Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Five – Adults

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Five – Adults

Day-5-Adults-Blog

A Series by Paula Tobey

Either you are reading this because you, yourself still need some help, or you have a young (hopefully, young and not a 40 year old) adult living at home who needs a little help. Either way, it’s time we have a heart to heart conversation. The matter at hand here is usually disorganization and clutter.

To get to the root of the problem often takes examining what has gotten you here in the first place. Maybe it’s life change, or maybe it’s simply not having the energy to deal with ‘life’ and procrastination has become your friend. Whatever the case, it’s time to get busy. But don’t worry, this isn’t hard stuff to do, it just requires reflecting.

What has happened to make this procrastination take control? What issues are not being addressed? What pain is possibly trying to be avoided? On the flip side… what could you do with more space, more time, and more energy? How would you feel if you could be given those things? Would you feel free? Would you feel less stressed?

Let’s think of some of the physical and tangible things holding you back like some luggage you are taking on a trip. What could be causing you to feel this way? Is it possibly stuff… clutter… excess?  Is it possibly not having enough hours in the day?

  1. Identify your luggage– (stuff, clutter, lack of time). Think long and hard about the root source and find ways to take small actionable steps (baby-sized steps) in dealing with it. An example is that you are carrying too many bags.
  2. Open the suitcase- What is stopping you from opening the suitcase to take some of the load off? Is it feelings of guilt or pain? Can those feelings be dealt with in a way that won’t knock you down for days? Lift the lid of the suitcase if so.
  3. Take out one item and think about it this way. Do I need it? Do I love it? Does this item bring me peace and joy or hurt or pain? If you can answer that honestly, you know what to do!! Sometimes we can trace back our memories of the object (or situation, if you are dealing with emotional stuff) and we feel like we need to keep them. Maybe it was given to you… or you happened upon it. Either way, you are allowed to decide what to do with it. It does not own you.
  4. Discard and Keep piles- and literally make some. If it needs to go, get rid of it. Bless someone else! There has got to be one person out there in real need of the item you possess. Allow them to have it! Take your keep pile and find places to safely keep that stuff. (Homes for it). If this is too daunting, ask for help! There is no shame in asking. I believe it says a lot about someone when they ask for help. It is honorable!
  5. Literally do it again. And the next time and the next… Plan on doing it again and before you know if, you have created yourself a habit!

Part of the problem we find ourselves in is: overwhelm. That is a nasty bugger and it can paralyze you. Don’t let your thoughts, worries and what could possibly happen, stop you from taking one step. You are too good for that! You deserve more!!  Just start. That is what matters!

RELATED RESOURCES

Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!

Paula TobeyWhat are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. 

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Four – High School

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Four – High School

Day-4-Teen-Blog

A Series by Paula Tobey

How often do you think about your life back when you were a teenager? Did your parents get after you about cleaning up your room? Did you get nagged?

Even if they did nag you, I bet it was not their goal. Let’s think of the goal of your child keeping his/her room clean. Is it so your house looks like a Southern Living magazine or is it so your child is prepared and responsible in life?

If the goal is to prepare them, your job is to facilitate them getting there themselves. You cannot make your teen be neat. What you can do is show them the value in being neat and that less clutter brings more peace.

Closet (clothing) storage and organization

Have your teen go through their clothes and make piles of clothes that fit and don’t fit. Then have them sort further by season or if it is to be worn at school. If you can leave them to this task independently, GREAT. If not, help them with the first 5 pieces so they get the idea and wait for them to ask you to leave. JRemind them that the point is to make getting ready easier and faster. The goal is to love what they do have.)

I use the analogy ‘Love it, or Let it Go’ if I am ever unsure whether I should keep something. I try to think about when I would wear or use it and if nothing comes to mind immediately, let it go. If you have used it in the last 8-12 months good, if not, let it go.

Bathroom products and toiletries

Teens seem to have a ton of products. One product for washing their faces, one for hair, one for body and the list goes on and on. Teen girls are marketed to on make up more than any other group. Choose a time to talk with your teens (not when they are already running late, because let’s face it, they probably are). Have them sort their cosmetics, products and toiletries by the expiration date to start.  They will be releasing the clogged up space, much like a pore that needs air to breathe when they get rid of some of that stuff. Help them make a list of what they need to replace and the order of importance.

