New Year = New Mindset

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What were your major accomplishments in 2019? What are you most proud of? What are your goals for 2020?

When I asked my kids at dinner tonight what their favorite memories from 2019 were, my 7 year old son Wyatt responded with “today!” (We visited an indoor aquarium and he has a short memory.) My 10 year old daughter said the trip to the candy store (typical). These answers prove that kids (at least mine) like experiences and time with family more than gifts and toys!

It’s so hard to get away from giving/getting tons of gifts at Christmas. You have grandparents, aunts and uncles and Santa asking what your kids want for Christmas and the expectation of a Christmas tree loaded with gifts…although, is it their expectation or mine?

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Is it okay to tell your loved ones to get your kids experiences instead of toys? When you only have 2 kids, how do you cut down on the number of gifts without the tree looking completely bare on Christmas?

You know what we did on New Years Eve? I didn’t buy them any fancy food/drinks or party favors. We didn’t spend ANY money at all! We played cards, watched a countdown on YouTube at 9 pm, had a dance party and played “London Bridges” and “Ring Around the Rosie” until we were all laughing hysterically.

Okay- on to the reason I wrote this post. Now that we’re ushering in a new year and a new decade, I need a new mindset! A “less is more” mindset for a simplified, more organized life.

This is my 10 year old daughter Cami’s bedroom.

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She claims this is “clean”. This makes me cringe. I can’t walk in here without stepping on something! For Christmas this year, she got books (currently on her bookshelf), legos (currently all over the floor because she’s in the “middle of a game”) and the huge raccoon my husband bought her from Menards without my permission (again, cringe). Everything else she already had. I have tried and tried to get this girl to declutter and organize. I wrote a book about it, for cryin’ out loud! In the back of the book is a page with a bunch of great advice from other moms/teachers for how to encourage kids to get organized:

*Talk with your child about how they think their room should be organized. Use clear bins so they can see what’s in each one.

*Put pictures along with words on each bin so kids can see where their things should go.

*Sweep everything to the center of the room. Set a 20 minute timer. Whatever is left, goes to Goodwill.

*Let your child display their creations until garbage day.

*Create a checklist of what needs to be picked up before bed each night.

*Box up half of your child’s things in a storage bin. Put them away for 3-6 months. Take them back out and rotate or if your child doesn’t miss them, give them away.

Have you tried any of these strategies? Which ones work for you? Do you have other tips?

I have tried all of these with Cami. I even go in there and help her organize and declutter every other week. The problem is, her idea of what a clean room looks like and mine are completely different. Should I just close her door and ignore it? I feel I am losing the battle here folks.

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How I see her room versus how she sees it.

The strategy that works best with Cami is having a before bedtime clean up checklist. On that list are the top five things I’ve noticed on her floor that bother me the most: clothes, books, papers, garbage and Barbies. Before bed, these five things need to be picked up. This is not overwhelming for her and it’s a good compromise for us both.

Cami is my creative artist. She has a million projects going at once. I don’t want to stifle that, but it needs to be a little under control. I mean, I found this in her room a few months ago!!! Ummm…that’s a hard NO!

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Yes, that’s a baggie of her eyelashes.

Okay. Here are some steps I’m going to do to declutter, get organized and work toward a new mindset for the new year:

  1. I’m not buying my kids anything else they don’t NEED until their birthdays. Instead we are going to spend time playing with what they already have and doing fun things together.
  2. The Easter Bunny isn’t going to get them anything they don’t NEED this year.
  3. Next Christmas, I am not going to put out any presents until Christmas morning. I will be cutting down on the number of gifts that I get them. I will TRY to tell family experience ideas instead of toys.
  4. We opened college savings accounts for them a few months ago. Any money they receive or earn will be deposited in there, unless donated to church or for a buy that is approved by myself and my husband.
  5. They will both have a clean up checklist they must do before bed each night. (I’m still not sure what to do about my daughter’s ongoing projects- thoughts anyone?)
  6. I will revert back to my extra thrifty college days and not buy anything I don’t really need this year.
  7. I will continue to go through spaces in my home as often as I can and get them decluttered and organized. I found a great declutter challenge calendar here.

If you have any other ideas, please share!

Check out my book Cami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff which will help encourage your family to get organized!

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We can do this!! We can get organized!! Happy New Year!

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