Desperately Seeking Serenity

I would love this blog to be about my tidy, calm, tranquil house. I want to post photos of our perfectly clear coffee table, my shiny kitchen counters, the lone candle I light each night that shines upon my serene home.

I’d really love to.

But that’s not my house.

My house is awash with crumbs, dirty laundry, toys, messy piles of papers, and somebody’s shoes (always, always somebody’s shoes in the middle of the damn floor).

I can’t even light a candle. It’s not fair to the poor candle. No candle in the world can emit enough calming energy to outshine the blinding clutter my family generates and then flings about wildly.  Seriously, I think they’re competing with each other.

Especially our family room. That’s the one that makes me crazy. We spend so much of our time there, and it’s where my husband and I collapse after we put our daughter to bed. Seeing our collective clutter and crumbs and crap at the end of a day gives me anxiety. I get grouchy, and resentful. I need that one room to be tidy.

You’ve probably heard of the Japanese “tidying up” book.  You throw away everything you own and then bask in the peace of an empty house. Can’t make a mess if you have no possessions.

It actually worked for me, for about a week. See, unlike our tidy author friend, I have a husband. And a child. And some cats. We have seasons and we celebrate holidays. Things pile up. I do not always want to spend my precious free time cleaning my house.

And yet I covet a tidy house.  When we’re surrounded by order, we can clear our minds and focus on our goals. We can plan and learn and grow. That outer harmony encourages an internal one that seems so elusive as we go about our daily lives.

I need some more tranquility in my life. I’ve decided to spend just 5 minutes a day tidying, particularly our family room. I know that’s counter to the “Tidying Up” lady’s advice. But it helps, and sometimes taking bite-sized actions can be a successful path to change.

I want to hear from you – what’s the one area of your house you ~need~ to be clear?  What's just one thing you can do to create a little more serenity in your life? How can you make it a little better today? 

I'll share my progress with you here, and please let me know what you're doing to create harmony in your life. 

 The family room I'd like to have.

The family room I'd like to have.

 The family room I have.

The family room I have.