I have been big into spring cleaning the past few days. I find that the house is usually very clean but there are always those corners and spaces in the house that are piled with junk or dirt. Always. You know, the spots you never really notice. A shelf on the bookshelf full of dust or left disorganized. Areas of the home where you don’t always sweep, like behind or under the couch. Drawers stuffed with disorganized clothes. Or just random things that you have and one day you look at and say, why the heck am I holding on to this? Where the heck did this even come from?
I always see the state of my home as reflecting the state of my mind. From the outside it seems clean and decluttered. I always make sure that my home is well taken care of. There are never any dishes in the sink and I sweep all the time so that there is no dirt on the floor (one thing I can’t stand). I wipe things regularly and dust weekly, but then there are spots, like this one.
This is the inside of our couch. There was everything in there from markers and broken crayons to sunflower seeds, cashews and raisins (Kesa’s trail mix). A LOT of dirt was hiding in there.
Like I said, I was cleaning good and deep. Attempting to remove all the dirt and clutter from our home to really create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.
When I saw this I was so reminded of my consciousness. It’s like our minds. There are the things that we are aware of, the fears that we are familiar with and we recognize them and can handle living with them. We take care of those certain thoughts or fears. Then there are things in our subconscious, the thoughts or behaviors we live out without being aware of or having any idea why they are there, what they are or where they came from. The things that we do for reasons from the pastor the fears that we have never faced. The dirt that lies in our consciousnesses that we don’t ever take a look at or ‘clean’.
This whole spring cleaning process was so liberating for me. Cleaning alone just makes me more conscious of my thoughts. As I am going about cleaning, organizing and simplifying, I feel like I am able to detach from my thoughts. I also feel that as I let go of certain things, I literally let go of the memories or associations from that past time when I give stuff away and I just feel lighter. Cleaning and cooking both are great times for me to actually separate myself from my thoughts and see my life from a different perspective. It also helps me to hold a lot of gratitude for all that we do have when I go about seeing and touching all that we possess. Like a big breath of gratitude. I can almost say that I actually love cleaning.
So our space is a lot less cluttered now. And my mind is a lot clearer. I must have swept up 10 lbs of dirt that I never knew was there from various corners of my home. I still wish I had more bookshelves and spaces to organize all of our stuff. It seems like every time I do a major cleaning/decluttering we end up with more stuff. It is Karma. Instant Karma really. Last time I decided to give away a whole load of stuff to the thrift store. Toys, books, clothes, kitchen things, bedding etc. On the way back I was carrying on to Craig, saying NO MORE!
No more stuff for the kids because they have enough to last their entire lifetime. No more random crap. No more toys for no reason. No more just accepting everything that people give us unless we actually need it or it is a special occasion, like their birthday. If they are always getting stuff, then how can they even appreciate or get excited about presents or special occasions? I really think having too much stuff really does more harm for kids than good.
Pretty much everything we own was given to us, from our couch to our T.V. to our beds and all of our girls clothes. The only things we ever really buy is food and books. We never buy anything new because we don’t feel the need for stuff and then just like magic we are always given stuff. It is just one of those things I guess.
Well, not five minutes from when we just got home the last time we gave a whole bunch of stuff away, the doorbell rang. Low and behold, there was a friend of Craig’s who said his wife was just doing a whole bunch of spring cleaning and had a whole bunch of his daughters toys to give to us. Not just little things, we’re talking big things. A play kitchen, a tent, some play houses and books. We both just had to laugh. We joked about what we would get if we actually gave away something that we really valued.
Today we took some more stuff to donate and I have my fingers crossed that I won’t be getting more. Why oh why must my life never be overrun with stuff? I just want a simple life! I seriously wonder how much this is just a reflection of my mind. Whenever I finally think I have cleaned out some of the garbage and finally let go, it always comes back.
Not this time.
Here are some pictures that I took of my super spring cleaning.
Too much clutter.
We have A LOT of books! Now they are more organized.
I moved their little play kitchen by the staircase and could hide their toy box under the stairway.
Something just didn’t feel right about the way the living room looked. We have the T.V. in the living room for the winter to watch movies on, but every spring we put it away because we spend so much time outside and doing more adventurous things. I really think T.V’s are just a big piece of junk anyway.
Definitely cleaner and neater and now I can sit on the couch and look at my plant instead of the cluttered up T.V unit.
Well, I had my laundry on the couch to be folded. There wasn’t much changes made here, I just actually cleaned it up.
The Girls Room
I still think they have too much going on in here, but it was a drastic change. We got rid of a lot of toys and simplified the space. I have no before photos, but you probably wouldn’t want to see them anyway.
Also known as the other room. No one really uses this room because I still sleep with Serafina and she nurses a lot during the night. When she is closer to a year we will start putting her in the crib.
Pretty simple. I like the bed under the window to breath fresh air in at night an hear the birds.
I wanted to get rid of the little T.V. that the girls use to watch “fat” (VHS) movies on sometimes in my bed. Added a mirror and some more plants.
The Exercise Room
Where we do yoga and keep yet another T.V. (there are too many). The room that is an unfinished one, off of the master bedroom. A cozy little space.
Usually looks pretty good.
My beautiful home!
It feels so much better to be clutter-free. So much more relaxing! I can breathe again! 🙂
We ended this crazy busy day with Black Bean Quinoa burgers and fried potatoes followed by a nice (slow) evening walk.
We had such nice weather that the kids got to be outside for most of the day. It was a beautiful Saturday! 🙂
You house is so sweet and I love the Before and After pictures! Great job. I know just what you mean. I’m very neat, hate junk and clutter, but it always reappears soon after I clean everything up! I would love to whittle down to just the basics. Someday… I also find that when my house is clean, my mind is clear and I just feel more relaxed.
Thanks Ann! It definitely feels a lot better in here! 🙂
What a beautiful home. I need to spring clean now to have the energy.
Wow you have been busy! As yet I can only find a rare and occasional love for cleaning ….if were were not a continent away, I’d have asked if you could come and do mine! How does all that stuff get under our sofa cushions …that always amazes me!! Bet you feel grrrrrreeeeatttttt now! Loving the outside of your home – so cute!!!
Thanks! It is amazing how the couch had so many little crumbs. I guess that is what kids will do! 🙂
Dang, you did a bang up job! 🙂 A clean home is my sanity as well. Plus it frees up time to spend in the kitchen or with the fur kids.
You have a beautiful home and did a great job organizing. You may have even inspired me to tidy up 🙂
I wish my house looked like your before pics! lol
So nice to see inside and outside pics of your house. Looks great! I really love your floors. How old is the house? It has a very cool vintage look to it.
Thanks! It must be over 100 years old. It was one of the first four houses built in this town. It actually used to be a doctors office and a police station at one time too. We don’t own it, we are just renting, but I LOVE it. The funny thing is that when we first moved here, we used to drive by and admire it so much. I used to say to Craig, that would be a perfect house to have five kids in. I always loved it. Then one day we ended up getting it. It still amazes me. I never ever would have thought we would get to live in such a big beautiful home. I guess that thoughts really do hold power (maybe I will have fove kids too…lol) I especially like that it is yellow! 🙂
I thought it must be that age. What an interesting history it has too!
Black bean quinoa burgers look so good! Love the house. I did lots of spring cleaning yesterday and I must’ve found about 10 lbs of dirt too! At least it felt that way!
Thanks Vanessa! The burgers are so good! 🙂