Thursday, January 25, 2007

Empty Spaces

Last night I stayed up and organized our game closet, and finished arranging our living room. It was so much fun! I am always amazed at the good feeling that comes with getting things in order :-). I must admit to some difficulty keeping things in order, but here are two things I have learned about organizing:

  1. There should be a place for everything - and everything in it's place,theoretically ;-).

  2. Strive to create emptiness, instead of filling it

I suggest creating emptiness for 3 simple reasons.  First, because it makes it easier to use the space for what is needed.  I ask myself questions like:  will I really use this often?  If not, then you have 2 options - give it away or pack it away and label it well.

Secondly, because it is so much easier to clean!  Have you ever tried to keep a countertop clean that is covered with the toaster, mixer & iced tea maker?  Our laundryroom/hall (leading to the garage) used to be littered with laundry, baskets, coats and shoes and various other "droppings".  i.e. papers, used cleaning cloths...etc.  Actually, you'll still find it a mess sometimes, but this is due to the bad habits of certain unnamed individuals, not poor organization :-).  The solution to our dilemna was in lining our rather long hallway with an upper and lower row of hooks, upon which we hang coats, hats, laundry baskets and various bags of things which are headed out the door for some reason (like our egg cartons which we return to the nice family up the road from whom we buy eggs).  Now, when things are kept up well, and the designated cleaner goes into this area to sweep and/or mop, it is far easier of a task than it used to be.

The third reason to create emptiness, and perhaps the most important, is for clarity.  Maybe this is just me, but when I look across a room, it is just easier to focus on the important things when I see less "stuff".  A clean island begs me to get focused on a project.  A clean living room floor invites me to roll around with a toddler.  And when I have an empty shelf in my pantry or cupboard, it is much easier to stay organized, for I have a place ready for something that may need to be stored nearby.

Well, now I need to go and tackle my homeschool desk.  Unfortunately, it is rather a mess, for we ended our homeschool time at lunch today, and I haven't been back.  I need to select new scriptures for them to memorize, also.

I'm very excited, for I am driving to meet my dear friend Jenny in Illinois on Saturday.  She moved from Iowa to Kentucky at the same time we moved from Iowa to Missouri, and periodically we will drive 2 hours to Illinois to have breakfast on Saturday.   I'm hoping to get all of the cleaning and laundry done by tomorrow, so I'd better hustle!


  1. Great post! I too would rather have an empty room than one filled to the brim. I am a pro at getting rid of stuff (to the dismay of my husband and children, and weirdly enough my neighbor ;-)

    My brain just works better with less around it.


  2. ~I enjoyed reading this and may bookmark it to use as a link from my blog. I LOVE emptiness. Once I began whittling down our junk, getting rid of unnecessary things, and creating organized spaces, I became addicted. I am surprised that I meet so few mothers who understand this liberating and freeing concept (well, I haven't personally met any). We all have too much stuff! My living room is my number one example of "emptiness." It is actually impossible to mess it up. There's nothing in there. It is so simple to dust it, fluff the couch pillows, vacuum--and that's it! It always looks pretty, clean, neat, and pleasing. My son (age 12) is a champion at this, too. His bedroom is void of unused and unnecessary things. Just last week, he actually decided his old sports trophies (from age 7-10) were meaningless dust collectors, so he and Daddy used them for rifle target practice. He cleans through his room once a week to watch for things he has unnecessarily collected--given to him as gifts, outgrown clothing and toys, etc. I'm so proud of him! I knew I was getting the hang of it when four huge bins of fabric, craft supplies and yarn (hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth) went out the door, and I made a vow to only have one sewing or craft project at a time and that I am not allowed to add a new one until the current one is finished. My sewing room looks beautiful, but it is still getting used just as much! God didn't need me to save all those years of collected materials to provide me for future projects. He still provides, one thing at a time, as we need it. There was no need for me to hang on to it all just to be a good steward. My testimony of disorganization and unfinished projects was far worse.

    Okay, this is getting wordy. I type too fast for my own good. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. I'm glad I got the chance to visit here and get to know you. I really enjoyed reading about you and your family. You blessed me today.
    --Camilla Anderson
    Growing in Truth

  3. The kids emptied their toybox onto the window seat Friday so that they could hide inside it and play. They were seeking the emptiness.