Experiences Versus Stuff.
The boys had to make some tough decisions this past couple of weeks prior to moving into our tiny condo. Their stuff wasn’t going to fit into 1000 square feet. They were going from having their own rooms to the three boys having to share 1 bedroom!
So the deal was, they had to part with at least 70% of their stuff in order to make this space functional. They had to decide which toys or equipment really mattered to them. They needed to really reflect on the way they wanted to spend their time.
Spending time with family down by the river
In order to help them make decisions on what to give up, we had some good conversations about what they enjoyed doing during their down time (ie when they are not in school or at an activity). They consistently gave us similar answers. They wanted to spend more time doing things with mom and dad. They wanted our time and not their stuff. They also wanted to have more play dates or have time with friends. Bottom line…they wanted to interact with friends, family and the world around them.
Bikes and scooter time
They wanted to spend more time going to the park, going hiking, splashing in the river, biking and so much more. Not one answer seemed to include a toy or gadget.
My three boys
I wrote down their responses. I shared them back a few days later. When I pointed out how they didn’t really need all the toys they had, it was much easier to donate the majority of their stuff. The morning of the purge we discussed how we were going to donate this stuff they were willing to part with.I explained how we were going to give their toys away to families who weren’t able to afford to buy toys. My boys became excited at the thought of helping other children and families out. What an amazing life lesson! We decided we would keep a handful of fun board games and family games. Lego seemed to be an important one to keep around, a set of blocks, a rock collection, a few stuffed animals and a small bin of cars, dinos, farm animals and people. That was it.
A couple weeks have passed and the boys have been actually playing with the toys they kept! I found before this, there was an overwhelming amount of toys that weren’t organized and the kids didn’t ever seem interested in playing.
Less is more! and this is the perfect example. Even my 15-year-old has sat with his younger brothers and built some cool things with the now organized lego set.
By listening to what my kids really wanted, we have grown. We have spent more time outdoors. We have spent more time riding our bikes and scooters. We have taken more day trips and played more board games. I didn’t think it would be possible to get closer…I was wrong. I thought I knew everything about my kids…but by being more present (which isn’t always easy being a mom of three, a business owner and all the other things that life presents) I am surprised at the small things I have been missing. It’s not easy…but by simplifying our life, I have been given the gift of more time, less stress and the ability to use that time more effectively, building relationships and creating memories.
till the next post,