Adapted from an upcoming Glover Park Gazette Article.
Welcome back* to your new, fresh, sparkly, hopeful 2016/2017 school year. Let’s dive right in and get to work. I love getting to work, because it makes that moment of sitting on the quintessential Glover Park porch with friends and a Cosmo all the more delicious. The number one, most successful, least sexy, most sublime, cheapest, un-dramatic thing to do for a better school year is to de-clutter. We de-clutter now, we de-clutter later, we de-clutter in January. It’s like working out. Once you learn to love the work out, or at least the work out after glow - bada boo bada bing you have an amazing tool and resource for a great school year. Where to start? I got you.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Kids only like the good new stuff. They won’t use the dried up glitter glue pen they got in the goodie bag last St. Patrick’s Day, they just won’t. Toss, toss, toss. Kids treat their stuff like it’s Filene’s basement, but they want to live at Barney’s. A few choice pencils, a new pack of markers, that get put AWAY regularly, ONE eraser with a nice electric pencil sharpener. Guys, keeping that pebble covered notebook because they only wrote in a few pages, and they MIGHT use it, is a waste of your life energy. It kills you, I know. But unless YOU are going to use it, either recycle those partly used notebooks, rip it up for scrap paper or pitch. In general, buy less, use more.
CLOTHES: Kids need MAYBE 7 t-shirts, depending on how often laundry is done. I will give you 10. De-clutter the rest, Whole Foods takes clothing donations in the parking garage, Goodwill takes anything you drop off. You fighting with your kids over clothes is a waste of your time, relationship AND all those shirts! Please only put things in your kids room they are permitted to wear. It’s your house, you bought the clothes, uphold the limits with ACTION, not lectures. Now, this isn’t license to be a jerk. It IS a license to act with authority, common sense and compassion.
CALENDAR: If dinner is a priority, your three kids can’t each do 7 activities. If activities are a priority you can’t sit down to dinner together every night during the week. If sleep is important, they can’t have endless sleepovers. If you are really busy at work, you can’t volunteer. If you are sick, in transition, or otherwise upset – you must DO less, and take care of yourself more. Time is finite. Hoping, dreaming, wishing doesn’t give you more time. The white space AROUND events is where you find the magic, the patience, the giggles. De-clutter that calendar.
Here’s the thing with kids and stuff, the trick is in the lather, rinse, repeat. When we get frustrated go back to school supplies, clothes and calendar and see where de-cluttering can help you create a successful and productive school year. See you on the porch!
*For all us older folks - Welcome Back!