Happy family at home

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Clutter-Clearing Process
With these goals in mind, here is the process for freeing your family of the stuff that weighs you down and interferes with your vision.
  • Create a vision for your children's rooms and the space they share with the whole family.
  • Overcome obstacles that prevent you (and your kids) from letting go of items like toys, clothing, and artwork. If it doesn't serve your vision, it has to go.
  • Commit time, even if it's only twenty minutes and two garbage bags every day. If you stop making purchases and purge a small area of your home for twenty minutes, you'll be surprised at how quickly you start to see changes. One bag for trash, and one for items to be donated. The results are cumulative. Just two of you, twenty minutes a day for a week—that's fourteen bags of trash and fourteen bags of items destined for Goodwill.
  • Communicate with your children about your goals so they can understand and experience the benefits of being organized and build a foundation for a clutter-free life.
  • Set boundaries. You only have the space you have acknowledge and accept this. You can only have as many books as you have feet of bookshelf space. The same is true for toys, books, CDs, clothes, holiday decorations, and on and on and on.
  • Make changes. Only by changing the role stuff plays in your life and the lives of your children will you be able to stop buying more things and let go of the clutter that impedes your life.
  • Live in the present. Don’t hold on to "memory clutter" that takes up so much room that you can't live your life. Don't hold on to articles in hope of one day living in a bigger home. Your life right now is the priority. Fix it by striking the right balance.
  • Face fears. Sometimes clearing away the clutter with your children means that both or all of you have to learn to let go. Don't procrastinate by using your stuff to avoid dealing with reality.
  • Celebrate successes. As you clear stuff away, the whole family will feel a sense of calm and renewal. Enjoy the space you now have to enjoy one another.
Take Peter's quiz to find out how cluttered your family may be.
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