It's SPRING!!! My favorite time of the year. Not only are things coming to life; we get to do our annual Spring cleaning. I love to clean and re-organize. It always makes me feel good to get rid of things we no longer use or have outgrow, and to clean spots of the house that get neglected during our daily and weekly cleaning sprees.
This process is not so easy for my kiddos though. They tend to get attached to things. We always have a little fuss over a favorite toy or piece of clothing. It doesn't matter if they have outgrown it or no longer play with it, they have a connection with these items and it is hard for them to let go.
This year we sat down and had a long discussion before we started cleaning. I explained that they are growing up and we need to make room for things they will need for these new stages of their lives. After a few moments, they agreed, but we still had a few issues arise as we were actually putting things into boxes.
I am not one who cares for things..... well other than pictures, books and a few sentimental pieces, so I do not fully understand the struggle my kids have each year, but I do sympathize with them. I decided to let them pick 5 things that they just couldn't let go of. This seemed to helped the process. I asked them to pick things that were very special to them. Things that held a precious memory or that they would like to share with their children some day. After they chose those 5 important things, they were more than willing to let go of the rest.
Even when cleaning, it's all about finding what works for your family. As parents we need to help our children work through things instead of just telling them what to do and how to do it. It's important to cultivate minds that can think for themselves. We want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. When we give our kids choices, they are learning decision making skills. As I allowed my children to pick 5 things they really wanted to keep, they realized how many other things they really didn't want, but thought they were incapable of letting go. They felt in control of what was going on, and it made the process much more pleasant.
When we are doing our Spring cleaning, we begin with 3 boxes. One for donations, one for selling, and one for trash. As we sort through our stuff, we place each item into the appropriate box. Most of our things get donated. Our selling piles are things that my sons know they can sell at local game stores or on eBay in order to make a little money for them to use on new items through out the year. The trash pile are clothes that are torn or stained or broken toys/items that are of no use to anyone else.
Now on to mom's problem area.... I hate getting rid of books.
Why? I always make the excuse what if I want to read it again or we can use it (usually curriculum) in the future. Each year I have to talk myself into letting go, knowing that if I don't get rid of some of our books, I won't be able to buy anything new for our school or personal use. It's not easy, but I get the job done. In my heart, I know that it is for the best.
I try my best to keep our home organized. It's not always an easy task but well worth the time and effort. We know that if we keep our home in order, it will be easier for us to find things we need, and to share our home with others. After our Spring cleaning extravaganza, we all feel better. It's so freeing to let go of things we just don't need or want.
How do you clean your home and rid your house of unwanted or unneeded items? I would love to hear from you. You may have some new ideas others can use in their homes 😉