I have a friend with five children ranging from toddler to teenager. She homeschools them all, and runs a business out of her house. As you can imagine, her home is completely overflowing with stuff. Every corner of every room is full.
At first glance, you might get the impression that her household is a chaotic mess, but it’s just the opposite!
Each one of those five kids, right down to the toddler, does his or her part. The older children do the dishes, and the laundry; they vacuum and dust. The younger children know not to interfere with Mommy’s inventory. The schooling schedule is clear, everyone takes responsibility for their own school work, and the children are in the habit of helping one another.
Her home is a well-oiled machine!
I have another friend who is on the other end of the stuff-spectrum. She has a fairly sparse amount of stuff in her home. She doesn’t shop much, and declutters often. Yet she always seems to run into difficulties.
She is often late because she either can’t find her keys. Her children don’t have too many toys, but they always end up scattered around the house. She has a lot of counter space and a large pantry, but cooking dinner each evening is usually a frazzled rush. She has a reasonable amount of clothes, yet she can never quite get ahead of the laundry.
She deals with the same old frustrations every day.
While most of us fall somewhere between these extremes, these two examples reveal that it is not the amount of stuff that determines whether our homes function well.
Please don’t get me wrong . . .
I will always advocate for decluttering and downsizing. Because unnecessary and extra stuff gets in the way and causes problems. However, no amount of decluttering or downsizing will magically make your home function well.
I will always advocate for being organized. Because without a predictable system, homes are harder to manage. But if we simply aim to make our spaces look good, if we follow the advice and systems of others, and if we neglect to train our habits, our stuff will drift right back into disorganization.
That’s why even though decluttering, downsizing, and reorganizing are helpful, they will never be enough.
The only way to make a home function better is to:
- Anticipate the difficulties that cause frustrations on a regular basis, and
- Be intentional about solving those problems before they start
If cooking dinner is difficult, ask yourself why? What specifically trips you up? If you regularly find yourself missing ingredients, your solution strategy will be very different than if you regularly run out of time.
If you can’t walk up the stairs without tripping on stuff, look carefully at that stuff. What specifically ends up on the stairs and why? What needs to change to solve that problem?
Your solution might require a little decluttering, but that would simply be one step you take toward your ultimate goal: To make that particular corner of your home easier to manage.
That is what Home On Purpose is all about!
It’s about thinking ahead, anticipating difficulties, and solving problems. It’s about building habits that make your life easier. It’s about proactively taking control of your stuff and your spaces.
I couldn’t find a word to sum all this up, so I made up my own . . .
What is Intentionalize?
- Intentionalize is a PLAYLIST OF FREE VIDEOS on the Practical Family YouTube channel.
- Each 3-4 minute video focuses on a small, but often problematic, corner of the home.
- For each topic, I help you anticipate common difficulties and share easy and effective strategies for solving those problems before they begin.
- As you apply the strategies, “Intentionalizing” one small corner at a time, your home grows more and more functional!