I’ve always looked forward to coming home to my parents’ house, through my college years and even to this day. I always know what to expect – warm welcoming smiles and hugs, a kiss from my dad. A healthy meal being prepared. Beautiful, peaceful music playing in the background. Conversation that is interesting, engaging, respectful and often infused with high laughter. Everything in order and in its place – clean, uncluttered, peaceful. I always feel like I can just take a deep breath and relax.
I always thought, or maybe hoped, I would turn into my mom as an adult. My mom is everything wonderful, and I mean that genuinely. She is neat and tidy, an incredibly hard worker, loves God with all her heart, is disciplined and always has a plan for her day.
Then, there’s me. I am messy, I don’t like structure, even though I desperately need it, and choose to rebel against it as an unfair taskmaster. I like to drink lots of coffee and get a fresh mug out with every cup, leaving dirty mugs scattered in my wake. I’m absentminded, and ADD, in that I like to talk about my latest business idea and my Instagram account and forget about the dirty dishes that need to be done. Which is fine, until your poor husband is making his breakfast and can’t find a clean butter knife. #wifefail
I properly detest doing dishes and cleaning, unless I’ve gathered so much emotion and outrage at the state of my house, it throws me into what my husband calls a “cleaning frenzy”, stopping at nothing until the last corners are pristine. Which means 1% of the time, the house looks sparkling perfect, and the other 99% there should probably be bright yellow “CAUTION” tape around it.
My husband got so tired of coming home and saying, “What are we having for dinner?” and me saying, “That’s a good question – let me look in the fridge and see what we have.”, that he finally took it upon himself to create a weekly meal plan (In an Excel spreadsheet, with a systematic plan to pull recipes from alternating cookbooks. Yep, he is the yin to my yang, and every bit an engineer.)
The problem with my MO? My house is not a haven; it’s better described as a battle zone. There are landmines to navigate (toys), things lost in endless piles, necessary tasks that don’t get done because important papers are lost in the shuffle, and endless searching for lost items. Never a moment of true rest because everywhere I look, something urgently needs to be done – not today, not tomorrow, but maybe LAST MONTH…. I can’t have anyone over to our house without getting out an earth mover, or at least have three days notice.
I am an ENFP on the Myers-Briggs scale, which means I like to fly by the seat of my pants and prefer spontaneity over plans. But the more complex my life gets, the more I’m finding I need to bring the “J” to my “P” in my ENFP (meaning become more of a planner and less of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-er).
So I am blogging every day for 31 days on “Haven Making”. Not as an organizational or homemaking expert with all the answers, but as a “messy” who is driven to clear some chaos. I come as someone who wants to get creative and do some simple things to make my home a nicer place to live, work and eat. To make my home more like the haven my mom created for me and my brothers and sister.
A haven – not heaven – there is one more letter in heaven – not perfect, not Pinterest-worthy or Martha Stewart magazine homey, but comfortable to live in. A place where I can find things. A nice place to sit down and read a book without feeling like I have to first plant a white flag in a pile of laundry next to me. A safe place for my little one to crawl around in.
I’ll be taking pictures and blogging about my projects, which will largely:
- Take 1-2 hours in most cases, and never more than a day.
- Cost little to nothing. I have a budget of $100 for the entire month. (I won’t be inviting Classy Closets in to redesign my master storage ).
- Include a system for maintaining organization
Topics will include all things that can make a house a haven, including:
- Healthy snacks for kids
- Warm hugs and kisses
- Clean laundry (especially underwear)
- Tidy surroundings
- A home for everything
- Beautiful things to see
- A happy mama
So my friends, this is my journey blog – about my struggle against my natural tendencies so I can make my life a little easier, to create a more peaceful and enjoyable space for my family – to make my home more of a little haven. I hope you will join me!
Haven Making Posts:
– Day 1 – Haven Maker Journey Blog
– Day 2 – What Makes Our Home a Haven?
– Day 3 – On Haunted Chocolate Cookie Houses and Saying “Yes” (Ellianna’s definition of Haven)
– Day 4 – What Makes Home a Haven for a Tiny One? (Making a Haven for Baby Weston)
– Day 5 – Kitchen Peace
– Day 7 – Haven Making Triage
– Day 9 – Haven Making: Time-Management
– Day 12 – When Haven Making is Overwhelming
– Day 17 – Haven Making: Emotional Health Part I
– Day 19 – Haven Making: Emotional Health Part II – Heart-Check