friends

ease the pain of organizing

No matter how overwhelming or dreadful the organizing project ahead of you might be, there are ways to make it less painful. We've put our ideas and actual experiences together and this is what we came up with. 

Background Music

There is something magical about your favorite playlist pumping that will empower you to do even more than you thought you could. Instrumental music is great for the jobs that take extra brain power, like reading and sorting through files. Jobs that require a little more heavy lifting and rearranging lend themselves well to your favorite sing in the shower songs. As your muscles are firing up and working hard, a power ballad or sing along helps ease the pain - you can just belt it out, as long as your neighbors like your voice. Music really can be the extra fuel to get your organizing project handled. We've experienced it first hand & it's really fun (even if you don't know all the words). Try some of our favorites: Productive Morning playlist, Amos Lee radio, Bishop Briggs playlist

Fresh Air

Image from  fresh farmhouse blog . 

Image from fresh farmhouse blog

Whenever possible, open the windows (weather and allergy permitting). There is something soothing about fresh outside air flowing through your space. If you can't open the windows, pulling up blinds and opening curtains does wonders as well. This spring, try it out - while organizing or doing household chores, bust open a window and soak in that vitamin D and breezy air.  Especially in a room that feels dark, dated or overwhelming... a little air can be so life-giving. Hearing the birds chip, leaves rustling or bikers passing by remind you that you are not alone stuck in the space you are working on. 

Enlist a Teammate 

Invite a friend over. Twice the muscle and (wo)man power to get the job done! You and a friend probably both have an organizing project in your home you just don't want to tackle alone, so partner with each other! You need the kind of friend who understands what is important to you but who also isn't afraid to lay down the hammer and help you PURGE. The kind of friend who will notice if you are starting to hold onto excess and useless things, and gently remind you that you are only going to feel lighter if you let go. A friend can also laugh with you at the hilarious and embarrassing memories or items discovered. It does wonders to a friendship, to vulnerably share your mess and work through it together! 

Intermission

Set a timer for 1 hour on your phone when you begin your project. This will be a good pause time to get up, leave the room/project and grab a snack or water. Don't get too stuck in all of the stuff! 5-10 minute break times can be very helpful. Just make sure you commit returning to the project until it's done. 

Treat Yourself! 

Cheers! Image from @ Anthropologie . 

Cheers! Image from @Anthropologie

Incentivizing a task is a great way to keep you empowered throughout the drag of the job. Instead of rewarding yourself with more "stuff" or material possessions - think of a treat you'd enjoy that is an experience. Here's a few ideas to celebrate a job well done: pedicure,, wine night with friends, fancy date night out, renting that movie you've wanted to see, or planning a family vacation. Invite kids to participate in this too - if they commit and tackle an organizing job in their room, reward them with a sleepover or trip to the trampoline park! 

We would love to hear your suggestions and ideas on how to keep organizing fun. Happy organizing, friends! 

Home as an offering

We sat down this week to interview the lovely Lindsay Heath about her house, her decorating style, and her philosophy on home. If you've never met Lindsay, the best way I know to describe her is that her presence feels like a warm hug.

Honestly, to focus on Lindsay's decorating style and her home in it's purely physical sense would be a disservice. Lindsay has a natural eye for creating beauty but what struck me the most about our visit was the overwhelming sense that when you walk into her home, the pressure is off, you are invited, welcomed, and appreciated.

With a knack for quirky items and for the cast off's of both friends and strangers, Lindsay and her husband Jonny have created a patchwork home that incorporates the practical, lovely, and eclectic parts of life in every sense. One thing Lindsay said that I've been thinking about a lot is that "space is defined by the people who inhabit it and use it". With a desire to make the people around her feel more important than the things she surrounds herself with, she aims for making spaces feel touchable and approachable; like you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about your surroundings. She mentioned that over the years she has come to find that an object can evoke a memory but that she doesn't have to retain the object in order for the memory to continue. Lindsay loves the creative aspect of decorating with objects that can be repurposed or reimagined. She loves finding unwanted objects and looking at them in a new way... kind of like when you find a house that's about to be demolished so you pick it up and move it two blocks over to save it... yes... she actually did that!!! (more on that at a later date) She shared with us that many, if not most of the things, in her house have been given to her and she in turn passes things along when she no longer has the space or need for them.

Lindsay is the first renter we have interviewed and we were especially interested in what she had to say about decorating a rental. Upon moving into their home they were asked not to paint or hang large things on the wall. As a result, Lindsay has used her limitations to find creative ways to dwell and make the space feel like home. Large art pieces lean against the walls, thumb tacks or Velcro strips are used for lighter objects. Lindsay has found that sometimes limits help you see things in new ways, limits force you to think creatively.

We asked Lindsay what "home" means to her and she mentioned the end of a stanza in the daily reading in the book of common prayer. It reads, "May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors." The lines resonate with Lindsay in that to her, home is a place to welcome people in from the weariness, from the pace of the world.

"Home is a place for gathering and celebrating and for relaxing and eating: the really elemental practices. Home is the hub of human activity. The way that we relate in homes can be so formative- be it through decoration, presentation of food, accessibility to objects.  Our relation to all those things that make us human make up a home; a place that can encapsulate all of the best parts of human life. "

Another unique thing about Lindsay and Jonny is that since they were married, they have always lived with other people- sometimes other married couples, sometimes single folks, but always someone. We asked her to tell us a little bit more about that decision. "On a practical level, when we got married, it made sense financially to share the expenses with others along with the fellowship, the space, the being known and knowing. The incidental disciplines and sacrifices of being not as able to hide the things that as humans we are tempted to hide and the discomfort of sharing space have been an unexpected and challenging reward. With the different people we’ve lived with, we always sit down and talk about all the reasons to live together, economic, practical, division of labor, fun -- but the primary reason we share a home with people is to become more like Christ. It’s been a very consistent practical way to be challenged and to challenge others in the comings and goings of every day life. Living with others creates a lot of opportunities to do that hard work. It has been a great way to keep in check the temptation to hold onto things tightly. Living with others is often inconvenient but there is an ethic of being uncomfortable that I’ve found to be a wonderful crucible-- that’s been a refinement of my walk towards Christ."

Fall to do list guide

Do you ever get to the end of a season and realize that there were so many things you planned to do but never got to? Us too.
There are so many fall festivals, holidays, and events going on and we've made a to do list of sorts to help get the ball rolling for your harvest plans. We love the idea of having seasonal bucket lists as well; things that aren't necessarily all planned out but a list of ideas for the occasional Saturday when you find yourself with no plans.

We suggest carving out an hour with your calendar ASAP to get things on your schedule.

Festivals: Click on the links for more info

Activities/Holidays:

Photo by Sarah Musgrave

Photo by Sarah Musgrave

  • Host a bonfire
  • Take a hike in the Smokies (not sure when trail to choose? Check out the Top 10) If you are looking for a family friendly hike with young kids, "Andrew's Bald" is perfect.
  • Plan and purchase or make Halloween costumes for your kids (Need some ideas? Here are a few)
  • Seasonal decorating (Southern Living's Fall Decorating Ideas)
  • Tailgate with friends before a football game
  • Finalize Thanksgiving plans

What kinds of things are on your to do list for this Fall?