Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Cluttered home? Organization expert shares tips to cull clutter

Posted July 21, 2015
Updated July 22, 2015

Courtesy: Facebook

Editor's Note: This week, Amanda Lamb wrote about her regular work to clear her home of clutter - something many of us struggle with. I checked in with Leah Friedman, a professional organizer who owns Raleigh Green Gables, to share some tips on how to keep the clutter from getting into our houses.

It's a wonderful gift to teach your children the importance of saving money. But some moms get carried away and spend way too much on material items for their children. It's not making them any happier. Having too many toys causes stress for children.

Instead, give children tools to learn how to save their money. And when you do buy gifts for them, give them an experience or a well-made item they can enjoy for a long time.

Try these tips to teach your children to save money:

1. Create a bank accounts for your children. Then encourage grandparents and other family members to give cash as gifts instead of material items. When you see something you want to buy your children, note the price, and put that amount in the account instead of purchasing it.

Gifts to the account do not have to be thousands of dollars. Kids get excited about $5 bills. Take them to the bank and show them where the money is going. Before you know it, there are a few hundred dollars in the account.

2. When it is their birthday or Christmas, and you want to get them a gift, buy your children one or two experiences instead of material items. Studies show experiences make us happier than stuff. (Editor's Note: I love it when my kids get museum memberships or tickets to local kid-friendly concerts and shows).

3. For birthday parties, ask guests not to bring gifts. Parents of the invited guests are typically going to the dollar bin any way. Instead, ask them to bring a can of food and take the collection to the Food Bank. Or ask them to bring dog food and take it to a local animal shelter. This teaches children the importance of giving back to the community, rather than buying more for themselves.

4. Make a list of what you need when you go shopping to avoid impulse buys. If your children beg for stuff while you are shopping, consider leaving them at home. That way you won't get distracted or tempted to buy the item just to make them quiet.

5. Instead of buying 10 cheap toys or handbags or whatever your pleasure is, save up to buy one really good, high-quality item. You can create a saving jar with your children and put money in it, so they can see it growing. Once they have the money, take them to go get the item. When you buy one, high-quality item instead of a bunch of cheap ones, you will really enjoy it, and you will have it for a long time, because it is well made, and it will last.

Friedman is the Raleigh mom of two and owner of Raleigh Green Gables.

Editor's Note: Separately, if you're a mom wondering how you can better manage your money (and steer clear of bringing home more clutter), SB Financial Group will be hosting a program Saturday morning with free child care in Morrisville. Topics include how to make your budget your friend, how to get out of debt and how to save for big events in your life. Registration is required. For more information, email

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  • Shanda Howell Jul 22, 2015
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    Hi, the article gives tips to teach your children to save money, rather than how to clear clutter.