Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In Need of Organizing and Purging Tips!

We could use a little help here!

We have 12 hoarders in this family...
yes, I am counting myself...

The children have so many little itty bitty things that they think are so very important.
Such as a big rock and a little rock... That would be the Mommy rock and the baby rock.
Then there are bags from Justice because that would be there favorite store...
And of course in the bag is another bag of something very important like a toy from McDonalds and so on.
And then multiply that by 11!

Of course, I have a few tiny issues myself...
But we'll leave me out of this-
for now!
; - )

It's a little hard to get much done...
Let me explain my day to you-
get up
feed kids BKF
pack a couple boxes
oops need groceries- run to grocery store
feed kids lunch
pack another box
feed kids snack
pack a box
feed kids dinner
too tired to pack!

At this rate we should get this project done in the year 2016!

I need your purging tricks!
It's an emergency!

This just doesn't seem to be my natural talent.
I love a clean and organized home but I just don't like to be the one to do it.
I'm a little more like-
shut the closet door really quick so everything doesn't fall out!
Outta sight, outta mind!

we need your organizing and purging tips!

Looking forward to reading your comments!!

(Pics are from the last day of our Make A Wish trip!)


Wendy said...

I am right along with you Jean. EVERYTHING seems so important to keep. Not sure I have any advise for you except to pack it all and when it is time to unpack, that will probably be the time you decide to just gift it to Good Will. We had a cross country move and had to keep our stuff in storage...one year later we had our new home and could unpack everything...well after one year without, it did not seem so important anymore. Good luck!!! Adorable pictures!

Holly said...

My husband is a saver. When we moved into our house my m-i-l brought over his...collections. I'm sure he had saved the wrapper from his first candy bar. I told her to just take the boxes of Aunt Jemima syrup bottles to the dump. Seriously!
I bought him a big tote and if he could squeeze it in, he could keep it. It helped streamline his collections and prioritized at the same time.
Now if I could just keep the kids from treasure hunting and dragging that junk back downstairs!
Good luck!

April said...

We allow our younger to middle kids to have a medium size tote with the words in Sharpie written on top "Toby's Treasure Box" or whomever. In that box is where they have to keep all those little toys from the carnivals and McDonalds and from misc places like the Dollar Tree gifts. They are also allowed one plastic file box where they can keep cards, letters, stickers, magazines, photos, etc that are paper goods. I teach them to file in simple terms (Art, Bible, Cards/Letters, Photos etc.) Once that Treasure box if full if they want to put something else in it they have to get rid or give away another item. Sometimes it is with tears, but I am typically strict about this. I do allow games and toys to be put in the closet in bins etc but those are shared with everyone, even if they are given to the single child for a gift. Books I allow 2 shelves for each child to hold special books that are theirs alone. ALthough it never seems to get that much until they are high school level when they really want to start collecting special books. Also, stuffed animals are harder. Especially for some of my kids that LOVE them ALL so much!! I have been known to get rid of things that are breaking or falling apart when they are out with Daddy for the day, as I know they will never miss them. I am sorry I am a purger. I just don't have a hold on things like I used to when I was younger. As I grew up, I was not a purger typically. But with all the dust and chaos a messy house brings I can't stand it now. Sometimes I dream of getting rid of it all except my scrap booking stuff and moving to Uganda to become missionaries and we can only bring one tote of stuff each person. That would be heaven to me, although I know there would be a lot of tears about it.

Author said...

For your things you should follow the three cardinal rules:
•you must need it.
•you must love it. (no really, like you would save it from a burning house)
•you must be unable to live without it.

For the kids, I agree with the treasure box/bag and I praise heavily when they choose to donate to those that are less fortunate. It has to be pretty non-negotiable to really work. HOWEVER...I will say that I have not ever done this with adopted kiddos and I do not know if there are any emotional triggers to be wary of when asking them to part with belongings.

Good luck. I know it isn't easy!

anyabar1987 said...

could you maybe get the children each a memory box, make it a fixed size and tell them that they may keep the things they find important in that box but make it clear that only the items that fit in the box can go with them in the move. it would make them choose carefully.

Debbie said...

I give away anything that hasn't been used in a year unless I know for sure we will be using it. Not just maybe. Someone should have it that will use it! Seriously. I throw away the Mcdonald's toys when the kids are sleeping. They never ever ask about them. I have a home manual, that I made, that tells me what to do each month to keep the house in good shape. The very best tip I can give you: Every closet and cupboard is in the home manual at least once a year to clean out. I actually have empty cupboards and drawers in my house. Please post photos of your new place! we are all dying to see it.

Melody H. said...

