Ever ask your child to clean up her desk (or her dresser or the dining room table) and when she's finished, it looks something like this? I think I see a stick of deodorant. Right there on Katherine's desk. . . in my dining room.
|Katherine's Desk Before|
I hate clutter. It makes me tired.
But the fact of the matter is there are six of us in a smallish house, and we use every last square inch of our space. We live here. We play here. We homeschool here.
Mike and I even work here.
And because of that, clutter happens.
This morning I tried something fun with the kids. I had each of the younger kids - Julia, Katherine, and Wenxin - pick one household surface that was cluttered.
Each of them took a before photo. That's Katherine's before photo at the beginning of this post.
Then they set a timer and had a five minute frenzy, decluttering at lightning speed.
When the timer sounded at five minutes, they each took an after shot.
|Katherine's Desk After|
|Reading Nook Before|
It wasn't too bad to begin with, but just looking at it now makes me happy.
|Reading Nook After|
Wenxin took the dining room table.
|Dining Room Table Before|
|Dining Room Table After|
In under 15 minutes, I got six areas of my house totally decluttered with almost zero complaining. Sweet.
Racing against a timer. Before and after shots. This was so much better than lots of verbal commands and correction from me. This was fun.
I wish I'd thought of this on my own, but I didn't. Asha and Christine, authors of a new book, Minimalist Parenting, sent me the suggestion this morning via email as a part of their ongoing MinCamp. (Sign up for MinCamp -- it's free -- and they'll send great ideas like this to your inbox each morning.)
OK, actually, their idea was for me to set the timer, and for me to take before and after shots, and for me to learn a little about conquering clutter.
I like my way better.
FYI, I know that my children must learn to work hard. . . to respect my authority. . . to do their chores with excellence. Life isn't always fun. I get that.
But wouldn't life be better with a little more fun?
Shouldn't we moms inject silliness and fun and joy into daily life at every chance we get? In the same way that I want my parenting to be gentle and winsome, I want our home to be fun. Sometimes I just need some new ideas.
Thanks, Asha and Christine. Keep the creative ideas coming my way!
|All photos in this post were taken by my kids!|