I know – Another post on decluttering!!! But now you can see I am working it out and passing the gift on to my children! We are about to have our winter break from school. The first thing we do whenever we go on a school break is declutter – whip though everyone’s drawers and start fresh and clean. You would be (maybe you wouldn’t!) amazed at how quickly it becomes a disaster zone, mostly it is just not putting things back where they belong… a secret lego cache, a pile of books, stuff on their beds that needs to be out of the way to sleep – all jammed in.
The thing about homeschooling is that you have to learn to declutter with your kids watching your every move. No sneaking things out the house while they are at school! Interestingly enough our kids are mastering the art of decluttering and it is becoming a habit for them to be discerning as they realize their space doesn’t get any bigger. Every school holidays we spend the first couple of days decluttering and organizing what is left behind! It has just got to the stage where I cannot declutter my way through all the kids goodies as well as the rest of the house so I am teaching them to declutter for themselves.
This is our Se7en Step Plan to decluttering:
Step One: Empty the space out completely.
Step Two: Only put back what you want there.
Step Three: Split what is left out into a pile of things to put back where they belong and a pile of things you don’t want, need or love anymore.
Step Four: Put all the things in the pile to put away back where they belong. Everything. Make the effort to put things where they belong! Buttons in the button box, coins in the wallet, needles in the needle tin. You get it! If you run out of steam then you probably don’t need that stuff quite as much as you thought you did!!!
Step Five: The second pile split into a donate and a discard pile. The discard pile can usually be recycled: art projects and papers galore – put them straight into the recycling bag.
Step Six: The donate pile needs to be checked for broken beyond repair, or does it need a quick fix then fix it! Does it need a quick clean – then clean it!
Step Se7en: There is always a pile of goodies that is dubious… doesn’t belong anywhere, can’t chuck out and aren’t ready to discard… Pop those in a box and plonk them in the cupboard where I keep these boxes… just ignore them – forget them, let them go. Whatever you do don’t look in them for a long time, when you do you will probably have a good laugh and be ready to part with the contents!
These are exactly the steps I use to declutter around our house – works for the in-tray, a kitchen drawer and even an entire cupboard. I guess that they have seen me declutter a spot often enough to know how it is done and they are starting to figure out how to do it for themselves. Amen to that!!!
I popped this post onto The Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.