First, let me say I do love Real Simple magazine. I'm a charter subscriber. Having said that, though, stories like this just make me laugh
It's yet another story about how to reduce the clutter in your life. While the ideas are worthy, the reality is the people who write these stories either don't have young children or they have forgotten what it is like to have young children.
Anyone with a child knows how much stuff comes along. You try and try, but somehow there is just clutter. Even in our "mall? what's a mall?" world, we seem to collect enormous amounts of stuff.
Some of it is passed down from very generous friends and family. Some of it enters the house via birthday or Christmas packages. Some of it comes via the mailman after an interesting catalogue arrives. No matter how it enters, though, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep it under control.
We regularly go through and sort out toys. Just recently I managed to convince the girls to throw out several old, filthy, beloved stuffed animals. I've been going through the closets to make sure all the girls' clothes fit. Yet, it never seems like we're making progress. There always seems to be a lot of stuff.
It's not that I'm complaining. We're not stupid. We know that the girls will have a lot of stuff -- especially when they are young. (Oh, the hundreds of little doll clothes/toys/houses we've collected.) We know that when they are older there will be less, but more expensive, stuff.
I figure it this way. Right now, when the girls are young is the only time our house can look like a toy store exploded and I can explain it by saying, "Oh, they've been playing in that room all afternoon." Today everyone smiles that understanding "been there" smile. A few years from now, they'll all just think we're slobs!