As seen in the Dayton Daily News on Aug. 26, 2017.
Many of you are struggling to get through your days. You feel rushed, frazzled and worn out at the end of the day. You describe your home as a wreck or dumping ground. You’re embarrassed to have people over.
If this describes you, I’m guessing you’re keeping an abundance of items in your home that you plan to use someday. Unfortunately, saving too many ‘someday’ items is one of the reasons you feel miserable today.
When helping people get organized I often find a stock pile of toys, games, books and baby equipment being saved for ‘someday’ grandchildren.
I’m not suggesting you get rid of all the things you have been saving for your future family members. Just pare down your belongings to a manageable amount in order to feel more at home in your home.
Safety needs to be your first priority when making decisions on what to keep. Many children’s items have been recalled over the years because they pose a safety risk. The design and materials used to make them can be dangerous or toxic.
When we were raising our babies, our crib had a drop-down side. This style of crib now poses a safety risk. The crib you are saving may have slats that are too far apart. Babies have been found hanging from their cribs because their bodies went through the wide spaces between the slats, but their head did not fit through.
Old toys can pose a choking hazard or contain lead paint. Both are health risks as young children often put things in their mouths.
Sell or donate most of your children’s toys when they no longer play with them. Make saving your sanity your new priority. Your grandchildren will have plenty of toys and books available to them when the time comes.
When I was young, I loved my Clifford dog books. My mother donated them when I no longer read them. Years later when I began reading to my children, we went to the library where I borrowed Clifford books to read. They enjoyed the same stories I had fond memories of without actually reading from the books I once owned.
Looking back, I am happy my mother provided us with a clean, organized home instead of leaving it cluttered with ‘someday’ things. This was more important to me than her saving all my stuff throughout the years.
Just because something was important to you doesn’t mean it will be important to your grandchildren. I had a client save an extensive doll collection for her granddaughters. Turns out they were tomboys who loved playing with dinosaurs.
Live in the present. I had a client donate some baby furniture she had been saving for her grandchildren. In the place it occupied, she set up a craft table for projects she enjoys making.
Saving all of your child’s things for your ‘someday’ grandchildren can come with negative consequences. I have witnessed adults who will not bring their children to grandma’s house because her home is too cluttered, unclean and poses safety risks.
Pare down to a manageable amount of items to save. You can then reap the rewards of having an organized home while establishing a safe haven for your grandchildren to enjoy when they visit.