My children are growing up. Jade (the youngest) just turned ten years old! I no longer have any children in the single digits. I have three with their driver’s licenses. By the end of the year, I will even have one who is twenty-one and legally able to consume alcohol.
Life is changing.
In a good way, but it’s still changing. And because of that change, I’ve been doing some big-picture thinking on our house and how we use it.
I have a large house. It’s larger than I wanted it to be (I’m a minimalist at heart), because the house is designed to be a bed and breakfast for Goat Milk Stuff once the family is grown and the children have moved on. But that is years in the future and something I’m not ready to fully think about yet.
Right now, our school room has become a clutter hot spot. And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I detest clutter. In fact, I have 3 podcast episodes on clutter and how to get rid of it. Here is a link to the first clutter podcast episode.
Now that the children are older, I want to move all of their desks from the schoolroom into their rooms. Greyden actually moved his to his room over a year ago so he could read his Bible and write in his journal every night. It’s worked out really well, so we’re going to do that for most of the rest of the children.
The schoolroom will still have my treadmill desk, Jim’s desk, and probably Colter’s desk. But I’m also going to turn it into our library. Right now we own way too many books. (I never thought I’d say that!) Currently, the books are scattered throughout my entire house and business, making it difficult to locate a specific one when I want it. We also still have all of our baby books and learning to read books out. We’re past that stage. I want to put more emphasis on some of the higher reading level books we have that the children haven’t read yet.
As I’m getting ready to make this switch, I’ve been thinking a lot about entropy. In one of the podcast episodes on clutter, I said this:
My husband will often hear me say that I am convinced that entropy is stronger in my house, this is partly true because I have 8 young entropy magnets and if you don’t remember your high school physics lessons on entropy, entropy simply means that things naturally tend to go from order to disorder and what that means for our day to day lives is that if we don’t interfere, things will progressively become more chaotic and more disordered in our homes all by themselves.
(Sorry for the run-on sentence – I was talking, not writing. LOL)
Other than the fact that the children are a bit older, that statement is just as true now as when I said it several years ago.
The part that I want to repeat and stress is this: if we don’t interfere, things will progressively become more chaotic and more disordered in our homes all by themselves.
Did you catch the significance of that? It’s not entirely your fault if your life seems to get chaotic. Or if your home seems to become disordered. Especially if you just cleaned and decluttered it!
Chaos and disorder are the natural end result of living. But just because it is the end result of living, that doesn’t mean disorder and chaos is inevitable.
It’s our jobs to fight the entropy so that we can live the kind of simple, orderly lives we desire. And we have to keep on fighting it because entropy never quits.
I’m a big believer in the saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” As a Mom and homekeeper, that’s one of my chief jobs – to make sure that not only does everything in our home have a place, but the children (and Jim) know where that place is. I spend a lot of time training them to put their things in their proper place.
In fact, one of our house rules – “Touch it Once” – is designed with this in mind. You don’t take your shoes off and leave them on the floor, you put them in your locker where they go.
You don’t get a drink of water and leave your glass out, you put it at your spot at the table if you’re planning to use it later or you put it in the dishwasher.
The list of examples is endless.
I often ask Hewitt to clean off our kitchen table and benches. It tends to be a dumping ground for stuff that comes into our house (and I admit, lots of it is mine – like my green gardening hat).
I always tell him, “Hewitt, please clean off the table, and if you don’t know where something goes, ask me.” I’ll be honest, there are often items that he’ll show me that are new and don’t have a place in our house. I will tell him where to put it while I think about where to keep it. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes not so easy, but I know that in our home, if I don’t come up with a place for it that makes sense, I’m doomed to trip over it time and time again.
So don’t be discouraged if you’re having trouble maintaining an orderly home! It’s not easy. It takes constant effort to maintain. But I truly believe it is worth the effort, especially if you don’t try to do it all alone.
Involve the family in your decluttering efforts.
Spend time training them to “touch it once”.
Create a place for everything and then make sure everyone is putting their things in its place.
And when life happens, and you fall behind, don’t beat yourself up! Recognize entropy for what it is, and jump back in. You’re out to win the war – you can afford to lose a few battles!
What’s your biggest struggle with fighting entropy in your life?