While I don't like the physical labor involved in moving boxes, I LOVE to pack. Weird, I know. Organizing yes, cleaning...not so much. My biggest helper is post-it's. I don't want to take the time to write destinations on all those boxes so I color code the house with post-its. i.e. My room is always pink, boy#1 blue, kitchen yellow...etc. Then I buy large posterboards of matching color/design and tape it to wall. All my boxes get where they go. I do label the essentials such as dishes, towels and sheets with words too. I give each of my boys one box that is a free pass for their personal treasures. The rest is up to my discretion. Make piles for trash, donate and keep. Never touch anything twice if you can help it! If you haven't Watched, Worn, Played with or Utilized it in the last 1-2 yrs donate it. You won't miss it. Just keep reminding yourself, cheerfully, you have too much stuff and start purging :) It's a good feeling. Hope this helps! Good luck :)

Mama Ds Dozen said...

Each of my kids have an under-the-bed-box that they keep their "treasures" in. If it gets too full, they must take things out before putting more things in. :)

I, too, am a saver. We used to move every couple of years, but we have been in this house for 11 years. Ummm . . . (don't tell) . . . we have boxes in the "storage room" that have never been opened since we moved in. Yes.We.Do. I have no idea what is in all of the boxes. Some day . . . when I have "free" time . . . will find out what all of my very important "treasures" were. :)

So . . . your daily schedule . . . are you taking an extended "fall break" from homeschooling? Not to worry, moving is very educational. Flexibility is one of the serious JOYS of teaching our kids at home.

Wish I lived close so that I could help you pack. I would love to.

Laurel :)

Meredith said...

Honestly, I'm a total minimalist now, but when I was a kid, I was a huge packrat. My mom's solution was to throw junky things away when I wasn't around. I KNOW I never missed them. Stuff like empty bags, McDonalds toys, things like that. It probably sounds mean and you have to be quick, but I doubt most things that are candidates for the trash would be missed by your children.

Also, respectfully, do you think they want to keep things because they weren't allowed to have "stuff" in the orphanage? I can see how that might create "hoarding" tendencies, and if you think that's the cause, it might take gentler handling than just throwing things out.

I like the idea of a treasure box for each child. Maybe when you're moved into the new house and have more time (ha, I know this is relative), you could make decorating the boxes a "New House Project," and each kid could paint/decorate his or her own special box. My family moved for the first time when I was 10, and I still remember the fun "New House" things we did (um, ordering pizza was one, so not actually super special??).

Meredith said...

P.S. I do think that kids should be allowed to have unlimited books, but maybe that's just the incurable bookworm in me! :)

Diane said...

LOVE the final picture. Your kids are so CUTE!

Sorry, can't help with tips. I probably need them as much or more than you!

Stephanie M said...

That last photo is TOO cute!
Each of our children have a "special drawer" where they keep the treasures they cannot part with. Yes, there are big rocks and little rocks in there! We clean their special drawer several times a year, and they are very good about purging things that won't fit anymore to keep the things they want the most.
I agree with one of the comments above - just pack everything and purge when you get to the new place. We did it this way with our last move (mostly), and you are more motivated to purge when you are in the new space.
We have been praying for you! You are a blessing to us! Rejoice with us - we just started our dossier!!! Exciting times, for sure.

~Monica Utt~ Itty Bitty Land said...

I agree with the 1 box each and ask them to put their very favorite treasures in the box. When my kids were sleeping or out with dad, I would then bag up some of the other toys and then move the bags to the garage. (I had time to wait.) I would wait two weeks, if none of the stuff was missed, then off the bags would go to charity. There was only a few times when a child would come to me, "Mom, have you seen my...?" In which case I would tell them that I would look around and see if I could find it, and then that one item would be removed from the bag and returned to the owner. 99% of the stuff was never missed. I just felt uncomfortable with getting rid of their stuff without a period of time to ensure that they wouldn't miss the item.
p.s. I would love to see the house as well, but your families safety is most important. If someone is stalking your family through this blog, then don't post a photo!

Angie said...

Get a tote for each child. Whatever precious trinkets they can fit in it, they can keep. The rest is sold/donated, etc. That way they have a choice, feel in control of their things, but it helps weed out the extras. Good luck!

matt Dailey said...

I wish I had words of wisdom but I am in the same boat. My oldest daughter is a keeper. There is nothing she loves better than a 'good box'. She has boxes and bags in her room with her treasures. An episode of Hoarders in the making.

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

Angie ^^ shared my idea!

I don't have children, but I do have a husband who is in the same boat. We just moved 2 months ago and did a massive purge. Here's what we did:

*Rented a dumpster: I know that sounds dramatic, but having it on the property was so convenient. Rather than make piles to be tossed out and risk it not going into the dumpster, we got one. And once it went into the dumpster, there was a "no dumpster diving" rule!! We made many trips to local charities and thrift stores to donate items that were still in great shape--but rather than risk the "Oh, I can fix that bookcase that has broken boards and warped wood someday!" debates, we got the dumpster.

*Went through totes that were in storage: Honestly--if we haven't used the items in 4 years (the last time we moved), then we don't need it. If it was in good shape, it was donated. That also free'd up totes to use for packing up stuff (meaning no money spent on new totes!)

