Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Focus Challenge - Month 6 (2010)

Summer is here! As this is my favorite time of year, I am already spending more time out-of-doors than in. How about you?

With all of the outdoor activities happening now, it's time to set our sights on seasonal clutter. For the next week, go through seasonal items such as warm weather clothing, outside toys, outdoors gear, etc. for an item that needs to be decluttered fitting these letters:

O -

U -


S -

I -

D -

E -

Top 5 Posts:
How I Define Clutter
Decluttering: A How-To
I'd Rather Stay Home From Work and De-junk
Decluttering Made Simple (27-17-7)
Ever Felt Afraid to Declutter?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Response to Reader Question: Childhood Momentos

A good question was recently posted in the comments on the Introduction page for our challenge.

I believe that sentimental objects are not a problem unless they interfer with the quality of our present life. If mental clutter has invaded your life via childhood momentos, whether yours or your own children, the thoughts below are worth a read.

If you have more ideas in response to her question, please don’t hesitate to share!

la triste contenta said...

hello, how can I get rid of my son's preschool art work? it's so hard for me and it is not the same if I just take pics of them... Oh my! and they occupy a lot of space and I hardly use them in a regular basis, but I think (feel) they're a treasure (for me and probably for him in the future)... I'm confused with this issue... the same happens to me with his baby clothing!!!

Suzanne said...

Uh oh, you are in trouble. If you are already feeling these physical items roping you in emotionally, can you imagine how overwhelmed you will be with many more school years worth added in?

You are not alone though. So many moms have to find their way and learn the art of balance; not only with artwork but with many items of their children's childhood.

All I can offer are some perspective-inducing thoughts and any support you'd like as you work through finding your balance between cherishing the past without letting it overwhelm your present.

* Our children will not hate us for parting with anything from their childhood. With that said, many people do like to have a little something to look at from their past. The key is to remember that everything is too much and not special. Keeping some select things allows each piece to be appreciated, admired and to serve as a memory tie-in between our past and who we are now.

* Kelly from Tidy Brown Wren, a preschool teacher, shared some very useful tips for managing kids paperwork during the school year. I have no system and see a lot of useful information in here to incorporate into my own life for creating a system that will work for me!

* Check out these ideas on how to display childhood art so that it can be appreciated now, as well as saved for the future.

* I know you mentioned a photograph not working well for you but maybe this combination will help with some of the items? From Why we hold on to sentimental clutter by Unclutterer: “Snap a digital photograph of the item and keep only the image. Save these pictures securely online in a program that allows you to keep notes about the image (like Flickr or Picasa)…Write a journal entry about the item before you get rid of it. The act of writing down the memory will let you think about the experience, which is usually more valuable than the object itself.”

* For baby clothing, I found it easier to declutter the special items if I knew the child that would be wearing them. Hopefully, you know some people with similar gender/sized children and can pass these items on. That way they can be worn and be special to someone else (another mom) rather than having them stored away where no one gets to appreciate them.

* If you’re so inclined, look for creative opportunities to repurpose some of the items, such as transforming clothing and blankets into quilts and framed artwork or drawings into wrapping paper and cards.

* Pretty much, look for ways to gently separate yourself from whatever you can. You may not become a reformed sentimental keeper but you will have less overall!

Top 5 Posts:
How I Define Clutter
Decluttering: A How-To
I'd Rather Stay Home From Work and De-junk
Decluttering Made Simple (27-17-7)
Ever Felt Afraid to Declutter?