Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'm throwing out your stuff,I'm throwing out your stuff, Hi Ho the dairy-o, I'm throwing out your stuff

As we begin school season and head in to the winter season, now is a good time as parents to clean out the home, stock up on a few supplies (i.e. batteries, flashlights, dry goods, etc.) and use this as a multi faceted teaching lesson for children. 

Stuff.  Oh Stuff.  It piles up, it gets lost, it finds its way in to corners, washers, the floor, the bed, la la de da....It is everywhere!  And in most homes that I have seen, they have an average daily utilization ratio of less than 30% of the contents of their home.  Weekly ratio is about 45%, and many times less.  These numbers are determined by individual items in the house, divided by the number of items "touched" per day, or per week, including food.  "Touched" is the light meaning for used, as whether you use it for 1 min (say a q-tip or floss) or for the entire day (say a car, or outfit) they are still to be counted.  At least 10-15% of the total value (100%) of the household contents should be consumable and cyclical (like food and soap, etc.).More so in the winter time in areas of vast snowfall.

1st things first.  It may seem very overwhelming.  Tackle the house room by room, one at a time, keeping the following things in mind.

If you do it right the first time and then maintain it-you never have to do it a second time as it becomes a part of daily living.

Reasons for this being important:
1.) Insurance coverage: auto/home/umbrella/renters- by taking an inventory of the contents of your home, and the values/depreciation etc. allows you to really know what coverage level you should be at versus what you are really at.
2.) Non-liquid asset costs: How much does it cost you to house/hold/clean or maintain/inventory the item.  Is it worth it?  Could eliminating so many of these items like this save you money on space, ability to downsize thus lowering utilities, or eliminate a storage facility and those costs associated?
3.) Are the contents blocking important exits should there be a fire?  Is it blocking heating vents so you are paying more to heat due to unclear vents?  If you had to get to your power box, furnace, or shut off valves quickly, could you?
4.)  Would you have to rush to the store hours before say a snow storm or hurricane, to get supplies or would you have them and know where they were and if they were operable?  If you had to stop, would you know what you had to get without being wasteful or knowing you have something but not being able to track it down and there for spending money you did not have to?
5.) Are you teaching your children about the difference between a need versus a want?  They may want a 75 pack of stickers, but they really may only need 25 for their school project.  Do you get the 75 or do you just get the 25 pack?  Ask yourself and the child these questions: Can they be used for a project in the next year? Can they be of any use on say invitations or thank you cards or a scrap-book?  Even if in the 75 pack you save 25 cents over the bulk of the purchase-is that 25 cents worth the extra money paid to gain the additional 50 stickers, and what are the costs going to be to store them?  Will you be able to find them come the next project date? Is bulk always better?

These are all retraining for our heads and our children's heads.  But these thoughts are very important, especially during emergencies when you no longer have the "I'll get to it" ability, or time to find things that you may need quickly.  Organized parents and households lead to organized and calm kids.  Less chaos, more time to learn and grow as a family.

Have a safe and happy, organized autumn.  If you have questions, shoot me an email.  I'll gladly give further pointers and tips.

Until next time,

The Mominator.

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