One of our favorite afternoon activities is arts and crafts. Our toy closet (read kitchen table, kitchen counter, kids table) is packed with pads of paper, markers, colored pencils, paint, stencils, stickers, brown paper bags, pipe cleaners, stamps and much more. Whenever we start to get bored, or the boys start to get stir crazy, I set them up with an art project. It’s mainly for selfish reasons because I love doing anything creative. In my opinion, it’s more fun than playing in the dirt or racing cars. (My poor boys!) But the boys really do seem to enjoy it too.
Today, as I was attempting to clean up, I was shocked at the size of the art pile. We have so many paintings, drawings and paper bag puppets that didn’t make the fridge, but I hate to throw them away. It’s really wasteful plus the boys are always so proud of their work and throwing it away just doesn’t seem right. But seriously, what am I going to do with all of these art projects? I can’t keep storing them forever. (Don’t tell, but there are at least 8 posters hiding behind the couch that Little Man painted when he was 2 and 3.)
That’s when I came across a Valentine’s day card Little Man had made himself. It was one of the ones that didn’t make the cut when we sent a week’s worth of crafts off to the grandparents, aunts and uncles. (If I remember we were all home sick that week and needed something to do.) That’s what gave me the idea. I separated the projects into piles of pictures to save, cards to send and wrapping paper. I put the ”cards” up and plan to help the boys write notes to family and friends for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. Colorful paintings and drawings were set aside to use as wrapping paper and the puppets I put aside to use as decorations on packages.
Little Man was really excited about the idea and wanted to start wrapping presents right away. We don’t have any birthdays coming up, but we did spend 30 minutes wrapping up dinosaurs and cars for practice. I’m happy to report that I’m doing my part to recycle all the craft paper we’re using and looking at the decluttered tables and counter tops was such a rewarding feeling. It’s amazing how a cluttered space can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. We spend so much time in the kitchen and living room. Taking the time to declutter the space was really worth it. Who knew decluttering a small space could be so therapeutic?