Join me for a helpful series called The Organized Me! During the month of January, I’m going to write various posts on goals, mistakes I’ve made in finding “the sweet spot” of organization, and how I schedule my day and my home. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not arrived in this area – I’m still a work in progress. But I think I’ve learned a few things over the past 30 years of marriage, raising 7 kids in all sorts of situations, and I’ll be sharing them with you! If you missed any of our posts, you can find it here!
One of the combinations we used for travel was a 15-passenger van and a 40-foot travel trailer. It worked well for us, since we had all 7 kids at home at the time, but it meant that when we went from one meeting to another, we all rode in the van, after securing the trailer as best we could.
Sometimes we forgot something inside the trailer, like a plant or a vase, and we would open the door to the trailer when we arrived at our destination only to find scrambled plant on the floor, or shards of some beloved vase scattered everywhere. But the worst of all was being the first to open the refrigerator. Try as we might to secure the contents of the refrigerator, everything shifted while we drove, and was leaning on the inside of the door. And the poor sap who opened the door would be greeted with a barrage of items….and it was horrible when it was the milk! The gallon jug (and it was always full!) would leap out of the refrigerator and disgorge its contents all over the floor!
There is always something going on that seems bent and determined to wreck any semblance of order we have in our lives. It doesn’t even have to be a bad thing to mess up our lives; it could be a good thing. Anybody that’s ever brought home a new baby knows exactly what I’m talking about! So let’s think about our lives for a bit, and how to keep our sanity while ordering them:
1. Realize that the purpose of our homes is to love, nurture, and train those we love. The home is the exterior shell of the family, but the real goods is what’s inside the home – tender relationships, loving training, and gentle guidance. It’s a bit like the fellow whose last name was Peas. When he died, he had someone engrave on his tombstone:
Peas is gone.
Here lies his pod.
Peas shelled out
To live with God.
His body was just a shell, and the real him went to be with The Lord. That’s the way our homes are; they are shells for us to take care of and live in while we are here on this earth. Let’s remember to keep organization and house cleaning in that perspective.
2. Understand that the purpose of home organization and schedule is to make life easier. If we begin to become irritable because we “have to” keep things perfect, or because we “have to” follow a schedule, the whole thing have lost its purpose. We should be so organized that life is easier, but not so organized that if something changes, we fall apart and kick the kids around.
3. Realize that organization is a never-ending process. There is always a constant march of mail coming that needs dealt with, dirt sneaks in on the bottoms of shoes, and lids to non-existent containers spawn by themselves when you close the cabinet door. We never do “arrive,” and I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we never will. But let me be quick to add, “It’s OK!” That’s simply part of life.
One thing about life that’s very certain – other than death and taxes – is that there is always going to be a certain amount of maintenance required. But keeping our priorities in order first is the only way to keep from losing our minds while we try to maintain order!
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