Being an adult is hard. Making adult decisions can be stultifying. So imagine how it might feel to a child to be asked to make some perplexing adult choices like identifying which of their possessions should be kept vs. tossed. To them, everything is important. To many of my clients, everything is important.
Prime Video’s “Pete The Cat” animated series based on the fictional cat in the children’s book series uses music and whimsy to help kids solve problems like over collecting, difficulty falling asleep, or finding a cupcake thief.
According to the narration, “Pete has a clean way of living,” but his friend Sally Squirrel is an avid collector of all things. Her habit is out of control. Organizer, Catalina Cat and her mates sort through mounds of clutter, ascertain what is worthy, recommend recycling and donation options, and find lost items even ones Sally didn’t know were missing.
Then it all comes to a halt. How do you get rid of anything when all items are equally important? Husband and wife duo Elvis Costello and Diana Krall introduce a new way of thinking as they lend their vocals to “If Everything Is Special, Then Nothing Really Is.”
The videos are only 2-3 minutes long yet packed with simple logic conveyed in a gentle tone. If you are not a Prime subscriber, the videos are available, at least temporarily, on YouTube.com.
Have you heard the recommendation that for every new item you bring into your home, purge the corresponding number of items to make room? Winter holiday season has a way of bringing lots of new objects in so this is an ideal time to begin thinking about stuff to release.
One simple way to wrap your head around things to let go is to reflect on the charities that you support or would like to assist.
Go online, look at their wish lists.
Then stroll around your home to see if you have any gently used items that will meet their needs.
Before the onslaught of new toys and games arrive, cull through those your kids have outgrown or are no longer in favor. No child should go toyless during the holidays so your donations will bring so much joy.
Do the same with the kiddos clothes, outerwear, and even children’s safety products such as car seats and childproofing equipment. I love supporting NW Children’s Outreach. I believe they do a phenomenal job outfitting needy infants through teens in our metro area, and their facilities are expertly organized. A few days ago, I dropped off a load of Legos, books, games, and karate gear. One of the staffers asked if I would add to my blog an urgent SOS for winter coats. They are in desperately short supply.
Hygiene products are always appreciated, and in the case of NW Children’s Outreach I was thrilled to learn that they will take individual feminine napkins, tampons, and diapers without the original boxes (of course they must be new and properly sealed). This tidbit is a gold mine for me as I often come across these unboxed supplies when helping a client clear out a home.
Think Outside the Box or Cage
For old linens, pillows, or other plush goods, check in with animal shelters or breeders. They are often looking for towels and soft goods to make cages more comfy. They may also accept new or gently used pet toys. The Oregon Humane Society has a robust wish list that goes well beyond pet food and toys. Honor the memory of a beloved pet by passing along some of their favorite treats or toys.
Time to Give the Knickknacks a Paddywhack?
At one time those porcelain figurines were all the rage, and now they are collecting dust and taking up space. Would dollars mean more to you than dolls? Try online selling, consignment shops, garage sales, or if $ are not your motivation, then donate. Local thrift shops often support charities in your area. Give them a buzz to see if they will take your old treasures off your shelves.
I hope that you will find these suggestions helpful to make room in your home for all those new additions.