I wrote a few months ago about “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and the impact it has had on my thinking. I believe part of the reason The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing resonated with me is I read it at just the right time. We’re going through some major transitions in our home, homeschooling and parenting.
This week Caroline packed away the baby doll bed and high chair her grandpa made her. (Sniff!) She wants to do more young lady-ish things with her room. She still enjoys many toys and activities of a little girl, but I can clearly sense a bit of a transition going on.
I posted about our 2015-2016 Learning Room a few weeks ago because it was time for the Not Back to School Blog Hop and I wanted to participate even though back to school was the farthest thing from my mind. However, about a week after I did, I realized that it was time to change that room. When I looked critically at how it was being used from a tidying up standpoint, I felt like it was wasted space full of stuff we were not using. When I asked Caroline more about her preferences, I realized a few things.
It made more sense to move her craft materials to her room. She is constantly running downstairs to grab craft items since she prefers to work in her room. So we cleaned out the craft supplies to what she truly wanted and made room for them in her closet. (She has a small-ish walk in closet with lots of shelves.)
Once we moved what she wanted in her room up there, I was able to clear out what was left. Some of it went to the basement where we have an area where she can paint and do messy crafts. A little bit stayed to be used in our homeschooling this year. A lot of it was pitched or donated. When I was done, I had plenty of room for our games and my Fellowes Binding Machine.
I also realized we could move out the table and chairs and get rid of the computer desk. Then I had room to pull out the quilt rack my father-in-law had made for the quilt we received from David’s grandmother as a wedding gift. (The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is primarily greens, purples and yellows.) It has been packed in my cedar chest for years.
In the end, we removed about a third of what was in the room. I was left with this.
Every time I walk in the room now I can feel my body relax. It is simple and clean. The busy clutter is gone.
And do you know what else has happened? Since we cleaned out the room, I’ve gone in there every evening to play on my piano. That has never happened since we’ve had Caroline. Either from exhaustion or neck problems or my own sensory overload of a room with so much stuff in it, I’ve not played the piano much at all. Now I walk into a peaceful, tidy room and play beloved hymns for about a half an hour each evening. It is part of the life changing magic talked about in the book.
I feel like I have part of my life back.
A part of my life that I desperately needed to get back.
I’ve tolerated a lot of mess and “stuff” throughout our home over the past eight years. It’s part of having a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, a little girl, etc. I was happy to do it because it was what worked best for us then. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t stressful. I can’t stand clutter and crowded spaces. We’ve reached the point where Caroline can keep most of her mess and activities in her room. And I’m thankful, to be perfectly honest.
I saw a meme online that said that clutter isn’t just about stuff. It’s also about old ideas. That struck me as true. Our learning room served a purpose for a few years, but even though I said a couple of weeks ago that I could envision a time when that purpose would change as Caroline changed I had no idea it would be so soon! But I can see that the learning room was an “old idea” for us that no longer matches up with where we are as a family. Now it’s time for us to move in other directions.
Now Caroline can make “carpet angels” in there. LOL!
And do the tango with Caramel, her beloved giant bear!
Caroline also discovered that Caramel likes being able to read a library book on his own. 🙂
I still need to decide what to put over my desk in the corner, but for the most part the room is done. It is TIDY. Tomorrow I plan on tidying up my music in the piano bench, but that’s the last task. There is nothing in the room that we don’t need, want or use.
Tidying up can truly be life changing.