If you were to stroll through my house, you’d notice everything has a place. Prayerfully you would feel comfortable, welcome, and rested. What you hopefully might not notice is the multitude of items carefully hidden beneath the surface. In this busy household, we fill in all available space.
One might think we have an overabundance of household items; it might be time to downsize a little. While this is occasionally true – everyone needs to reassess the amount of possessions they own from time-to-time – it is the nature of our family lifestyle which dictates the amount of items filling our home.
One cannot run a business without the essentials of the trade. An illustrator who does not own paint, or computer, might need to rethink his chosen career. We have purposed not to homeschool via computer, thus many materials are provided to encourage learning and exploration. We have six people living in a four bedroom house, one of which is used as an office. Essentially, we’re all home; all day; every day. So, you see… space is quite limited.
Finding the right spot for everything can be a challenge. When you’re this full up, and every available surface is already taken, it’s time to start thinking creatively. Where do we put everything? We fill in all the available space we can find!
Recently, the kiddos and I decided to work on a puzzle. We knew the puzzle would take several days, and securing a table for that amount of time was out of the question. So, the puzzle was started on a large piece of foam board. The board was tucked under a couch, out of sight; waiting to be finished another day.
The entry closet of our home originally had one bar and a shelf on top. We’ve since removed both and added many shelves to maximize space. Even then, each shelf is carefully arranged with plastic bins, to use every inch of real-estate available.
Atop our fridge is displayed the family picnic basket and old-fashioned tins, which happened to be filled with snacks and treats which don’t fit into the tiny pantry of our home.
Large, wicker baskets decorate our living room. Inside you will find blankets, magazines, books, and more. In each room, one or more baskets beautifully add to the look of our home, yet allow us to keep on hand items needed on a regular basis.
I could go on. As much as possible, we’ve taken to finding clever, creative ways to store the multitude of items we use and need on a daily basis. Our goal is to keep our home looking as uncluttered and welcoming as possible, while maintaining accessibility for our children. We don’t want guests sitting atop piles of unfinished schoolwork when coming to visit. Nor should our children be hindered from creativity because everything is locked away. We’re trying to find balance.
This is not always easy. As our children grow we reassess and reorganize. We are constantly shifting items in our home to accommodate our needs. But the results are worth it.
Does this mean our home is never cluttered or unorganized? I wish! No, House Beautiful will not be holding a photo shoot any time soon. This does lend to peace of mind for Mom, and a creative environment for our family to explore. As much as we can, every available space is being put to good use, especially if that space says, “Welcome”.
“But all things should be done decently and in order.”
~ I Corinthians 14:40
Chime In!: What is the most unusual place you’ve found yourself storing learning materials in your home?