"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bringing Order

Thank you to Maya for inspiring this post. She linked this article entitled “Stuff”, which really spoke to me about steps I’ve been engaging in recently to make our home more live-able.

Since the arrival of our second son, we’ve quickly started to feel like we’re outgrowing our home. Which is a bit ridiculous, considering it’s 500 more square feet than the homes either of us grew up in with our siblings. Not to mention that we are planning to move from the ‘burbs closer to the downtown area, which more than likely means a smaller house, due to the difference in prices.

We are in a constant struggle to keep our basement tidy. And it’s not developed, just a big storage room with some space for food storage and a laundry area. We’ve been wanting to develop it for a while to give our kids a big open play space and so I can have a TV-free room upstairs. When done, it will consist of a large open area for TV and play, an open office space, a laundry room, small bathroom and storage room.

So, the cleaning out began and the garage sale pile was started. I think we did quite well. But I think we can do more. I’ve started work on my current office space, and it’s coming along nicely. Next will be the kitchen, then the boys’ toys again.

Before Christmas I cleaned out our oldest son’s toys, putting most into storage for when our younger son is old enough for them. But I still can’t believe what’s left! So, I think I’m going to implement a new rule for all of us. For every new thing that comes into the house, 2 things must go.

Which then brings up the whole consumerism argument. Do I want to be that much of a consumer? Do I want my home to be a constant rotation of ‘things’ and ‘stuff’, each just as disposable to us as the last? No.

So, in addition to the new rule, when something new comes in, we shall do our best to ensure its quality and longevity is up to our standards. That it is something we will love to have with us for a long time. We should be surrounding ourselves with things that bring us joy. And when something leaves the house, it will either be sold or donated, so long as it is in reasonable condition. Otherwise it will go in the recycling pile if possible. The landfill is the last resort.

I see the effects of clutter on our moods, how we deal with each other, even on my son’s behavior. We are calm, easygoing and generally on time more often when our surroundings have an order to them.


Tracey said...

Clutter causes chaos. I totally agree. Good luck on the purge.

Maya said...

Good luck on this too. It's such a struggle in today's society of buy more.

Mimi said...

Wow, Debbie! What an interesting post! I know exactly how you feel, and I can say that when we moved from our 2 bedroom apt to our 3 bdr house with bsmt, attic, and garage, we SWORE we would not immediately fill every available space with stuff. So we had a rule, and it was 'new thing in? something out!" but you're right, that's a very waste-heavy way to look at things.

So we try to buy less. It's hard with Munchkin, but not impossible. I mean, her room doesn't even have a closet, but we've still got plenty of room for all her stuff. Less clutter == mental peace.

Kristi said...

Great post. We are constantly battling the clutter in my small house too, and I love your rule that for every new item you bring in, two must go. We live in a world driven by mass consumerism, and I want to raise my daughter to realize that it's people and relationships not things that truly matter.