Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring Cleaning, Part 1

I've titled this blog as "Part 1" in hopes that I do a lot of cleaning this spring and have profound thoughts in the process.

Four out of the past 6 years have found our family getting the house ready for a Graduation Open House. Though the cleaning has been thorough, it's a bit different from what I think of as "spring cleaning." For our Open Houses, we cleaned, sorted and organized. We also hid piles of stuff where guests wouldn't see them. For my spring cleaning, I want to go through closets, drawers, and shelves in order to sort and purge. Of course, I'll clean from floor to ceiling and from corner to corner .... but weeding out the junk is essential.

Like all Americans, we have lots of stuff. I wish we didn't. Years ago, I felt the Lord say to me, "Lighten the load." I know He meant that in many ways: schedules, activities, material possessions, interests, etc. I'm constantly evaluating my life to make sure it isn't over-crowded.

Actually, I like to get rid of things. If the areas of my house are too crowded and I can't keep them tidy with a minimal amount of work, I have too much stuff.

I've decided to start my spring cleaning in the Playroom. Really, it's the Homeschool Room now, but when we moved into the house 15 years ago, it housed all of the Legoes, Playmobil, Fisher Price, games, puzzles and children's books. More children and many more books later, it has become the hub of our homeschool and my ad hoc office. I thought this would be a good place to start. Since we have 6 weeks of school left, it keeps me in the center of things. (If I'd gone to the basement, you wouldn't see me for hours!) It might also re-energize me and get me thinking ahead for next year.

My biggest reason for starting in this room, however, is that the hardest items for me to part with are books. I could get rid of clothes, gadgets, furniture, etc and not blink an eye. But books .... that's hard. I had my youngest child go through the children's books and pull out any that she didn't like and wouldn't read. It was a great start. We just dropped off 3 grocery sacks of books off at the Northfield Great Book Raid. see

These books are still on my shelf:

Now I have four more sets of bookshelves to go through. Pray for me in this, my hour of need.

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