Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Driven by decluttering

I am so happy.  I'm almost done with the bi-annual clothing "change-over."  It's never limited to clothing - I usually include the bookshelves and the toy stash and the paper piles and the cupboards and the kid's rooms.

The only places that remain to be sorted and straightened are the big guys' room and the shed.  Yes, I plan to tackle the shed.  I usually give fair warning.

The big guys' room may pose a problem.  I think there are seven computer hard-drives and at least a few spare monitors, along with box after box of extra cords and cables.  (There are hazards to living with computer geeks.  They don't part with old equipment easily.  The upside is that they can construct a computer for you at any given moment.  Handy, that.)

Then there are the legos.  Oh, the legos.  Any mother with boys of a certain size knows what I'm talking about.

The big girls worked hard to declutter their room.  Some bits of their childhood were boxed up and placed in the attic.  I am sure that was hard for them, but it is a part of growing up and they enjoy the extra space.  I think they enjoy their room a lot more now that they have room to breathe.

We are a family of ten that lives in a 1800 square foot house.  I'm aware that for some this means that we have no room at all, and for others we have room to squander.  We're very grateful that God has provided it for us, and that it is paid for.

I will say that without a garage, a basement, and only one room with a very small closet, I have to stay on top of the junk.  (We have a wet cellar.)

My husband has worked hard over the last two weekends to modify a little walk-in "attic" under the eaves of one side of our roof.  Before his work, it was grungy, had missing boards, and nails that were sticking out everywhere.  A real hazard for me every time I ventured in to find the next size of shoes or a particular clothing item.

Now, the "attic" has solid floorboards and the sloping roof is paneled (taken from another remodeling project, of course) and there is even carpet on the flooring.  This morning I spent an hour or so in the attic, labeling totes and tucking in last minute items to hand down to the next child.  Man.  That felt GOOD! 

Little by little we continue to settle into this over 100 year old house and make it work for us.

As I pulled out the children's clothing for this spring and summer, I realized that other than a pair of sandals and church shoes for Mariam, we have everything that we truly need.  Sure, a family's needs are on-going, but when we pare down our concept of "need," it is much easier to accept and be thankful for what we have been given.  Once again, God has provided all that we need.  I'm not sure why that amazes me year after year, but it still does.

I spent a few moments kneeling in my attic this morning (well, really, that's all you CAN do in there....) just saying, "Wow!  Thank you Lord.  You've taken care of these material things.  I don't even need to worry about a thing.  That means we can focus on You, on the things that will please you and on how to serve you."

C'mon Spring.  We're ready.  :)

As usual, none of my photos are my own.
They're all my Emily girl's.  This photo was taken
at my parent's farm.


  1. I'm impressed. The bi-annual clothing "change-over" hasn't started here yet, though I did sort the spring coats on Sunday. I need to pull everything else out soon. I was planning on waiting until after Peter's birthday (April 1st) but it is spring weather NOW (horray!!).

  2. Amen!
    & wow! good for you being so industrious! The clothing change over is always a big job! It is time at our house too. : ) I don't know that I will do such a huge sweep through as you though!
    Yes! Spring!!!!!!

  3. Now I want to spend my weekend decluttering - thanks for the motivation!
    And I know what you mean about living in a small house. I grew up in a family of 5 (small by comparison to yours!), and our house was just over 1000 sq. ft. with one bathroom. To this day, people think I really had it rough! :)

  4. Carla - I still have out a few long-sleeved items and winter coats are out as well. But the boxes are labelled and waiting for their arrival. :) I'm...usually not this on top of it. Thus, my happiness. :)

    Leanne, I think it might actually be a sickness rather than a virtue. :) I am just going stir-crazy after a long winter indoors. :) But whatever, it feels good. :)

    Kat - that's neat. And look! You turned out just fine! We only have one shower - two "restrooms," but one shower. Busy. :) I get frustrated - but you know, it develops qualities in me and in all of us that we would not otherwise have. (Probably a few nervous tics or reactions, too....) Grin. But all in all, I know we are blessed. So many people around the world would be SO happy to have so much room.

  5. We have the same size house, Holly! But we "just" have 5. I was trying to imagine adding 5 more...I think it could work! ;)

    Ahh....decluttering is the BEST! I find when I declutter there is more room for creativity to blossom. Such a good feeling.

    We are having 60 degree weather today. It's wonderful to get out to a part with the kids. I'm over winter too!

    Hope you're having a great day! ((hugs)) Didi