I spent this past weekend in Houston for the Texas Home School Coalition convention and was so blessed to be there. There were fantastic speakers and tons of exhibitors--I really had a great time there! I went to a session about juggling life and homeschool, and one topic the speaker covered was decluttering and its importance in helping us manage the chaos that can become of our homes. She shared a definition of clutter that I believe came from a book called "Clutter's Last Stand" by Don Aslett: clutter is anything that takes more from us than it give to us in practical use and enjoyment. That's certainly not earth shattering to us at this stage of our study, but I thought it was a different way to look at our clutter and yet another reason to get rid of it!!
This speaker also shared a method of dealing with the emotional things we have in our homes that make the decluttering process more difficult (again, I think this idea came from the above book by Don Aslett). The recommendation was to have a box when you are decluttering that is your "emotional withdrawal" box. Anything that you just can't part with because of emotional ties goes into that box, and when it is full, you seal it and date it. Put it away in your attic and leave it be. After six months, if you can name even one item in the box, you are allowed to open it. Otherwise, to the trash it goes. A good friend might be especially helpful in this situation who can challenge you and help you make those decisions that seem tough because of the emotions tied to those items.
The assignment for the week ahead takes us to our master bedroom. This might be your easiest assignment, or it might be your hardest. It does involve your closet, so that in and of itself might be quite a mountain to climb. But you are up to the task, I just know it!
My closet is one area that I have decluttered tremendously in the past year. I mentioned earlier in the study that I no longer shop just to shop or because there is a good deal to be had. With that mentality, it has kept me from continuing to add more and more to my already full closet. I have fewer clothes in my closet now than I have had in years, and I really love almost everything in there.
Since we are on the topic of clothes, I want to share another story that I heard at the home school conference. One of the speakers was talking about the importance of getting ready each day. For starters, you and your kids will both feel better about yourselves and be more motivated to work if you are dressed and ready for the day--as opposed to staying in your pajamas. She pointed out (and challenged us to test it out) that we will treat our kids differently if they have clean faces, combed hair and even a hair bow (for the girls)! To me, an added bonus is, if you need to go somewhere in the middle of the day, everyone is already ready to walk out the door once shoes are put on, rather than having to rush around, comb hair, make sure clothes match relatively well, etc. before you can even head out.
She also shared that recently her mother-in-law had made quilts for her husband and his siblings made of pieces from their grandmother's clothing. As soon as they opened their gifts, they immediately started telling stories about this dress or that blouse, represented by the pieces that had been sewn into a quilt. She concluded by emphasizing that our kids will remember what we wear, so don't spend your life wearing ratty tshirts and sweats!
Maybe you can use these stories as you go through your closets this week and sort out the worn-out clothes and those that either don't fit or don't look good, and only leave behind those pieces that you love and that fit you well. After all, life is too short to wear ugly clothes! (that quote is also courtesy of the above mentioned speaker!)
This week's assignment includes:
- Continue memory work on Matthew 6.19-21
- Read Chapter 14
- Declutter, clean & organize master bedroom