Friday, February 17, 2012

Simplification Begins: An update on our goals

Keeping house has been a challenge for me ever since we got married. I really admire women (and men) who seem to organize naturally. For me, it's been a skill to be learned, painfully and slowly. Not only do I have chronic mess-blindness and a tendency to be lazy, but we haven't exactly had a lot of time to just...clean.

We moved into our home during the first trimester nausea, had a productive 3-4 months in mid pregnancy and then a painful and difficult last 2 months. After that, our colicky bundle of joy arrived and just as the colic ended we moved to Florida for 6 months. When we returned we were greated with scenes like this one:

A frightening view of our master bedroom. I didn't take any of the main rooms, but imagine ever surface covered in clutter and burp clothes stewn about on the floor

Although our house hasn't been at that level of disorganization in quite a while, it seemed like we were always 2 steps behind the clutter. Honestly, it was a lot like being in debt. We were already behind, so getting ahead took at least double the effort. We decided that we needed to get out of organization "debt" and make our house start working for us.

Over the month of February, David and I threw every spare minute of our time into getting the 3 main rooms of the house in order. We decluttered the kitchen island, dining room table and desk. We set up a paper mangement system to keep paper from taking over again. We (and two of David's awesome brothers) rearranged living room furniture to make the room more functional.

To do all this, while keeping up with cooking, dishes, floors, laundry and our teaching commitments at church, we sacrificed a lot of time with one another and a little sleep. We decided that for a short season the loss was worth the gain.

Boy was it ever! Having a living space that works for us is so refreshing.There are still a few small projects to tackle in each room, but our decluttering goal is well under way and our paper management goal is officially checked off! Sadly, I forgot to take "before" photos so you'll have to just imagine papers piled on every flat surface in the room.

A look at the dining room from the kitchen entrance. Note the easy access to the high chair. Nothing must delay food from reaching that destination. The hearts on the wall are from Valentine's Day

I can see my desk again! I still need to sort through the dozen binders and notebooks stacked on the right side, but this is serious progress.

The livingroom. The lighting isn't as good because I had to take these shots at night. Let's face it, with a toddler in the house, it's the only time of day the floor isn't covered in toys.

The view from the diningroom. In case anyone is wondering, the indoor slide is how you keep an active toddler from going crazy during a wet winter here in the north

You'll notice there's no photo of the kitchen island. That would be because it's gotten cluttered again. That is definitely our "catch all" spot!

Not surprisingly, all this sucess has left me even more motivated to keep chipping away at the clutter. Next month, I'll be continuing the process with Project Simplify. If you'd like to join me, just click the button on the side bar : )


AmyKB said...

I love the rug in your living room!

Sarah_Joy said...

Thanks Amy! Lowes : )

DiploNerds said...

Awesome work, can you come work on our house now, especially in organizing paper?!

In my mind I am awesome at organizing things at home, in reality I am lazy haha.

Jeni said...

Yes a slide in the living room is the true secret to sanity when living with toddlers! I love ours!!

You make me want to simplify so badly. I am in over my head here... ack!

Sarah_Joy said...

Lol Jeni! I feel the same way. I'm so sentimental it's hard for me to part with anything. I just keep telling myself one-bite-at-a-time...and you have just a few more bites on your plate at the moment than I do : )