Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 26: Create Some Breathing Room

Does life seem to go along all tickety-boo until it blows up?

You're doing really well with getting meals, and picking up, and staying ever so slightly ahead (but ahead!) of the laundry when boom! all of a sudden there's a trail of unopened mail, clutter on the counters, and laundry piled a mile high.

something like this maybe?

Most of us live our lives at full capacity. Whenever something "extra" happens--something comes up to crowd an already full schedule, or something is brought into your home and there's just no room for it (or worse, it's Christmas and both happen at once!) then the overflow looks like socks on the floors, bathmats moulding in the tub, and (as always) dishes on the counter.

What we need is to give ourselves some breathing room.

We need it in our schedules. Last year, my Mom, who is raising my five year old nephew, had them scheduled to go out four evenings a week. There was swimming and sign language and music and cooking class. It was much too much. There was no room for sniffles, no room to breathe. I read a book ages ago that advised that we limit our children to two activities at a time. Given we had two kids, that seemed like sane advice. It has been.

When I began work, I resurrected an old habit from an old friend of mine. He taught me that life would less stressed if I got up two hours before I had to be somewhere--even if it was to go for breakfast! It is a wonderful practice even though it means I am up very early in the morning, sometimes. But there's nothing like the quiet of the whole house to energise me. (Bonus: I can cook the mire poix for my frittata for about 20 minutes before I add the eggs. Michael Pollen says that's a good thing. It certainly has a lovely flavour.)

As for breathing room in the rooms of my house, I cannot stress its importance enough. Though I had the schedule thing more or less figured out, I filled my little house to the brim. I thought that was what you did.

But it put my life in total re-active mode. Every time something came into the house, it would cause a near melt-down. Christmas was overwhelming. Homeschooling--with it's influx of curriculum and materials-- was nearly unmanageable.

It wasn't until Nester's Tchotchke Challenge that I realised how cluttered my surfaces really were and how nice it is for them to breathe.

Prior to the Challenge in June:

As it looks today:

Creating breathing room gives you room to look after your self, your home and your time when things get busy or life gets full.

Go easy with your time and schedule at "stay-at home" night at least once or twice a week. Do things ahead of time, like make freezer meals (I've been thinking about this.) or do your gift shopping well in advance.

For your rooms, identify any space that is full or nearly full. Spend some time decluttering it. Do you want 10% breathing room? Twenty-five percent?

Whatever you decide, remember, the more room you create, the better you'll be able to accept new things into your life.

Do you need to make some breathing room? In your schedule, your rooms, or both?

ETA: You can catch all the posts in the series here.


onshore said...

I've never had a full schedule, I like my free time, but I would so like to have the breathing room in our cabinets and shelves. Everything is packed and it shows.
Are you now working on some decluttering in some area at the moment?

Alana in Canada said...

I still have a large number of those tchotchkes in the basement on a table. I would love to deal with them, somehow. At the moment, though, all my free time is going into writing up these posts. I'm looking forward to November so I will be able to actually get some stuff done around the house.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...