Little Man the Mini Hoarder ~VS~ Spring Cleaning Mommy
I am a parent not a therapist or personal organizer “Professionally” anyways. I provide for Little Man what he needs so I guess I am all those things. Today I waged war against Little Man in his room. I gave a false start warning I brought the trash bag in and told him “This is not a trash bag. This is for the toys we are going to sell at a garage sale. You can earn money to buy new toys.” I met resistance instantly so I said “Let’s do this later I am going to leave the bag and we both can come back to this.” I went back about 2 hours later and I had a more willing Little Man. I dumped all the buckets out on the floor in front of me and started sorting. I sorted all of the Hot Wheel cars first and told him he needs to choose at least 10 to put in the bag so he started choosing the ones that looked un-cool. Next I separated the Happy Meal toys and told him to choose the ones he wanted to keep and he did! Then I went through to decide what wasn’t part of a collection and I also separated what would be going to my niece and nephew (those things are easier for Little Man to accept because he still can play with them). Little Man did really well accepting this process. Last year when we went through this he had a harder time and even cried with grief over giving his cabbage patch baby to his cousin. I feel that this has been necessary lesson for Little Man to learn. I have struggled with the hoarding and collecting mentality myself I have to shop with a purpose and a budget or I will be drawn to buying frivolous things that I don’t need. I believe this stems from my mom not involving me in the process of giving away my toys. So as a parent I have chosen to involve Little Man. Especially since he has such a deep attachment to his toys. He doesn’t have many friends so he clings to his toys and it is hard for him but it brings me joy that he can openly grieve and at the same time say I am going to miss that toy. I love seeing him process his emotions. It is also hard for him to get rid of broken toys and the plastic part of the package that his toy comes in. I have to tell him trash and broken toys go in the trash often. I usually have to wait for the plastic package to break before I can throw it away he uses it as a bed for the toy it came with. Sometimes in order for him to let go of a toy I have to promise him something else but at least we are moving towards a goal of him letting go of something he doesn’t use to something he will play with. Happy Spring Cleaning!!!