Friday, March 18, 2011

Organized Simpliciy

This week I read a fabulous book - Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider.  And it was everything I needed to hear - the perfect "effort" inspiration as my family seemingly emerges from stuffy winter hibernation.

Most people crave simplicity in their lives and homes, yet they keep piling on the activities ... and buying more stuff.  Endless schedules that only bring stress and exhaustion ... and houses so full of "things" they can't help but feel like they're drowning because there's no way to possibly keep up with it all!

I'm a person who purges often, yet I still have so much stuff.  And what I have, I can't seem keep in an organized system, to spite a creative and valiant effort.  I spin circles trying to keep the craziness from taking over, but honestly, I've never really stopped to evaluate what is truly baseline important.  Do I want to run myself ragged constantly zipping about the town, only to go into a panic of cleaning and and organizing every other waking hour I'm at home :: NO!  Ok then, Wendy ... what do you really want to do with my time?  I wrote it down:
  • Spend quality time with my daughter, Morgan
  • Go to the gym four mornings a week
  • Read more
  • Create more
  • Blog more
  • Garden
  • Take a family walk at least once a week
  • Attend Thursday night fitness classes at church
  • Truly relax in my home
Now ... what REALLY stops me from accomplishing these things?  Well, of course work :: I do work full time, BUT - what else?

Answer: My House. 
I love my house and I'm so thankful for it, don't get me wrong.  But I can't get a handle on it.  It takes me all weekend to clean, and even though I have a very helpful husband, I never quite get done ... then, it builds and builds and I just feel so overwhelmed.  Add that on to church activities, school activities, Morgan's sports, friends, family, etc etc etc ... as my mother would say: "We're running around like chickens with our heads cut off!"

But, as Tsh points out in her book, if we can scale back the amount of possessions we own (the clutter), while being more deliberate with the activities we choose to be involved in as a family (learn to say no), it will scale back that stress.  But where to even begin?  Her suggestion: A Family Purpose Statement!  So again, I grabbed my pen and started writing:
  • As a family we strive to put God first in all we do:  the words we speak, the relationships we make and the way we spend our time.
  • We strive to keep a home that’s clean, cozy and clutter-free, providing a relaxing shelter of love and acceptance.
  • We show love by helping each other and spending time together, as well as reaching out to others who need our help and hospitality.
  • We stay active and enjoy the outdoor world God has provided us.
  • We practice wellness by eating locally grown whole, fresh foods that energize our minds as well as our bodies.
  • We encourage all forms of creativity.
  • We keep true to how God made us: understanding that weaknesses only bring our strengths into focus.
Now I can filter every activity and every item in my house through this statement.  Does it somehow fit who we are, what we're doing or what we believe?  If not, it goes.  I can't wait to get started!!! :)

I re-purposed my old mini loaf pans as office storage in my desk.
Cool, huh!  All Tsh's idea ...
Read more about Tsh's inspirational ideas on her blog ... hopefully it inspires you to make an effort to adopt simplicity, as it did for me.

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