Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From Chaos to Order

I grew up in a home that was chaotic. Both my parents grew up in dorms, first at boarding school then at college. Neither learned how to keep a home, nor did they feel it that important to learn once they did get a house. There were many days when my mom considered it an accomplishment when the dishes made it into the dishwasher. It was a fair trade-off: both my parents worked outside the home, so evening time was better spent together playing games and conversing as a family than cleaning house. Things were very cluttered, but never per say “dirty” because there was not any mold, dirt, etc.

This is how my home with my husband has looked for the past five months. The wedding was the 2nd of August, school started the 18th, and I began my job right after the first of September. Winter Break has opened my eyes, and the cleaning rampage has begun! Organizing might be a better word than cleaning, because like my mom’s house, mine isn’t “dirty.” Just cluttered. And I’ve noticed that when I am home alone all day every day, clutter saps my energy and makes me want to sit on the couch like a bump. No one wants to sew or paint if it will take half an hour to clear the table to do so, if the supplies can even be found from the bottom of the spare closet.

So here’s my goals for the next 2 weeks before Spring Term begins:
1. Get rid of “duplicates”; things that both my husband and I had at our separate apartments and no longer need two of. Example: we have 13 standard sized bed pillows. There’s no excuse – about 10 are headed to the homeless shelter Shaune and I volunteer at.
2. Purge clothes we no longer wear, repair clothes that need it, and take the excesses to the homeless shelter.
3. Hang all the pictures, paintings, and mirrors currently stacked in various corners.
4. Restack dishes, pots, and pans so that those I use regularly can be retrieved without pulling everything out of the counter.
5. Create a cleaning list of 5-minute tasks I can do on a regular basis once school begins again and my time disappears.
6. Create a prayer corner in the spare room to be our quiet retreat.

I’ve never set up a home before and have little experience to go on, so wish me luck! I’m certain there will be many blunders and things I have to rearrange later on but I’ve decided that pressing on is better than waiting for the fairies to do it for me . Do any of my dear readers have any advice for a first-time homemaker? I’d be forever grateful!

1 comment:

Sarah Jane said...

I'm a first time homemaker too and still learning a lot, but I really agree with what you say about clutter! The more I live in my home the more I realize the kind of enviroment I feel most at peace in and most inspired in. For me, that equals open space, clean surfaces and pretty things to look at. So, that's what I go with. :) I keep decluttering and decluttering and pruning things down the more the months go by and, well, I'm MUCH more productive now than I was when we first moved into our first little apartment duplex. Everything is kept at a minimum. It makes it so much easier and faster to clean house, too!