“How did we end up with so many McDonald’s toys! Didn’t we just throw them all away?”
My kids stare at me, their blank-faces daring me to find an answer to such a rhetorical question. One by one I toss the miniature Barbies, Pokemon characters, and Kung-Fu Panda action figures into the open trash bag. Most of them were already missing an arm or frozen in a permanent karate chop action anyway.
With a sigh, I continue to make my way through their playroom, deciding which of two identical baby dolls to keep. With three boys, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there will be duplicates in their toys. With only one daughter I am surprised to have two (and even three or four) of the same doll, dress-up costume or musical instrument.
“You guys have too much stuff!”
The kids nod their head in agreement. The purpose of the purge is our upcoming move. Hoping to save money on U-Haul trailers, we are brutal with what goes into the yard sale pile and what is allowed to stay.
Over the course of the next few days, I begin to see a trend.
We are thoughtless consumers.
I always get the kid’s meal at fast food restaurants; my children would be disappointed if they didn’t get a toy. If there’s a gift with purchase at my favorite makeup counter, I justify buying an unnecessary lipstick so I can get the equally unnecessary bag and lotion. Never mind the fact that I have stockpiles of toiletry bags and mini lotions in my bathroom at home; this one is new!
As the yard sale mountain grows, I wonder how we let things get this bad. Also, I begin to worry that we’ll just end up buying it all back. With my focus on de-cluttering our household and simplifying our move, my vision is clear as to what is needed and what is not. Once we are comfortably settled in our new home, will my eyes once again be blinded by “for a limited time”?