Housekeeping & The Quest for Freedom

Sometimes I feel weighed down by the shackles of stuff. And I like to think we try to live a streamlined life. Our house is around a thousand square feet, and I try to ensure that everything we have, we use. I’ve pared down my collections of milk glass and Blue Willow, even – Marie Kondo’d the pieces that no longer gave me joy. My son and I went through his arts and crafts supplies and culled the stuff he just didn’t end up being interested in too. This weekend I took a trunk full of items to the thrift store to be donated – mostly clothes my son had outgrown, but also magazines long read, and household items that have outlived their purpose in my home. I hope someone else is able to find joy and use of them. And we did a little organizational switcheroo – we finally got a pair of proper wooden dressers in our walk in closet, to replace the plastic drawer units we had in there. The dressers are smaller than the plastic ones we had, so it forced us to cull through clothes and accessories, which was a plus. Now if I could just get my husband to edit his t-shirt collection… but that’s another challenge for another day.

The plastic drawer units are getting re-purposed for Lego storage. A few years ago my son inherited my husband’s childhood Lego collection, and of course my son has gotten many of his own sets. It currently lives on a drawstring play mat in our living room. It’s great for spreading it out and digging for the pieces you want, but it’s also a visual nightmare – it’s a literal mountain of Lego, pride of place on the front room floor. So getting it all in drawers will be an improvement, and we’ll keep the mat to be pulled out when we want to spread out Lego during builds. The drawers will also be nice since he’ll be able to use the tops to show off his finished creations. So that was a handy little weekend project to help us be more organized and streamlined. Lego has to be my son’s favorite toy, so it’s great to be able to make it so he can access and use it better.

Will all of this help me feel free? I’m not sure. I’m pretty uptight about tidiness and strictly ordered spaces, as my loving husband reminded me lately. Disarray really stresses me out. It probably behooves me to relax my standards just a bit, especially in this season of our life where we have so much going on. But it’s hard. I grew up in a pretty chaotic home, so now I keep house in the complete opposite way of that. Old habits die hard, as they say. I’m okay with not having a Joanna Gaines-styled home; truly I am. But it’s so lovely to be surrounded with beautiful, calming things that you’ve worked hard for and get good use out of. That sounds fairly shallow now I’ve typed it, and maybe it is. But my point is, we all generally sleep in a bed with blankets, and eat food off dishes, and have furniture to sit on, etc. – so to have it be what you need, and be tidy and make you smile is a wonderful bonus.

In other news, it’s a grey day, and the rain showers have just started. It’s lovely to feel a cool breeze through the screen and hear the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops on the back deck. I love my work from home days, since nature isn’t far away. It’s nice to listen to the rain. There’s been a noticeable shift in nature’s tone lately – the days are growing shorter, and some things in the garden are starting to show their wear. The cucumbers have finished, and some of the flowering herbs in the garden are becoming muted and threatening to fade. I adore this time of year really – the prelude to autumn. The heat begins to moderate, and a fire in an evening starts to seem like a good idea once again. Things begin to slow; to take a deep breath. The first apples are coming on. Soon it will be pumpkin and apple season, and time for casseroles and long-simmered soup. Sweaters and scarves. Fall is my favorite season, and I’m ready for it when it arrives. Though I will certainly enjoy my last two weeks before school starts up again, and reading for pleasure takes a distant second to school work.