Desk and work spaces-

Teens have tons of homework and this area should be as clutter free as possible. Their minds cannot focus if they are looking at a mountain of x-box games, teen magazines or yesterday’s half eaten tuna sandwich! Have them clean the top off nightly and inside their desk area every month, or every other month. This ensures there cannot be too much in the way.  This will help them be successful when getting started on their own, because we all know the goal is that they move out one day!Clutter-Free

Being a coach to your teen is the easiest way to get them to cooperatively participate in cleaning. I suggest you have an open discussion of what peace they could have (which makes them successful) by taking the time now to get organized. I did not have the luxury of having my mom coach me. I wish she had because it would have saved me quite a few years as a young adult figuring out what did not  work.

RELATED RESOURCES

Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!

Paula TobeyWhat are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. 

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Three – School Age

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Three – School Age

Day3-School-Age-Blog

A Series by Paula Tobey

When was the last time you had a conversation (I say that word with a chuckle because it may feel more like a daily lecture) with your child about them remembering to pick up after themselves?  I bet it was not that long ago. I bet just this morning you had to remind your fourth grader to put her homework folder in her back pack instead of leaving it on the counter. Well I can tell you, there is really only one way to fix that problem and as simple as it is, it is probably the number one thing that ALL people struggle with. It is establishing good habits and routines.

Routines rock, really they are so awesome! Ha, I know you are thinking I’m nutty, but hear me out- routines are the brain’s way of feeling safe, at the same time functioning on auto-pilot. Routines mean the brain does not need to worry (the fight or flight response) because predictability is peaceful.  Children especially need routines and the more fine-tuned we have our routines, the better the outcome for the child!

Here are some ways you can build in routines with your kids, that makes getting ready for school much easier.

Declutter the entryway.

I make this a routine every afternoon when the kids come home from school. You know, when they come in, throw their backpacks and shoes by the door, sprint for the pantry for an afterschool snack, and you are there going through the sea of papers that just came in. That is a perfect time to start your afternoon routine of decluttering. Go through the mail, go through all papers, fliers, reminders, etc. that come home in the folders right then. Next, have the kids put the supplies out they will need for homework, and have them get busy. Then, when they are finished, their job is to return all homework to the backpacks and get that part ready for tomorrow.

Declutter the pantry.

Declutter the pantry so the kids can help make their own lunches. I started my girls making their own lunches right away. I wanted them to eat what I was preparing and knew if they helped prepare it, they were far more likely to eat it. I then needed to declutter the pantry of the enticing junk that I did not want them packing in their lunches like the chocolate, candy, packaged cakes and cookies. This is good in that you too will snack less often if it is just not there! Put the items they need to make their own lunches at their level so getting the good food is right within reach.  Place the items like chips that you want to limit, at the top of the pantry.Clutter-Free

Declutter their closets.

Declutter the closets with school approved clothes. Most schools these days have guidelines of what can and can’t be worn (if not it’s a uniform). My girls’ school has rules about straps on tops and dresses, lengths of shorts, no holes, etc. When you do it with your kids, it goes faster and you can show them ways to group their clothes that make it easier for getting ready in the morning. When the closet contains only (or almost only) the clothes that can be worn at school, it prevents any problems that could arise.

By involving your kids in the decluttering process, it will help make them more responsible with their things and have an easier time transitioning into adulthood if they have these routines down pat.

RELATED RESOURCES

Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!

Paula TobeyWhat are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. 

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Two – Toddlers

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage Two – Toddlers

Day2-Toddler.jpg

A Series by Paula Tobey

How many times have you literally just picked up all of the toys, quickly threw them in the toy bin, only to turn around after one minute (literally one minute- and you know this because you are re-heating your cold coffee in the microwave) to find your toddler has pulled out all of the toys you so desperately wanted put away?? AAugghhh. Again!!

Such is the life of a mom with a toddler- or two! Yikes, I remember those days. They were also a blur. It may be because I was sleep deprived, but either way, what I do remember is that it was hard!

I’m here to tell you- there is HOPE! And this hope comes wearing a cape. (Enter SuperMom)

The super mom I speak of is the one I imagined myself to look like, if I had my life all together when my girls were toddlers. So here is what MY SuperMom did. (For me, this did become a reality but not until the girls were older and not toddlers anymore).

Declutter the toys-

Toys are something that your child needs developmentally and socially. However, when the toys no longer serve that purpose and they are crazy clutter, it is time to part ways. (Maybe slowly because if the child knows they are gone, s/he may turn into the Tasmanian devil). Nap time/ MDO is a perfect opportunity to go through the toys. I started doing this monthly when my girls were in preschool and it was wonderful! Get rid of the excess (ones missing pieces or are just not loved).

