Thursday, December 13, 2007

Large Family Decluttering



As a family of ten we tend to accumulate much more than I'd like. Here is my solution to attacking clutter:

1. Read book by Don Aslett on decluttering your home (to gain momentum and ammunition when feeling weak).

2. Grab box of garbage bags and begin running through the house like a madwoman.

3. Lock yourself in rooms furiously stuffing clutter into bags while children knock on the door and ask if everything is okay and if they could come in.

4. When trying to decide whether or not to keep stuff (I gave myself only a few seconds for each decision) I asked myself the question Don Aslett suggests using "Does this bless/inspire/enrich my life? Do I love it? Is it me now?" instead of the old question you usually find in organizing books "Have I used this within the last year?" ---I hated that question. He said there's lots of things we don't use within a year that we need to keep. No wonder I would get discouraged asking this question to myself, besides the fact that it's simply boring!

5. Have 3 piles--throw away, give away and keep.

6. Children and husband hide in other room for fear of being stuffed into a bag and taken out to the trash.

7. When all clutter is bagged immediately have children throw out the garbage, the ones to give away have them load up the car or van(so they won't try to rummage through anything and retrieve it) for the thrift store and the stuff you'll keep (make sure theres not alot of this) go and put them where they belong. Remember, everything should have a 'home.'

8. In a moment of weakness, remind yourself that the more you keep, the more you waste of your precious time since you could be spending it enjoying life and its many blessings. You will be doomed to be imprisoned by your clutter and shackled to having to care for all the stuff you own if you try to keep too much.

9. After the room is done and bags out of sight, smile and know that a heavy burden has been lifted from you and mental clutter has suddenly been erased.

10. Celebrate by attacking another room!

11. Rest peacefully at night knowing you are Surrendering Your Stuff.

Thank you for reading about how to declutter a large family.

12 comments:

  1. I love this post as I love to throw things out!

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  2. I LOVE this post!

    Just another hint to add....make sure you use the *black opaque garbage bags* Otherwise children and husbands (and ourselves!) will see things in the garbage bags that we just this very moment realized were precious treasures and cannot possibly be parted with;-)

    Don't ask me how I know this, lol.

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  3. Thank you for inspiring me!!
    As a family of nine, we also
    accumulate STUFF. This is a
    perfect time to declutter...
    right before Christmas. What
    a blessing your blog has been
    to me. Thank you, Michelle

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  4. LOL! Love the humor in this post. I used to hate throwing/giving away but its made my life so much easier!

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  5. I love it! Locking the children out of the room is THE KEY!!!! And, using black trash bags so they can't see through them. I have also been known to back up to the thrift store, unload, and pull away while they were buckled in facing front so they couldn't see what we were leaving behind!

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  6. "Children and husband hide in other room for fear of being stuffed into a bag and taken out to the trash.:

    *lol*!!!!!!!!

    I can SO relate to that!
    Every once in a while I get one of those 'declutter attacks'.... and everyone thinks 'what's wrong with her???'

    ;)

    greetings from the netherlands!

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  7. You know, I think it is mean not to let the children know what things of theirs you are throwing away. Before we moved my dad used to make us throw out things that did have value to us, such as cute little ornaments that very good friends had given us. I don't think children should be allowed to keep everything, but if you know that something truly is special to them and you heartlessly throw it out anyway, that is downright CRUEL.

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  8. Mrs. W,

    I agree---I wouldn't throw out something that had sentimental value unless it was broken beyond repair (I am also trying to teach them not to hold tightly to worldly possessions where moth and rust destroy). What was given away were toys they didn't need or in some cases even wanted. They are truly happier today, and the younger ones haven't asked for one thing that was thrown out, probably because they are too happy enjoying the toys they have now.

    Many blessings...

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  9. Wonderful! This is something I try to do periodically. With a husband in the military, we have had four homes in the past eight years. I like to get settled in very quickly, and unnecessary stuff really slows that process down. Ehhh . . . if I can just get the movers to not upack my "memory boxes." There is nothing like having to reorganize you high school yearbooks while you are unpacking your kitchen because the packers decided to unpack your boxes and mix the contents with boxes from other rooms. But, I digress. I will be doing a big purge this spring and summer since we will be moving again this time next year. I agree, there are things that are sentimental that I would never get rid of, but I do not like having duplicates of things lying around and if it is not useful to us, it has to. Having things we do not need or use really weighs on my mind.

    Very inspiring post!

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  10. I love it!!!!!!! Great post--Don Aslett has blessed our home before with his books!
    Your home was beautiful today--I can tell you've been hard at work:) I can also tell I need to get to work:)
    Love ya!

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  11. Thank you for your inspiring posts. I wanted to send a comment to every one I've read so far. God bless you for your willingness to take the time to share your wisdom with all of us.

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  12. I think locking husband and children out must be what makes this work--since when I try to get us all working together, both husband and child start pulling things out of the trash and piling them back on the floor!

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