Cluttergone Case Stories
Mum of two
Motherhood is easy, right? What can be so difficult about having a clutter-free and organised home, caring for a family and possibly working too? No problem.
But life's not like that is it?
Read on for story of Sophie...
Sophie was an overwhelmed mother. After her first baby, a little girl, she'd gone back to work. Then Sophie and her husband had decided to do some building work and extend their house. Their second baby, a little boy was born. No one is prepared for how much more complicated life becomes with a second child. Mums can feel pulled apart by their different needs and demands. Sophie was starting to get ready to go back to work again and called us:
‘There's so much stuff, I have no idea where to start . My little girl, Lucy isn't sure about her baby brother and she doesn't leave me any time to do anything. I can't remember when i had an hour to myself’
I arrived to find a lovely big house with a large garden. The little girl was with her grandmother for the day. There were lots of half opened mixed boxes, full of things that had been gathered up for the building works. Upstairs in the little girl's room were all the signs of loving aunts, uncles, friends and grandparents: lots and lots of clothes and toys.
Sophie said; ‘I'd really like to do something with Lucy's room. She's grown out lots of things; both clothes and toys. Most of it is pink so won't do for the baby, but we might have another child. Any ideas?’
‘Let's start by just sorting the clothes out. I'll get them in piles and you can pull out what you know is too small. If something is badly worn or stained, it can go in the bin. If you never liked it, then into the charity bag. Some things will be special memories. Those can be put into a memory box.’
‘That's still going to leave an awful lot of clothes. My mother just can't resist buying cute clothes for her first granddaughter.’
‘Most basic things for babies are not as expensive as they used to be. My impression is that you will want fresh basics for a new baby, but the good sturdy coats and really nice dresses are well worth saving. You do have a big loft. Whatever goes up there should be in well labeled boxes and it might be an idea to do a plan so you know which box is where. The charity shops will welcome the basic things with open arms.’
‘I see you have a spare room. Let's use it as your staging and packing space. I know you don't usually have very much time to work on things, but i bet you do have the odd 15-20 minutes. 15-20 minutes is the best length of time for a clutter clearing project. If we set this room up for you so you can see small 'bites', you'll be able to pop in and just do a little bit, then leave, shut the door and play with your children’
I met with Sophie twice more. We did her closet:
‘I know we should do other things, but I don't have anything to wear! Help.’
We also spent a day working on the home office she shares with her husband. There was still lots to do:
‘I wish I could have you come for some more visits, but the thing is, I don't feel like I'm drowning anymore. I know it's going to take time, but doing it in little pieces feels possible and I can control that.’
A note from us. Sophie talked about having a third child. At the moment, the outgrown clothes she is keeping are not for their memories as much as for a maybe new baby. We've had several Mums with two children who are hoping for a third. Some are trying to persuade their partners. Others just haven't decided yet. Handing on and getting rid of that baby paraphernalia for good is a big moment in a mother's life and it can be hard to do.
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