We constantly struggle to keep our house tidy. Clean is easy, as long as I vacuum around the lego and ignore the "boy bathroom smell" and keep the laundry machine running 24/7. But tidy? Every time I look around the cushions are on the floor and the toys are littered everywhere and there are piles - oh the piles! - of stuff on every surface. The kitchen knee-wall, the portable dishwasher and the shoe rack are the bane of my existence!
But I learned a good lesson last week, words that tumbled out of my own mouth, directed toward my children, that bounced back to me like a reverse of the old children's saying "You are the rubber, I am the glue. Whatever I say bounces off of you and sticks to me."
(That doesn't rhyme at all, but oh well, it works for this situation.)
I had been nagging and nagging and nagging at the boys to tidy the toy room. Colin was dragging his feet around, and Caleb was just getting distracted and playing. The toy room was an utter disaster with nearly every basket emptied onto the floor. My careful organization was no more and there was no hope the boys were going to restore it on their own.
So I watched for a moment. I watched as the boys looked around hopelessly, unsure of even where to begin. I realized that there was simply too much stuff in the room, and they couldn't even wrap their minds around where to start. I immediately vowed to pare down the room into something more manageable.
That's when I realized I needed to apply the same principle to my own life and house. There is just too much in my home for me to manage, so I need to pare it down. Then maybe I can manage to keep things tidy with a lot less effort than it's currently taking.