I just returned from putting my toes in the Pacific Ocean. It was a familiar shock of cold from my growing up years. The younger kids were surprised, as the only “ocean” they remembered was the the warm Gulf from when we lived in Texas.
As we traveled we drove along many different rivers and streams in varying sizes. But one constant remained. They all lead to the ocean.
John Dryden used this natural occurrence to illustrate the importance of good habits:
All habits gather by unseen degrees-As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
What habits do we have that are seemingly insignificant, yet lead to excessive stress in our lives?
How often do we say: “If only I had time…”
When I drag my feet about the simplest household task it goes one of two ways:
- I tell myself :”I’ll get to it later..”
- I tell myself: “later never comes, now is all there is…”
If I skip out on switching the laundry as I walk by, or washing the mixing bowl while the recipe is cooking, the mess never shrinks. It becomes an overwhelming list of tasks that have to be completed before I can enjoy what really matters.
Don’t worry. I don’t keep a magazine cover home. It just isn’t reality when you live in your house whether you are single,married, or have one to a dozen kids. Things don’t put themselves away. It takes habit training. And from my experience,it’s not vacuuming, sweeping or really even doing the dishes that makes the difference.
D.S.W. is a tool to bring others to realize the importance of handmade, to share and learn forgotten life skills and preserve past traditions. If you look at the traditional homesteader-there was work to do every day. Pleasures were spent in the evening with family and the occasional outing or church picnic. The “simpler life” was not exempt from work.
Learn with me as I try out new creative ways to live a traditional lifestyle as God inspires. Let me know if there is a skill that you are being inspired to preserve. I would love to hear about or even help you with that journey!
For now, here are 5 little habits that keep your chores from running to the ocean:
- If you drop it,step over it/on it- pick it up.
- Take the 30 seconds to walk 5ft to put things where they belong. Don’t create clutter piles.( I ask my kids: “30 seconds now, or 30 minutes later?“)
- Fold and put away the clothes as soon as it comes out of the dryer. (this is a new laundry rule for our house I intend to implement in the near future)
- Figure out your “drop zones” and place a basket so it looks more tidy. (such as for shoes,dirty laundry, and mail)
- While waiting for water to boil, the video to load or other small moments-clean up several things in your immediate area. It really is amazing what can be completed in the little bursts of time.
Bonus Tip: Only keep and buy the things that really matter to you and your family. You will be more likely to care for them. As we have decluttered our home and made intentional purchases, there has been an improvement in the care that is given.
Room by room we are training our habits, decluttering, and replacing with quality necessities and pleasures. My goal is to create a home where we enjoy all that is around us, and can find pleasure in our work.
Thanks for being a friend!