With the recent success of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix, everybody’s got de-cluttering on the brain. Getting rid of junk is good! Focusing more on what we value instead of having stuff for the sake of having stuff is great! I just did this in my basement and my garage and I feel so free and energized now when I go in those areas. And for some people, evaluating the emotional attachment value of their stuff is a slam-dunk way to decide whether or not it’s worth keeping. That said, there’s more than one way to get tidy.
PLUS, it’s not just your stuff that can use tidying up…
Keep reading until the end for the process my family uses to keep our to-do’s organized. We are using this process to keep our family in sync and moving toward our dreams and vision for what we want out of life!
First let’s focus on your stuff…
Is it functional?
When you’re figuring out if something is in the “keep it” category or the “junk it” category, consider its practical aspects. Is the item useful? Even if you already have a screwdriver, having a redundant ULT (Useful Life Tool) is a wise idea. If your existing screwdriver breaks or you lose it/loan it out and don’t get it back, you will definitely have to spend money on a replacement. Save the ULT now to save $$ later.
Can it be repurposed?
If a ULT has outlived its original purpose, it might have a second life. For example, old shirts can become new cleaning rags, and old toothbrushes can become new bottlebrush cleaners. These are handy for scrubbing everything from milk frothers to those ultra-sharp teeth in spiralizers.
Can it inspire you to follow through on your goals?
Say you thought about studying a foreign language and bought some language tapes, or you bought a crafts book to teach yourself how to make homemade gifts for your friends and family. Rather than throw that item away, use it! Stop making excuses to not learn something you meant to learn. New skills are not only assets, they’re fun to cultivate, especially during the cold winter months when you’re probably not spending much time outside.
Is it a good future investment?
Sometimes, it’s worth having something around if you know it’ll make your future better. Anticipating having books to read or recipes to make is fun! Having art supplies on hand means you can start a new crafts project whenever the mood strikes you. (And it’s more likely to strike you if you have everything you need at your fingertips.)
Some handy rules for organizing
Of course, if you have decided that you’re going to keep something, there’s no sense in just tossing into a drawer where it will be lost and forgotten—then it truly would qualify as junk and there’d be no sense in keeping it. Organize the items you’re keeping as you go so that you can maximize their use. (You could have a spot for “Fun Rainy Day Projects” and another for “Tools 101.”) Whatever you don’t keep, either recycle, donate, or give to someone who could use it. If nothing else, if the item has any life left in it and you think someone would take it, you could stick it at the curb with a sign that says “Free!”
Love to shop?
If you love to shop but don’t want things to pile up, another tidying tactic to keep in mind is the 1-for-1 rule: you can only buy it if you’re getting rid of an old version of it. Did a new shirt catch your eye? Donate or recycle an old one to make room for the new one. Got too many shoes clogging your hallway? Put a moratorium on buying new pairs until the current ones have reached the end of their natural lifespan or you’ve enforced your 1-for-1 rule.
De-cluttering your stuff can be simpler than you think!
So what about your day-to-day stresses, schedules and tasks of being a parent and keeping the household together….
- Are you ready to live a more purposeful life?
- Do you want to de-clutter your to-do’s and organize your life as a family to achieve your dreams?
- Would you love to find a group of parents also looking to have a family that is in sync and fully present?
My husband, Bob, and I have (since August of 2018) been participating in The Purposeful Family Manager (PFM) course and love it so far. This is a tested system for your family that helps you clarify and prioritize what’s most important, and why. We regularly meet with 6 other couples also going through the process and love to have a group to share best practices with or just to motivate us to stay on track and focus on our dreams and what’s important to our family!
According to Jill Kotsis, one of the founders of PFM, here’s some reasons why families are more successful:
- Learning from the past – Regularly looking back at what worked and what didn’t work with the last set of priorities, and using that reflection to gain valuable insights.
- Reviewing your agreed upon vision – making sure you’re on the same page with your family vision, which is in writing
- Accountability peer group – surrounding yourself with peers that also serve as accountability partners, continually challenging you to raise the bar in your life. Group accountability is incredibly supportive and uplifting, and is a critical piece that’s missing from most families’ lives.
- Keeping your priorities on track – using a Weekly Meeting to make sure you’re making progress on the things that you and your spouse identify as most important to your family.
I invite you to learn more online on their website at
Wed, Feb 6, 2019
from 7-9 pm
Tues, Feb 12, 2019