Saturday, June 4, 2011

"A House of Order" : Organize Yourselves Part Three

Dear Friends,

I'm sorry that my blogging has been slow for the past few weeks, but I have been busy SPRING CLEANING!!! Oh, and how good it feels!

To give you the reason for the recent chaos of my home, I teach a Shakespeare class to homeschooled teens. We spend the first semester reading and studying a tragedy, while learning all about Shakespeare's life, his plays, Renaissance times, etc.. THEN, for the second semester, we put together and perform a Shakespearean comedy. This year, we performed "The Comedy of Errors," and had a great time!

"Oh, bind him! Bind him!"
Lovely Ladies
My Amazing Cast!

HOWEVER, as happens every year when I get swallowed up in such a BIG project, the play takes over our lives for a couple months, and the house gets in a VERY sorry state.

Oh, my. It's pretty darn SCARY.

The carnage of the laundry alone makes me want to cry.

SO! In an effort to be accountable to my friends, and also to brag on my "Ta Da" list just a bit, here's what I've accomplished in the last month:
  • Cleaned, vacuumed, and detailed the inside of my ginormous, people-moving, fifteen-seater van.
  • Moved my refrigerator and stove and swept, scrubbed, and polished the floors and appliances.
  • While my stove was pulled out, I decided to add a bit of wallpaper to my kitchen, between the countertops and hanging cupboards.  
I love red toile!
  •  Set up a closet organizer in our "Family Closet" room, where all the kids clothes reside, donated an ineffective and icky dresser, put away most of the winter clothes (This is a process that lasts practically until next winter, for me!)

  • Moved around the furniture in my Family Room, which resulted in scrubbed walls and vacuuming in all the little dark corners that never see daylight.
  • Moved around the furniture and redecorated in my living room. (It helped when I finally moved all the Shakespeare costumes and props out of there!)
  • Donated a van full of excess STUFF we no longer need to our local Deseret Industries, a thrift store and charity run by the LDS Church. Clearing out so much excess was exhilarating. I need to keep it up!
  • Cleaned out and organized our storage room (which is in a small building in our backyard) top make room for more food storage. We also found some sturdy, large, metal shelves at Sam's Club that my awesome husband put together for us. I now have a place for all my boxes and boxes of fabric and sewing supplies! (yes!)
  • My husband and I have been focusing on preparedness, and it felt so good to replenish lots of the basics we have used up, as well as finally getting around to storing WATER. (Kinda necessary here in the desert!) I am excited to blog more about "Preparedness" in the next couple weeks, so check back!
  • We moved my baby's crib out of our bedroom and into the Family Closet room, so she can get more uninterrupted sleep, and also so I could move my sewing machines into my bedroom. (And out of the already packed Family Room!) She's almost a year now (just another week!), and it was time. *sniff*
  • I am still in the midst of attacking Mt. Washmore, but it feels GOOD! Washing, drying, folding, hanging up, sorting out and storing too-small and winter things-- I've even (are you ready for this?) PUT THE FOLDED LAUNDRY AWAY! In my little world, this is akin to a miracle! I think my husband and children are in shock from all of the clean clothing in their drawers!
As you can see, I just haven't had a moment to sit down and blog, but I can assure you that I've been really excited to share all this organizing with all of you!

Some of the things that have helped me stay motivated (and away from tempting time-wasters like Facebook) are:
  • Good, uplifting music: This gets my energy going, and helps me stay motivated, even when I get tired. Snow White really did know what she was talking about with the "Whistle While You Work" concept! It helps my kids stay motivated to help me, as well.
  • Recordings of Inspiring Books: I am currently in love with the Librivox website! How can you beat FREE MP3 recordings of lovely, old classic books in the public domain?! Granted, not all the readers are good, but it has been a real delight to listen to some books I've been meaning to read, but haven't had the time. It's been gratifying to see my kids sticking around to help, simply so they could hear the story, too. (We've been on a Louisa May Alcott marathon-- so inspiring!)

  • SPRING, spring, spring! Even though here in the desert, it's been lovely weather for many months, there is still something about the change in the air that only spring brings that inspires me to get organized and cleaning. I think it's also a way for us desert-dwellers to prepare for the long, hot summer when my kids can no longer play outside much. (It's like autumn in the North!) Having lived in both warm and cold climates, I can see the parallels.
  • TIME: What a joy it has been to have no deadlines, few places we have to go, and no more stress of the show bearing down upon us. Dedicating my time and efforts to putting our home in order has been such a joyful process! I feel like I'm doing what I was meant to do, and it makes my husband, my kids, and even ME happier, to live in a home of order and cleanliness. Things are never perfectly clean, but almost everything has a PLACE, and that is actually a pretty big thing for me!
I hope you are enjoying your home and your family wherever you are, and I pray that this summer finds your home cleaner, your family happier, and your heart full of love and rejoicing! I'm so grateful that the Lord has given us work to do. What a blessing to be partners with Him in creating the home environment our families need and cherish!


1 comment:

  1. I love librivox. I use it on my iPhone and get so much more done when I have a good book to listen to.

    Thanks for the ideas on organizing our homes. I love your perspective. I am in the midst of trying to rework what it is I do as a mom and trying to find out how to find joy. I am feeling like there are so many things I am failing in and can't find the good things I am doing. I'm sure there must be some!

    Anyway, congratulations on the cleaning. Maybe I'll try Alcott next.


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