You know how when you’re growing up you swear you’ll never become like your parents? Yea, I did too. And yet every day I realize more and more there’s really no way to avoid it.
First you hear yourself saying things to your kids you swore you’d never say. Then one day you look in the mirror and you see your mother’s face staring back at you. And then comes the time when you look at your home and you realize that yes, you too have things in every corner, crevice, and storage space and some of it’s been there for 20+ years; just like she did.
I’m there. Now. We’ve lived in this house for just shy of 25 years and we have the bulging spaces to prove it. The bathrooms have things shoved in the back from when the kids were little. Yes, we’ve cleaned out along the way, but you always think, “I might need this someday.” And so the bulk builds.
Then there’s the sentimental part of the pile. The “but the kids made this, colored that, wore it, sat on this, etc.,” plethora of stuff. All of it attached to memories that won’t allow you to part with what you see as a treasure and everyone else clearly identifies as garbage.
I think many people reach the breaking point about the time their own kids reach the quarter century mark. At least that’s true for our family. I’m one in a long line of people in my family make a declaration to the offspring that they need to… “….come get your stuff or it’s going to the dump.” Of course the children you birthed scoff and say toss it, knowing full well you won’t.
But when they finally do come around to take a look at their childhood treasures, they too are sucked in by the memories, and they save more than they ever intended to. And what’s left over? The stuff we re-store because we can’t part with it and we’re sure they’ll come to their senses and want it someday.
Step One – Admitting the Organizing Issue
My youngest son is getting married and I’ve decided that it’s time to finally tackle the hoard of Christmas ornaments and decorations I’ve amassed over the last 25 years. THIS year I swear I’m going to go through all the bins we haven’t even bothered to get out for the last 10 years and THIS YEAR I swear I’m going to toss, donate, and GIVE the kids their ornaments to take with them to their new homes. But this year I have help. I’m a Brother P-Touch Ambassador and I’m going to kick my habit of putting stuff away to sort another day and I’m going to make a dent, a major dent, in our Christmas hoard.
Step Two – Sort
The first step? Admitting the problem and showing it to you. This is just a portion of it (it’s too hard to get to the other bins in the back right now). My goal is to go through 3-5 bins a week for the next 4 weeks with the goal of having 1-2 bins to give to the boys. But most importantly, the storage bins will have organized contents and they’ll be clearly labeled.
Plus some very nice charity is going to get a boat load of fabulous Hallmark Christmas ornaments that I collected for years. Way too many for one household, or even 3! Plus one of the Christmas towns we haven’t put up (one has never been displayed!), so others will benefit from our excess.
Second admission? That photo way at the top of the post of my lovely boys in front of the tree? I probably have every single thing that’s on that tree in a bin in the basement. The ornaments were handmade by me and we stretched our budget to buy the store bought garland. Yep, I’m pretty sure they’re down there and they’ll be the first to go – I swear! Wish me luck and please keep me honest on my organizing journey!
What’s your tipping point? Toys? Plastic food storage dishes (how I hate those!)? I’m dying to know what others are dealing with.
For the rest of my organization journey & remaining steps read: Home Organization: Making a Dent in My Holiday Hoard
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.