I’ve been feeling pretty itchy this summer and not only due to it being full on mosquito season here. Intuitively I know that this subtle underlying anxiousness is a symptom of a need for some decluttering and organizing to happen in the Happy House. Truth be told it’s not too crazy but I’m kind of a minimalist when it comes to ‘stuff’ and I believe the kids function more optimally and imaginatively with less distraction around and, let’s face it, clean up happens way smoother when there’s less things to contend with and there are designated places to place such things. Less clean up time equals more knitting. Right?
If you want to jump on this bandwagon with me you should check out this beautiful post in the Parenting Passageway, part of Carrie’s Serene Summer Series. This article led me to her recommendation of a book called “The Well Ordered Home – Inviting Serenity to Your Life” that’s now on my wishlist. That’s one of the magic words; serenity! That is what I’m inviting, requesting and envisioning here.
Around the same time I was presented with Goddess Leonie’s Creating Your Goddess Haven e-course . Mmmm… haven. I actually started with it but I only got so far as making the table chart for rooms on one side and what to keep, toss etc on the other. Unfortunately I got side railed with some pressing summer projects to complete but will be revisiting this beautiful offering from the Goddess once some of these endeavours are put to bed. I believe there will be a study group of this course next month that will probably fun to participate in.
Finally I picked up my copy of Simplicity Parenting again got really inspired to make less more. The author, Kim John Payne suggests to start with toys and books. The books, both the kids’ and grown ups’, were driving me particularly cuckoo so I started there. I decided to challenge myself to actually tackle this task by doing at least ten minutes of clearing each time Craig whisks the kids away for Daddy fun time so they won’t have the opportunity to offer protest or cramp my toss out style. Simple! Because, really, they honestly have never noticed anything missing when they come back. Rest assured contentiously precious items are never fully expelled to never ever land – they just go away on a little holiday to this exotic destination known as “La Shangri Shed”. This weekend, right after I waved bye bye to them as went on their exciting adventure to the dump and right before I dove into my Mommy time projects, I threw every single kid book in the house into a pile and made four piles out of that; keepers, seasonal, to be stored and to be donated.
I only kept about three books out for each child (the ones they seem particularly into these days) along with all the summer themed books and kept all of these (about twelve books all together) in a basket kept in the play area. The seasonal books I keep in totes marked with the appropriate seasons and that is where they’ll be kept until fall, winter or spring rolls around again. Then there is big tote bin that I put the keepers in and that will be lugged out whenever the book stash needs refreshing or if a couple of super rainy/snowy days happen all in a row, or whining needs to be put to a quick stop before Mommy loses it.
The donated pile is pretty self-explanatory and damn, that pile feels good.
Actually, that whole thing feels pretty darn tootin’ good. And no one has even noticed anything has happened yet. Funny! The next dump trip I’m going to to apply the same process with the toy situation.
And then I suppose I should plug through Craig and my unruly book collection. Please note this picture was taken when we first moved here about four years ago. I don’t want to hurt your monitor with the monstrosity that is the state of it today. It’s still colour coded but there’s some serious squishing going on. It’s either cull time or get a new book shelf time. We don’t have room for the latter so cull time it is. Especially white books – why are there so many white spined books out there?!
Updated to add I’m offering a whole ecourse devoted to simplifying your family’s environment October 2012 ~ check it out!!!