Thursday, October 28, 2010

Create Space Before the Holidays Hit! (Guest Post)

I'm excited to announce that I will now be sharing material written by Simplify 101's Aby Garvey. Simplify 101 is a wonderful business which offers books, online workshops, and articles (and even more!) to teach and inspire you to get your home...and your life organized.
Thanks to the Garveys for allowing me to share their inspiration with my Bootcampers!

Create Space…Before the Holidays Hit! by Aby Garvey of Simplify 101

Do you plan to do any shopping for the members of your household over this upcoming holiday season? I’d be willing to bet that’s a big y-e-s! If you’re planning to bring some new items into your home as part of the holiday festivities, now is a terrific time for some of your older items to make their exit. In a nutshell, now is a terrific time to create space for the holidays and all the clutter that it brings, and a great place to start is your kids’ closet! Even though going through your child’s closet or play room in November may not be the first thing that jumps to mind, it makes sense on so many fronts.

Let’s start by remembering some basic physics, specifically the principal that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So, if your child’s play room, toy box, or closet is filled to the brim with toys, clothes and books…something has to go to make room for what’s coming. So why not create that space now?

Pull your child into the process and go through the toys together. Find out which toys he is no longer playing with and which ones are his favorites. Having this conversation and going through this process together before heading out to shop, won’t just help you create space, it will also help you strategically plan holiday purchases.

As you go through things together, take note of what type of toys your child has plenty of and keep those items off the shopping list. Also take note of new interests your child has developed over the past year or since the last gift-buying event. Add these items to your shopping list. Keep a piece of paper, a pen and a clipboard handy as you go through your child’s closet so you can capture these gift ideas and interests.

Going through your child’s things now also gives you some perspective on how much stuff he or she really has. This is important info to capture in your mind and take with you when you go shopping. As you go through your child’s things, think about what he really needs. Based on how much he already has, how many gifts make sense? Capture this reality-check on your clipboard, too.

Letting go of some of your child’s clothes, books and toys before the holidays gives you the opportunity to send your items to a happy home. Plan to donate the toys, clothes and books your child no longer uses to a charity that will make these items available to less fortunate families during the holiday season. Share your plans with your child and let him know that not everyone is as fortunate as him. This may make letting go of things just a notch easier for both of you when you know your items will be going to an especially good cause.

Last but not least, don’t forget the Santa factor: If Santa sees that your child’s closet or toy room is already loaded to the brim he’ll know your child doesn’t really need many new things. And let’s face it…Santa is probably onto something. If there isn’t much breathing room in the closet or playroom, and you can’t find much to get rid of…do you really need anything new? This can add even more motivation to your child when it comes to letting things go, and even perspective for you when you’re out shopping.

Take advantage of the calm before the holiday storm and create some space now.

(Read the original article at the Simplify 101 site; Re-printed with express permission. If you'd like organizing tips delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for the Simplify 101 newsletter and be inspired every week!)


Love what you just read? (I know I do!) You may be very interested in signing up for a risk free trial of Simplify 101's Get Organized for the Holidays online workshop. Go HERE for all the details, but hurry! You must complete the sign-up steps before Monday, November 1, 2010 at 9:00PM US CST. This workshop looks so helpful and like a lot of fun, too! Time's running out, so sign up soon. See you there, Bootcampers!

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Heidi Schaap

Heidi is a child of God, a homemaker, wife to a studly backyard lumberjack, and homeschooling Momma to nine fun, highly energetic outdoorling children. Her family homesteads a small patch of woods in Ohio and when Heidi’s not in the kitchen baking bread or cookies, she’s growing veggies, playing tag with dairy goats, and shooing chickens off the front porch. Heidi loves books, natural living, and coffee…Actually, let’s put the coffee first. She is the author of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers, a book she hopes will bless you immensely.

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