My husband has been dealing with a lot of crazy things at his job lately. When he comes in the door at the end of a very long day, I want him to feel like he’s entering a sanctuary, not a project with endless lists of things that need to be done. I really want him to be able to walk in and feel relieved to be home. To feel the love and peace all around him.
It’s been a long time since either of us has walked in the door and exhaled with relief.
That needs to change.
Don’t get me wrong, we all love to be in each others’ company. The kids run to greet him when he pulls into the driveway. He is my best friend and when he’s here, everything has a better rhythm. And we love our home.
Really. Love. Our. Home.
It isn’t about that. But you know, if you were to pop over for a visit, you’d probably wonder. A loved home looks … loved. Even in the daily living. Even in the middle of a project or three. A loved home just looks that way.
Our home lately? Not so much. We’ve been running in high gear and the last thing that gets attended to is home. (Don’t worry, it’s clean, but that’s about it.)
Our home is not tiny at 1500 sq. ft., but for 7 occupants it can feel a little snug. Add to that all of our books (I dream of a library like that in the Beauty and the Beast movie and seem to have accumulated nearly as many books but without the amazing library to keep them), toys for three Littles with very different interests, several different hobbies and passions for the Middles and Mama and Papa, a very busy two year old who wants to be with me every minute he’s awake and, well, I think you get the idea.
I wanted to try to take a couple of photos of some peaceful corners of our home, and I couldn’t find any. Not one. I looked through my camera lens for a long time and couldn’t capture one image that didn’t have a little bit of chaos somewhere in the photo, except for the corner that I made for the Littles and showed you here.
It’s time for us to reclaim our “Ever After” here at Ever After Cottage.
I spent several hours in the basement yesterday sorting and separating piles of things. I have bags of outgrown clothes for friends with littles. I started a grouping of things that need to be sold in a central location. The toys, craft supplies, and, yes, even the books, need to be sorted and separated into keep and sell/give away piles. And then I need to actually sell and give away those items. (Is it just me or do others have the same problem of actually getting them out of the house?)
I know this will take us a long time. It took us a while to get here, so it will take us a while to get back. We have been entertaining several fantasies of completely emptying the house into the driveway and only bringing back those things we truly want to keep, and of selling absolutely everything (except photos) and starting over. We probably won’t do either of those. Probably.
I might share a few pictures of our process along the way, and might even post some things for sale. I’ve been looking online for encouragement to reduce and simplify, and I’ve discovered a few things about myself. I hold on to things partly for security (if you’ve ever been poor, you understand that you keep everything because you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to buy another). And then there’s the really messy emotional side that I can’t even begin to explain.
I’m still enjoying thrifting, but I’m trying to be a little more selective in what comes in, and matching or exceeding the incoming with outgoing. And getting to bless others with our extra is such a wonderful motivation.