Today I worked with a woman and her three kids. She wanted me to help her kids let go of some of their toys. We worked in the basement. The toys filled up all the spaces on the floor, on and under tables, and on the shelves. There were also a lot of storage containers filled with toys. Plus there were some boxes.
I said to the kids, "I'm not an organizer. Instead I help people go through their things and find out what they're not using anymore. I was hoping you could help me see which of these toys you no longer play with, and then we can donate them to a charity and parents who can't afford toys for their kids for Christmas, can buy them and give their kids some great presents." They thought that was a great idea.
I started at a table that was crowded with toys. I picked up a puzzle. They said they didn't play with it anymore and I could donate it. I found a Lego set. One of the kids said it was his and that he still played with it. I set it aside. We continued going through each toy. There were a lot that they didn't play with anymore and they let go for charity. There were some broken items that we tossed. We clutter busted for a little over an hour and then they had enough and went and played in other parts of the house.
I didn't push them to work more. Kids are easy to work with because they are direct. They know if they like something or not. And because I didn't question any of their choices, they were honest with me.
My client was amazed at how much stuff they let go of. I asked her about the boxes. She said she didn't know what was in them. I opened them up. They were filled with legal papers, and papers from a job she had over fifteen years ago. She looked tired and pale when she saw the contents. I said, "Okay, now it's your turn." I went through the papers with her. She was a little resistant at first. I think she thought that just the kids were going to be doing any clutter busting. But then she got into the same flow as her kids previously. She said, "You know, this was kind of hard at first, but then it got easy."