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Well, my family’s time of living together in close quarters is coming to an end.  As much as I love my new kitchen floor, I kind of dread moving back into all that space, and all of the stuff stored in it.

These past few days, I have had more guilt-free free time than ever.  Whenever I am not doing something productive (aka cleaning) in my downtime, it feels like a weight or a presence hovering over me.  Without access to most of the house, what was there to clean?  

Actually, the bathroom and my bedroom were getting a little out of control.  And you know what?  I joyfully cleaned up that bathroom first thing this morning, because I wanted to take pride in the small space I still have dominion over.  Then, I spent the greater part of the day going through the bedroom closets, decluttering and organizing their contents.  Everything fits!  Nothing is going to fall out of them, and everything I need is easily accessible.  

It took time I don’t usually have available, but today, I did, because I didn’t have to worry about the sheaves of papers on the kitchen shelves or the table piled high with EVERYTHING in my office, or the dishes that quickly accumulate with seven inhabitants (we’ve primarily been using disposables, although I did wash dishes in the tub two days ago).

How will I maintain this small space living when the other two-thirds of our house becomes accessible again in the next day or so?  I’ve barely had time to process all of the joy and ease of this simple life we’ve been living.  I want to pretend those other areas are still off-limits until I can come up with a plan to manage them as simply as I have our all-purpose living room.

However, I must admit that, even in our one-room living area, chaos and clutter have crept in.  Papers,  always papers, are piled on the refrigerator (mine) and the dishwasher (the kids).  Books are strewn about, and everyday we have had a basket of laundry on-site.  The shoes, boots and other gear nearly block our entrance/exit.  Un-labeled paper cups filled with water threaten the existence of aforementioned papers and books.  I didn’t prepare a home for the newly visiting items, and they crowd out much of our surface space, making it hard for the eyes to find a place to rest or the hands to prepare the food.

Even in a small space, I can still be neglectful- too absorbed in my writing or FB, which I had so hoped to overcome, not unlike my candy addiction.  Like I mentioned in the previous post,  I left the candy stored high and away in the kitchen, and I did successfully go one whole day without it!  There was even a tin of cookies on top of the refrigerator that I failed to notice and desperately wanted to open, but it remains sealed.

However, I did find a candy bar in my bedroom (a birthday gift) that I couldn’t resist on day two.  Then, I was able to re-enter the kitchen briefly, and I polished off a few saltwater taffies and some weird hazelnut/crisped rice truffles my mom dropped off.

All this to say that, as much as I want to idealize these past few days, I am still me, and the very things I so hoped to avoid or conquer have found there way into our tiny safe haven.  Yet, I cherish the sweet extra time I have had to read to and play with my children that I am otherwise “too busy” to do.  And, I am thankful for all of the writing I have been able to accomplish.  Hopefully, these are things that will continue to expand with our living space.