One day I had a nagging feeling. I had to do something about this:
This is our Little Cat’s corner in the living room. Shelves filled with books. More books on the floor. Wooden peg boards, jigsaw puzzles and blocks stacked above the other. A heavy wooden stackable train for a falling hazard. Not seen in the photo were some toys in another part of the living room.
MOST toys are not played with, especially the toys in the white and red tubs – unless he remembers and looks for them. Worst, books are NOT read as much as before. 😦
I strongly felt to declutter at that very moment.
I stowed away some of the toys in the storage cabinet. And quite half-heartedly, I transferred a lot of books to the shelves upstairs. The result was easier on the eyes and definitely during clean up time.
The learning manipulatives were no longer stacked. They’re now displayed for easier reach and pack-away.
When LC saw the new set-up, his eyes brightened up. It was as if he was reunited with long-lost friends! I will expound on the books in a separate post but for the toys at hand, he actually played with them again after a looong while. He took significant time threading beads with the tiger and giraffe. As for the wooden jigsaw puzzle, he forgot what to do with them! :O He used to put them together in a jiffy. So we’re back to square one with those.
Needless to say, reorganizing LC’s corner – where he spends most of his waking hours – was a very good move. Less is definitely more.
I found a number of write-ups on the topic. My favorite is by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. From his post alone, I realized there’s deeper wisdom to why less toys is more.
I love all the points he raised but these are what I like best and most applicable to our situation now:
- Kids learn to be more creative.
- Kids develop longer attention span.
- Kids learn perseverance. – I have yet to see this though on LC and the jigsaw puzzles. I guess more prodding and encouragement is needed.
- Kids become more resourceful.
Since decluttering and reorganization, I have downsized the books and toys further. I also purged the entire collection for stuff that can already be given-away. More notable is I am periodically rotating the books and toys in his corner and the storage depending on the theme I feel going with at the time – shapes, numbers, colors, etc. It’s an additional task but I really don’t mind. Quality play and learning all for our dear child. 🙂