It is incontestable.
The #1 problem facing housekeepers today has to be (drumroll, please!)…clutter. Overconsumption. Excess.
In an unprecedented age of convenience and innovation, the American homemaker should have it so easy…
key word: should.
We throw dirty dishes into a machine and push a button to wash them. We do the same with our laundry. We have airtight windows and doors, keeping more dust out of our houses than ever before. And cooking can be as easy or as difficult as we want to make it.
But we also have an unprecedented problem…
Knick-knacks in every available space.
Did I mention ‘toys’?…
Whether we intend for it to happen or not, the modern American family is the recipient (and usually also the pursuer) of unending goods, and even if we’re trying to keep our spending and our consumption to a minimum, there is so much stuff floating around out there that we end up with it in our houses anyway. Gifts. Hand-me-downs. Osmosis, maybe?…
All of which can be blessings (except for osmosis…I actually don’t even know what that is so I don’t know if it is a blessing), but if we don’t learn to master them, they can positively enslave us.
Slowly, I am becoming aware that, the less stuff we have, the happier we are.
The less stuff we have, the more time we spend together as a family.
And the less stuff we have, the cleaner our house stays. Even when it’s dirty…
Because I’m really not looking anymore to have a spotless house. My floors will not always be shining, because I have 3 children who drool and spill and drop raisins and Cheerios and track in mud and dirt and grass nonstop. I’ve come to grips with the fact that a perfectly shining house just isn’t in the stars for me right now. But regardless of how young our kids are or how many we have or how dirty they keep our floors, we can have a neat house…
and let’s face it, we have to be able to walk through our rooms, and the fact that we can’t sometimes is a ridiculous situation that we have created of our own accord. And you know that whole routine of freaking out when someone unexpectedly knocks on the door because the house is a wreck? It is becoming less and less acceptable to me.
Because of this reason alone: I’ve been convicted that this sort of lifestyle doesn’t seem to mesh with the biblical call of hospitality. How can we have open homes and lives when we are appalled for anyone to see them? How can our own children feel comfortable in their house when they are tripping over toys with every step they take?
Something’s got to give, Mrs. Gore!
And so I wanted to share some tips with you over how I am defeating, room by room, this seemingly epic problem. My goal in decluttering is that, by truly simplifying our life, I will take full advantage of the ease afforded to a homemaker in my position today, using all that spare time that my dishwasher gives me to read to my kids or do something truly useful, rather than forever finding hidey-holes for the massive amounts of junk we have. What a waste of time and energy, spending it all on things that are flammable and fleeting.
It is a never-ending and sometimes exhausting process, but it has already been well worth my time, thought and perseverance.
However, to keep this post from being twenty thousand words long, I’ll have to share that list with you in my next post.
When it comes to words, I will obviously continue to be excessive.
But until then, be mulling some things over, won’t you?…
Do you spend a frustrating amount of time putting things away that aren’t really useful to your family?
If someone walked into your house right now, would you be embarrassed?
Are you a slave to your possessions, or master?
Are your children slaves to their possessions?
Think about the time you dedicate each day to housework. How much of that time is spent simply putting things away?
Part Two, coming up…soon! Maybe tomorrow? Maybe not.