OK. So now I have been faithfully spending 1/2 hour per day (no more, no less) on officially decluttering and organizing our home for the last 6 days. The large cabinet by the back door that wouldn't shut as of last Monday is now nicely organized with every single thing I haven't ever used or that I have rarely used either thrown out, in a give away pile, or in a stack to be readied for a garage sale. This is all wonderful. I love it when things are neat and organized. I actually *used* to be a perfectionist, but then God blessed me with 9 children to cure me of that illness!
I love these looks:
I mean, those looks make me feel all happy inside! Love it, wish it could be my house or closet!
I think it might be time for a little reality check, though. What am I really like? Most of you who know me know that I am a free spirit. I'm the creative type--the kind of homeschooling mom who loves to get out supplies (or things that aren't supposed to be supplies) to let the kids run with their imaginations, no matter how large the mess they may create. "We can clean up later" is usually my motto. And we usually do clean up later to where it is "good enough." I let go of "perfect" a long time ago! It is so funny to me when strangers (or even acquaintances who don't know me well) tell me I must be so organized and have everything so "together." Obviously this notion is due to the sheer number of children we have. Somehow the fact that I have 9 children makes me organized. If just the fact that I have a large family could make our home be neat and organized, that would be lovely. Unfortunately in our case, almost the opposite is true, especially if you add in the free-spirited, creative mama along with 4 creative, social and exuberant girls and 5 rambunctious, rough-n-tumble, Lego-building, mud-lovin' boys as well! If you were to stop in at our house at most times, you would find the very lived-in look! Usually at least the dishes are done and the counters and table are cleaned and the floor is swept, unless we are in the middle of a project (which is a lot of the time!). But there are probably toys and homeschooling materials around the room, just about everywhere you look!
I recently ran across a prayer journal of mine from when Todd and I were just starting our family. I laughed out loud when I read the prayers I had written regarding getting the house organized and decluttered. It seems as though this is an ongoing theme in my life. This time, however, I am really hoping to be extremely committed to actually getting rid of the things that are weighing me down, instead of just moving them around. That is one of the ways in which I have "decluttered" in the past.
So far, on my new decluttering adventure, I have purged several things I have bought or been given for my kitchen and then never used, including one of three crockpots (I still have 2 more, but I regularly use both), a Food Saver used maybe once in our marriage, cookie cutters I've never used, canning supplies, a meat coating set from Pampered Chef (we are going almost Vegan these days, so don't need that!), and various other rarely or never used items that were clogging up that cabinet! I'm trying really hard to go ahead and get the stuff out, even if I think I *might* use it in the future or imagine myself magically starting to use something I've never used in many many years. It's most likely I won't use them and they'll just remain as clutter.
I am sure that as always I will need to make decluttering a habit if I want things to remain simple and fairly organized. This definitely goes against my nature in many ways, but I have a renewed excitement for simplifying! I am looking at things differently, keeping in mind that I also have a busy household with 9 children ages 14 and under, so I can't be too hard on myself. At the same time, I can't use the large family as an excuse to let things go by the wayside either. All the stuff, the "too much stuff," reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Scripture:
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3
It is so easy to get tangled in stuff, to get distracted by things (possessions) and schedules, so that we lose our focus on The Most Important Thing--Christ and our relationship with Him.
I'm praying my journey helps me continue to free myself up, untangle myself so that I may focus on the Truly Important! May you be blessed as well.