Love your home, this is our theme for February, fitting since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. It’s already February and one of my favorite months. I always ask myself, before I write a post, “SO WHAT or WHO CARES, or IS THIS RELEVANT?
Love your home cuz no one else will unless you do!
This post is all about the Valentine’s Day Vibe. Our LOVE FOR FAMILY! And I always say,
A family that declutters together, stays together
Love your home and declutter together as a family
Here is a sweet true story of a client who asked me to help her son declutter his most sentimental items. Now, it’s challenging enough for adults to sort their personal items, much less the tender heart of a child. So, we talked and talked for a month or so and came up with a solution. Or should I say, through our coaching, she came up with the solution? Read Ginger’s story.
My son has been spoiled since about birth.. maybe even before then. He has always had an abundance of toys and clothes and shoes and anything else you can think of. Part of this is my fault, of course. I never wanted him to feel like he had to do without. Much of it is due to him buying him everything his heart desires — a far cry from when I was a child.
I was at my wit’s end when I consulted Rebecca. Even though I want to give my son everything, I have a huge issue with clutter. I find minimal decorations are best and everything should either have a home and/or a function. My son’s mountain of toys and stuff seemed to grow bigger and bigger over the years. Don’t get me wrong — we had many yard sales and donated whatever didn’t sell. I relocated twice and downsized. Yet, his things kept accumulating.
Last year, I moved into a new home with my boyfriend and his son. We made sure we took care to teach our children the idea of love your home. Now we had double the trouble and double the toys. I remember Rebecca telling me I just moved, so I must be ahead of the game in regards to an organized home. And, that was true, except for the toys. Our boys have a playroom and their bedrooms. Yet, toys and clothes and whatever odds and ends they had were always strewn about the house. I was at my breaking point.
Rebecca and I had a few long chats where she can help me understand the process behind my son’s thinking. I know he has a hoarding tendency for the sheer fact that he attached emotion to a particular object. If PopPop gave him something, getting rid of it is like getting rid of a piece of that relationship. Rebecca talked me through this line of thinking so I could better understand my son’s perspective. I attach sentimental value to some items, like my son’s coming home outfit, his hospital blanket, etc. I am able to understand how we become attached to items, but I also let my logical brain work when choosing what items to part with, if their function ceases to help me in life.
So, now that some of the backgrounds of the situation have been explained — I’m going to let you know what we did to ease the disorganized burden of stuff. It was time to teach the concept of love your home and get things in order fast.
I was so sick of so much stuff. I would come home from work and stress out about the messy house. I couldn’t take it anymore. One day, I decided to just take ALL of his stuff (except for clothes) and put it smack dab in the middle of the playroom. NONE of us could ignore the problem any longer. I put everything in the playroom in bins and put anything from his bedroom in the bin after bin until his room was spotless. I was a bit lost from here. Rebecca told me this was actually a very good step allowing us to see the entire issue. From here, she suggested I make a list of rules of what to keep. We made about 3 points. 1) It cannot be junk/trash/broken. 2) If we keep it, it must have a home. 3) It must have a function.
The love your home concept was absent from my son’s mindset. Read on…
My son didn’t want to go through items, but to my surprise, I could simply explain the rules, and sometimes ask him questions for him to decide whether to throw away, give or keep an item. One item, in particular, was a deflated Patriots balloon. He knew he had no home for this, and why keep it if he couldn’t play with it? He figured out that even if he didn’t have a tangible function, he could select a few items for wall decor. I loved that he was so active and involved in deciding what to keep.
The work wasn’t all on him, of course. Rebecca helped guide me so I could help guide him. I also went out and bought cube shelves and bins so he had homes for some of his smaller figures. They each had to have a particular use — couldn’t be a free for all the junk drawers, so to speak. So, one cube would have his electronics accessories, one cube would be dedicated to legos, etc.
I won’t even lie, every day is a work in progress. Christmas just hit the household and with it – tons more stuff. We are going to start a quarterly clean-out of our items. Not only that, but his being 9 years old, he needs to learn that home organization is an everyday event. It’s not a once-in-a-while happening. To help keep it clean, he needs a chore chart so he has a daily reminder of seemingly simple things — 1) put dirty laundry in the hamper. 2) pick up toys, 3) fold and hang up clean clothes, among a few other things.
And a happy ending it is. Ginger and her son are, as she says, in the middle of a “work in progress” and the decluttering is a welcome part of his and her normal daily routine!