We live in a small, I mean, tiny apartment. And every now and then it becomes terribly evident that our stuff has surpassed our apartment's capacity to hold it. In a way it's a good thing to live in a place that has this sort of built-in alarm system that lets us know when we've accumulated too many things. But it also wears on us, I think. There is not much forgiveness to the space: everything is either picked up or it's a mess. No in-between.
Yesterday we couldn't take it anymore. And our efforts became concentrated in Monk's room. He's now 9 1/2 years old. And he had a lot of toys in his room that he has simply outgrown. Most of his playtime now is dedicated almost entirely to playing sports: hockey, football, and baseball. He plays a lot of these by himself in the afternoons. But he also throws a ball with his Dad every afternoon in the park across the street. (If you live in a tiny apartment, it always helps to have a park across the street!)
The three of us ruthlessly filled trash and recycling bags yesterday afternoon. I even cleared out old schoolwork he'd accumulated over the years, showing my anti-math bias by only keeping creative writing assignments. :) I went through Monk's dresser drawers and took out the clothes that no longer fit--a chore also long overdue. Included in that pile was an old Eagles jersey my brother gave Monk when he was only two years old. It was huge on him at the time, and somehow we managed to squeeze five years out of that jersey! But there is no way Monk would fit in it now. (That jersey isn't representative of the other clothes in his drawer, by the way. Everything else was sized between 6 and 8. I'm not that far behind.)
At the end of the day, I vacuumed in there. Including getting down on my hands and knees and using the attachment to vacuum along the edges of the room, floorboards we haven't seen in over a year! A deeply satisfying project.
The end result is that the room is cleaner, neater and better put together than I think it's ever been, even since we moved in. We've little-by-little divested of the excess toys (an embarrassment of riches for our only child). It's now a room that is pleasant to be in, a haven and a sanctuary.
Now if only the rest of the apartment felt that way, too!