Every year we do a purge of the kids’ rooms, and usually when I am nesting I go even deeper and tackle the closets as well. I think it’s safe to say we’ve got the system down.

Here are four steps to a quick and almost (because you know it’s going to hurt a little) painless purge.

1. Plan

  • Make a list of the rooms that you want to purge.
  • Schedule days, times and a deadline.
  • Inform you family of your plan and include them in the process.
  • If some major re-organization is involved purchase containers.

2. Gather Up Your Supplies

  • Trash bags for garbage
  • Containers for giveaway
  • New containers for organization (buckets, baskets, large Ziplock bags etc.)
  • Gloves if it might get down and dirty!

3. Get Started

  • Pick your first room.
  • Start in one spot and work your way around the room clockwise (no zig-zagging).
  • Touch everything and immediately put it in its correct space.

 Having Trouble? Time to Ask Yourself Some Questions:

  • "Can I remember the last time someone used this?"
  • "Does it bring me (or a family member) joy?"
  • "Will someone else get more use from this?"
  • "Am I keeping it out of guilt?"

4. Finish Strong

  • Don’t stop until you’ve met your goal.
  • Follow through on donating and throwing away items (don’t let them sit in your garage).
  • Reward yourself and your family when you are finished!

 Tips For Including the Kids:

  • Let them see you purge and talk them through the process.
  • Keep containers clearly labeled (black bags for trash, white bags or boxes for donations).
  • Keep your goals small -- like two rooms a day -- so they have time to take a break.
  • Reward them at the end for all their help.
  • Include everyone in the family by assigning age appropriate tasks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cathy Holman is a 30-something mother of five. Originally born in Milwaukee, this city girl went country all for the love of a Cowboy. Her blog, PrairieWifeInHeels.com is the place to go for heartfelt humorous posts about parenting, health and wellness (including her preventive mastectomy), fashion and beauty tips, product reviews and giveaways. Read more about her adventures in Wyoming and learn how you can live a life of grit and grace at PrairieWifeInHeels.com.

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