I have this belief that if there is an area of the home that gets messy over and over, that whatever system I have in place there is not working. I know, that isn’t exactly ground-breaking stuff. But before Minimalism came into my world, I used to see this as an organizational issue. So… when the mail and art projects piled up on the kitchen counter, I bought a storage contraption to contain it. When the kids’ art corner was a disaster every night, I bought even more storage containers to hold the growing amount of stuff.
Then I realized that these areas of chaos are an opportunity of a different kind… they allow me to stop and consider if I even WANT any of this stuff. And if I don’t want it, need it, or love it… I need to decide how I can get rid of it or keep in from coming into my life in the first place.
I realized with the mail situation, that our favorite art should be displayed and the rest can go, and that a large percentage of the mail we were getting was actually catalogs. These catalogues were, of course, directly contributing to my buying things I don’t need…. So I cancelled almost all of them. (Anthropologie is my weakness… the photos are so beautiful!) The bills go on the desk in the office to be paid ASAP or sooner (we delegate chores and that one is hubby’s). Cards and letters are read, appreciated, and then put on display with the kids art until the next Trashing of Art Projects.
So by tweaking how we deal with the mail right when or even before it comes it, the problem almost fixed itself.
Up until this morning, another area of continuous mess was my daughter’s closet floor. My sweet daughter, like her Mama, adores her friends but has no problem spending an afternoon reading books in a quiet room. In recent months, I started finding her not just in her room, but in her closet! She was climbing into the bin that I keep in her closet to house outgrown clothes until the box gets full and it heads off to my niece.
And then, she started making that little space hers. She would toss the outgrown clothes out and use pillows, blankets, and lovies to make what she called her “Nest.” I kept picking up said clothes, refolding them, putting the blankets away, etc. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
This morning it hit me. That box of clothes doesn’t have to live there. I have plenty of room in my closet, which is right across the hall. Why not let her keep her little quiet place and quit fighting it?
So, this morning, I moved the box, did a little tidying, and remade her little nest for her. When I called her up to see it, it was clear by her gasp that I had given her a great gift. She carefully climbed in, pulled out a book, and snuggled in her nest. Sigh.
Sometimes we keep swimming upstream because we don’t step back to see the big picture. This week I am going to try to identify areas around the house (and life, always life) where I am doing just that. Then, I’m going to step back, evaluate, and figure out how to go with the flow.
Hope it feels this good every time!:)