I made a preliminary run at thinning out the kids' stuff today, in preparation for all the packing that will come later. And let me tell you, it was an all day job, thanks to my two big helpers. It's always better to do these kind of projects with as little help as possible, but I didn't get to it while the boys were away, so there was nothing to do but let them help--which means that toys that haven't seen the light of day for who knows how long suddenly became the most beloved things ever to grace the bedroom the moment they hit the "give away" pile or the "trash" pile.
Speaking of which, I ultimately came away with six trash bags full of stuff for Goodwill--along with some bigger items that wouldn't fit in sacks--and at least that many for the garbage. And, there are still more toys than I can count! Spoiled pack rats, indeed. I suspect they are in good company, though, and will most likely confirm that, when my scrutinizing packer's eye hits the rest of the house in the coming weeks.