Monday, April 30, 2012

Cleaning House

Tsh Oxenreider does a good job of saying what needs to be said, without saying too much.  I have tried to read 'get your life in order' type books before and I usually stop reading before I am half-way through because I get bored and restless.  Organized Simplicity has been different (thank You, LORD!... and thank you, Tsh!).

She starts you off by prompting you through some questions and evaluations to help you write out a purpose statement for your family.  Everything you do and own should reflect that purpose statement. 
It's so simple, and yet the common sense of this book is strangely... uncommon.
After she speaks to subjects like scheduling and finances, she moves you into the fun stuff.  Cleaning your house.... with a garage sale in your future.  I giggled when I read her reason for why she thinks you should do a garage sale:  to learn your lesson about over-consuming and hoarding, and spending outside of your purpose.  Garage sales hurt.  I might rather visit the gyno or dentist than do another garage sale.  Yes, it is an effective means of lesson learning.
So, I am moving room by room.  Per Tsh's instructions, I am taking out everything from a room except the rugs and furniture.  I then clean the room from top to bottom including windows, walls, vents, etc.  I only put back in the room what is useful or beautiful and what lines up with our family purpose statement. 

Here are some before pics of our family room:

Here's how much junk was stored in that room:

Here's what it looked like after the cleaning before putting what we kept back:

And here's the after:

Though this first room went quickly, the music room and school room took the weekend.  There were lots of papers, books, and odds and ends that needed sorting through.  Lots of stuff is making its way into either the garbage, recycle, or sell room (my guest bedroom is converted into the garage-sale-prep room for now.  :)

Having these two major areas behind me, I am ready to press forward into utility rooms, closets and pantry, kids rooms, and play room. 

Our garage sale is this weekend.  I've got LOTS of work to do between now and Friday.   When I walk into the two main rooms I've already done, I feel such a sense of accomplishment.... I feel lighter and more free.
  Something else I learned, and this is HUGE: By physically touching each and everything I own, I feel the weight of it's value.  Often the thing falls short of what I would hope for something I kept so long, or spent money on.  Sometimes I rejoice and am thankful to re-discover an amazing resource or tool that I have had all along and was under-utilizing.  All the while, through the whole process, I am keeping our family's purpose statement front-and-center in my mind.

So that's what's up with the west-coast Liechtys!

and now, counting with my grateful friends:

~ a Sunday walk with my love and our pup, down tree-lined streets and falling petals,  for pizza and root beer

~ the feeling of being tucked in bed with a good book at the end of a busy weekend

~ the scent of honeysuckle in the air

~ kitchen creativity with two funny girls

~ SG and Hannah sewing their re-purposed creations for their Etsy business

~ a friend bringing flowers

~ a friend showing mercy

~ Alex bringing SG ladybug earrings for her new pierced ears after the two of them released 1500 ladybugs into the garden

~ watching SG's focus and determination in her softball games

~ Samuel entering another Lego contest... never daunted by not winning in the past

~ good books, math manipulatives, science tools, art supplies, great music, pencils, paper

~ the feeling and knowledge of what it is to become more myself


  1. Wow- I think I need to check this book out. I have similar reactions to books on organizing. This seems- drastic and effective. I like it!

    Good luck at the sale this weekend!

  2. It is so amazing how much can accumulate through the dailiness of life. Blessings to you!!

  3. I think I need to get started on a project like that! I just keep waiting for a weekend when I'm not ransacked by migraines but maybe if I start small it would be something.

  4. yes, like each of you Organized Simplicity is quietly calling my name (:

    and this:
    By physically touching each and everything I own, I feel the weight of it's value.

    it unnerves me as i think of the volume of things that may fall short when placed upon the scales.... lessons learned.

    ~ ~ ~

    thank you for your thanksliving, such beautiful thanksgiving.

    i can see Samuel and his creativity flowing through his fingertips... and the ladybugs & Alex and the ladybug earrings - love it!

    and here:
    the feeling and knowledge of what it is to become more myself

    my gratitude overflows - beautiful truth! (and in my mind i hear Francesca singing Free To Be Me :)

    Love you much,
    sweet -t-