It's been over five months since we moved into our new house, and while many parts of the house feel "finished," the list seems never ending. My husband and I both love a good project, but we've really had to prioritize what we'd like to work on, and space it out realistically based on time and budget. There are times when I catch myself slipping over the line between dreaming of ideas and coveting completion of that vision. Here are a few things that are helping me be content where we are, and really embrace the beautiful home we live in, exactly how it is right now.
- Combat the clutter - Rule #1: Never leave a room a mess when you leave it. Obviously, sometimes this just isn’t reality, but it’s a goal I strive for each day. This can be difficult, the older Brooklyn gets, so I usually make a point to tidy up her main areas of destruction (the living room and playroom) before Jordan and I head upstairs for bed at night. I always feel happier and more centered when I enter into a clean room. Another way to combat the clutter is investing in baskets and other organizing methods. I recently moved most of B's bottle making supplies to drawers and cabinets, which made a huge difference in our kitchen.
- Display your memories - The most obvious of these sentimental items is Mr. Elk, proudly displayed in our front room/my office, but we also have plenty of other special mementos on shelves and walls. I recently went digging through some of my old things, and found an art book that belonged to my great-grandmother. It’s now sitting on a floating shelf in my office, which makes me smile every time I see it! We also have a really special gallery wall that I plan to update with new pictures every year as B grows.
- Stop putting off your chores - I’ve learned from my own mom that keeping up with your laundry, dishes and vacuuming is a daily necessary task. Each morning, we gather all the dirty clothes from upstairs and start a load in the washer. Dishes are unloaded around the same time every day, usually while B eats her lunch (much easier now that she's feeding herself!). Vacuuming is a little trickier to remember, but luckily B loves to chase the vacuum, so it's a great way to tire her out before naps. It's a fact: Chores seem far less daunting when they're spread out over the week, vs. leaving them to be done all in one day. And besides, the piling up of laundry, dishes, and mess throughout the week isn't going to make your house feel like a place where you can relax.
- Create spaces that inspire you - Jordan and I have spent a ton of time coming up with ideas on how to make our home feel and look exactly how we want it. The key is not following trends, but creating what really feels like “home” to you. I've personally loved creating original art pieces for our walls. If you're not the creative type, commissioning art from talented friends is another great way to fill your home with inspiring pieces.
- Entertain company - Nothing makes me happier than having our friends and family over for dinner and games. Having a home that’s created so many memories already has been a huge blessing to us. I personally feel more motivated to get small projects done when I know friends and family are coming over. I like our house to look its best before company comes, and often that’s the little bit of motivation you need to get back into the groove of cleaning/organizing/finishing a project.
- Practice daily gratefulness - My gosh, we are so blessed to be where we are, and it's so easy to forget that, being a sinful, imperfect human being and all. Instead of making a list of what I'd love to change about our home (knowing we chose this home with the intention of updating it - the temptation to daydream and fall into coveting territory is all too real), I've been trying to spend my energy focused on the things I love, and would never change, about our house. For example: 1. We have so much more kitchen storage now - I can buy more than one roll of paper towels at a time, and that makes me ridiculously happy. 2. A beautiful deck that we have been using almost daily now that the weather is nicer. 3. A cozy, finished basement, enough said... and all my fellow Kansan's said "YAAAS!!" I could go on and on! There is so much to be thankful for, including the simple fact that we have a home that we feel safe and comfortable in.
I am hoping to share more of what we have done in our house on the blog soon, including a Playroom and Dining Room tour. The dreams, plans, and projects we have going for this house are all a part of what make this new house journey so special, but I've been convicted recently to take a step back and remember, most of all, to be thankful for every blessing we have. These last few months have been filled with such great memories in our new house, and I am so grateful for this little crew of mine that fills it with love and laugher.