I'm a thrower-outer. I'm not adamantly opposed to clutter and I like knick-knacks. But I don't keep a plastic fork because we might need it in the event the poles reverse and our metal ones quit working. My daughter is the one with all the crap. I clear her stuff out all the damn time, throwing crap away and donating other things. But she's getting old enough now that I don't like having to rifle through all of her bags and boxes. She's old enough to take care of her own stuff, and I'd like to start granting her a little more privacy. Oh, but the stuff.
I just found her stash of bookbags. Full of markers, pinecones, gum, a half-eaten Bonbel cheese. Lids to pens, without the pens. Paper trash of every stripe.
I control what she brings in the house. She has a deep-seated desire to acquire, and is upset if we go to, say, the hardware store and she doesn't get something. She's not bratty about it, but a little wounded. I realize this could become a monster of an issue, so I'm working to disconnect pleasure from acquisition. But it's not just buying that makes her happy. Her friends give her all sorts of crap, all the time. Rubber bands, crappy play jewelry, pencil erasers. I would rather not frisk her whenever she comes in the door, but it's getting to that.
The child loves stuff, especially the proximity of stuff. She stashes little items in her bed, in bags, all over the house. She like to be near it. It's truly bizarre. And she can name every damn item she has, even if she can't find it.
I just have no idea what kind of motivation/consequences/ whatever to use. I've tried all the usual, including getting rid of tons of stuff, taking it away for a while and making her earn it back. Any brilliant ideas?