Thursday, June 23, 2011

Motherhood - Chapter 20 - A House of Order

Night time has always brought out a deeper thinking more serious side of me. I find myself there tonight. Friends have just left the "Dance" party. We had a good time and good conversation and yummy treats. Now I find myself tired but reluctant to give myself up to sleep just yet.

I am enjoying the peace here in my home in this quiet hour or stillness. Such moments are precious to mothers of young children. The sound track to our lives is often loud and chaotic with crying children, tantrums, whining, excited yells and unrestrained laughter. Stillness is a rare thing for mothers of young ones. And so is "order."

Little by little I am "putting my house in order." And order brings me peace. I have felt a disquietude in my soul  for some time as various areas of my home have collected junk and become cluttered the last 9 or 10 months. Now I finally feel I am in a place where I can tackle some of these junk areas and put them in order once more.

These jobs are our "family chores" that we have done each afternoon while Noble and Harrison nap. We pick one small but messy area and put it in order. I have loved standing back and admiring the results. I had Annie go take some photos of our work thus far:

 Here is our summer schedule all printed up on our newly cleaned of metal magnet board.

 Previously we couldn't even see the floor of this closet under the staircase. Now it is all neatly organized with a shelf for each holiday's decorations and a place for Family Home Evening materials and "mom's special things" box and family games. Each space is labeled and neatly organized. I can't tell you how much peace and joy I get knowing this space is so such order.

One of two "Pencil Drawers" that we organized. This is the kids pencil drawer with their flash cards and pencils and notebooks. The other is mine with the pens and computer papers.

 Another place that gets to quickly trashed! This is the closet right next to our door to our garage. This is where things get thrown when we get home or when we are cleaning up quickly. Now it is an organized space with all the kids and my craft stuff and a space for our church materials too. We even found we had an empty shelf after getting rid of all the junk!

 We traded rooms and closets for Sabrina and Lauren. Now Sabrina sleeps in with Noble and has her own closet. Lauren and Annie share a room. When Harrison gets older we will move Noble back in with him and Sabrina will have her own room. I was glad to clear out the closet and give her a space all to herself.
I found lots of fun things shoved in the linen closet when we cleaned it out. It looks pretty bare in this photo because all my towels were in the laundry at the time. But all the toys and treasures were removed and it left plenty of room for our linens.

Going through this process has made me reflect on the "junk" areas of my soul. How many of those do I need to "clean out" and "put in order?" One baby step at a time we can all make things a bit more ordered in our lives. One day at a time we can choose to do one of those things we have been feeling the need to do to make our lives more ordered. Maybe it is our diet or exercise or how we use our free time or how we speak to our children... whatever area of our life needs "putting in order." If we break it down into a small enough portion we can tackle it little by little until it is an area that brings us peace and joy in our souls.

What do you want to "put in order?"


4 Websters and a Skov said...

Your post was very timely for me since I just posted a blog this morning on organizing my closet. I also want to mention I LOVE your summer schedule idea, and have stolen it. I hope you don't mind. My kids are done school tomorrow and I want us to have a fun, but productive summer together.
You give me so much inspiration each day. Thanks for being you and for sharing "you" with the rest of us.

Jonathan Waite said...

I thought Harry Potter lived under that staircase?

Kris M. said...

My kids and I just started using an app called "Fooducate" for all you IPad and IPhone users. You put in the barcode or scan it and it gives you a rating about your product from A to F. We were very surprised about some of our items. It educates you about how many tsp of sugar are in some products. It also gives you 5 alternative products you could eat, like an apple. So...we have organized our kitchen pantry and will be getting rid of many junky things.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered turning the "space under the stairs" into a playhouse?
Some people cut the door in half for easy observation while still having a front door for the house.
You can have a sitting area, dining area, kitchen, and doll bedroom area.
Shelves or cabinets at the back can hold toys, books, etc.
Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

What is it about having things in order that makes us feel so good. I too, love order in my life. My children are older, but they still love to come home to a clean and orderly house. I think for me, my mind is at ease when I am not looking at a bunch of stuff. I have also learned over the years that it is best to purge every couple of months. I am often surprised at how much we can accumulate, but never use! By the way, thanks for the reminder about putting my "diet" in order:)

Karen UK said...

I've been de-cluttering but due to living on a tiny Island therefore having a tiny house with no storage space it either stays or goes! There's no organising it or tidying it somewhere. I'm having to be ruthless but also feel quite good about it and liberated by it all.
ps. Harry Potter wishes he had an understairs space like that-where's the sloping ceiling?

Anonymous said...

I am de-cluttering these days, slowly but surely, because junk makes me stressed. I've also made some good changes in my family's diet - less sugar, less sodium and more whole grains and vegetables. I thought it would be so hard to give up prepared foods, but it has been good, refreshing and a huge relief for my mind and checking account. I am in awe of your closets and not because of the organization. My house was built in 1950 and the closest are minimal - you are blessed with closet space!

Anonymous said...

I love love hearing how other mothers do things - not that I could ever replicate but it gives me a goal and some guidelines for what is working for other people. I have been treading water since having my twins 1 year ago. And really feel like my older 2 have suffered. I always do what I can and constantly have to make adjustments just to survive. Please continue to post the things that work for you & I will keep doing my best to do what is best for all of my babies:)

Cairen said...

love it!

Liz's Blog said...

Hey Steph!
Do you mind sharing some of your family favorite dinner recipes? I know you are fabulous baker and have shared some yummy treats with us...but can you share some yummy dinner ideas?? just a thought! Thanks!
ps...we miss you and you family tons!