A few years ago, when we moved into this house, I had a great plan to keep everything organized. I love when you unpack and there is “a place for everything and everything in its place” and I had the goal to keep it that way. It didn’t exactly happen…
Now, as I have written before, I like to consider myself an organized person.
At heart, I know I am an organized person (My closet IS organized by sleeve length and color, from dark to light), and I LOVE it when everything is in its place and clutter free.
However, my house did not stay in that super-organized just unpacked zone for very long and I attributed that to the following factors:
•when we moved into this house, I never got to organize initially the way I wanted, because baby Brooke was born a mere 2 weeks after we moved in.
•I went back to Graduate School for another Master’s right after we moved.
•I am hopelessly outnumbered by children, who seem to not share my love of minimalism…
•There are only so many hours in a day and what “gives” on a day where there is not enough time is usually the house.
So, what happened for me was this. One day I woke up and said I was ready for my life to be different. To look different. But more than that, I wanted things to be more peaceful. I would never be a true minimalist (I think that is mere impossible for crafters, or people with five or more children), but I knew there was a beautiful and organized home just waiting to be enjoyed underneath the toys and papers. I had to decide I really wanted it.
I had to commit to getting my house really organized–for keeps: To apply minimalism and organization to each room down to the closet and drawers, so that I wake up each day in a clean and clutter free environment (read: not lose my sanity half way through a semester or a tax season or a homeschool lesson), and to rethink, and refresh the decor and aesthetic of my home to turn each room into an inspired space. (If you want to check out pictures of my home, French Pemberley, then click here.)
An inspired space. (The very thought of this makes my heart smile).
Some people think minimalism means doing without. To simplify means not having things you want. But I want to share a secret. Simplifying is about what you get, now what you no longer have…
The Five Gifts you receive when you Simplify
1. The Gift of Peace of Mind: I am a minimalist at heart, so clutter free spaces and clear counter tops for me are a necessity to my mental well being. I read somewhere that people sleep better in a serene uncluttered bedroom versus a cluttered, chaotic one. I would say in my own personal experience that is true.
2. The Gift of Peace of Parenting: I want to set the example to the kids of a home that is well taken care of (not chaotic), which is particularly important since their home doubles as their school. As mothers, our home is one area where we draw pride and accomplishment; especially if we are stay at home mothers. Having a cluttered home not only affects us, but (if we are homeschoolers) our children’s ability to learn and focus.
3. The Gift of More Time: Less time looking for things and weekly maintenance/cleaning takes less time when there is no clutter. This can also be called the Gift of less stress.
4. The Gift of Healthier Finances: No money spent on buying duplicates of items we already have. More money saved. Less spending on things that aren’t a priority. Being pro-active in your efforts to simplify will immediately change how you discern if something new is worth the purchase or not. It is amazing how many things we realize we can live without when we simplify our lifestyle, even a little bit.
5. The Gifts of Happiness and Hospitality: A home to be proud of. A carefully curated life. Imagine being surrounded by only things that you find useful or beautiful…with nothing else clouding that view. How much more happier would you be? How much more often would you entertain and be able to enjoy the in person fellowship of friends and family?
and here is a bonus one:
6. The Gift of Creativity: It is amazing how much more creative you can be when you know where all your supplies are and there are clear counters and tables on which to work, build and create…when you do not have to clean or put away prior to letting yours or your children’s creativity commence!
These are great gifts. Each one, building on the next, to create a peaceful happy home.
It won’t be easy. Not that it is difficult, but it does come with it’s own set of challenges.
These were MY challenges to getting and staying organized. (Yours may be different):
•homeschool books, supplies and projects
•My husband (while I am a minimalist, he is a “keeper”…wants to keep everything and his “system” of keeping everything is “piles”).
•lack of time; between homeschool, a career, and kids’ activities, almost every hour of every day is taken by an activity that is a bigger priority than cleaning closets or drawers.
•my constantly growing book collection; apparently, I am hoarding cookbooks, craft books and travel books for the zombie apocalypse…Apparently, I plan to cook and knit A LOT during said apocalypse…
•craft books, supplies and projects…let’s call this one what it really is: “The Yarn Stash”…
So here is my challenge to you: If you have been saying “I need to organize my homeschool” or “I really need to organize the _____ room” (or the whole house), or if any of these sound like something that would make you happy once completed, then the challenge is to start today.
So, my challenge to you. Ask yourself:
•am I organized? is my home? Would I be happier if I were? (Because this isn’t about bragging rights or comparisons, this is about you–your inner peace, your happiness.)
•If yes (good for you! If not, make your own list of what you think is keeping you from being organized.
•Make a list of positive reasons/benefits of having an organized space….your home and your homeschool.
•Make a list of the areas you want to revamp.
Need more information or inspiration?
If you are interested in living a simpler (but fuller) life, then may I suggest the following amazing blogs:
Are you ready to simplify? What do you think is the hardest part? Getting started or is there an area you dread tackling? Leave a comment and share!