Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bath Toys: The Final Declutter

My bathtub used to be the home of many, many toys. Seriously. We had A LOT of them. I'm not sure why we thought we needed so many of them, when three cups and a plastic fish would have done nicely, but we did.

I've gotten rid of a lot of these toys in the past few years, and some of them have turned into summer wading pool toys. But I was looking at the bathtub the other day and it occurred to me that we still had too many.

 Our bathroom is SUPER YELLOW. Hence the yellow tint to the photo.

It's not a whole lot, but considering my kids are 5, 7, and almost 9, their use of the bath and bathtub toys is limited. Showers loom large in our present and future, and you don't need toys for the shower. (Except for the wet washcloths that they've already learned to use as weapons on each other.)

I was harsh in my decluttering here, but it was also incredibly easy. This is what I left:

 I left the shark and the alligator because they are aquatic animals, see?

And this is what the bathtub looks like now, after everything is removed, it has been scrubbed, and I used a flash on my camera:

Huh. I need to look into tub stain removers.

Here are the discards:

It looks like I've been out trawling.

I was a little sad to get rid of those little foam animals because they are only a few months old and barely played with. But, considering they are barely played with, I'm going to assume that means my kids will probably not play with them MORE as they get older. Plus, no one wants used bath toys, so they're trash.

I am happy to get rid of the net bag. I have had that thing forever. I couldn't justify getting rid of it when we had enough toys to put in it, but now that we have TWO, I think we'll be okay without it.

Total items discarded: 27

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Back with a Bang!

Hi, friends! It's September! (It is still September, right?) That's means The Junk Pyramid is back in business and I will be making at attempt to declutter my house on a (semi) regular basis!

And trust me, it needs it. While I've not been posting, I've not been decluttering very much. Or cleaning. Really, we're in dire straits here people.

I decided to celebrate my return to decluttering with a trip to my basement. The largest part of my basement functions as a playroom for my kids, and in fact, I've managed to contain MOST of their toys down there. The problem with that is that at some point over the summer, I gave up cleaning said playroom. I would occasionally send my kids down there and tell them, "Make it LOOK clean. I don't care where you put the stuff, just get it off the floor."

Let me tell you, that kind of attitude will come back to bit you in the ass, and hard.

Please don't judge me here, but it's really necessary for you to see the before photos:

I know the walls make it look like a prison, but it's really not that bad.

Those bins are full of detritus. And toy trains.

You can't see them, but there are bags full of toys stashed around the room.

Look at my highly useful shelves. They are being so well utilized!

Okay, that was embarrassing. To clean this room, what I did was put everything in bins, bags, and boxes and then sat in a semi-central location and sorted everything. I had boxes for Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, magnets, assorted game pieces, cars, Star Wars toys...you get the point.

Here was my work area:

I only found one spider bigger than my thumbnail and I was able to vacuum him up.

I also had a big trash bag. I put every single broken toy I found in there. Even if it was something that I thought, "Oh, I can put this aside and fix it!" No. I won't. I know myself. It's trash. Somehow I managed to fill up an entire 30-gallon trash bag. Pretty impressive.

I had a bin available for "I don't know where this goes" stuff, so it wouldn't slow me down on my initial sort. Anything I didn't have a spot for, I tossed in there and then I went through that bin again last. I ended up getting rid of a lot of it.

I also had a box for things to give away or sell. I managed to put together a pretty impressive haul.

It's this little, unsortable crap that drives me crazy.

I had SIX train engineer caps. SIX! Why? I have but three children.

It's important to do the heavy cleaning while your children are elsewhere, otherwise they will find things they have forgotten about and insist that they want to play with them EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES FROM THIS DAY FORTH! For instance, these pegs below. I was thwarted in my effort to get rid of them.

I AM getting rid of that mailbox behind him though.

I am so sad we're not in a Wonder Pets kind of place anymore.

So long, Bob the Builder.

I'm also getting rid of the last remnants of our play food. I haven't seen my kids play with this stuff for ages. I'd already gotten rid of our play kitchen and all of our crappy plastic food. Sadly, it is now time to get rid of the rest of it too.

The wooden, cut-able food.

The desserts that teach colors, numbers, letters, and shapes.

Our shape matching eggs and cookies.

It was a lot of work to clean this basement. I spent big chunks of three different days down there. But it was so worth it:

Everything has a home!

Look! Accessible toys and space to play with them! It's REVOLUTIONARY!

Of course, my children are never allowed to play down there again, lest they mess it up.

I do, however, still have some work to do down there in the non-playroom part of the space.

Did I already ask you not to judge me? Good.

My count for this project is probably a little off because, well, because I didn't do an accurate count, and also because I didn't count any of the stuff I put in the trash, and some of it was actually countable, not just cricket heads and broken clone warriors. So as not to anger The Junk Pyramid watchers on my first day back, I will go with...

Total items decluttered: 90