This is the result:
The iPad camera could not capture the true number of bags of crap I gleaned from the room of my two children, there are several that are not shown in this picture. The kids and I worked for eight hours on Sunday and could not believe what has accumulated...over the past year! We did the same haul out last summer and we were amazed then too.
Besides watching hoarders for hours, I spent a lot of time cruising websites of families who had sold all their stuff to begin a family adventure of world travel, calling themselves nomadic families. I was simultaneously feeling superior to the hoarders and inferior to these vagabond family travelers and their cool name which spawned a full day or purging my house, beginning with the kids rooms. Because if I'm not going to have a nomadic family, well at least I can clean out my house like they do and by god at least I won't be a hoarder!
The other thing that motivated the clean out was realizing, yet again, that when you can live for several weeks out of a backpack with not much more than three changes of clothes, a few books, and a toothbrush, well, the average American child's room can feel a bit overwhelming. There was stuff coming out of our ears!
The clincher came when my daughter was in tears over how small her room was and how she needed more space. I looked around, and with the wisdom of those psychologists on the hoarders show fresh in my brain I said girl, you don't need more space you need less stuff. And that started the cleaning binge which resulted in the enormous pile in the foyer. Lucky for me my children were also motivated to clean out the stuff so there were no battles to fight.
The kids are going to have a yard sale this weekend. I have no doubt that they will use that money to buy more stuff.