Parenting Blog

Helpful Idea: Stealing From Toms Shoes

Stealing from Toms Shoes

It’s not a dollhouse, but it ain’t a McMansion either.

We bought a modest ranch home 14 years ago; before the stuff of children, before the claws of cats, before we could afford window treatments in every room. Now, our quaint suburban bungalow is overstuffed with, well, it’s overstuffed with just about everything. And that’s a problem.

And so I am stealing from Toms Shoes and have proposed — and passed through our family congress with unanimous and bi-partisan support — this new rule to resolve our domestic overstuffing retroactively and to prevent it from ever happening again:

For every new thing that comes into this house, something of a similar size, worth, +/or emotional value must go out. It may go to a local shelter, to Cradles to Crayons, to Play it Again Sports, to Goodwill, or to the curb in a trash bag, but it must go out.

This is of course not exactly what Toms Shoes does. Toms Shoes gives a brand new pair of their shoes away for every new pair purchased, but the concept at the heart of the matter is identical. We want to give so that others may have. The byproduct will be less stuff here in this house and that’s a great thing for my sanity too. Win-win.

We of modest home and generous hearts may no longer accumulate more than we give away and give back. Simple as that.

In the final weeks of summer, we went through the stacks of books, piles of stuffed animals, mounds of skates and rollerblades, dusty 2nd hand baseball equipment and bins of toys, and have produced pounds of excess to kickstart this new rule and going forward we all will abide by it: something in, something out. No exceptions.

I hope this will become a natural part of our lives so that when I see something rad online or the girls spot something too-too-cute in a store we not only think about the cost of it and if we can afford it but what at home we will part with, and who/what organization shall receive it, to make room for the new thing in our lives.

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