Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The difficulty of purging toys

My friend over at Confessions of a Hoarder talks about her difficulty decluttering kids' toys.

I have a hard, hard time dealing with toys, too.

I have been able to purge just about every group of things I call "mine": my hair, my computers, my motorcycles, my tools, my clothes, my books.

Once my wife got the bug, she started purging her stuff, too. That has been going well, and we work on it together.

One of the reasons I find toys difficult is that I'm making the decision for someone else. I know that, by getting rid of 1/2 of my books, I lose something (the opportunity to read that book at a moment's notice, the status symbol of books that define "me" to visitors) and gain something in return (space on the shelf, ease of managing my stuff, order in my home, money that I don't have to spend on more storage). I can decide if that trade-off is the right choice for me.

However, with the kids toys, I know that most of the gain is the parents' (for it is our feet that hurt when we step on a marble; we are the ones that separate the blocks, trains, wedgits, and legos) and most of the loss is kids' (they don't have access to a toy that they might enjoy).

What I remind myself of is how much the kids gain, too:

- Their parents are slightly less cranky.

- Their parents have more free time to spend with the kids, to cook nutritious meals, to take care of themselves so they can take care of the kids.

- Kids, too, like a clear, open space to engage in play.

- Clear, open spaces are particularly good for wrestling with Dad.

- Being able to clearly see a small number of toys works better than being surrounded by a plethora. It gives kids a chance to really focus their play in one area, and to not be overwhelmed when considering what play to do next.

- Kids play with non-toy things as often as toy things. Wooden spoons and sofa cushions are current favorites. Those items serve double-duty (yes, you can stir with a wooden spoon), thereby increasing their "density" in the home.

I've noticed recently that even the babies (16 months on Saturday) will often not think of playing with something until someone points it out to them. So, providing them with bucket upon bucket of toys won't really help them find fun. Having just 1 toy can meet their needs, if there's someone to help them get engaged.

In January I put a bunch of kids' toys in storage. It was a really good choice -- the kids haven't missed the toys, and life has been a bit easier since.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Date Night

As parents of 3 small children, it's rare that Julie & I get to spend time together, just the two of us. Luckily for us, we found someone who was willing to babysit all 3, and we went out on a date.

We went for sushi.

As you can see, this is a happy thing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How little do we really need?

Reading http://confessionsofahoarder.blogspot.com/2007/04/off-topic-guest-post-over-at-happy-jet.html got me thinking.

Every Thanksgiving my extended family rents a large house at the beach. There are usually about 16 people there, of which I contribute 5. For those 5, we only bring 2 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and carseats. There are only a few toys, unlike the hundreds of overflowing toys at home.

There are clearly some things missing, like clothes for the other weather, but still, we do very well with very little.

One important factor is the help we get. For example, with other adults around, we have time to keep up on laundry, washing every day, so we only need 3 days worth of clothes.

It's something we think about often when working on decluttering and pondering how much we really need for our happiness.

-Jay on a Pocket PC phone

Saturday, May 12, 2007

This just seen

It fills my heart with corporate pride.

-Jay on a Pocket PC phone

Board games on the computer

It's nice to sit down at a table to play a board game. You get some real human interaction that is missing from, say, television. But when it's time for dinner, you have to end the game. Or the peices get distributed -- under the sofa, behind the dresser, into a baby's digestive tract.

These problems go away when you play on a PC. No losing virtual chess peices. Go works well on the computer, too. Dominoes doesn't as well, since you can't hide your peices from your opponent, but having two PCs can do the trick.

But I'm still trying to figure how to get an online version of Twister.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How dumb do phishers think I am?

I just got a mail with this contents:

Dear Customer, jbasuki.

You are receiving this message, due to you protection, Our Online Technical Security Service Foreign IP Spy recently detected that your online account was recently logged on from am without am International Access Code (I.A.C) and from an unregistered computer, which was not verified by the Our Online Service Department.

If you last logged in you online account on Thursday April 5th 2007, by the time 6:45 pm from an Foreign Ip their is no need for you to panic, but if you did log in your account on the above Date and Time, kindly take 2-3 minute of your online
banking experince to verify and register your computer now to avoid identity
theft, your protection is our future medal.

Verification Link

Notice: You can acess your account from a foreign IP or
country by getting am (I.A.C) International Access Code, by contacting our local
brances close to you.

Do people really fall for such badd speling and gramer?
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