Last week I wrote about my goal to be healthier and my ongoing weight loss program. Today’s post is all about decluttering our house of STUFF! After almost 26 years of marriage, 7 kids in various stages of leaving the nest and still needing to be in the nest, a dog, a turtle, and having moved and lived in 7 different homes, our family has accumulated a lot of stuff and lots of it needs to go!
I don’t watch the tv show about the people that hoard things to the point that they can’t even really live in their homes, but at times, there are areas in our house that are starting to pile up and I don’t like that that is happening. Books that we need to evaluate if we should keep them or give them away, toyboxes overflowing with toys that aren’t played with anymore, old computer games and computer parts, VHS tapes and a VCR that according to our kids, has bit the dust. Clothes-I will pat myself on the back here, as every year I have our kids go through their closets and dresser drawers and cull through their clothes-hand over to me what they can’t fit into or what they just plain don’t like anymore. Off to Goodwill the clothes depart. Husband is the only one who won’t go through his clothes-he even still owns a ghastly pair of “earth” shoes, from the his junior high days that I have threatened to send to the grave with him! It didn’t help when the main character on Breaking Bad, the chemistry teacher, even wore a pair!!! Husband delighted in telling me that fashion repeats itself, and the earth shoes stayed in his closet!
I did begin a mini-book give away last week when a former homeschooling music program our kids participated in when we lived in the St. Louis area was asking for donations of educational picture books for their Young at Arts students. That was a nice feeling, to go through our myriad stacks of picture books and pull some out for donating and delivering them. I have also planned on a toybox purge this month. Some of our 7 kids have been polled if there are any toys they want us to keep for their future families: Legos, American Girl dolls, a doll house and it’s occupants and furnishings will be saved and the wooden toys my Dad made, those will be kept. I think the rest will have to go. Need to double-check with the firstborn if he cares about his matchbox cars or not and that NFL football his uncle gave him years ago.
A site that I have found very helpful in being a more organized person, and has great tips on decluttering a home, is Flylady. Flylady? No, she is not a superheroine, but a real person, Marla Cilley, who earned her nickname from teaching fly fishing. She is a real person and used to be a cluttered gal, with a home she was embarrassed to let anyone into for a visit. After living this way for a number of years, she had had enough and began her own system for becoming organized and having a company ready home for visitors. She eventually wrote some books about her system of staying organized and also began a helpful, online website, which one can check out here, at Flylady.net.
Flylady’s system is pretty easy to follow. A home is divided up into 5 zones : Front foyer and dining room areas, kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom, living room/family room. Each week of the month, the cleaning focus is on that room, and the assigned tasks usually take no more than 15 minutes. There is also a weekly Home Blessing, with 7 tasks done weekly, to help keep the home visitor ready, and each task is about 15 minutes in length. There are also daily kid challenges (i.e. chores) that entail the kids in your home to help keep their bedrooms picked up, and to keep track of their stuff, and even recipe ideas for that ultimate dinner saver, the crock pot. Flylady does sell house cleaning tools, but it is optional if you want to buy any or not. There is no fee for looking at her website and trying out her methods. She also stresses to take care of yourself, get enough sleep, drink enough water, get daily exercise, and eat healthy foods. Saturdays she urges all to have family fun time-on an outing or at one’s home. Sundays, she encourages a day of rest, to worship and recharge as fits one’s beliefs.
2015-here’s to getting organized, to decluttering; I for one don’t want my adult kids having to decide what to do with all of Mom and Dad’s stuff, after we have left this mortal coil!