When the Donate Box Becomes a Normal Part of Life

When-the-Donate-Box-Becomes-a-Normal-Part-of-Life title at ASlobComesClean.com_

Remember the game that became a victim of the One In One Out rule?

There it is, sitting in the a Donate Box for the second time.

On the day it was deemed “outgrown” it went straight to the Donate Box. That’s where things go when they’re identified as clutter.

Pants too small? Take it to the Donate Box.

Sweater too itchy? Take it to the Donate Box.

Toy too babyish? Take it to the Donate Box.

But that right there, folks, is a right colorful game. (I feel the cowboy-theme deserves a little twang, don’t you?)

So colorful that my daughter exclaimed in delight when she saw it. She recalled fond memories of playing it at so-and-so’s house and of Daddy jumping out of his seat in (totally unfeigned) surprise when the bronco bucked.

“Can I play with it?”

“Ummmm. Sure.”

I felt slightly nervous, but one way I’ve convinced them decluttering isn’t painful is by letting them take truly missed items out of the Donate Box.

Go ahead and stick it in there. If you really, truly, honestly miss it before the box leaves the house, you can get it back.

They rarely miss anything.

She played the game on the living room rug, and I folded laundry and made dinner and didn’t think another thing about it.

Until the next morning, when I walked past the Donate Box again.

There it was, sitting right on top.

My Slob Mama Heart swelled with decluttering pride.

She saw, she remembered, she reminisced and re-enjoyed, and then she let it go.

I think we have made some brain-changing progress in this family.

When the Donate Box Becomes a Normal Part of Life at

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--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Aww! That’s wonderful!

  2. 2

    good for her – and for you. We too have started the Donate Box/Bag on any item deemed too small, scratchy, or just generally in the way. If the 6-year-old complains about the tags scratching his neck, sometimes I cut them out….and sometimes I realize that shirt is not essential, and someone else might want to know the size shown in that tag, so out it goes. We have soooo much stuff that I frequently feel overwhelmed and stuck, but then I realize I am taking some things out with my regular give-away, donate to a local charity or a family with younger children, or Good will. You inspire me and help me realize I can keep at this little by little and things will get better. Right now, I’m fighting the urge to save everything for a garage sale, knowing that is much more work than I wish to give just now.

  3. 3
    Katie Ann says:

    That is so awesome, PTL. What a proud moment. <3

  4. 4

    awe….. 🙂

  5. 5

    Hallelujah! So inspiring to know there is hope for my children….despite me!
    Sometimes when my little one purges something I think I have more of an urge to rescue it from the donate box than she does lol Proud mommy moment for you, congrats, proof you are doing things right.

  6. 6

    Yay! I love it when the kids catch on!
    Now – I just need to make this a habit here!! We can learn a lot from the children in our life.

  7. 7
    Trinity says:

    THAT. Game. ARGH! It haunts me to this day. I was sooooo delighted when my son was finally willing to let go of it, even though his younger sisters could have still played with it. Ours was sort of defective, so the horse never really stayed down like it was supposed to; I do realize the point of the game is that it pops up randomly, but this went beyond that. Thank you for that reminder that we have, in fact, made significant progress over the years! Now if I could just get them to let go of a few beautiful Melissa & Doug puzzles that came in large boxes…

  8. 8

    How great!
    My daughter is now 4, but since she was 2 she likes to give some of her toys away to kids who don’t have any. One day we did a project to let go of 6 stuffies. She has soooo many, and she hardly plays with them. She loved picking the ones to give away and she wanted to make sure they all got loved- so we took them to the local domestic violence shelter. She loves doing it! On occasion she will select her favorite toys to give and I remind her that it will not be coming back- EVER, and sometimes she still gives that toy and other times she doesn’t. I’m very proud of her, and she’s inspired me to get rid of some of the nifty things that I love but no longer use either.

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