Drowning in kids toys?

I have had so much fun over the last few weeks, returning to my child mind, by working with a few of my clients and assisting them in organizing their kids’ toys.

One of my clients laughed with me when she said, “I feel sorry for your children; they are going to have no toys!” we laughed about it but when I think about it further I actually agree!

I have recently become a godmother (he is just the most delicious little creature – proud fairy godmother here) and I have to actively stop myself buying him every little cute toy or shark outfit that I see, (they are just too precious for words) but then I think back to my clients (most of them) and we work through a cupboard and find that lots of the valuable storage space is taken up by gifts bought for future birthdays and special occasions AND unopened toys from past occasions.

We are living in a time where we are driven by consumerism, following trends and keeping up with the Jones’. It’s so easy to get sucked in and feel the need to buy all the knickknacks that we think will make ourselves and our family happy, when we all know that a first birthday – the baby is more interested in the wrapping paper and is asleep for a portion of the party.

I look back on my childhood and I remember my mother saying NO, and I knew she meant it and that was that, I don’t remember dying inside because I didn’t get the toy, or the tantrum I threw, but I do recall understanding that there were more important things that money was needed for AND I treasured the gifts I was given – that amazing pink outfit my gymnast Barbie had, with all the ribbons and my Polly in my Pocket; I remember the day we brought her home I remember shaking the box and listening to all the bits inside, knowing that when Christmas came – ahh, bliss – it was going to be magical!

Anyway, before I recite all my toys to you, I just want to say that every parent is the same, they love their little ones and want them to be as happy as they can. But just think about yourself too, after a long day at work, the kids’ toys have exploded everywhere and you want to run away. It’s hard to say NO but it’s also not the worst thing in the world – ‘Mom is going to put the price of the toy into a saving spot so that when you are older it will benefit you more’ (they will hate that I’m sure but they won’t in a few years), or heck – make them work for it – tidy room for a week and we will revisit the toy. I sound like such a meanie…

I have a friend who has had her third munchkin and he arrived while their home was being built and she said for the most part he hasn’t had a room, he has just fitted in. She said in fact they don’t need the space, their needs are basic, to be loved and cared for which doesn’t require stuff! This made me DELIGHTED, great! My kids won’t need toys OR a room!

I am not suggesting a colourless, toy-less childhood for your children at all. I just think we are indoctrinated to feel inadequate without things (look at black FRIDAY). Family is far more important than things (you know what they say, less is more) and so are experiences AND your bank balance will be grateful too.

Something else that made my heart sing – friends teaching their children about the less fortunate and taking them to donate the toys they had outgrown– what a magical and humbling life lesson!! It’s often hard to find the time to go through your kids toys and to donate them, why not get the kids involved and make them feel proud to do an act of kindness?

I am just looking at it from the other side, from the driver’s seat of a car FULL to capacity with donations of toys that have been forgotten or outgrown.

In short, just be mindful of your purchases – or give me a shout and I’ll sort through them for you!

Everyone needs a helping hand!

It’s been another marvelous week of organising. It suddenly occurred to me this morning that, after having spoken to clients and colleagues, there is the same response from most of them. There is a sense of shame and embarrassment when talking about their spaces at home and work. “Ooh! don’t look at my desk, it’s such a mess” “I’m sure this is the worst room you have ever seen” “I bet you don’t know where to start” It’s like I’m the tidy police with my clipboard and judgement card, coming to tell you how disorganised you are.

Well, I just want to clear a few things up for all you wonderful people out there, potential clients, those who feel ashamed about their space, and my friends and colleagues as well. I don’t see a space and think anything of you at all. All the clients I have ever had have been amazing people, with businesses and families and delightful children. That’s who I see, the family and the drawings your little ones bring home with pride, the family heirlooms that you treasure which show you hold your family dear; the toys that mean you think of your little ones every time you are away from them and think, “Ahh yes! she will love this” (I’m the same with chocolate and treats for my fiancé and he says it’s going to make him fat – I can’t help it; it’s a gesture of love) and the paperwork from the bills and information we keep in case we may need them in future. I see that you have grown as people, faster than your space is able to keep up with. Minutes turn into days turning into weeks and months and while you are getting up and making most of every day, sometimes the material objects in our lives stay as they were, having once been useful, perhaps no longer and you turn around and think – how did I end up here?

It’s life and it happens to everyone! Everyone also has different levels of chaos management and that’s what is so fabulous about being human; we are set to cope with pretty much anything!

So don’t feel ashamed, don’t apologize, I’m not here to judge, and don’t feel guilty when my eyes light up and I hop around wildly when I see your space for the first time, I LOVE WHAT I DO, because when I see your space, I see the potential, the end result, the calm you feel, the smile on your face, the happiness in your heart, that you will make it through this too.

All I want is to help you love your space and know that it’s ok to have a little bit of chaos every now and again.

On that note, I need to do my bathroom cupboards…. they are driving me dilly!

Have a beautiful weekend organisers!

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Yay! let’s talk ORGANISING!

Finally, after a very busy and happy two weeks, I have managed to come up for air and am so delighted to finally be able to start my blog!

If you have met me, or know me, you will relate well to my posts as they will no doubt be full of excitement and happiness. And for all those who haven’t, I hope you will get to know me and begin to understand my funny-isms!!

It’s been the most wonderful adventure, educating and explaining what we do at Oh So Organised! For South Africa and specifically Durban, Professional Organising is somewhat an unknown, which is totally FABULOUS because when I do get to share what we do and the benefits of our services everyone ALWAYS responds with ‘Oh we need you in our life!’ Which just makes my heart sing!

I love that we can help and support our clients and that it doesn’t just have to be the one session, that they know they can call on us.
“Family are coming to visit and we are swamped, can you come and help us out?”
Of course!! That’s what we are here for!

We are also having a great time, educating. That it’s OKAY to be a bit disorganized from time to time in life, be it at work or at home. Nowadays life is filled with work and family and friends and responsibilities. We often look back, Gasp! Where did the month go!? Now, admidst all of that going on, we must also find time to go through our belongings and decide what we need and don’t need and where the best place to store them is and how to keep them….. Unlikely!

And, of course, I LOVE it. Being able to say to my client “It will be done and you won’t have to deal with the chaos any longer”. It’s just fabulous in every way!

So in closing on my very first blog post, I do hope that I can post hints and tips that I come across that you may find helpful in getting yourself Oh So Organised (hee hee) like my client on Thursday who cling-wrapped all her archiving, instead of the usual archive boxes, BRILLIANT- they stack beautifully AND its super cost-effective!!!

Please also feel free to send me your suggestions and comments! Every day is a school day and it’s great to hear new ideas!

Have a super week!
B

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