at home

Ideas on decor and projects to enliven your home and make it fabulous inside and out

Can Clutter Become a Source of Stress?

September 28, 2018

I’m going to go ahead and answer that right away: you bet it can! Being unorganized is unhealthy, it will sap your energy and steal precious moments of your life.

When I first opened my home-based business, I found myself working irregular hours and often on a tight schedule. I’d get up, help the kids get ready for school, have a quick breakfast and start my day. I could work for hours on my projects without paying much attention to what was going on in our house. Dishes piled up, the laundry room turned to a mess, toys were scattered about every room, beds weren’t made…

Then came the weekend and I’d find myself overwhelmed by the sight of all the disorder that had accumulated over the week. We’d usually waste a whole day per weekend simply tidying up. But that wasn’t all, the clutter and tasks piling up day after day became a heavy burden that was constantly on my mind and it had a very negative effect on my productivity. I knew this was a bad habit, so I carved out time from my busy schedule and created a housework plan. I needed something efficient, but nothing too time consuming for weekdays. It turned out that investing a little time here and there had a dramatic effect. Another bonus: I felt so much lighter and that was such a blessing!

The first step was the longest because we had to go through each room to check for clothes that didn’t fit and all items that weren’t useful to us anymore. Anything that was still in good condition, we donated. I also made a trip to the dollar store for pretty boxes to store keepsakes and other items that didn’t have a place to call home. After everything was organized, I found it much easier to keep the whole house clean on a daily basis.

Tips to Keep your Home Tidy all Week              

Have everyone make their bed first thing in the morning. When school is over, lunch boxes and water bottles are to be set on the counter, ready to be washed for the next day. This was a good habit to implement because there were times when we’d be running around in the morning trying to get lunches together with no lunch boxes to be found.

Another good practice is to create a personalized space for each child to hang up coats, put away shoes and backpacks, that way everything is all set for the next outing. I can’t tell you how many times my kids would be late to grab their bus because of a missing shoe or boot!

Before bed, have everyone check the house for items that may have been left lying around. It only takes a few minutes but it keeps the house looking fabulous! I also make it a point to tidy up the kitchen after each meal and do the dishes right away. That way, I no longer spend 45 minutes picking up after dinner and have more time to enjoy the evening.

The chart that I have created and which works great for my family includes daily tasks for each member of the family. There are many things that children can help out with, and not only is this great for mom and dad, but for them as well. It’s teaching them to be self-sufficient and responsible. To get your children in the spirit of tidying up, it’s always a great idea to set-up a reward system, like a weekly payday or planning special outings.

We often hear that our inner self reflects our outer self, but the contrary is also true when it comes to a messy home. Decluttering the spaces around us has a decluttering effect on the mind because it frees us from continual thoughts of “I need to get this done.” Since we’ve been keeping our home organized in this manner, I am much more productive. Plus, it feels so rewarding to have everything nice and clean by the time the weekend comes around. Now we can fully enjoy Saturday and Sunday. In addition, we feel better and have more energy and enthusiasm to start a new week. Plan out a daily schedule that works best for you and get the whole family on board. You’ll see that a clean home is a happy home!

 

The Story of a Small but Truly Satisfying Mission

August 21, 2018

Next to our home, which we moved into a year ago, was a wooden box filled with soil. Honestly, I thought about taking it apart, getting rid of its contents and replacing the patch with fresh sod. It was an eyesore to say the least. But my ten year old daughter had a plan for it and started to pull the weeds. She wanted to grow watermelons. That made me smile of course.

We were already at the beginning of June and I wondered if taking on such a task was worthwhile. Out here, near the Rockies, snow can come as early as mid-September and most veggies need about ninety days to mature. However, my daughter’s determination got the whole family (of four) to pitch in the very next day. We set out for a few tomato and pepper plants, seeds and fertilizer. In as little as a few hours, we had something great going on. We said goodbye to every last weed and hello to new life.

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It didn’t look like much at first, but eight weeks later, I’m happy to report that it’s actually thriving! There were a few surprises along the way though, that needed immediate attention. We have a few strawberry plants and were quite excited when the first berries began to show. But one-by-one, the nearly ripe strawberries disappeared. I thought it might be birds, but it wasn’t. The mystery went on until one day, we finally caught the culprit… it was one of our dogs... Lola. She's a Labrador and will eat anything she can get her paws on! From that moment, we knew that building a fence was an absolute must, in fact, we’d been lucky because deer and hares abound in the area.

All in all, our little patch of heaven takes a bit of TLC, but the reward is tremendous. We harvested our first batch of radishes a few weeks ago, now we’re picking clusters of ripe cherry tomatoes, lettuce and Swiss chard… what a sense of joy and accomplishment!

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