Around this time of year, I always get the itch to get the house cleaned and organized — before spring sports start up, before we are outside more, and before spending an afternoon going through 50 single socks no longer sounds appealing. Although does matching socks up ever sound appealing?
I usually feel like I need to clean/purge every SINGLE drawer and box and basket in the house. This year, I have decided enough is enough, and I am not going to do it alone! I’ve tasked my family with helping me get the house in order before we enter the lack of order that comes with spring and summer.
As always, my husband will take on the yard and general upkeep of the lawn. This year it may be a bigger task than in past years since our plush lawn turned to a mud puddle from the late fall nights and even warmer winter evenings spent outside trying to FaceTime with friends and family by the fire. Since no one has really entered our house in a year, we have had many nights by the fire catching up. And when we are outside, the boys play and play hard on the lawn. So, hubby will be working on that.
Now, for me and the boys. Well, since they are still only 6 and 4, I feel like keeping them involved in their rooms and the things that belong to them are my best bet. They’ve got the playroom/classroom and their shared bedroom. I don’t let them do it alone since we know they will inevitably just play with anything and everything they have, so I loosely guide them.
For the playroom/classroom, I’ve asked them to make piles of “like” items. All the tools go together, the trucks go in a pile, the sports toys in another, books in another, stuffed animals, etc. Once they have their piles, we play halves. If there are four of a similar item, we keep two. If there are 10 stuffed animals, we keep five. They are making the decisions — with some guidance. I can see they feel proud when they are calling the shots. Their stuff, their choice.
Once we’ve bagged up the half that is going “away,” we donate. I always bring the boys with me to drop the items off to be donated. We discuss donations and how we can do our part. This always makes them really think about the toys/things they need or don’t need.
That leaves me with the other rooms. Since the pandemic started, I have not been purchasing many clothes, so it makes purging a little easier. I sort of do the same thing with my “stuff” as with the boys. Maybe not halves, but… close to it. Tupperware definitely gets halved once I’ve gotten rid of the bowls without tops and tops without bowls!
Going through every space in the house and opening each cabinet and drawer helps me get ready to tackle the world… some days. I feel lighter when I know my things will be finding a new home. The boys are happy to have helped, and my husband will still check out the donation bags before they go in case there are some treasures I may have discarded.