Saturday, April 2, 2016
In my childhood home, I don't recall seeing piles of paperwork, junk mail, or even any bills. My mother kept things organized and out of our daily vision. The living room, kitchen, and bedrooms were neat and relaxing. We would deep clean things on a weekly basis (dusting, washing floors, etc). We also had daily work to keep things looking neat.
Sometimes I would see my father at the kitchen table with his checkbook and paperwork. He would also have a cup of coffee, and some coffee cake when he was finished. After that, we children had no idea where he kept his files, or even his bank papers. All those things were out of our sight. They had a place, but not sitting out in a pile of clutter. There was order.
In later years, as my parents lived here with us for 9 years, I was able to see more of how Mother kept the clutter away. Every few months she would have the card table set up in her dining room. Here is where she would put stacks of papers, files, and old bills. Over the next few days, as she had time, she would work on sorting and tossing whatever was no longer needed. The card table was in an out - of - the way corner of the room, and did not take away from the beauty of the rest of their home. Things were still kept neat while she continued to keep house around this little "project" of sorting out the old clutter. Mother worked slowly and walked with a cane, but after a couple of days, all was finished and the card table was put away.
This is what I have been working on, in my own home, the last few days. Each day, I sort some files and papers and toss what is now clutter. Yesterday, I even took three bags of unwanted books and movies to the library as a donation. I want to clear out many more things to make room for only what is most important.
It is a very slow work right now, as I have only recently recovered from a difficult illness. I get tired so easily. But I love doing things that make my home look nice, even if I am only able to work a little each day.
I have a card table set up in one of the rooms, and will work on organizing those papers this coming week. We are told we only need to save files and papers that go back 3 years. Anything over that, in most cases, it is okay to discard. I also have children's schoolwork in folders that I will always keep. There are cards and letters that are special and will be filed away.
This necessary part of housekeeping - keeping the clutter away - is something that ought to happen on a daily basis to a small degree. Then, as the example of my mother, there will be times we need to spend a few days in deep clutter removal, to eliminate "things" that may have accumulated that we really don't need.
A Home without clutter can be such a peaceful place. It is a nice goal that can be accomplished with just a little bit of daily effort.
From The Archives -
Wouldn't You Like to Know? - The Secret to a Clean House.
Happy Days at Home - Confined to The Nursery.
Financial Troubles - Living in Reduced Circumstances.
Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.