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Nice family reading a book together.

Clearing the Clutter

Author: Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS
Published Date: Friday, October 1, 2021

Lately, I’ve been in a nesting mood. The time spent at home due to the pandemic has led me to evaluate our physical space and clear the clutter. I went through our toys, clothes, the junk drawer – all the things to assess our current need. My oldest daughter questioned why I wanted to change our house. The truth is, letting go of the physical objects made more room for peace, less stress, creativity, and even more free time. After having three children who are now 7, 5, and almost 4, their accessories seem to multiply quickly and leave the house at much slower rate. This does not include all the other things that I’ve held onto because “I may need it someday.” Well, the day has come to let go.

I recruited my children to participate in the process of revamping the playroom that also functions as our homeschool room. Prior to their engagement, I observed what toys they were actually playing with and the toys that were often in the way of their play. A small selection of toys went to their room and broken toys went to the trash. It was important to me to reduce the visual clutter and not have toy bins overflowing (a constant struggle). In order to complete this task, we put some of their toys in a storage closet that I rotate on occasion. As I rearranged our items, I was much more intentional about the toys that went back into the space. I considered what toys were a canvas that allowed for more imaginative play and less prescribed toys. While my children were not happy at first, I noticed they were less overwhelmed when it was time to clean up the toys they pulled out. They also spent more time in their space during their free time. As toys shifted and bedrooms rearranged a bit, my girls also complained less about our quiet hour during the day.

When the environment changed, it shifted the atmosphere and impacted us all. Toys and other objects in our home are tools to meet our needs; however, they can quickly overwhelm if they are kept beyond their level of usefulness. Creating a nurturing environment is an evolving process that requires frequent assessment and even some shifting of furniture. The beauty is, we have the power to reset our atmosphere and change the flow, energy, and functionality of the space we call home.

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About Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS

About Jeane N. Liburd, MA, CCLS Jeané Liburd has worked in the field of child Iife since 2005. She earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is trained in play therapy. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor for Liberty University. Throughout her career, she has provided services for children and families in various settings including hospitals, pediatric hospice, and community programs. The focus of her work is supporting children and families who have experienced illness, grief, and loss.