All the clothing is for future seasons so I need to be thoughtful about where I store it between now and then. It requires just enough planning and action that it's currently sitting in various piles throughout the house, which is what happens to items that don't have a "home."
The same friend also gave me a seemingly fabulous construction crane set, which immediately began making a buzzing noise that would not stop. No button-pushing could end it and I wasn't smart enough to figure out where the battery might reside so I had to put it outside until it quit. Want it? Just kidding...I would never do that to you.
This experience reminds me that I need to be careful about bringing stuff into our home, even if it's useful, even if it's free. These generous gifts actually diminish my quality of life if I don't have a plan for integrating them (and ideally, getting rid of something else in exchange).
Most days it feels like I am doing minute-by-minute battle against disorder and it's grown more noticeable since Ezra became mobile. I can no longer be casual about messes, saving them for a Sunday cleaning blitz like Matthew and I used to do before children. Obviously, a toddler is a Mess Generator Extraordinaire, with limited capacity to put things away, but the older child is quite capable of putting away toys and dirty dishes into the sink. I need to be more disciplined in my expectations of them both, building in time for cleaning up before we move on to the next activity in our daily routines. It's not only the children, though, let's be totally honest. I've had a container with newborn pacifiers, nipple cream and diaper fasteners on the kitchen table for 3 months now because I don't know how to get rid of them and someone out there
definitely, maybe might want them.
I'm gaining clarity around my strong negative reactions to clutter and mess. I feel anxious and unfocused. I have a hard time doing what needs doing because I'm distracted and the surface I need to work on is unavailable. Confession: when Matthew didn't clean the kitchen this morning (his primary domestic task), I refused to make dinner tonight because I find it too stressful to work in a cluttered kitchen. Yep, I'm
principled petty like that...
Conversely, I breathe more easily and feel calmer when my house is in order. I love coming down in the morning to a clean kitchen! It is a Top 20 pleasure in my life (I am a simple woman and I know it). My physical space influences my emotions, my moods, my psyche and the reality is that I have to be really careful about taking in free stuff. There is a cost, turns out.
Got ideas for keeping your house a sanctuary while raising young kids? Please share!