Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Floors and Tidying Progress

A friend mentioned last night that I had posted pictures of us pulling up our carpet but never posted the new floors.  Here they are:  

This is the living room.

The hallway

We broke up with our carpet, and there is none in our entire house.  What you see in those pictures is what is in every room except for the rooms with tile.  We love it, and I think it took me so long to post pictures because though the floors are done, this tidying up process is still in progress.  The floors being redone just fell in the middle of it and helped move it along.  Here are some highlights from our putting-the-house-back-together project.

My Proudest Accomplishment so far:

That's right, a closet in the hallway no one even sees.  I love this because it's where the homeschool supplies, library books, and activity kits (puzzles, Lego sets, etc.) are.  We use it daily, and it's easy to keep organized because you can see where everything goes, and the contents are not all over the house.

How we decided what to keep and what to get rid of:

We kept toys that are a jump off point for imagination such as blocks, puzzles, games, action figures, train tracks, and arts and craft kits.  A few stuffed animals made the cut, and the entire dress up bin survived because they really do use the items in there, hence the immense amount of laundry I am always washing.  Very few, if any come to think of it, items requiring batteries made it, unless they are outside push toys or walkers that also sing songs.  The idea was to get rid of anything the kids could just stare at, as we were hoping not to have things like that in the house in the first place.  I am by no means a technology-free parent; my kids get TV time and are perfecting their video game skills with D.  However, we like that kind of stuff limited, and it's hard to limit if they have tons of things in their rooms that allow them to stare without thinking.  

By far, I have the least clothes, and I LOVE IT!  I will have to grab a couple of tops and bottoms for summer, but my side of the closet is simple with very few choices.  I kept only clothes that bring me joy, and since I am not a clothes person, that wasn't hard to figure out.  Everyone else had clothes donated this round, but I still feel like there's some work to be done in their closets.  

We're not bringing in several pieces of furniture we previously used because they were serving as storage places for junk. Plus, the floors give the house a feel of being very open, and it would be easy to ruin that with too much furniture.  We do need a couple of items that we'll buy in the future, but for now less furniture seems to mean less places to put items we don't need.  

What I've Learned:

Out of sight is not out of mind.
I feared that storing items in places we already had, like closets or shelves instead of on furniture, would mean we never used them.  The opposite has ended up being true: now that everything is stored in the right place and easily accessible, we all use items we previously forgot about more.  Having a ton of things in sight is overwhelming; I don't particularly use something just because I see it all the time, and neither do the kids.  Now we can open a door and see things easily, so we find what we want without problems.  

Decorating is easier for me when I have less distractions.
I'm not a decorator, but now that the house is pretty tidy, I can look around and see places I'd like to add pictures or other decorative items.  When the house was too full, I didn't do that.  Clutter was our decorating.

Cleaning is more appealing when the house is tidy.
I am never going to love cleaning our bathrooms, but now that their is not so much junk in them, it will be faster, and that makes it more appealing.  Same for all other kinds of cleaning.  I enjoyed dusting the other day because I didn't have to move a hundred items before getting started.

Tidying my outer world helps my mental world.
I feel like I have freed up space in my brain.  There are a lot less thoughts about where is that or why do we have that or how does everything end up a mess every single day?!?  It takes minutes to pick up and put things back, and I have much more time to live my life.  

There will be interruptions in every tidying journey.
The boot on our front loading washer tore, so D set out to fix it on Saturday.  As soon as he pulled off the first retainer holding it into place, the retainer broke.  We didn't have that part, of course, so he installed the boot (YouTube videos lie about how easy this is, but after three hours and one trip to Lowes, that washer was defeated) and we ordered the retainer on Amazon.  Amazon sent me an email today, and from my phone I only saw the words, "One of your items has been delayed".  I prayed it was our book ends since Asher was vomiting every 15 minutes and we were quickly running out of towels.  It was not; it was the retainer for our washer.  So, while our house is tidy, we will have dirty laundry junking up certain areas for a couple more days.  Thank God for laudromats; at least all vomit was washed out of clothes today.  And we did get our book ends, so the day was still kind of a win.

Because we like to keep it classy.  These
are technically more fun than
a retainer for the washer.

FYI:  I am basing my tidying project off of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  Her advice will either be your thing or it will not.  I love her; some of my friends think she is a complete nut.  I don't talk to my possessions, so I agree with them on some level, but her method is exactly what I need.

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