Peter Walsh was right. It is ALL TOO MUCH! Two weeks ago my husband called me from work and said, "They want to know if I am still interested in working from home next quarter." I was in the midst of homeschooling and immediately said, "Um, no." HA HA HA But the more I thought about it and made a list of pros and cons, the more I started liking the idea of having him here. You have to understand that he works many,many, M A N Y hours each week and has to go in on the weekends more times than I care to admit. So he came home from work and we went over the list and he said he would inform his boss that yes, he is still interested in the opportunity. So he can work 7:00-3:30 if he wants and then can "go back to work" so to speak, after the boys are in bed.
This is where Mr. Peter Walsh comes in. The only way Bryan can work from home is if we give up the boys' playroom downstairs. I began to google to find out creative ways to be organized with kids toys. A lot of blogs had valuable information that came from a book called, "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh. It was a quick read and I gleaned a lot of wonderful tips. I immediately got the boys involved and we went on a massive purge. The three of us went into each room and I asked them to separate what the didn't want and that we would donate it to Goodwill for children that are in need of some toys. Six garbage bags later, my oldest son said to me, "Mom, why did you buy us all these toys?" I said, "because we just love you and wanted you to have them." To which he replied, "Mom, you didn't have to do that."
It's what Peter's message is... 'an easy plan for living a richer life with less stuff.' Amen, Peter. I highly recommend this book, if you haven't read it. My husband's office at home is now waiting for him and the boys are so excited about the toys they do have because they are no longer overwhelmed like before. Praise the Lord!
Speaking of that, my mother is a recipe hoarder. Thank God she doesn't read my blog. LOL! I am currently helping her organize them in a binder separated by category so that when she is meal planning she can just flip to 'Main Dishes' and choose what she feels like having. I am having her go through all her cooking magazines and rip out the recipes she wants to keep rather than the entire magazine. I am going through her many large Ziploc bags full of recipe cards, post it notes, newspaper clippings, and even a few recipes written on napkins! Mother, seriously? So the sorting has begun. I told her, "Mom, you can't appreciate the recipes you do have when you have so many!" Same thing I told my boys about their things and myself with my clothing collection. I went through my closet yet again and finally implemented this amazing tip by Saint Peter Walsh. I put all my hangers backwards (think of it this way, opposite of the way you have them right now) See photo below.
In doing that, you see what you actually wear. Peter said, "We wear 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time." Imagine that. So each time you wear an item you (after laundering and ironing, obviously) you hang it back up with the hanger the right way this time. At the end of six months, whatever hanger is facing the opposite way, you know you didn't wear and should get rid of it immediately. Interesting concept.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his book.
"Kids so overstimulated by the sheer volume of stuff in their home that they loste the ability to concentrate and focus." PREACH!
"We are all in some way owned by our possessions." OUCH!
"And the typical American solution to having too much stuff? Buy another organization solution!" SO TRUE!
And finally, "Your home is a metaphor for your life-it represents who you are and what you value. When your house is a wreck, your life starts to crumble." SMARTY PANTS! :)
Woman's Day Magazine said, "The best organizing advice we've ever heard!" I concur. Thanks, Peter for reopening my eyes to the simple fact that less, indeed, is truly more.
In unrelated news, but since we are on the topic of "It's All Too Much" I thought perhaps, you would get a kick out of these photographs from Halloween.
Happy Organizin' & Simplifyin'!