Ok, it needs to be said -
My kids are hoarders.
I am not.
Hoarders and non-hoarders have a hard time living together. Trust me.
One of my girls is more of a hoarder than the other two.
She saves EVERYTHING.
She has things hidden away in the far corners of the bedroom she shares with her twin...
She keeps bags, and boxes and stickers and papers, and beads... you name it, she saves it.
And quite honestly, I guess I don't blame her.
I am not a hoarder... I'm a purger. Is that even a word?
I purge. I throw things away as soon as they come into the house.
So maybe she sees me as a threat to her "collection"... as fast as I throw things away, she is scooping them up and hiding them with her treasures in her room.
When she isn't looking I sometimes go in and go through her stuff and try to expel some of the stuff that I think she won't miss. I'm not saying I throw away toys and beloved items... but the little garbage-y stuff... glow sticks that no longer glow, a broken shell, a scrap piece of paper a little friend scribbled on and gave to her at school, a metal ring with a fake gem that has probably turned her finger green....
I find these items ridiculously annoying. Ever step on one of those rings when it's left on your living room floor? I HAVE. And I've thought... "Do I need a tetanus shot now??? It punctured the skin! Good Lord!"
I think that as parents we need to take a stand - a united front against a few things.
Almost form a Mother's Against Hoarding group, or something...
1. Birthday party goodie bags... or as I like to call it... CRAP
please please please do us all a favor and stop sending that stupid gum ball machine garbage home in a bag with my kids. Plastic rings, bracelets, spinning tops, those annoying lips that make that whizzing whistling sound(are you trying to kill me?) tongue tattoos?(I can't think of anything more disgusting) They hoard it. I throw it out. I almost want to pay them for their junk.
"I'll give you a dollar if you turn over that entire bag right now.... PLEASE"
2. Stuff from school. Don't get me wrong. I love the homemade gifts, I really do! But when they're bringing home drawings and computer printouts and a picture that I don't even know what it is with feathers and glitter glued to it? Please don't send it home. Glitter? Feathers? I'll be vacuuming that stuff up for weeks!
Those items are the things I have to hide IN the garbage to get rid of. I throw things in empty cereal boxes and then into the garbage to avoid the, "Now how did THIS get in here??!? Mommy, did you throw this away???" Because then I have to lie...."What?!? No! I would never! It must've stuck to something I was throwing away"
I know. I'm terrible.
3. Doctor's office stickers and "treasure chest" items. the last thing we need is another sticker. Seriously. I have sheets and sheets of stickers in a folder labeled, "stickers" My kids get these stickers after their appointments and don't even put them on! They don't wear them! They hold them in the back of the car and either leave them there to be found under a seat in the sticker graveyard when my husband vacuums the car out... or they get brought into the house and put into the hoarding pile.
And please don't give out more treasure chest items.... I don't need another braided bracelet or sticky man who crawls down the window when you throw him on there. Really, I don't.
Want to give my kids a reward? Tell them that they did such a good job that you're going to go call Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and put in a good word. That'll make their day! For real!
Maybe I've watched too many episodes of hoarders and now I'm like terrified of being overtaken by stuff.... Half eaten cheeseburgers and mouse poop everywhere.... climbing over piles of garbage to get out the front door.... Ugh, I need a shower just thinking of it.
I just hope my constant throwing away isn't having an adverse effect on my kids.... I can see them on a therapists couch now..."She never let us keep anything and now I save EVERYTHING! I have underwear from the 3rd grade sitting in a box somewhere in the attic with my old Zhu Zhu pet(I hate those things, by the way)!"
Ugh! Off to throw some stuff out while my kids are at school.
Peace, Love and RIGHT NOW.