My latest client Lauren* has a house full of children and needed to create some order in her space. She chose one of the kids rooms to work on, as she felt overwhelmed dealing with it on her own. The space made her feel agitated and some times a little angry. I thought this would be a great place to start also as this would not only relieve some of her stress but would also create a place of peace for her children.
We invited the kids to participate in the experience so that they could take ownership in the process and the order in their room. Even young children can participate and determine if an item brings them happiness. They may need help at first defining happiness and value but once you give them the tools they will be able to confidently make decisions.
Another reason it was important that everyone participated is that you never want to get rid of an item that belongs to someone else. Throwing things out behind someones back, even a child’s, can hurt the relationship by causing distrust.
Jump right in
With limited time on our hands we jumped right in to cleaning up. The kids quickly and easily sorted each item in to keep or toss. When they got stuck on something, we worked through it by asking questions and sorting out the true feelings behind it.
We had some good laughs over things that had been saved, including a pair of earrings. The earrings were being saved because they were a gift from a sibling, but they were not loved. We talked about how gifts are meant to bring joy to our life not stress or clutter. If a gift is bringing you stress the gifter would not want that for you, so it is okay to release the gift. After saying all this, the sibling who bought the earring confessed he had paid a minimal amount for them and did not care if she got rid of them. Everyone laughed, as the other sibling replied, “Well, if I had known that I would have gotten rid of them a long time ago.”
This is a great illustration of how we often put undue sentimental value on an item. Often times more than the original person intended for it to hold.
The top three priorities had been a home for an expansive nerf collection, a place to build legos and more space for the oldest. We re-purposed a chest for the nerf collection. Cleared the floor for lego builds and found a more functional home for the unused pieces. And made more room by getting rid of unwanted furniture and creating homes for things that had previously occupied the floor.
Four Hours later and…voila!
Four hours later and we had taken a room from chaotic to peaceful. Everything had a home. Everything made them happy. The kids loved it so much they said they would never throw anything on the floor again! True or not, I was happy that they were finding joy in a tidy space.
“We spent four hours in the attic today with [Happi]tance She gently guided and helped the kids figure out what things to keep and brought them joy…and what didn’t. Three HUGE bags were taken out. Truly the largest purge yet. We don’t need more organization. We just need less stuff.” – *Lauren
If you are struggling to get your kids to clean their room check out my post on, “How to get your kids to clean their room,” for some great tips on motivating them.
Too overwhelmed to tackle the clutter yourself? Then hire me! I can help you take your de-cluttering to the next level.
*name changed for privacy