My daughter is home for a ten day visit and according to plan I have her decluttering the stuff she left behind when she went off to university four years ago. She is being very cooperative and I am grateful for that. Knowing me as she does she was fully expecting to have to comply with some decluttering tasks before she even arrived.
I haven’t bombarded her with stuff, just every now and again I will pull out some things and hold up for her to adjudicate on. A quick “keep” or “no” is all it takes. She has done well so far eliminating quite a few items, making it possible for what is left of be contained within the boxes I have set aside for her. Before she arrived the stuff was overflowing into other corners of my house. Hopefully before she leaves we might be able eliminate a box or two.
Each time she visits she eliminates more stuff. Quite often stuff that she chose to keep the last time she was here. One thing I have noticed during this exercise is that you can tell she is a traveller. Her only concern about the things she had to choose from was where they came from. For example the Elvis number plate she didn’t care about unless we got it when we were visited Memphis. The Mark McGwire baseball had the same effect, “Where did we get that?” was her only concern. When I told her a garage sale she was happy to let it go. So all I need to say when she’s not sure whether she cares so much about somethings is that we bought it at a garage sale. 😆 She forgets how cunning I am.
But seriously there are two things I take out of this. One is that when sentiment is tied to things people find them harder to part with. And two, communication is key when it comes to decluttering. I have found that nagging and insisting will not work when you want cohabiters in your home to declutter. Being silent and just putting up with the status quo will only serve to make you feel bitter and dissatisfied. You need to let those around you know what you would like to happen and that it is important to you and then allow them to comply at their own pace.
My daughter is aware of my needs when it comes to decluttering and she complies to whatever point she is prepared to. There is no pressure forced onto her to give up things she isn’t prepared to part with. I make it as easy as possible for her and that makes it more likely to happen. I know she is not in a position to take all her stuff away right now and she probably wants to reduce it to a reasonable amount before that time does arrive. We are both happy and that is what matters.
Today’s Declutter Item
Here is my daughters decluttering effort so far and she had only been here 24 hours. I have to admit she, her brother and I did have a bit of fun playing Crocodile Dentist before we put it in the thrift shop box.
Having fun with my kids.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast