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This week I have culled and minimised – and it feels great! The first thing I did was tackle my kid’s toys. Now that may sound mean, so bear with me while I explain!

After 7 years of fertility treatments, we had two babies fairly quickly. During my pregnancy I was so excited I just started accumulating stuff – I couldn’t go past a baby shop without choosing a gorgeous outfit, or a toy store without stopping for a cute cuddly toy. So by the time bubs came we were totally overloaded. But that didn’t bother me, because I was just so overjoyed to finally be a mum! And so the cycle continued.

Birthdays were ridiculously OTT affairs with clowns, jumping castles, reptile shows and more than enough food to feed the small army of invading toddlers that were invariably invited. Always a great day, with many presents received – to add to the ever expanding collection.

Don’t get me wrong – I certainly have spent a lot of money on “things” for my children. But we’ve also enjoyed some really special experiences as a family. My husband had a heart attack when my youngest was 2 months old, so it’s really important for me that my family has lots of shared special experiences, because you just never know what’s around the corner! So we have a rather beautiful caravan and we’ve had many wonderful camping trips in it; we’ve travelled to north Queensland and visited Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Airlie Beach; we’ve gone to the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum; we’ve gone to shows including The Cat in the Hat, Dora, The Wiggles, Nitro Circus; and we’ve may many wonderful experiences just riding our bikes, or going to the beach. I’m totally a “snap happy” mum and enjoy making photo books of our experiences, and my eldest boy loves to go through the books and reminisce.

And the cull and minimisation hasn’t stopped in the kid’s room – I’ve gone through my own stuff and donated clothes and shoes that haven’t been worn for ages, books that have been read and are cluttering up the shelf, magazines that are taking up room in the cupboard.

And with a child’s birthday coming up in February, I was dreading the influx of toys, and the expectations of another grand affair. So I thought about it, and Jayden and I had a little chat about what he’d like for his 4th birthday and this is what we’ve come up with – he’s chosen one special friend (and that special friend’s family) and we’re going to spend a wonderful day together at Dreamworld, and have a Ben 10 cake at the end of the day to blow out the candles. He’s super excited – more excited than I’ve seen my kids about any of the extravagant parties that have been throw in the past. If I can instil in my 4 year old the value of an experience and time with loved ones, rather than things, then I think that’s a great lesson to learn!

For my children, I haven’t gotten rid of all their things! I’ve kept things that are educational or encourage imagination – books, puzzles, crafts, Lego, dress-up clothes. Although this is a fairly new change, the difference I’ve seen in my children is amazing – they’re fighting less, they’re talking more, they’re using their imagination and making amazing creations with the Lego and producing beautiful art, they’re thinking about what they’re doing, and they’re packing up after themselves! For me, it’s a wonderful feeling to clear out all the clutter and not feel so bogged down with “stuff”.

So you’re probably wondering why this post from a bookkeeping company?

Here’s why. The lightness I felt from de-cluttering, and the difference I can see in my children already, got me thinking about de-cluttering in business. There are many facets to running a successful business and some of them you enjoy and are great at, others are a burden and they don’t get done well or at all. So what can you cull and minimise in your business that’s going to give you back some energy and remind you of the passion you had in the beginning? Maybe it’s getting somebody to help you with your social media campaigns; maybe it’s somebody to take care of your bookkeeping, payroll and BAS obligations; maybe it’s somebody to help you be accountable in your business, such as a coach or mentor; maybe it’s somebody to simply clean the house so you can concentrate on your work. Whatever it is that’s going to help, just do it – you won’t regret it!

Guest Post: Sarah Stein WAHM Bookeeping Expert

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