Hello and welcome to Day 2 of the 7-Day Toy Cure! Your assignment yesterday was to create an Outbox and start going through all the toys in your home deciding which ones belong in the Outbox. You won't decide the fate of the Outbox toys for a few more days; right now your job is just to ask these three questions:
1. Is it played with often?
2. Is it age appropriate (too young or too old)?
3. Is it broken, dirty or have missing pieces?
If you live in a small home or only have one child, you might have been able to get through all the toys on your first pass (hopefully no more than about an hour). But many people will need two sessions and that's what Day #2 is for. (Don't forget the tub toys and your play kitchen.) Keep on keepin' on!
Here's another excerpt from the Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure book which describes the psychology of the Outbox:
Most clutter clearers will tell you to sort through your belongings and remove a certain amount to the garbage, to recycling, or to a giveaway pile. This is a first-generation clutter-clearing approach. It focuses mainly on identifying clutter that will immediately be taken away. The problem with first-generation thinking is that it doesn't take into account that there are two problems: how to sort out the clutter and how to detach from individual items. Separation anxiety is the far bigger problem.
When faced with two anxiety-provoking decisions - where something should go (its value to the world) and whether one can separate from it (its value to the owner) - most people get stuck and simply hold on to things as a default. Second-generation clutter management unhitches these two stressful decisions. It deals with separation first and decides how and where to get clutter out of your apartment later.
You might be thinking I don't have separation anxiety with these toys - my kid does! That's mostly true which means you can be more objective about what stays and what goes into the Outbox for consideration. But separation anxiety can manifest itself in parents, too. Do any of these thoughts run through your head when you're considering getting rid of a toy:
"But I paid a lot of money for that toy."
"That toy was a gift and 'so and so' will be offended if I get rid of it."
"I loved that toy when I was a kid, maybe if I wait longer my child will love it, too."
"Looking at this toy brings back fond memories of when my child was younger."
Ignore these concerns for now - just put it in the Outbox and decide later!
A few more items in my Outbox:
Use the comments to chat with each other and ask questions!