"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Downsize: Part I

I just want my kids to want to be each other's best friends. Just want it. That's all I'm asking. The rest will come later ... at least I hope. A while back, my middle-of-the-night trip to the baby's room resulted in a return to my bed a little more wakeful than usual and there I lay, pondering, stewing more like it. What could I do to inspire these folks to love more and disagree less. What's wrong with them, I mused.

And then it hit me. What's wrong with me? You can't fix the people around you, only yourself. What could I do better to engage my children in activities that bond. Times that teach.

Time seems to be the one thing I seem to have little of. Not a night goes by that I don't find myself wishing I had an extra two hours in the day. There are some things I like to do and some things I make a priority because they are important to me but I couldn't help but contemplate -- where was the time drain taking me?

I spend a lot of time cleaning. I spend a lot of time putting things away. I spend a lot of time doing laundry. I spend a lot of time picking up. And I don't have very much time left over.

Wow ... how much time would I have if I had less stewardship over so many "things".

And that's when my house purge began. It took me SO much longer than I thought it would because I have some sort of sickness that makes me analyze every item, wondering if I might need it again in the future. Sometimes, I had to get into a mood where I just didn't care -- everything must go.

But I did it. I took our house down to just the necessities -- and a few things I can't bear to part with for extreme sentamental reasons.

I downsized the kids clothes to just what would be needed for a week. I downsized my kitchen to just one set of what I use. Purged all of the toys because no one plays with them and when neighbor kids are around, they dump them and run off with the containers and boxes in which they were stored to build forts out of them with my children.

It's crazy, but when you have less, your responsibilities are less. And I have had more time to spend with my children, engaging them in team building activities. A quick clean of our house is so very easy and every item has a perminant home which minimizes instructions. Less micro-manage, more quality time.

I'm free, I'm FREE! Now lets see how long it stays this way.


  1. I am really really jealous. Will you come do my house??

  2. I'm gearing up for that exact same thing! I know it will feel wonderful and I will feel so much more relaxed with so much LESS. And a relaxed mama means happier kids, so I guess I'd better get to it.

  3. It is certainly freeing. Now the trick is not to re-buy...

  4. OK- I'm just looking through your old posts today, willy nilly. This one made me laugh. Do you remember when we went through your closet in the dorm??? I can attest with absolutely certainty that you do have that analysis sickness you spoke about :)

    Love you!