Hey friends! Today I’m diving into some of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to managing your home. Ready? Let’s do this!
Q // How do I deal with emotional attachment to “things”? I have so much to declutter!
A // Honestly, you’ve already got the first step down – even recognizing that you need to declutter is a great place to start! Let’s talk for a second about WHY you’re attached to the things that you are.
Chances are, you’re a sentimental person, and that’s actually a really wonderful thing. You probably feel things deeply, and are full of empathy for others. We all need friends like you.
But I totally see how that can be an issue when it comes to letting things go from your home. I want you to take a second to think about why you have an emotional attachment to each item – is it because someone gave it to you? Because you have a memory attached to it? Because it reminds you of someone special? Because you think you *should* keep it or it will upset someone else?
With each answer you find, I want you to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is this the ONLY thing that holds this memory or meaning in my home? Often you’ll find that you actually hold onto a lot of things that serve the same purpose – reminding you of someone or something special. Do you really need all those things? Probably not – choose 1-2 of the best items to keep, and confidently let go of the rest.
- Could a picture of this item serve the same purpose as the item itself? So many times we keep things that we just look at for the memories. Consider taking a picture of something and putting it into a photo book – that way, you can experience the joy of great memories, without the item taking up so much space!
- Is this serving the people in my home, or is it just taking up space? Often we keep things because we think we *should* – maybe we spent a lot of money on it, or maybe someone gave it to us and we’re afraid to get rid of it. But we have to remember that our home is meant to serve the people who live within it, and the opinions of people who don’t live inside our home shouldn’t hold so much weight. Allow yourself to honestly determine if something is serving you and your family, and if it’s not, let it move on to a home where it WILL serve a purpose.
- Speaking of letting things move on – Would this item serve someone else better than it’s currently serving you? So many times we hold onto things because we know they have value, but we’re not actually using them. Passing them on to someone who WILL use them is actually the best move – the items get to actually be used, and you actually get to clear some space out of your home. Plus, a lot of us just feel better knowing that something that meant a lot to us at one time is now getting used by someone else!
I hope that helps give you a great place to start your decluttering! I guarantee you that you’ll love having the space more than you love maintaining the stuff.
Q // How do I get my kids involved in cleaning the house?
A // You don’t give them a choice. 😉 I’m not joking – your kids need to be contributing to the maintenance of the house, because they are part of the family. Not only do they need to pitch in for your benefit (hi, no one mom can or should clean everything by herself all the time), they need to do it for their own benefit as well.
By training your kids to help around the house, you’re actually raising responsible adults who can pull their own weight and positively contribute to society. These are the kind of people we want running our country when we are old, yes? Yes.
So, you start by cleaning WITH them, at an age- and ability-appropriate level. No matter how old your kids are, they need to spend time with you, and working side by side is a great way to pour into your kids. Do the job WITH them first (I use these cards to train my kids on exactly HOW to clean, step-by-step), and then release them to do it on their own once they have shown mastery.
One note here: Sometimes I hear parents say that their kids are just too busy to help out around the house. I would like to gently suggest that if your kids are too busy to do chores, they are simply too busy. Working around the house with parents is not just a good idea, but an essential way to help kids bond with parents, make space for conversation, overcome obstacles, and build character and responsibility. Don’t sacrifice these vital things for the sake of extracurricular “opportunities”. Okay. Hopping off my soapbox now.
Q // Most cleaning + organizing tips seem to assume there is some basis of order. What if you are starting with chaos?
A // I love this question, because I think this is the boat that so many are in, but no one wants to admit! Listen, we all have dealt with complete chaos at one time or another, and it can feel so overwhelming – we just don’t know where to start.
I actually put together a guide to help with this exact thing. It walks you through the following steps:
- Pick one room. Only one. Sometimes I like to start with the bathroom because it’s small and manageable enough to give me a quick win!
- Clear the surfaces in that room. Totally clear. Nothing left on them.
- Sort all the things you cleared into 3 piles – keep, donate, trash.
- From the keep pile, replace ONLY the things that belong in that room, and are important enough to take up real estate on your surfaces. Everything else you want to keep needs to find a new home.
- Continue this process throughout the room, in drawers, cabinets, and shelves.
- Take care of the piles – throw the trash pile out, pack up the donation pile and schedule a pick up, and find a home for each of the things in your keep pile. (You may not be able to do that last one until another room is clean, so keep a basket or temporary table set up while you work through each room!)
If you’re starting from total chaos, know that it’s good to start small, and it’s okay if the process takes a few weeks or more. There’s no rush – your home didn’t fall into chaos in a day, and it won’t get out of it in a day either. Give yourself grace and have patience with the process – the end result will be well worth it!!
If you need some help with this process, download our free Clear The Decks Guide here! It’s got all the checklists, prep work, and ordered steps that you need in order to work through your chaotic home in a manageable way!
That’s it for today, friends! I hope this Q+A has been helpful in giving you a place to start in your home! Keep a lookout for our new course launching in March, all about setting up a simple, realistic workflow to manage your home without having to think about it all the time. I can’t wait to share it with you – coming SOON!
Kayse Pratt serves Christian women as a writer + designer, creating home + life management resources that help those women plan their days around what matters most. She’s created the most unique planner on the market, helped over 400 women create custom home management plans, and works with hundreds of women each month inside her membership, teaching them how to plan their days around what matters most. When she’s not designing printables or writing essays, you’ll find Kayse homeschooling her kids, reading a cheesy novel with a giant cup of tea in hand, or watching an old show from the 90’s with her husband, who is her very best friend.