Frankly, its a mess.
I'm trying hard to downsize. To create a simple home that is easy to manage. Where there is no mess because there just simply isn't that much to mess up. I'm not asking for Donna Reed twirrling in my foyer, a deleriously happy grin plastered on her polished face, blissful with the home I create. I don't have a foyer anyway.
I just don't want a mess.
I don't want to be embarrased when people stop by unannounced (or with little announcement, or I forgot they announced all together and find myself stammering apologies as I twirl around like the Tasmanian Devil *very Un-Donna-like* throwing things out of sight. Not that that's happened recently or anything.) Would it really be too much to ask to not have to find half eaten apples under the couch when we're searching for lost keys? Maybe my kid could not poke holes in the really old walls? Or get toothpaste all over the bathroom when they're brushing their teeth?
There are a lot of us. I get that. I birthed them so I should know. We require a lot of stuff. We have to have seven toothbrushes. We go through a lot of toothpaste too (even if it's not being wasted smeared on the walls). There has to be enough plates and bowls, cups and utencils for all of us to eat at least two meals a day with. The kids all have to have clothes to wear and shoes to shod so we can leave the house and have visitors over. They have to be season and size appropriate. They have to have enough for me to not have to wash them every other night. They're all still in carseats, some still require strollers, diaper bags, and the like.
So where does the line get drawn? What is considered *too much* when you have many people to nuture, care for and build up to adulthood? How can I create an easy to manage home by reducing things when everything in the house is used or loved by at least one person?
One wall of our homeschool before I put everything away.
When the black garbage bags come out, ready to be stuffed with the unnecessary, it ends up coming down to my things getting shoved in and moved out. I can part with *stuff*, I can live without. I don't want to deprive my offspring of opportunities of play or scar them by tossing out that beloved little doll. Already, I become the Black Bag Harbinger of Death, to the kids when I get in a *mood* to clean out. But when three girls all have beloved little dolls the toy box starts bulging, the messes start flying and mommy gets really, really frustrated.
It makes me imagine how idyllic my world would be if I didn't have to scurry around swiping up messes. The kids help, sure, but they're still kinda little and it gets tiring and overwhelming for them when their play explodes all over a hundred square feet (and sometimes further). So, my new task is to par down gently. Remove the toys that have little to no value. To help the kids see why we can't keep everything ever bought or given to them. How a few special things can be just as wonderful as a toy box crammed full. It won't be easy and I'll probably fall backwards as we have a handful of birthdays approaching. But hopefully, we can manage. Even if there can't be no messes made, maybe we can start making managable ones.