Can you hear it, the bitter-sweet sound of silence in your home? This is moving month and a big transition time for most families. Gone are the lazy days of summer while we move back into the scheduling, mounds of paperwork, lists, and new schedules for the new school year. I have just gotten back from moving our oldest (grad student) into her seventh “home”. Needless to say, when a black cat crossed our path the day before our move, I didn’t realize the “bad omen” would really happen. It was a long week filled with stress, frustration, exhaustion, tears (on both our ends) and some life lessons. Overall, much was learned on what to check out, asking for what you want, and standing your ground. In the end, she will come out better and stronger and with more experience for her eighth, and hopefully final, move for a while. I was so glad I was there to help and that she asked.
Our second child has packed up and moved early to his respective college (a junior) into a house this year. He did not want mom to help, but we did do a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond and the Dollar Store for some kitchen essentials. It’s been fun watching him decide and realize what he needs to cook for himself. I love that he’s asking for some of my recipes and I am more than happy to share, except for some of my signature desserts – I still like getting requests from him and his roommates to make these.
We are now preparing to move our third child off to college. He has been awaiting this much anticipated event. Even though he’s number three, and with experience under our belt, it’s still a plethora of emotion and energy. We are ready to watch him take off and see where he lands. He has made a good choice for himself and I have no doubt will be successful.
We now have one left at home beginning her junior year of high school. As most of you know, this is a big transition year as well. Driving solo, working, sports, oh yeah – college also starts to pop up on the radar. It will be another transition for the three of us. It’s still very much summer here in temperature, but a bitter-sweet change as the new routine, schedules, school paperwork and supplies go out the door to begin another school year.
Through all of our children’s moves and transitions, it causes me to put on my staging hat and think about cleaning out and organization. An old friend of mine (years, not age), mother of six, told me about a book, The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno. In the mist of all of this chaos and transition I have begun to read this book…it’s good. The premise is about what 100 things you absolutely need to live. Not the basics, food, water, shelter, but “stuff”. You really only need 100 things and it has been an interesting read. I’m not saying you need to live in a sparsely decorated home, but when you are thinking about moving, downsizing, etc., think about the 100 things, what you really need to take with you and why.
So as we are down to three Little Indians living in our home, I’ve told my husband we will begin another clean out since our third one has moved away…he doesn’t think we have anything left to clean out, but yet, we still manage to find more “stuff”. I am putting some of the 100 things rules into play. Our kids will thank us, hopefully, one day when WE will need their help to move, downsize or transition into assisted living. For many of my clients who are now in that situation, it can be an overwhelming and daunting process. So, why not beat it to the punch? I have learned that holding onto things that we think our kids might need or want really doesn’t apply, so why not get rid of it either through a donation or selling it to someone who can use it TODAY? Be creative with what you are donating….books were a big ticket item for me this year, titles our children had to read for school or popular series, so I donated to a school of choice for others to enjoy. Furniture is another item to sell or donate, and the list goes on. So as the dust settles, in my home at least, I begin to apply the 100 Thing Challenge Concept. What are your 100 things?