08 July 2010

War or peace?

So far, 2010 has proven to be a very personally challenging year. We have found ourselves visiting more hospitals to see ill relatives, attending more funerals and engaging in more court appearances for a family matter than we ever thought possible in a 6 month period of time! During this very trying time, my family has sought refuge in the solace of our home. We have all found comfort in different ways but, our living space is where we decompress, mourn, pray, bond and escape from the outside world.

When life gets really tough, where to do retreat? Do you seek refuge in the sanctuary of your home or is your house in such disarray that it only compounds your stress? Mother Theresa said "peace and war begin in the home" so does your home bring you peace or does it create war? What do I mean by this? Well, if your home is so full of junk, clutter and visual fodder that you have no idea even what type of flooring you have anymore or what the finish of your dining room table is, then you have war! If you spend a good portion of your time looking for essentials because they got lost in the massive amount of 'collectibles', then you have war! If you cannot safely open closet doors without having a family member ready to dial 911 for you once that door has been opened, then you are at war! 

Now, it is not my intention to judge, condemn or cause you to feel inferior. However, if you can't see your kitchen countertops because they are so full of 'stuff', it's time for some on purpose peace-making. The task may be ominous or seemingly impossible but you can make small efforts to end the war and bring peace. The Bible says 'I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me' so I KNOW you can do it! 

Step 1: Take a deep breath and really look around your space.....open your eyes and SEE what you live in; don't just glaze over it all like you normally would. What drives you crazy to the point of violence yet, you just don't ever have the energy to deal with? Make a list of what you decide you want to change...big or small....just write it on a piece of paper, make a note in your iPhone or Blackberry, create a task list in Outlook...you get the point! Once it is all recorded, you will not be able to effectively avoid those things anymore; you will inherently want to change them.

Step 2: After celebrating completion of Step 1 with an enormous piece of chocolate cake and numerous scoops if ice cream (I am confident the Lord will remove all fat and calories from this one celebratory snack for you!), now prioritize that list of stuff. Do the simple, easy stuff first so you have immediate results and a track record of successful accomplishments to validate your efforts. For example, if it drives you crazy that your spouse comes home from work and throws everything on the kitchen counter, then just get a basket or container for them! You will no longer have to look at their necessities scattered willy-nilly throught the space and it won't make you want to lash out irrationally at them because you can't stand to see it one more second! Make sense? This de-cluttering and organizing does not have to be a long, drawn out, torturous process. I love The Fly Lady (@flylady on Twitter)) because she puts organization into very small, manageable pieces. I also personally enjoy the website www.Getorganizedwizard.com. There you will find exceptional tools, tricks and guidance to organizing every aspect of your life. I would suggest these 2 web sites to give you clarity and professional direction. However, don't spend so much time researching and gathering information that you creatively avoid the real task at hand; creating peace in your home by vanquishing the war.

Step 3: Once you have completed the first 2 steps, comes the fun part...Enjoy what you have changed and created!!!! You will notice the stress level in your house has subsided because everyone can now find their phone chargers, keys, socks and all other essentials. Your family is at peace; not war. They love that they no longer have to conduct major renovations in the bathroom just to locate the toothpaste or get up 10 minutes early just to search the kitchen for the cereal. I bet they are also amazed because they had NO idea you could actually eat IN the dining room AT the dining room table! :)

Our homes are to be our sanctuaries and our refuge from the daily grind, the trials, the tribulations...the toughness of living in a fallen world. If your home is simply de-cluttered and organized, you will enjoy your space and find it much easier to relax. You will be at peace with your home and not war; just as God intended  the home He gave you to be.

Guest blogger Sherry Norris is an interior designer and sales manager at the largest countertop fabricator in the Southeast, Old Castle Surfaces. She can be found usually on her blog Improving Your Castle and she Tweets as @countertoplady. Thanks Sherry!

1 comment:

  1. I choose Peace! And, having tackled away most of my clutter in the past few years, I recommend taking pictures of your space in Step 1. Seeing my room on a computer screen enabled me to scrutinize the space a bit more objectively, as I would a room picture on a blog.

    That said, I need to get in the kitchen and work on a few things....


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