Blog: Organizing Kids Of All Ages
As I write this week the whole family is home for the Thanksgiving holiday. I have allowed my two boys to pull everything out of their bins and boxes. Total chaos has set up shop in our home this week. As much as I cannot stand it, the floor must be littered for at least a day or so.
There is an annual process that must take place in order for Christmas to come and be enjoyed in our home. Each year we clean out the "toy crumbs" that have appeared at the bottom of each bin and container during the past year. These toy crumbs are really the result of a lack of maintenance in my own systems that allow clutter to build from beneath the pile.
"Toy Crumbs" are those miscellaneous items that have been forgotten from the rest of their set or have broken and are now just plastic remnants waiting to be fished out and reconnected with their whole counterparts. If these crumbs no longer have anything to make them useful then they must go.
It is so important at this time of year to show your children how much they have to be grateful for. No other time of the year is there such emphasis placed upon the needs of those less fortunate. We put together shoe boxes, donate food, and send donations to charities and so on.
As we make room for the new crop of toys coming in we prepare for the wave of stuff that will be coming into our home. I believe, if we teach our children this lesson from a very young age then letting go is never really an issue for them. My youngest, 2 is already showing great attachment potential with the pacifier I cannot remove and the frog blanket he has toted for nearly two solid years. He clings to certain toys where my first shows no real connection to any of his possessions but for two or three things. So it depends on your children's personality and age as to how much you will be able to part with.
I watched Oprah's two day organizing special last week with Peter Walsh and he stressed that if you have collectibles, items of importance then you have to honor and respect them. Our children are not deeply connected to each and every piece of plastic they own. So, I think it is important to show them that the things they really care about should be respected and taken great care of, while the other not so important stuff can be let go to someone else who might truly care for it. Our children have so much these days, isn't it right to teach them charity and good housekeeping at the same time?
So, I will let my children tear the entire house apart…and get the stuff moving so we are not stuck after Christmas trying to figure out where to put it. For organizers, the New Year is usually busy as one can imagine and we have to plan accordingly.
But, still as it all is left on the floor for our entire family to step over or get back from the dog's mouth, I find great empathy for those folks who I know will be thinking after the New Year "where is all this stuff going to go?" If you are able, keep a donate box going through the holidays and casually make it a point to purge for 10-15 minutes each day. You might find you are well on your way to getting organized for the New Year to come.
posted on: 11/22/2007 9:00:00 AM by Melissa Searcy
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Organizing Kids Of All Ages
by Melissa Searcy
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Melissa Searcy is a professional organizer and independent decorator now living in Jasper, AL. Formerly of Montgomery, Melissa owns Lulagrace Interiors where she was a regularly featured guest on morning television and had articles featured in the local newspaper and many local monthly publications. For more information you may visit her at www.lulagrace.com. Melissa is also a member of the Facebook community at Facebook.com/melissa.searcy or on Twitter at Twitter.com/LulagracePO.
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