#goodenough – Because It REALLY Is

I think most parents of young toddlers know the frustration and chaos that is their kid’s toys. They get everywhere, they’re disorganized, and you don’t have time as every new toy is brought into the mix to go back through and carefully choose all of those no longer developmentally-appropriate for redistribution to the Goodwill. So what you may end up with is a giant crap heap of some stuff that your kid is really into, but a lot of things they have zero interest in. Either way, they can’t really find things because it’s all a crap heap that just keeps growing.

And if you Google things like, “how to organize your kids toys,” you’re greeted with beautiful, Pinterest-worthy ideas that will not only have your kid’s toys sensibly organized, but also in lovely containers that match your home decor!

Well, you can probably guess where all those images remained in my life – in the online desert-mirages from whence they came. I got distracted by having the containers and the plan before I would be able to do the organization, and so never started. I had it all backwards! And in doing so, I put the trivial before the important – a system that works.

One afternoon last week, I got fed up and decided to tackle the toys. I did need some containers, and what I had were empty diaper boxes – turns out my tardiness in breaking them down for recycling had an upside! These worked perfectly. I categorized the toys in big messy piles on the floor to figure out how many boxes I’d need, and removed the things I thought we wouldn’t use again (ie: toys I found insanely annoying) and things to save for our youngest. Once everything was in the boxes, I did want to label them, so I grabbed a Sharpie and scribbled on the outside of each box so that my husband and I could put things away consistently.

Here’s what my living room looked like before:

Oh wait.

I don’t have a photo of that, because I wasn’t thinking of this as a blog exercise. I just wanted it to be done!!

(If you really want to get a mental image, just imagine all the toys in the following picture, plus more, stuffed into/spilling out of/precariously stacked upon the two white 12×12 bins still in use below.)

Here’s what it looks like now:

image

image

All those other bloggers were right: my life IS so much better when my kid’s toys are organized.

But more importantly, my life is so much better when I don’t worry about things being a “finished product” and I actually just get shit done.

And this isn’t “settling,” though I think as moms we’re encouraged to feel like we haven’t really succeeded until things are not only done, but also beautiful.

I’m calling bullshit on that score. Now that the toys are organized, I don’t give two figs about whether or not the containers are pretty. I don’t love organizing or home decor enough to have that be fun for me. So if it’s already done, why would I spend any extra time on figuring out where my kid’s toys go? I’d rather spend the time playing with him, or doing other things I like more, like reading, or walking, or colouring, or napping, or…

My husband and I often say “hashtag good enough” to each other. It’s a code for letting each other know that the amount of effort we’ve expended on a task is good enough, and we think it’s time for both of us to relax together instead. (The # is just to be silly.)

This was definitely a #goodenough moment for me. And I think as moms we need more moments where we say this to ourselves. So whichever part of domestic life isn’t your “jam,” whether it’s the cooking, cleaning, organization, laundry, yard work, or whatever, decide where your #goodenough line is, and then let yourself off the hook to go do something you dig instead.

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