I have spent the year working my way through “One Year to An Organized Life,” by Regina Leeds. It has been a more emotional journey then originally expected. I have worked our way thought the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, garage, paper organization, travel, memorabilia and kids rooms. (I skipped one month that discussed moving.) There has been a lot of emotions around letting go of things but, it has been enlightening and uplifting to clear our the old and make room for the new.
It’s hard to believe there are only two months left in this journey. Over the past year I have come to understand the value of living in the moment and appreciating what we are in right now. Not pining away for what was (my children’s infant years, ) or waiting until we have the time, energy or money to create the ideal perfection in home décor.
This month we tackle the areas my family does the most living in. The family and the dining room. Our house is small so we have to make use of all the space we have. That being said, we spend the majority of our family time in one of these two rooms. We do our homework, bills and crafts at the dining room table.
In the family room we watch our favorite TV shows together as it is the only TV in our house. When my children were born I made the choice to have only one TV. Growing up in a house where everyone retreated into different rooms to watch different shows, I decided I did not want that for my family.
Not only did I want to monitor the amount of time and exposure my children had to TV, I also wanted it to be something that brought us together not separated us. Along with the sole television this area also houses my husband and kid’s gaming systems.
This has also been a surprising source of joy, fun and family togetherness. I know what you are thinking, too much time inside playing video games is bad news. Too much television and video games are unhealthy and rot the brain.
If these items are overused, like anything else, they would be bad. However, f the shows and games are carefully chosen and the time is monitored then it can be a source of enjoyment and togetherness. As a matter of fact, our game system has been a life saver on a hot summer day. We have even played it with expended family on the holidays and had a blast!
So when I read this chapter I will admit to a little disappointment. I was expecting more advice on how to update electronics and store game system. And while the book makes mention of this, it talks about CD’s, music storage and even mentions cassette tapes. Maybe my copy was a little outdates, but who has CD’s anymore much less cassette tapes?
However, there were some good ideas in this chapter about corralling kid’s toys and making sure your children put away what they take out. This has worked for me. I having already instituted a system of bins and baskets in this room for easy clean up and storage. The author also makes a good point about not going overboard with your baby pictures after they have grown out of that stage. This is something I need to remember. It also is important to change out photos to keep focus on life in the now.
Moving into the dining room area. The author discusses the need to eliminate piles. I am guilty of using the dining room table to house piles of stuff. Piles of mail, homework, coupons, paperwork. She suggestions 15 steps to help get these piles under control.
One of these steps is selecting at least one day to actually dine at the dining room table. She says “What is the point of having a room that gets used once a year and is otherwise a dump site.” I think this habit will go a long way towards limiting piles and bring the family closer together.
She also suggests doing a 15-minute elimination round of the piles to get rid of old newspapers and outdates items. Then box up the rest and transport it to the appropriate room. By putting it in a box, it keeps the table clear.
My big problem lies in a choice I have been putting off for quite sometime. The scrapbooking buffet. I have mention this on other posts but have been reluctant to make a decision as to what to do about it. This buffet has housed my scrapbooking supplies for well over five years. However, I have not scrapbooked a thing in at least a year.
So why am I holding on to this stuff?
I really don’t know. I really keep thinking that someday I will have the time and energy to get back into it. Someday, I will find the joy in the hobby I once loved. But if I am truly honest with myself, I know I can’t fit it in anymore. I no longer have the desire to drag all of the supplies out only to have to put them away again.
Finally, I have to recognize that in the end it does not provide me enough joy anymore to make it a priority. Working out, blogging, spending time with my kids, those are higher on the list of things that fill me up and bring me joy then scrapbooking is at the moment. (It kind of just came to this conclusion as I wrote this.)
So I know to move forward I need to accept my feelings, embrace this stage in my life and let go of my scrapbooking supplies. Besides scrapbooking supplies can always be repurchased if I decide to return to the craft. But for now I must move forward in the area that bring me joy now. To let go of the items that no longer fulfill this in me. Holding on to stuff in that hopes the we will recapture a past feeling only holds us back from embracing the joys of today.