Thriving. This is what we all want to be doing, but all too often we find ourselves feeling like we are barely surviving. We are treading water, or worse – drowning. There are times this is a legitimate feeling. Illness, pregnancy, new baby, lack of sleep, moving, job loss, etc. can throw us off of our usual routine and send us down a path where we find a temporary new normal in a lower gear – survival mode. If you are in a time where you are in legitimate survival mode, get some rest and take care of what you must do as best you can. You can come back to this series later, it will still be here.
For those who are ready to Learn How to Live…and to Thrive… read on.
To thrive is a decision. The greater part of this decision is mental, but we need to support this decision with changes to our physical space in order to aid our success. For example, I can make the decision to eat well, but unless I shop for proper food and make a plan to step out of old, bad habits, I am not likely to succeed. In order to thrive in my home, where I spend a large portion of my life, I need to make a plan. Not a plan for a home that works for someone else on Pinterest, or a home that looks great in that catalog in the mailbox – a home that supports the people who live in it. If I am the home-maker, then it is my job to make a home that supports my decision to thrive.
So then, what does it look like to thrive as a homeschooling mother, which is what I am? This is my vision of a delightful home- easy to maintain, pleasant to look at, many cozy spots for reading, a place for everything and everything in its place, a quiet space for prayer, designated toy spaces, organized pantry, bird feeders just out the window to look at, bookshelves (oh, the bookshelves!), neat and easily accessible storage for out of season items… Your list may be the same or radically different, but now is the time to make it. Now is the time to sort out what you want from daily life – then adjust your home spaces to that vision.
This series isn’t about just cleaning your spaces, or just decluttering them, and certainly not about creating spaces that are picture perfect at all times – it is about creating spaces that will help you to thrive in your daily life. Your home can’t do all the work, but it can either aid or sabotage your efforts. Cooking is easier when you can see your ingredients, know your meal plan, and reach your tools with out other tools falling out on you. Cleaning is easier when there is a schedule of chores and the cleaners you need are neatly stored near to the spot they get used frequently. Laundry is easier when there is a method to the madness. Schooling is easier when you know where the books and supplies all reside and they are easily accessible for use and when they need to be put away. When each of these tasks become easier, they take less time. That is time you can now use for those other things in life that bring you joy – reading, writing, crafting, birdwatching, or any amount of other things.
All of this planning and change doesn’t take place over the course of a day, week, or month. At least, we didn’t think we could! We wanted to take our time and do this well. Amy and I are both in the oddly similar situation of living in a home where things are unpacked, but not… ideally placed. Maybe you are in the same boat. Let’s go room by room and make our homes into places that serve our families well and help each member to thrive.
Each week, we’ll discuss some aspect of a room here on the blog. We’ll talk about the room itself and what the purpose of it is. What do we do here, and what do we wish we could do here? What does this room do well, and what can we not stand about it? Is a big change needed, or would a small change be enough to make a big difference? Then we’ll declutter – remove all the things that prevent the room from doing its job well. The rest will be organized so that it can be a room that helps us, rather than hinders us. Lastly, let’s add in a few things that will add beauty and joy. Every room needs to be one that we enjoy being in!
Here is the schedule for going through our homes this year. We will post all the links to this post as we create the posts week by week.
February: The Kitchen
March: Dining Room
July: Outdoor Spaces
October: Living Room