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My spring cleaning/organizing has had some hiccups between various trips, illnesses, and the teething from hell that my youngest is going through, but I’m finally getting back at it little by little.
I’ve made a goal to get rid of a garbage bags worth of stuff every week. That could be thrown away or donated. Doesn’t matter. It just needs to be a bags worth to either category. Of course, I donate if I can.
This week I decided to get the kids in on it. They are not too early to learn and I’d love to have a larger focus on life skills. That definitely includes cleaning, organizing, and how not to be a hoarder. My middle child struggles the most with that last one. The older boys are always bringing stuff home they found. I appreciate their drive to be frugal and save money by using found things, but it doesn’t save much money if you aren’t using it.
I gave them each a grocery sized shopping bag and told them to fill it either with stuff to donate or stuff to throw away, but not both. I expected to be met with whining and arguing. Mostly because it was a “job”. My kids don’t seem to mind giving things away or throwing them away.
I was floored by how quickly and happily my older two went to work. My youngest is one, so I took it upon myself to go through his drawer and remove a bags worth of clothes. I felt sad, but I didn’t cry.
It’s hard to let go of the clothes from your last baby. To be fair, I’ve saved a few special pieces for myself and a few items that I’m hoping to pass to my brothers someday if they have kids.
My older boys came out within ten minutes, bags full. My middle child was beaming. He’s six and just adorable anyways, but he looked so happy to give some of his toys to someone else to use. My older child didn’t have as much, but he still did a great job. He doesn’t have as much to begin with.
I AM SO PROUD.
They didn’t have a second thought. Now, for full disclosure, my oldest did suggest my middle child donate some of his stuff to him. *rolls eyes*
I challenge all of you to do the same.
One small grocery bag. It’s not much. It’s practically painless.
We will be doing this with everyone in the house at least once a week for the next few weeks. Donate if you can. One persons trash is another persons treasure. Our recycle center has this nifty spot where you can leave donated goods that anyone can take if they need them. I’ve left books, games, clothes, dishes, etc. Found out if your town or city has a similar place. There’s always shelters of various types in need.
Here’s a link to a website that lists ideas of where to donate items if you’re unsure. To be clear, I get nothing for linking to that site. They just had a great list.