Our Life on the Prairie: Home Matters

Welcome!

Before I start, I want to thank you for stopping in! To provide you with a little context, I have been a Mom for twenty-four years. My husband and I are parents to four kids, ages 24, 21, 9, and 8. We have lived in four states over the last twenty four years. I delivered our oldest two kids, who are now 24 and 21. They have their own households and careers now. One is married and the other engaged. In the last year and a half, they have all joined us, moving to the same town in our little chunk of the Midwest. We are here because of a job transfer, our second corporation relocation in five years.

Our youngest kids, who are now 8 and 9, came to us as babies by way of adoption. I homeschool them. We are six months into our very first year and we are just having a blast! Our family isn’t finished growing, either! We are knees deep in paper work and a home study to become foster parents in our current state, with plans to potentially adopt an infant to three year old. We are constantly rearranging, baby-proofing, weeding out, and bringing about change to our floor plan and physical home.

On the broad topic of home matters, I want to tell you that HOME MATTERS! If I were to preface my thoughts today, with a disclaimer, it would be along the lines of this: our homes are where we typically start and end our days. These spaces can either fill us up and nurture us or they can drain us emotionally.

Since we have merged our home life with our children’s school life, we have had a unique opportunity to use that as a springboard in our detoxifying and decluttering efforts. Over time we have curated a way in which we bring more intention to what we allow.  Our attitude and wording go a long way in how we present a family value or standard.

We are really working hard to ask ourselves, before we read, watch, participate in, purchase, or plan for something, “is this helpful, valuable, and a good use of our time? Does this bring us joy?” We are paving a path to continue to live our lives centered in Christ and the joy He promises. John 15:11 (ESV) tells us “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Did I mention some major moves in the last few years? We have downsized, upsized, resized, and really…we have gone in all of the directions. Cleaner, simpler spaces create a calm in our family. We incorporate simplicity into our lifestyle, homeschool, and home. It’s something we are constantly improving on. If an organized, well thought out Homeschool is on your “to do list,” let me help!

What can you do today to Declutter your home? Here are a few practical steps to get you started.

  • Choose a closet to start with
  • Remove items from the closet, wipe down surfaces, and vacuum out the dust bunnies
  • Give yourself TWO options, save and give. Selling things takes an entire set of extra steps and is usually a giant pain in the butt. Just free up some space and give.
  • Reorganize, hang, and place any items you actively recall using in the last six months (excluding seasonal items) back into the closet
  • Return to its original place, any items that are not supposed to be in that space
  • Bag up remaining items and load them in your trunk
  • Drop your donation items off the same day

Work your way through closets, first. Then you can graduate to improving one room at a time. I spend more time in kitchens and bathrooms, because that’s where clutter seems to gather. All of those drawers and cabinets are tempting, for stashing items. My goal is to simplify and declutter our entire home by the beginning of this Summer. I like to deep clean and freshen up spaces as each season changes.

I am also more aware, when shopping. I ask myself if I need the specific item or do I have something similar at home that will work? Then I ask myself if the new item in question has more than one purpose. Next, do I have a place to keep and store this item? Lastly, is there something I can donate, to make room for the new item? I have been making an effort to do this with things I buy for myself or others.

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