Day 60: My Complicated Relationship With Building Blocks or Why Decluttering Should Not Be Rushed

6,000 things gone, only 4,000 things to go

Hasn’t this been a long 100 days?

People are always surprised that I’m not done yet. Since I started 109 days ago, I can understand the confusion.

It’s seemed long to me too, but I just discovered the perfect reason not to rush your decluttering.

I was picking Mega Bloks out of the Lego again today when it occurred to me that I have a complicated relationship with building blocks.

Now, before you click over to a sane person’s blog, I should give you a little history.

I think most people my age have a little Lego love in them. I love the original bricks with their primary colours, rectilinear shapes, and recognizable accessories like windows and doors.

My son’s Lego is totally unrecognizable to me with shapes and colours specific to each themed set and building plans you need an engineering degree to erect.

We started acquiring building bricks around about the time our oldest son entered kindergarten. That’s also when we discovered he has a delay in his fine motor skills.

We have a Lego set for every doctor, teacher or therapist who told us to build with him which just proved to us that you can lead a horse to water, but he’ll probably just play with the mini figures anyway.

Lego was hard for him but Mega Bloks were excruciating. He’d put three together and the first one would fall off. Stuff that frustrated him made me angry – cheap pencils, outdated printing programs, typing ‘games’, Mega Bloks!

You heard me right. Mega Bloks, little pieces of plastic, make me angry. And that’s as good a reason as any to keep your decluttering at a pace that you can learn from.

You don’t want to get ahead of the stories you tell yourself about your stuff, especially if they’re not sane or productive.

I’ve told myself that the remaining Lego will make a good display sorted by colour in glass jars in the kids playroom, but I really just want to hang on to my childhood memory of building houses with my sister. I’m sure I’ll revisit that decision in a couple of years, but it works for me right now.

And even though I’m still donating them, I’ve forgiven the Mega Bloks – or at least realized that maybe it wasn’t the Mega Bloks that needed forgiving after all.

Are you telling yourself any interesting stories about your stuff? Do you have any Lego love in you?

What I tossed (donated) today: 50 more ****ing Mega Bloks, 1 set of pop beads, wooden train set, plastic frogs, plastic bunnies, strange flying machine, travel perfection, and a Bop-It!


5 thoughts on “Day 60: My Complicated Relationship With Building Blocks or Why Decluttering Should Not Be Rushed

  1. Oh my goodness, Lego is the one thing that is threatening to take over at our house! My kids only have two “collections” of toys now – one is a small bin of Playmobil (they only really care about the people) and another bin is of Lego (again, they care mostly about the little people). I’ve decided Lego is a total racket to get parents to spend more money, since most of the sets are quite expensive and only usually come with 1 or 2 people. I am finding after the set gets assembled once, the kids only have the imagination to play with the Lego people at this stage! I guess I am not doing my motherly duty by re-building everything over and over again. Oops.

    I do often wonder if the reason why my kids only play with Playmobil and Lego is that those are the two types of toys my brother and I played with mostly as kids. Pretty sure there’s something too that.

    Also, if you have any ideas on how to organize Lego? Mine, er, I mean my kids 🙂 is currently living in a plastic tub and they are constantly wanting to dump every miniscule piece on the living room floor… Clearly, the subject of Lego is occupying WAY too much real estate in my brain these days!

  2. I experience Lego Love. I wasn’t too creative with the blocks—- I always built and furnished houses, and in every one I used a little car door piece to make a mail slot. We never had a mail slot, and I found them fascinating. Felt like a genius for making my own.

    “Stuff that frustrated him made me angry – cheap pencils, outdated printing programs, typing ‘games’, Mega Bloks!”

    Poor little dude! Poor sympathetic mama! This is a good argument for quality goods— fewer frustrations. Damn Mega Bloks.

    I bet I tell myself all kinds of stories… … about the music books I will one day memorize, the clothes that will transform me from a frumpy sadsack to a breezy, confident woman, the pretty dishes for serving imaginary guests… Reality is only a nodding acquaintance.

    The WORST stories are the ones I tell myself about things I WANT to buy— you know, all those purchases that will magically change my personality. If I had a pretty bike, I’d be willing to bike for miles! If I had those awesome earrings, I’d magically become a real artist! I can’t afford NOT to buy that stuff, my whole future’s waiting for me!

    • Mail slots are fascinating especially ones you rig yourself out of car parts. So clever!
      My little dude is pretty lucky to have a printing problem in the 21st century. We bought him a used iPad last year and it has changed his school life. I worship it!
      I too have “magic” clothing, like the stiletto boots I bought when I was nine months pregnant. Surely no one will notice the 50lbs I gained if I’m wearing heels.
      You said it best: “Reality is only a nodding acquaintance.”

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