Finding Joy…My family’s New Years Resolution

A new year is upon us – a year that offers hope, excitement, new adventures and a personal fave, the opportunity to be open to new ideas and ways to live life.

As I walked around my post-Christmas home picking up the odd piece of tinsel, it occurred to me that my need to de-clutter was beyond obvious!

But how? I was overwhelmed just thinking about it *sigh*, until I read that getting rid of things that clutter your physical space can help you better see the things that are cluttering your emotional space. And letting go of emotional clutter frees us up to rediscover our happiness and the joy of giving! Yes, yes and yes!

As a parent I don’t want my children to lose their happiness and become bogged down by stuff.  My hope for them (and myself) is to appreciate what is in our lives, and feel the amazing joy that comes from sharing with others.

So for my family, 2016 is the year we embrace letting go – having less and giving more.  After sharing this de-cluttering vision with my family, and drying a few tears when I mentioned parting with toys, we needed a place to start. The list below helped us start de-cluttering our space and the best part about each one is there was an opportunity to up-cycle – that is, recycling by giving to others!

  1. Clothes that you don’t wear or that your children have outgrown.  There are many in need of your unworn items. Make a quick Facebook post on a buy and sell site and I am sure the clothing will find a new home in no time.
  2. Extra bath and shower products. Did you overbuy or perhaps collect too many samples?! Think about donating to a shelter as these items are always needed.
  3. Kids toys. What toys do your children really play with and which items just collect dust?  There are a number of charities that collect toys and will send them to children across the world – a great way to share our fortune and bring smiles to many faces.
  4. Stuff without a match. Single socks, open containers, lonely mittens: can your child’s school use them for crafts or is the recycle bin calling their name? Perhaps this one will be a game time decision!
  5. Bad memories. Toss the things that bring you down. If you are saving something that makes you feel more bad than good, it’s time for that baggage to go! Take a deep breath and get ready to open up space in your life for the memories you are making now with your family and friends.

Our de-cluttering journey was difficult at first (a lot of items went into the box and then came out again for a minute or two), and I am sure there will be a few challenges as 2016 rolls on, but overall we have been enjoying the process.  At the end of day one I already felt emotionally lighter and the kids and even my hubby were smiling.  I am convinced a family that de-clutters together finds joy together ~ Happy 2016!!

Do you have any de-cluttering tips or stories about your family? Inspire us…

Share with us your great parenting strategies!

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

 

About Sarah Flynn RN

About Sarah Flynn RN, MScN. I am a wife, mother of 3 and a registered public health nurse with the school years health team. I have been nursing for 10 years and have dedicated my career to supporting children and families thrive while in the hospital and out in the community. I am passionate about positive parenting and creating healthy school communities for our youth. You can find me in schools and online. Family life and work keeps me busy and on my toes – and I love to chat about it all in my HaltonParents blogs and on Facebook!
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