*Donate to specific groups: I had an entire tote (not a small tote--a BIG TOTE) full of rubber stamps that I never used. Rather than try to sell them, I donated them to the Nursing Home down the street from us. They were so grateful! The same can be true for the kids--toys, etc. can be donated to the Ronald McDonald house or another Children's charity in town.

It isn't easy to purge stuff. But remembering that you don't want to move it, to have it sit in storage (either in your basement or out in a shed) for another 15 years is definitely a motivator!


Karen Twombly said...

Pretend you are going away for a month and pack what you need. Leave the house and let a 3rd party dispose of the rest! :)

Sammy said...

OK, first you unstack (you're a stacker : - )) when the kids are gone. It is much easier not listening to them having fits about what you're unstacking. Second, donate it to Goodwill and then you will feel good about unstacking. I go to Goodwill and unload at least once a week. I try and go by the rule when I bring something in I take something out.

kippi said...

Alot of great ideas. I agree with not moving extra junk. Maybe you could have a huge sale and use the money for a fun family trip or to bring home the new brothers. That might motivate the donations of items to give up. There are people who do this for a job or maybe a friend would help.usually doing it with someone else who isn't emotionally attached to your stuff could be helpful

Kath said...

We live overseas working for US Army as civilians and have two adopted chlldren 10 and 9. We moved again in July and oh how I dreaded it. I work with my children to organize and purge by collecting like items, all the legos, all the puzzles, all the stuff animals. I let them SEE the volume and then remind them we cannot move it all. So pick out your favorite 10 or whatever number seems reasonable and i go with there reaction. You might do this by age groups, all the girls between 5-8, etc. You can also designate a day for types of items to be packed, purged to donate or tossed. Set a timer for a 10 minute interval and make a game or race of it. Let's go through all our books or videos, etc. Something strikes kids when they see others letting go, have support to reason that all is not needed, get praised for making decisions to let go. etc. I also put the bags for donating aside for a few days but not so long or with their knowledge to ensure it actuals leaves. I also do this when unpacking which also is a time for them to review their decisions. I have had my friend's teenager assist as a neutral third party for some of the tougher possession to let go of. Nothing we have purged has been missed.

Packing and sorting: I used 6 different, colored masking tapes this last move and it was wonderful. I made a chart with each color and categorized locations and person or group and then referred to it throughout. On moving day, I gave the chart on posterboard to the movers to follow, I assist as boxes come off the truck. I label rooms for the movers, bedroom #1, #2, etc. I use certain color containers for Christmas decor, for Halloween, etc. then I tell them all the red christmas containers stack together in this corner or that. I designate several boxes as OPEN FIRST, and make sure I label them 1 of 5, 2of 5, etc. So they can be set aside for easy identification, for important supplies like tape, scissors, lightbulbs, toilet paper, silverware, medicine, etc. Last tip, I used LOTS AND LOTS OF ZIPLOCS bags from XXL to sandwich size. Target has the full range, generic pl bags are fine. For all types of items that are easily packed, unpacked or things I don't want to get mixed together. I use ziplocs of all sizes everywhere I can. Old photos reproduce themselves in every drawer in my family room, so as I sort, I have one ziploc for photos and so on, and so on. The junk drawer goes into a ziploc, the stainless, the kitchen cooking utensils, in every room I find ways to organize stuff in ziplocs. Last item, I mke a basket with all the packing supplies I carry it with me whenever I'm packing and sorting. It contains labels, scissors, tape, sharpies in multi colors and sizes, paper clips, ziplocs, screwdrivers, etc. This is my way of staying sane and have one place to put these items. Hope this helps and try not to let all the logistics overwhelm you. Do the best you can and ask others to help but give them specific instructions. It's only stuff and sometimes it's easier to just let it go. Kathleen

Jolene said...

I am going to read the other suggestions in a minute but here's my newest sanity saver!

I keep ONE TOTE PER KID of clothes! That's it!!!! It resides on a shelf in their room. What is in that tote? Clothes in the next size up and the next season. (If the shorts from this summer will fit next summer they go back in the tote for the next season)

Smaller children can share totes but honestly I don't need totes and totes of clothes in the basement. God has always provided I don't need to hoard.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

When it comes to clothes, if you haven't worn it in a year. Your not going to wear it! Get rid of it!

The Fraley Family said...

I love the idea of having a sale for purging items. This really worked well for my kids. They didn't want to part with ANYTHING, but then when they found that it could benefit them in a really fun way, parting became much easier.

Lots of great ideas here! One more that we used... If we couldn't part with it, we put it in a box, DATED the box, and put it in the garage. If you haven't opened the box in a year, then you need to just get rid of it. No opening to double check!! Just take it goodwill all sealed up! Obviously that is not for family pictures, etc. This worked great for me for kitchen tools and gadgets that I thought i would need but never used (my cabinets were bursting at the seams).

Good luck! Please let us know what worked for you. I love the idea of organizing. I am just not that great at getting around to it.