I have finished my 1 week challenge of taking pride in our home and valuing what we have.
- Doing little projects each day helped me to combat the feelings of being overwhelmed.
- The projects didn’t take that long, and can be dotted throughout the day. I found that timing the jobs was helpful.
- When you complete a project (like de-cluttering and finding a proper home for things) you end up reaping the benefits from that moment on. Benefits like having less stress at looking at that unfinished project and saving time because things are orderly.
- If you keep on top of your chores you have more time to “play”!
- It is not unreasonable to get the kids involved. Some days they were more willing than others, but it is important to persevere as it is a valuable life lesson that we are teaching them.
- De-cluttering feels good!
If you want to take better care of what you have, and get your family involved, here are some tips for you:
- Make it a family effort. Share with the family that there is going to be a new family ethos or culture, where “we take care of our things”. Share examples of how they will be involved in this vision.
- Take the time to teach the children. How are the children going to know how to treasure our things, unless we take the time to show them? We need to be aware of and take advantage of the learning opportunities in our children’s lives.
- De-clutter. Go through our stuff and get rid of things we don’t need. This reduces mess and saves us time and effort (cleaning it up, storing it, etc etc). It also makes room for things that we really do want to keep.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place. When everyone knows where things belong, clean up is easier. Choosing appropriate “homes” also helps prevent items getting wrecked.
- Set an example. As parents we need to lead by example. How can we expect the kids to take on this challenge, if we are too tired to put any effort in?
- Buy quality things that will last long. Get out of the habit of buying cheap things, that will eventually break. We will save money in the end.
- Fix and mend. When things start to break or tear, fix it up or get rid of it. This again is building on the family ethos of “we take care of our things”.
- Think before you buy. Where will we put it? Do we need it? Will it break easily? How hard is the upkeep?
- Take pride in what you do have. Whether our possessions are as old as our great great grandma or our decor is more shabby than chic…we still can take pride in what we do have. When we let our possessions fall in disarray, we are basically saying it is ok for us to live that way, WE need to have pride in ourselves. We are worth it!
- Do a little, often. Have little projects you are going to tackle every day. This can be random areas, or a regular (easy) cleaning routine. Flylady’s sneak peak for the week, has daily jobs in their chosen area for the week.
Perhaps in the end it is embracing a type of minimalist lifestyle where we:
- get rid of what we don’t need
- take good care of what we do have
- do not become a slave to the things we own (and the upkeep of it)
- therefore freeing ourselves to value what really matters most…which are the people in our lives.