Have a BTH day-

No not bath. B.T.H., Bless the Home Day. This is a day (or a few broken up) where you dedicate to cleaning. Blessing the Home means you are bringing peace, organization and happiness to your home. You are literally pouring blessings onto your family by having a clean, neat space for them. (When I first wrapped my brain around the idea of a home blessing, my whole attitude changed about cleaning! REALLY. Try it!

Hoe out closets

I did this (till it was bare or next to bare) twice a year. Winter and Spring- now I have the kids help. We see what fits, what doesn’t, what has stains, holes etc. and get RID of all the clothing that is not working. We bag up most of it to donate and throw out the things that are- well just that bad. There is something so freeing about looking into a closet that is organized! (If you are looking for help, I have a video on YouTube about it).

Help Mommy Clean

My girls have always been great helpers. When they were little, the ‘help’ was not always that helpful but I realized they felt empowered when they helped with chores. I looked into routines for kids by ages and what I found surprised me. Kids can really do a lot of things at a young age if you actually LET them. Perfectionism is usually what stops that. Don’t be a perfectionist. Just let them help! Chose one thing at first, then two, then more things that they can help you with. Maybe it’s sorting and matching your Tupperware lids to bowls, maybe its folding towels and wash cloths. Let them help you! They feel good, you get more things done, and truly it is a win, win!

Clutter Free

Just remember, what makes you a SuperMom is not getting it all done all by yourself in order to be recognized as a hero and awarded a medal (wishful thinking, right?) The goal is that you have a happy home full of love and laughter and some very little people who desperately want to please. So, go ahead and let them! Now that is what I call a Super Mom!

RELATED RESOURCES

Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!

Paula TobeyWhat are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. 

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage One – Before the Baby

Parents Guide to Decluttering: Stage One – Before the Baby

Day1-Before-Baby-BlogA Series by Paula Tobey

When was the last time you had an urge to clean out all of your closets and you were not pregnant? There is something about ‘nesting time’ that I believe we just need to take advantage of because, let’s face it, when you have them crawling all around under foot, you don’t have the urge whatsoever to declutter your closets, so…. Let’s go! It’s time…

Areas to Declutter Before the Baby Arrives

In the kitchen-

You will want to have enough space to have bottles, or cereal bowls, some baby food jars and teething crackers. (Those items take up the most space so I won’t list everything you could put here). So if you are currently lacking one shelf’s worth of space, it’s time to decide what needs to go.  What have you not used in the last year? Is it that food dehydrator you got from Aunt Mary or is it a set of dishes that are so fancy you won’t even use them on Christmas? Whatever the item is, determine this – Do I Love it or Do I Let it Go? Really you have to love it. If you love it, it is worth keeping. It makes your life easier, faster or its just soooo pretty! J If you don’t… it’s time to part ways and BLESS another mom! You basically want enough room to get you through six-nine months’ worth of changes because, truth be told, you do not want to do this over and over!

In the laundry room

You will be spending quite a bit of time here. For some reason the littler the person, the more laundry they create! LUCKILY their stuff is so small and you can fit more in! It’s most important to have a laundry room stocked with only what you need. It should not be a store-all closet. You, your belly and the hamper need to be able to fit in there and it can be a huge challenge if your laundry room looks like a bomb went off! If it’s time to clear off “Mount Washaton” then do so, so you have a clear surface to put down that darn basket! One basic principle to live by when in the laundry room is this: Keep

In the Linen closet-

Keep it Simple Silly! Seriously, just keep the basics, find other places or throw away the objects that don’t need to be in there! In the Linen closet or baby closet, make sure that you have sheets, towels and bedding in a very convenient place because you will be in here all of the time! It’s mind boggling to me how fast diaper changing pads and spit up cloths are needed so often, but they are. Declutter your linen closet to ONLY the sheets and towels you have to have! For real. You don’t want to do more laundry than you need to.

Clutter Free

When living by the love it or let it go philosophy you will create a much happier home environment for your whole family. Clutter equals stress and with a new baby and little sleep, who needs that in the equation?! Not you! Keep that Elsa song playing in your head and declutter your way to a (slightly) more peaceful home!

RELATED RESOURCES

Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!

Paula TobeyWhat are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.

Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/

Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be.