Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Always Another Project

This past week I've had the invigorating experience of  finishing projects, big projects, and not just one but several! I completed a family history project that I've worked off-and-on (mostly off) since February. The last bushel of apples was made into sauce and canned. Unless I get venison to can, my canner is on sabbatical until next summer. Yesterday, I finished up the winter sewing, though I'm certain to find a Christmas project or two to sew just for fun. And that hated project, clothes sorting, is finished until warm weather hits.

I love the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies a completed project and job well-done. But then I'm reminded of the danger of finding my fulfillment in what I do, and not in Christ. Why do I either feel like a failure who can't keep up with life or proud at what I have been able to do? Both maladies stem from the failure to keep my eyes on the Lord. Both can be cured by focusing on serving God with the time, strength, and resources He has provided and letting the results to Him. 

But finishing several projects has me wondering, what next? I work best with a slight sense of urgency. Overwhelming impossible deadlines are demoralizing, but a few attainable goals help me use my time wisely and avoid time wasters. It has been far easier to keep the computer off the past couple weeks (though I've missed reading your blogs and interacting with you) when I had a focused plan for my days.

Now that much of the seasonal work is finished, I see a need to make some new goals. Maybe I could actually complete some of the projects that never get enough attention.

It doesn't take long to think of the perfect project. House cleaning. I don't do so bad at general upkeep, but deep house cleaning and de-cluttering happens far too rarely.

When we built our home addition, I had the goal of going through our entire house and re-organizing. I made some headway, but I'm far from done. My goal is that you could ask me at any time where any item in our house is located, and I'd be able to direct you to the exact location of that item. Of course, that is an impossible goal. There is five other persons living in my house who may not have replaced that item in it's place. But at least I should know where the item should be, or tell you where to put the item. To meet this goal, I see three steps.

1. Each item in our home belongs in our home.
2. Each item in our home has a specific place in our home.
3. Each item in our home is marked or organized in a way that others can return it to it's place.

There is a whole lot of things dwelling in our house that have no purpose being here and need removed. Far to often I put something "here for now" without deliberately considering the purpose of the item and where it is best stored. Making it easy for my children to return items to their place and then training them to do so, is a constant challenge.

Of course, I plan to live in a home and not an institution. I never plan to enforce this goal strictly. I want a home organized enough that we can find things and messy enough to be comfortable. With four young children, I think the messy part will be easy! I also give the children a lot of freedom about what "treasures" they keep and how they organize their rooms, as long as it can keep from spilling out in the hall.

Think I have my work cut out for me? I'm sharing this with you all because I know what great accountability you have been in the past. Not that I'm afraid that you'll come check out my basement closets (if you value your life, I wouldn't recommend it) but to gain your encouragement. Maybe I'll share some of the organization journey in the coming weeks.

What are your organizing/de-cluttering tips?


  1. I've been working on this, too. This house is much smaller than we've ever lived in and it has no basement or attic, so it's been a challenge. I'm trying to stream line and get rid of things that I don't use on a regular basis. Things like canning jars and equipment are in use very often, but they're also very bulky. I've heard many people say that a small home is much easier to keep clean. So not true! Good luck in your new endeavor.

    Happy organizing!

  2. You can do it Gina! I was able to de-clutter and organize before we put our house on the market. With such a task it was nice to have a large reason of making moving easier. Now that we are still here in out home I am enjoying that everything has a home and it's easy to keep track of things. Just keep plugging away a little bit each day, as sometimes it gets messier before it gets better!

  3. I think you are concerned without cause when you feel guilty about finding your fulfillment in completing jobs and not in Christ. I believe you are feeling satisfaction, not fulfillment. I also believe God gives us that feeling in order to keep us going in our work. It is very hard to keep going when a person never sees accomplishment. You probably thank God every time you finish a job, which shows your proper orientation toward fulfillment. I believe it is all right to feel job satisfaction, too.

  4. A very high goal. I certainly hope you accomplish it. Many times I have thought of decluttering and organizing our home but the thought is usually as far as it goes. I know though it would make it much easier to keep clean. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  5. Oh Gina, this too is my goal right now. I have a very tiny house with myself and 2 medium sized children living in it. We have lived here for 7 years, so we have accumulated a lot of "stuff". Time for it to go....I have started but not made much progress. That will change soon!
    Happy organizing to you!

  6. I love how you crystallized your guidelines for what stays in your house! I have some areas in my house that I need to go through.

  7. I have the same project planned for the summer holidays (which for us begin in early December). I hope your de-cluttering goes well.
    Have a wonderful day

  8. i have been blessed to find

  9. LOL not laughing AT you, but I could SO relate to this post! A friend and I were talking several years ago about decluttering and we found a book called The Messie's Manual and I learned soooooo much from that book! She gave all kinds of ideas how to organize your things and how to Mount Vernonize as she called it. lol I still struggle with how to organize my things but I can find them if I need them most of the time. I don't have any small kids though so that does help.
    I know it made you feel very good to get so much accomplished!!! I love the feeling of being caught up but like you I have to be doing something so I don't feel like I am wasting my time. I have SO MANY projects that need finishing you would not believe! That's one of my problems! I soon get bored with it and don't finish or have to have someone elses help and then it has to wait.


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