Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Adjustments and Plans

I have been going to IKEA a lot lately. This is partly because there is one quite near to me now, but also because I've decided that organizing is what will make my life worth living. Well, okay, not worth living, but easier at least. And it brings me joy to look out into my laundry room and see everything in containers, with a clear path to the back door. I put down a rug out there. It is glorious.

And I mean that. Sometimes it really is the little things that make a big difference.

For the past month, I've had a cold, the kind that settles in the chest and makes it feel like I'll never take a full breath again, and I'll always be tired. I am very nearly over it, but now we've had the time change to British Summer Time, and so I'm contending with that lost hour of sleep. But at least I am not tired in the sense that I feel like I cannot do anything beyond the bare necessities, which was the reality of most of the last month. I realized as I was finally coming out of the fog last week that it is very hard to slow down my life when I need to, and that's when I made my plan to amass a large quantity of clear IKEA storage boxes, as well as a lidded basket to put our sofa blankets in.

I understand that the connection between needing to slow life down and amassing storage containers may not be obvious, but allow me to explain.

A lot of my life is spent getting things out and putting things away. I need to move around my house efficiently to get things done, and certain spaces need to be clear for me to complete tasks. It also falls to me to make sure that our house is ready if we have guests over, and while I can delegate some of the tasks, ultimately whether it works out or not is up to me. All of these things are easier if the house is organized, and I didn't realize until I was sick for a month that my organizing efforts thus far hadn't gotten me to a place of ease in tidying. I still endeavor to keep the house in a happy medium between hoarder and minimalist, slob and neat freak, but I was falling behind on basic tasks because it was just too hard to do my work without tripping over something or finding something in my way. When I was exhausted and not feeling well, it made me feel like just giving up and letting the place go to ruin.

So I took a look at what wasn't working, and I've been adjusting some things. My plans won't solve every issue, but even with a few small changes, it is easier to do what I need to do. I can get the vacuum out more easily now. I can walk through the laundry room without a rolled up piece of carpet tripping me. There aren't ziploc bags of carefully sorted old clothes of Z's falling off shelves. The sofa blankets aren't piled haphazardly on top of the back of the sofa. These things didn't seem like they'd matter much, but they do. Not only are things functioning better, but they look nicer, too. Now, the messes that exist (because there will always be messes in our space, most likely) don't look so messy. The house feels more peaceful. I feel more peaceful. This spills over into other areas of my life. Of course it does.

I wrestle a lot with feeling that some of my priorities, particularly when it comes to home improvement, are selfish. My husband and kids really don't care of the house is organized or neat. But I know that they do care if I am stressed out. My kids like me better when I have more patience. I wish I could just be serene in any circumstance, but I'm not that far advanced in my personal growth yet. So I will change what I need to change in my physical space order to be more of the person that I want to be in my heart. I'm not sure how many more trips to IKEA it will take, but I'm open to any number.

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