My interests have changed these past six weeks or so. As those who are close to me will attest, I have never been too much into order and neatness in the home. I work to keep the chaos at bay, but I am perfectly fine with stacks here and there of stuff. I have preferred to spend my time working on projects, knitting, reading, planning, etc. But this has all changed as of late. I cannot get enough order in my life. A well-ordered home has actually become a close-to-obsessed hobby of mine. Knitting and reading have dropped on my priority levels and instead I’m always tidying, sorting, cleaning up the house.
I have found myself at times lamenting the fact that we live in a relatively small house in American terms (15oo sq ft) for a family of six who homeschool and are always at home, but those feelings of discontent have now pretty much disappeared. I am thankful for my smaller home, with a busy working kitchen, laundry being pushed through (hopefully) twice a day and loud echoes in our bare-floored house. It is, by far, much easier to clean. And so I’ve been on a rampage to get rid of more stuff, to try to make this ordered life a tad easier. It does feel freeing, easier, to have a clean home.
After recognizing this inner shift of priority in myself, I was saddened because of what I first thought was a loss of creativity. Now I see the itch for creating beauty has been moved to space instead of things, and having defined that, I am happily moving on in the quest for order.
School work is so much more pleasurable on a clean dining room table, and so spraying it down and sweeping underneath has been delegated to the children as Table Chores after each and every meal. My own desk has been completely cleared off so that I can sit down at any time with my planner, cookbooks, bible studies, whatever, and get right to work rather than spend time trying to get the atmosphere just right first. A new sleek cabinet helps to corral our homeschooling supplies with a basket on top which is emptied out each night from whatever collects there throughout the day. My most used bulk foods are kept filled on a regular basis so the work in the kitchen can take place when needed, as needed, without spending time to find the right stuff. Cookbooks are being sorted through and purged, although I am keeping the ones I’ve inherited from my mom which show this generational quest for real, good foods. (Side note: that Vegetarian Planet cookbook was actually a birthday request of mine in early college…who asks for such an in-depth cookbook as a 19-year old? I don’t know if Keith knew what he was getting into when he married me as far as this strange seriousness of all things food I have always had!).
I love seeing my girls’ handwriting evolve. We stopped using handwriting workbooks and instead practice using copy-work. They work on a poem or song or bible verse all week, tracing and copying, and then at the end of the week use their most beautiful handwriting to write it all on their own. I love that they’re meditating on the words they’re writing rather than just rushing through boring workbooks. Somehow this adds to a cleaner, more lovelier home – getting rid of the stuff and focusing on what is good.
What I am now personally having to work on – not becoming obsessive about order, nor grumpy when the home flat out refuses to look good some days…
My favorite inspiration lately is this incredible cabin…it is a magical blog-place I keep going back to over and over…