This is the perfect time to let your kids refine your home. Let them re-arrange furniture, declutter, and have a say in what decor stays and which items get donated. Ask them what they like about your home and what they would change. When you look at your home through the eyes of your children, you may be surprised at what you discover.
Since the stay-at-home orders went into place in March, my kids have been looking for small jobs around the house to entertain themselves. They re-organized our pantry, cleaned out kitchen cabinets and closets, and completely cleaned out and organized the attic storage room.
Up until last week, the attic storage space was by far their biggest accomplishment. It’s the room in the house where we store seasonal clothes, holiday decorations, baby furniture we might someday use for grandchildren, and any other miscellaneous stuff. Now keep in mind, I keep very little. My motto is that if it doesn’t have a spot or a use, then it goes out the door for someone else to use. But let’s face it, everyone has stuff they’re just not ready to let go of. This room was filled with ours.
The attic storage room is not a big area. It’s only about 8’x 15′. But it was starting to get overcrowded with things we really didn’t need to keep (according to the kids).
This attic space was a room I have been trying to tackle for the past few years, so when they offered to clean it out and organize it, I left them completely to it.
There were clothes I thought I would someday wear again. My kids pointed out that these were outdated and I should never wear them again.
There were 2 buckets of my two sons’ hockey jerseys from 10 years of playing that I thought they may want to keep. I was wrong again. They told me they weren’t attached to them and didn’t need to keep 50+ hockey jerseys. (I kept just a few of them).
There were home decor items I thought I would repurpose. The kids quickly let me know they didn’t even like the frames, photos, and imitation florals I had stashed away and they didn’t want them ever to be displayed in our home.
And the list went on.
After they sorted thru the plastic bins of clothes, suitcases, baby furniture, and home decor, they brought everything they didn’t want to keep downstairs to our dining room. I had ultimate veto power on what to donate and what I really wanted to keep. But do you know what? I didn’t keep any of it.
I realized I was holding onto most of these items for them and they didn’t even want them.
- They had out grown them
- They were not their style
- They were not emotionally attached
- They preferred open, clean space rather than an over-crowded room
I didn’t think they could top their attic clean-out, but they did when they asked if they could re-arrange our living room. And do you know what? I learned even more.
Here’s our living room before…
I thought the living room was fine the way it was. It was clean and organized. So what would they change besides the layout.
Well, here’s the after…
The Most Worthwhile Change
You may not see a huge difference in the before and after, other than the furniture being moved around. Here are a few of the small changes that made a huge difference.
- the birch tree branches in the large basket in the corner were removed
- the red floral arrangement (not shown) were removed
- the second carpet under the sofa (we had two large layered area rugs) was removed
- the imitation greenery on the fireplace hearth was replaced with a large carved bear they found in the attic.
- and they redecorated the mantel with small potted greenery
The kids told me they never liked these items and removed them.
The kids preferred less items in the room and preferred a more refined (aka… less cluttered) room.
But do you know what the biggest change was?
The kids took charge. They showed initiative. They expressed their opinion. Instead of Mom making the decorating decisions for everyone in the house, the kids had a say in the look and feel of their home. And they’re enjoying the room more. They’re sitting with us more often and hanging out in this family room. That, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.
I encourage you to enlist your kids to help you clean, organize, and change the layouts of your rooms. Let them have a say. Their opinions do matter. You may be surprised how much you like their changes and what you discover.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products I use myself.