I was so inspired after reading and reviewing Pretty Neat that I couldn’t help but attack that horrible problem area. So how did I do it? I used a few of the tips from the book:
1. The power of NO! – Okay, so I didn’t shout it every time I checked the no box, but I did occasionally say “NO!” out loud as I went through the section of the table with requests for volunteers and advertisements for after-school activities. The power of indecision and the guilt of not doing enough made it impossible for me to send back volunteer forms and recycle after-school activity forms, but armed with my new commitment to just saying no, I blew through that section of my clutter.
2. The ability to let go – I pulled out the bin of art that I have saved from my children’s years of pre-school and took a look at how much room is left in the bin. Then I headed back to my dining room table and found the items with handprints, footprints, or cute little writings such as the book that my daughter wrote in the fall. Everything else? I recycled it all, guilt free. After all, no one wants to see macaroni art twenty years later…
3. Delegation, baby – Not everything in that clutter belonged to me. There are also two little ones that live in this house and like to bring things into it from sticker sheets to little “treasures” that they want to save. Well, it was time for them to go through it and decide what treasures they really treasure. Everything else found a new home, and guess who took the save items to their proper places. Not me. The kids were able to put their own things away and in the end we had the gorgeous table you see above.
Is it wrong that after we finished our job, my daughter asked if we were in the right house?