Gwenyth Paltrow, the GOOP Podcast & me

Why decluttering and creating a schedule can help kids NOW

Do you feel disoriented, stressed, and overwhelmed by what’s going on?  Most of us do.  So, how do you think this is affecting our kids?  Our children look to us to see how we’re behaving and what we’re saying for a sense of how “safe” they are.  If we’re feeling uncertain and scared, we’re most likely acting out of our amygdala, the part of the brain that processes fear – that “fight or flight” phenomenon.  What we want to do is get out of that high cortisol state of fear and move into the rational, reasoning part of the neocortex.  And how do we do that?  By focusing not on our fear but by controlling what we can and creating order and structure.   An excellent way to do both is to declutter.   Decluttering gives us control over our environment and provides a calm and peaceful space to learn, create and enjoy.  Creating space for our children that is peaceful and ordered – by offering limited choices, removing the unneeded and unused, opening up space for play and learning – gives children, and ourselves, that much-needed sense of order when things feel so very out-of-order.


Back to Gwenyth and GOOP.

I listened to a GOOP podcast that featured family counselor, school consultant and educator Kim John Payne who gave some great tips  to help parents and kids adjust to this “new normal”.   Two of his tips really struck me as critical, especially now, but are always key in creating the space and life you want.  Declutter kids’ spaces to create a calming environment to reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm; Payne calls these emotions “disorientation”.  Also, he emphasized the importance of setting up schedules and rituals at home that mimic the care/school structure children are used to.  Not being able to find their things and not knowing what to expect makes children anxious and unable to focus.  Now more than ever, we need to create calm, peaceful spaces so our children can entertain themselves especially if we are trying to #WFH.  Check out my blog post on Organizing Your Space to be Most Productive on my website.

Create a calm environment through decluttering.  Develop a routine and schedule you and your children can count on to help make this experience easier for everyone.