Monday, July 21, 2014

Cleaning Up

 Have you noticed that every time you undertake a big cleaning project, the rest of the house falls apart?

After The Great Library Sort of 2014, I felt like I was chasing chaos around the house into progressively smaller rooms.  I think I may have actually, for the first time ever, caught it! Unless you want to think about the back basement, which I do not.

The penultimate last bastion was the home school room.

We call it that, because it holds most of our home school resources (except that a lot of the books have migrated to my office). Some people expect desks and black boards...

Instead it has the museum, art and craft supplies, games, puzzles, plants, experiments, seismographs, random other scientific equipment, castles, electronics, private drawers (not underwear, just drawers set aside for specific Zoomlians), and a giant floating Angry Bird.  And lots of other stuff.

The idea is that you could walk in with nothing to do, and decide to make a wearable paper mache mask of Iron Man, or extract DNA from bananas, or  make soap, or mess around with magnets, or watercolor  painting. The list goes on and on!

The up side is that it really is a room full of wonderful things. It's a kid magnet, and usually a young visitor's favorite room.

The down side is that it's hard to keep orderly.  I feel like we're always one giant messy art project away from disaster in there... a frequent occurrence.

On the other hand, it's the most fun room for me to clean, as I always find new fun stuff whenever I excavate  tidy it up.

Zorg and Choclo's room
I think that organization is always going to be a challenge for me, partly because I am not naturally organized.

Also, it's a moving target: the older Zoomlian's expand their horizons, the younger Zoomlians leave the interests of younger kids. We enter and leave new phases and seasons, sometimes with a sigh and a tear in the eye, sometimes with grateful relief!

But it feels good to pass on things we've loved but can't use.  And it feels great to have a clean house!

I think this is bigger than cleaning house, though.  It's trying to readjust my life and my space to the kids I have now. It's trying not to be attached to stuff.  It's trying to find the balance between prudence (I might need this some day) and trust in God's Providence.  Sue has promised a post on what she is calling "minimizing,"  and I am very curious to see if she is talking about something similar.

Trust me, you don't want a "Before"
I will say one thing, since some of the older Zoomlians have asked for more philosophical posts.

As a young (and very disorganized) mom, I made a specific decision that, when a child wanted to do something, I would not say "no" just because it would make a big mess (although I might say we need to do it after the dinner party).

And really, I haven't.

We've made some pretty big messes, but we've had a  lot of fun!

Did you think I was kidding about the giant floating Angry Bird?


Sue Elvis said...


I love your 'school' room! I'd like a place where everyone could create and play and not worry about having to clean up, when we want to use the room for another purpose.

As you know, we're also trying to let go of stuff. I'm finding that okay. What I don't like is the mess. We have bags of rubbish, and old clothes and boxes of odds and ends everywhere. They are waiting for someone to take them to town, either to a charity store or the recycling centre. It seems easier to keep our stuff hidden away rather than sort it out and add it to the ever expanding pile of 'things to be removed'!

Wendy said...

Oh, yes! It always looks worse before it gets better, doesn't it?

That's my problem with the mess, before I deal with it, it looks reasonably ordered, not perfect, but not too embarrassing, either.

I feel like that's a spiritual metaphor though. I tend to hide my mess from God, and then, when I ask Him to deal with it, I'd prefer Him to do it quietly, without dragging everything into the open, with out showing me how bad it really is.

He doesn't seem to work that way! :)

But I'm always so happy at the end!!