This week is a key part of a lot of our lives as this past weekend was Labour Day weekend, and many young shining faces (at least on the east coast) have since returned to school. Does this mean it’s time to loaf on the couch and eat bon-bons? NO! A lot of Mommas and Papas get a little empty nestish because their babies are off to school for the first time or returning back to school. This is the perfect chance to revisit some of our Feng Shui bagua, and do some autumn cleaning!
The kids’ rooms seem like an obvious place to start...
They must commit to let go of specific things. This can be family specific, but general rule of thumb could be to let go of:
· Any toys that resemble people or animals that are missing body parts.
· Any puzzles that are missing pieces.
· Toys that are missing pieces if they are inoperable as a consequence (for example a shape sorter with no pieces to fit in the holes).
· Odd items, for example single doll shoes, or a hat that doesn't fit any doll.
· Toys that your child has outgrown for over a year, with the exception of a few loved toys that are worth keeping for memories sake.
One of my siblings is very active with her children. They go to the bowling alley where there are a lot of prizes to be won, or they get tickets to cash in for prizes. They also go to a lot of school or social activities, church activities, and parties where favours are given out in abundance. This also means that there is a lot of unnecessary bric-a-brac that has been brought into the home. Buttons, stickers, hair goo-gags, pencils and pens, markers and crayons… you know the drill. All of these things end up in the kids’ bedrooms to be forgotten within a couple of weeks. All of which didn’t necessarily ever have to go into their rooms in the first place. What to do with all these things?
My sib and her family also have a lot of parties of their own. Why not reuse these things in grab bags for other kids? This could be for church functions or other activities as well! Yard sale season (for us in Tiny Town anyway) has almost drawn to a close, but a possibility is to make them into “mystery bags” (put one good toy and a bunch of smaller miscellaneous things in a brown paper lunch bag) and either sell them for $1 each, or bring them to the church or school (a lot of schools have “school stores” now for the kids).
You could also offer them to other Mommas and Papas who are in need so they can have some fun bags to give at their parties. No one likes to admit that they are a little down in their fortune… but you could present them an offer for trade, maybe for some home made baked goods, farm fresh eggs, or tomatoes from their garden? Or for that matter… just donate them to your favourite charity!
Clothes are another (probably easier) area. A few weeks before school starts, it might be fun to set up a fashion show for the kids. Have them try on all the items in the closet, and get rid of whatever doesn’t fit. Then you could host a clothing swap party, and have the kids trade with each other for things they (or their younger siblings or family members) want! A whole new wardrobe! Then at the end of the party, they could have another fashion show with their friends and the parents to show off their new duds! What fun!
After the party, of course, you need to decide whether you have a local consignment shop that you would like to try bringing some items in to sell (sadly there is no longer a consignment shop here in Tiny Town), or simply to donate them. My niece even started making scarves, headbands, and necklaces from recycled t-shirts, and she sells them! I bought one, they are FAB-ulous! One way or the other, you must commit to getting them out of the house.
This same concept goes for anything else that might be in the kids’ rooms. Books, unused notebooks, colouring books… whatever your kids happen to collect. Board games they are too old for also comes to mind (I just inherited a game of Chutes and Ladders because of this). A game swap could be another fun idea. The possibilities are endless!
With decluttering also comes cleaning. If you have the gumption, I like to do a deep clean (wiping down windows, walls, ceiling, doors, etc.). At the very least, maybe cleaning the windows and vacuuming the floor, washing the bedding and curtains and making the bed can make a nice clean fresh room for your babies when they come home from their first day of school.
You may also feel free to review the original posting on this topic, located here:
Next week: The kitchen and pantry!