Oxymoron: Declutter and baby

When I was pregnant, a good friend warned us that once the baby arrives, he, or rather his stuff, will take over our apartment. At that time, I thought to myself, well, that’s not going to happen to us as we know how to draw boundaries and our son will have to learn where his are.

Yeah, sure! My friend was right! Our son is barely seven months old and his sprawling playmat has taken over our living area with his toy bins incorporated into our (what I’d like to believe) clean-lined decor. Then there are the playgym and activity centre…

When our little boy was almost two months old, his Nana bought him a swing which bore the hope of helping him nap better. But alas, the swing did none of what was expected of it. Worse, our tyke never quite took to it. On a good day, he will tolerate being in it for a few minutes but otherwise, he would fuss and squirm so much that we would immediately pick him up from it lest he falls off it. Since a month ago, we have even stopped thinking about trying to get our money’s worth from the swing. For five months the white elephant stood in our living area but finally it got moved into the boy’s room. Next stop – a listing on Craigslist, perhaps?

The baby swing is not the only item we regret purchasing. The long list of items that never got much use or even got used at all includes a Medela supplementary feeding system, front-facing infant stroller, boxes of milk bags, various carriers, bottles of Chinese medicated oil (for wind and colic), breastfeeding pillow, baby bean bag, etc.

The swing sitting lonely:


Since we have limited living and storage space, holding on to items which we no longer have use for is foolish. Hence the need to declutter. Thankfully we have a couple friend who is expecting and we have been able to pass most of the clothes and other items that our son has outgrown to them (even though they will be having a little girl, our friend is chic about baby blue for her). This has taken a load, literally, off of us but with a fast-growing baby and the smarts of marketers in selling their products to parents, it seems almost impossible to lead a simple clean life.

While my husband and I have decided that we will splurge on books and music for our boy, I know of mothers who will buy a “special” blender to puree food for when their babies start solids! And, oh, the kinds of toys we need to buy our kids – the Jumperoo, the exersaucer, the walker, the bouncer, and so on and so forth. And, oh, the guilt to think that we are bad parents and that our kids would grow up stupid and unloved if we do not buy these for them! O Lord help me resist such untruth!

Hence I was grateful and hopefulto find a camaderie in the author of this blog: Unclutterer

The kind of music that gets heard around the house also sounds different nowadays – it may still be Ella Fitzgerald and  Lionel Hampton but all we hear Ella lament about nowadays is her missing yellow basket! But that is discussion for another post.


~ by iccthomas on September 5, 2009.

2 Responses to “Oxymoron: Declutter and baby”

  1. would have thought the front-facing stroller a good idea. craig should be happily reassured looking at mummy and daddy’s loving faces.

    loved your photos!

    • He did use it – but just for a short time as we got another front-facing stroller from Anna. At one time, we actually had 3 strollers in the house!

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