are on consuming. I have one bag of stuff to be preserved for the children themselves. Then another bag with clothes to be sold on Huuto.net (Finnish version of eBay). A third bag of Polarn och Pyret clothes, to be sold at Po.P second hand market in October. And then finally a humagous bag to be sold at the ordinary flea market, as cheap as possible, just to get rid of it. As you can see, getting this straightened out takes me hours, if not days (you could even say years as I have not been at the fleamarket since A was 9 months old....).
Today, rainy day, I was on it again. I got all childrens toys organized in their right box. I sorted out plastic pieces, broken toys, numerous artistic drawings and those went straight to the garbage bin (the trick here is to do it in such a cool manner that the kids do not notices...otherwise the junk will just be back were it was in the first place). The day was really rainy, and the kids were really in need for a sibling fight judge in their room so I managed to go through all their toy boxes (aprox 10 boxes) and sort out toys that where in the wrong box. As A is getting bigger it was also time to make way for her Barbies in a separate box (she is turning 4 in another week and she is already the owner of no less than five (!) Barbie dolls). Out goes baby toys that take too much space and toys that have lost their meaning and in comes the girly stuff. I even managed to find almost all the missing coins to the cashier and Farmer Old McDonald got all his lost animals back on the tractor (G learned today to refer to the tractor "Eeeaiaiou"-because of the song that the tractor sings). I also got a box for G's increasingly impressive car collection. The box is still the smallest in the room but I gather that by the time he hits 4, it will be the biggest.
Once hubby gets home and we sit down to eat dinner I inform him about the big job that I have got done today - the excercise could be describe as the annual budgeting in corporate terminology. He looks at me in a very weird way. I continue to explain: "and so the Barbies goes in the green box, and the cars goes in the transparent box, the animals in the box on the bookshelf..." Then I suddenly hear Paula Abdul singing "I take one step forward, you take two steps back"....Oh dear. While I was preparing dinner, hubby was getting rid of the temporary playground that the kids had parked in the living room (note, after me organizing). So the stuff had been stuck in whatever box with free space in it... Come to think of it, have you ever heard of a company where budgeting was done in one day? To be successful and have a good view of what is to come in the following year, companies usually involve the whole organization in annual budgeting. My mistake today was that I didn't.
Tomorrow is another (sunny) day. Hence, we will stay outside and leave the mess for another rainy day...maybe then involving the whole bunch. Just maybe. Because just as in budgeting, it is awfully much faster, and you save yourself from a great deal of fuzz, when only one person takes care of the task.