May 28, 2013


Living room 1
When the living room looks like this, I feel peace. 

I have read of others taking month-long challenges to make their beds every day.  I have yet to be bothered by my unmade bed, but a living room littered with toys, books and half-folded laundry nearly drives me bonkers.  

You'd think that knowing this about myself would lead me to pick up the living room on a daily basis, but that isn't the case.

My own mom is a picker-upper.  Walk into her house and you will definitely not find a random shirt or shoe lying in the middle of the living room floor.  I grew up with this and I think it contributes to my own desire for an uncluttered space and having things put away. 

There was a particular family that both my sister and I babysat for when we were teenagers that lived at the opposite end of this spectrum.  I remember feeling a sense of shock the first time that I walked into their house.  Up until that point,  I'd had  no idea that it could be "okay" to live with things strewn here and there.  There house wasn't dirty and they weren't hoarders, it just felt like they were really living life and not particularly concerned with where their various items found homes. 

I would say that we fall pretty much right in the middle of these two extremes.  It depends on the day and it depends on my mood, but there are times when you could find our home in either place. 

Currently, we are in a stage of life that seems to require a bit of a mess.  We play on the floor all day long.  Playing = toys and books all over the place.  I appreciate this because I want our home to be lived in and enjoyed.  And it is. 

But, I can relax much more easily when the living room floor is cleared of clutter. 

For the past few weeks, I have been challenging myself to pick things up, on a daily basis, once Sam is in bed.  

He goes to bed early, so I get to enjoy the clean floor for a few hours in the evening and start my next day with things in order.  I haven't been perfect, but since I have taken the time to really notice how much better I feel when it is done has really motivated me to keep it up.  

Since we only keep one bucket of toys, one bucket of books and one container of blocks in the living room, it only takes five or ten minutes to get everything put away.  It's not so hard to convince myself to get 'er done when I know that I'm only investing five minutes of my time.  

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