Tag Archives: moms

Mom, Don’t Block Clutter Clearing!

When I work with moms and their children to help clear out and organize

Mom, let her decide what to get rid of!

Mom, let her decide what to get rid of!

children’s rooms and play areas, I often find that a child is ready to part with an item and the mom is not. I once worked with a young girl who really knew what she wanted and what she no longer wanted to have in her space. Her mother, on the other hand, was a sentimental saver who has great difficulty parting with things. I knew I could have a challenge on my hands if we all worked together.

I’ve been in that situation before. Typically the child will identify something to donate to a charity and the mother will say, “Oh, your stuffed penguin, are you sure you want to get rid of that?” At that point I usually intervene and say, “If she wants to get rid of it, let her. If it means that much to you, you keep it.” Inside I’m saying, “It’s a good thing that she wants to get rid of things. Don’t discourage that!”

Fortunately, I’d worked with this client before and had prepared her for our session by encouraging her to let me work with her daughter by myself. I assuaged her fears by letting her know we’d show her what we planned to get rid of. Working alone with the daughter, we were able to find three large garbage bags of toys and craft items to donate and two bags of trash.

My client was so thrilled by our progress that she even allowed us to close two of the bags without checking out what was going out of the house. I am fairly certain we’d have been much less successful if Mom had been involved. Her second-guessing her daughter’s decisions would have slowed our progress and would have led to the daughter either feeling discouraged or angry.

Getting Mom out of the picture was a win-win for both mother and daughter. The child was given the chance to make her own decisions, with me monitoring the process, and the mother was able to get part of her house cleared out without the usual angst and agony.

Moms, if children want to get rid of their belongings, let them! Don’t second guess their decisions! When you second guess their decisions you are teaching them that they really can’t make good decisions on their own. You are teaching them to save instead of purge! Do you really want that?

Support your children’s purging choices. If you think they may regret their decisions, quietly set items aside for a set time. If, after a month the child has not missed the items, let them go. If you cannot let them go, then keep them for yourself. Don’t let your anxiety and difficulty letting go block your children from living a clutter-free life.

Thank Mom for Maintenance of Home Order

Today I was working with a woman who works full time as a physician and is a single mom to four children. Once again I was struck by how much mothers have to do to keep their lives and the lives of their children sane!

We spent an hour sorting through clothes of her older son, identifying those clothes that the younger son might wear and those that could be given away. Kids grow! That means they grow out of clothes and those clothes need to be removed from their closets and dresser drawers. If they can be handed down to another sibling, they have to be labeled and stored somehow. Then you have to remember to get them out for the other child.

If you have four children, multiply this process by four. And, moms probably need to do this process at least once a year, maybe twice if children have growth spurts. Whew! No wonder my client has difficulty finding time to spend with friends or to keep her own room neat and organized.

I found myself wondering if fathers and children are even conscious about this one area of home maintenance that goes on year after year until children leave home. I certainly don’t remember my mother doing that kind of annual review and purge. She probably did it, but I didn’t notice or even care that she did it. It’s one of those tasks that gets done, but goes unnoticed. And, there are many maintenance tasks like that.

Moms are wonderful! They do those annoying and boring tasks because they need to be done. They do them as a matter of course, not expecting accolades from others. If your mother is still living, call or visit her and thank her for all she did for you as a child. It was a pretty thankless job. And, you benefitted from it even if you weren’t aware of all she did. Don’t wait until Mother’s Day. Thank her today!

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.