I recently wrote to a friend who has a family twice the size of mine. I wanted to glean from her wisdom. You see, I am on a search for systems that work for large families. There are so many areas I need help in! Such as organizing and keeping up with laundry, making the best use of space, and keeping things simple in general. Creating more spaces for learning and decreasing clutter.
My friend wrote such a wonderful response. Asking me great questions, and offering practical solutions. Aware of my struggle to keep up, her response was such an encouragement to me. It helped me to confirm some of the things I was doing well, and some of the things I need to consider implementing.
The light bulb went on for me when she spoke of de-cluttering. She recognized that our family had done significant purging some time ago, as we made our move over the Pacific. She said de-cluttering with a large family is constant. So true! Constant because 8 of us bring stuff into the house at all times. Ads, mail, projects, papers from church, birthday parties, goodie bags, prizes, new things, too-small-clothes (and everything I forgot to mention) take up space. In the children’s closets, I notice that many things fall down with half-a-dozen pairs of hands reaching into the same closet many times a day. My friend suggested hanging a second rod in each closet. It works so well! Now I am trying to decide on what types of baskets and containers would be best for different spaces.
As I am cleaning out this summer, and working on becoming more organized, I am working to keep things simple and user-friendly. I also feel motivated to do some decorating which I have not done in years and to create some more “homey” places in my living space. Sally Clarkson www.itakejoy.com gives great advice about deliberately creating learning spaces in your home. She also encourages families to hang pictures of wonderful memories and great times around their home. So those are two areas I am incorporating into my de-cluttering…hanging memories and creating more nooks for learning!
Oh and there are so many spiritual metaphors during this process…clean things out, de-clutter the mind and heart, keep it simple, think on things thinking on things that are pure, true, lovely and righteous!
I am thankful for the women in my life, that I can call on (via phone, email, Facebook or blog!) and ask questions of, and they are quick to answer with practical information. Thank you God for bringing great women into my life!