Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is my home prepared?

I have been pondering what it means for me to be prepared in my home. It mostly comes down to organization and discipline.

I use to be more organized, back when life was simpler, before kids. The last three years have been a slow surrender to the forces of entropy. Now I have to expend great amounts of energy to get back to where I was. But I must, for the sake of my family and myself.

So, my conviction to be more prepared, to be in a position to be used by God, begins with a few basic rules. (I'm almost too embarrassed to admit the level of chaos in which we now live, but confession is good for the soul, right?)

  1. No dirty dishes left on the counter or in the sink over night.
  2. The kitchen table, the bookshelves and the desk need to remain clear of clutter.
  3. I need to tackle at least one "problem area" each week -- "problem areas" include, but are definitely not limited to, all the closets, my bedroom, the play area, the piles of crafts and games.
I have no desire to be legalistic about this, and there are always exceptions, but these rules really are about finding freedom not bondage.

So far, this has been a good week. The rules have lowered my stress around dinner time (I don't have to do dishes before I have enough counter space to cook and I don't have to rush around clearing the table before we can eat). We have also had the opportunity to invite friends over, without needing three-days-warning to get the house picked up.

My problem area for the week was the hall / linen closet. It was a huge pile of stuff that we no longer used. I also found some toiletry items that I had bought and lost (toothpaste, shampoo, etc). It took several afternoons (with only about 15 minutes available each day) to get it done; it sure looks good!

Now I just have to apply some of the discipline I was talking about to keep it up!

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