The Connection between Organisation & Gratitude

So this might be a personal question? But how do you organise your – well, your clothes? We have an old Victorian home and there is minimal storage. In my bedroom there is no built in cupboard so we are currently ‘making do’ with a few dressers and a very old wardrobe. Recently I have added a hanging rack to accommodate the larger items I have like coats, jackets and long dresses.

But I am determined there must be a better way. Could it be I have too many clothes? Too many shoes? Where do you place all of those less used items like accessories and seasonal active gear that need a home but not one that is in high rotation, so access is not necessarily a priority?

Early in the year I read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And for a few special moments it did change my outlook. I rearranged my clothes, my personal things and it helped a lot to remove the clutter. But I did not go all the way. Kondo argues that we should only keep that which we love……and here is the problem for me. I have mounds of things for a rainy day. An item if clothing in several sizes, old beautiful leather boots kept just in case one of my girls grows into them.

People who have adopted this KonMarie Method claim it has transformed their life. Stuff does have a way of compounding the negative. There have been many season in my life when I have felt trapped by material things – when I am busy with a newborn I have felt overwhelmed by clutter because I had not the time or energy for a major spring clean. And then I recall a time living overseas when we took with us just a sample of treasured things and lived lightly for over a year. It was thrilling.

So why then do I struggle today with organising my clothes and thinking about stuff and its hold on me. If it were just me I could possibly live a radically different minimalist life. But there are 7mouths2feed here in my home, that is seven people to help organise. Imagine the number of pairs of shoes we have…..I try not to. I think I need a radically different approach to organisation that allows me to feel lighter and brighter and to train those I love how to care for their things. Perhaps the start is gratitude for abundant material blessings. Maybe that will make parting with the excess of stuff easier.

Being Grateful

I spent a day on the gratefulness bus the other day. 
One of the teachers was encouraging all the kids to find three things that day that they could be grateful for and to keep them in mind for their (gratefulness) journaling. 
This concept of fostering gratefulness in children and teenagers through education is growing rapidly.  It’s something that we’ve striven for in our own family.  We’ve considered it an important characteristic of family life.  As a family, our gratefulness has a clear focus. The basis of our outlook of gratitude in the family is our faith in God through Jesus; that is, our Christian faith.  We’re grateful to God and we articulate this multiple times each day.  
I think gratefulness needs a target.  We may be grateful for a gift, but we ought to express our gratitude to the giver.  
One of the other staff on this trip is on a mission for the perfect dumpling, and that brings me to my place of gratitude for the day. 
The best dumplings are in Box Hill. 
I’m not naming any particular joint, although we have our favourite.  But we don’t have to bring our family to China to experience the thoroughgoing joy of great Chinese dumplings.  
Amazing dumplings are a regular part of our family life. 

And for that, I am grateful. 

Gratitude on this Autumn Day….

 Autumn LeavesThe leaves are changing colour. Our backyard and neighbourhood footpaths are covered in crunchy, golden leaves. Walking outside right now in the crisp autumn air is like taking a stroll in your morning cornflakes. The sound is amazing….if you stop long enough and linger.

I am thankful for the small people in my life. The family that makes me ‘run’ throughout the day doing life, will also make me stop. To hold chubby hands and skip through brown, ochre, green and yellow leaves. To collect acorns. To inhale the dampness that comes with leaves that slowly, gently, fall and find their own stillness in gardens deep.

Sometimes nature awakens our senses in unexpected ways. I have gazed at the autumnal goodness outside our windows for weeks now. But today the leaves sang a new song. They reminded me of their journey. Reminded me of a season of change that is upon me. And asked me to embrace it. Gratitude.