Home Organizing

Loving Mom Well this Mother's Day

My mom & my girls 2016

My mom & my girls 2016

After leaving the home of a client who recently lost his mom, I’ve been a bit more reflective thinking of my own mama and my life as a mother. I am so very fortunate to still have my mom here and healthy. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters by encouraging me, toting my kids from here to there, attending all kinds of her grandkids’ games and performances, and mostly loving me well in all my ups and downs that motherhood, marriage, and owning a business can bring.

We’re 3 days away from Mother’s Day 2019 and I’ve been contemplating how do I really celebrate my mom, let her know how priceless she is to me, and create a memory that I can enjoy when she’s no longer here. As some of you who know my mom or may have read in previous posts, my mom is quite the collector of things. She’s got some mad skills when it comes to finding deals, personal shopping for family and friends, and creating an amazing storyboard of all her finds and family pieces in the place she and my dad call home. Having lived in the same old farmhouse for over 40 years allows one to create quite the collection. : )

I say all that to explain why giving my mom some of my time, a little muscle, and some serious purging encouragement would (wink, wink), by far, be the best gift I could give my mom this Mother’s Day. Now for you, your mom may be a natural born minimalist and giving your time in her home may not be the best help. My encouragement to anyone reading who has a mom that they’d like to love well this Mother’s Day is to take a minute now and think about her. What’s her season, her newest hobby, a restaurant she’s always wanted to try? There are lots of directions we could go here, but my hope for you is to be able to find one act of sacrifice on your part that would be life-giving to her. Below is a short list of ideas, and I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Whatever you land on, I hope you get a chance to connect with your mom, be it in person, over many miles, or in your memories.
And to all you mamas out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

Big love,
taryn

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IDEAS FOR MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS



Start 'em young

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

I became a mom with very few plans in place for how I’d spend time with my child or children, how I envisioned my home being set up for little ones, or how many kids I wanted to have. I’d always hoped to be a mom. I just didn’t really have specific ideas of exactly how that might go down. Almost 17 years into motherhood, and 3 amazing kids later, I am both thankful for that somewhat clueless beginning and at the same time, a bit regretful that I wasn’t more intentional.

Image:  Texture Photo  // 2018

Image: Texture Photo // 2018

I’ve found that not having concrete expectations of how motherhood would go was a gift in that it allowed for a whole lotta grace. Not so much pressure on them or on me to be someone I had dreamed up in my head. I think I have been able to pay closer attention to each one of my kids and their unique personalities, ways of relating, and specific needs better since I didn’t have rigid expectations of what I wanted parenting and my kids to look like.

Being somewhat clueless also paved the way for new relationships and a sweet reliance on family. I am fortunate to have started motherhood off with some incredible new mamas who I’ve shared this crazy adventure with and who are still some of my dearest friends. We learned so much from one another. I am also a very blessed gal to have a mom and mother-in-law who have shown me what great love and sacrifice for your kids looks like. All good gifts in the midst of my cluelessness.

However, there is one area that I do wish I had been more thoughtful about at an earlier stage — how to create spaces in my home, and spaces in our days, for my kids. I had to make a lot of mistakes in this area before realizing there’s a better way. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but if I had taken a bit more time to think through what items &/or areas in my home that would encourage my kids to learn, explore, and love well, I would’ve saved myself lots of hours of singing (and doing) the “clean-up, clean-up, everybody everywhere” song and dance, procrastination, guilt, and frustration.

On May 2 at The Back Porch Mercantile, this is the exact topic we will be teaching on.

  • How do we get a baby’s room ready with all the needs but not the excess?

  • What’s the best way to create a play area for toddler’s that allows them to explore but doesn’t turn my house into a plastic toy jungle?

  • Do I keep all my preschooler’s handprint art and the other 724 pieces of art they’ve created?

  • Toys through the years and how to store them in a way that your kids can actually clean them up.

  • How do we do birthdays and holidays well without filling up on too many gifts?

  • What to do with all my elementary-age child’s school work?

  • How do teach my kids to organize?

I have learned lots raising this boy and my two girls. I’m still learning. And whether you’re a new mom or a few years in, my hope for you is that through some intentional, thoughtful planning, you can create the best space for your kids and for you to be the best mom you can be.

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

Suggestions for an orderly linen closet

Image from  Homesong

Image from Homesong

During the gray days of January is a great time to focus your attention on the spaces in your home that are often used but rarely seen. Let’s talk about linen closets. Whether you have a large closet or a small nook or set of shelves that function as your “linen closet”, these tips will help.

How many should I have?

  • Sheet sets: 2 sets for each bed, potentially 1 older extra set to use for painting or other household projects

  • Blankets: one for each bed plus an extra for each size of bed that you have for guests

  • Pillow cases: 2 for twins, 4 for full, queen and king sizes

  • Towels: 2 sets per person plus an extra (in case you have guests and need to do laundry at the same time). A set includes: bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth.

What else goes in the linen closet?

  • Surplus of toiletries (travel size products for guests or to pack for trips)

  • Extra toilet paper

  • Bathroom cleaning supplies

  • First aid/medicine **Check expiration dates on all products & toss the old ones

How to store:

  • Store sheets by size. Fold the flat sheet and fitted sheet as neatly as possible, then store them inside one of the pillow cases. Consider labeling the spot on the shelf where each specific size sheet set goes, to avoid confusion or having to un-fold the sheet set to find the size you’re looking for. You could use cloth storage boxes to keep sheets free of dust.

  • Stack or roll towels. Sort by size and color, or by particular bathroom in which they are used.

  • Use large baskets or bins to hold extra blankets & comforters or sleeping bags. This will keep them off of the floor & avoid dust.

Enjoy a few lovely examples of orderly linen closets…

Image from  Honey We’re Home .

Image from Honey We’re Home.

Image from  Texture Photo .

Image from Texture Photo.

Image from  Waiting on Martha .

Image from Waiting on Martha.