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After the call to action, Ken from California says he called a family meeting. Everyone signed Peter's anti-clutter pledge and tackled their living room as a team. "Before, our living room was cluttered with my cycling gear, my wife's knitting, paperwork, our kids' artwork," he says. "Now, it's just used for family meals, homework, bills and story time."
"I still have a long way to go," she says. "But within the first hour, I found $1,463 worth of insurance reimbursements that had never been cashed and were about to expire."
Peter says this kind of discovery happens all the time. "It's way more common than people realize," he says. "Clutter costs you emotionally, but financially it costs you too. You spend money on things you don't need, and you also spend money ... buying things that you can't find in your house."
Like Leslie, Trisha found cash in her clutter. "We found lots of items we had doubles of or items we didn't use, such as kitchen appliances, electronics, baby items," she says. "We sold them for about $300, which helped us pay off some bills."
More than saving cash, Trisha says living in a clean, organized space has freed her mind. "It makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off. I'm able to not only spend time now with my family and eat in that area and prep in that area, but it's also made life a lot easier and a lot happier."
These parents of four kids under age 6 say they're drowning in clutter. "We just haven't been able to find the time," Melissa says. "We were very energized at first when we first signed the pledge and were ready to go."
James says any time that could be spent decluttering tends to get lost in family time. "We want to get everything implemented, but we still haven't had the time really to do it because we are trying to spend time with them."
Peter says Melissa and James do not need to beat themselves up. "As long as the house is a safe and harmonious place for the kids, that is the most important point," he says. "Listen, I'm not inflexible. If there's a little bit of clutter, so be it."
What Melissa and James can do is start with small steps, like devoting 10 or 15 minutes a day to decluttering. They should start trying to develop good routines by putting things away right after using them. "Finally, start with the master bedroom," Peter says. "That has to be a haven and a sanctuary for the two of you to build your relationship."
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