For those of you familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, my personality is full-on INTJ. We are known as the “system builders,” which I find to be an asset as a stay-at-home mom. I see everything through the lens of “what could be,” so I am constantly seeking ways to run my home more efficiently. The problem with that is, I am rarely ever content with the status quo. There is always something that can be improved upon.
For a long time, I thought that my domestic dilemmas could be resolved by purchasing the perfect storage solution. I wound up with drawers, totes, and shelves galore but I was no closer to keeping my home tidy.
As FlyLady says, you can’t organize clutter. Sure, it might stay that way for a short time, but odds are, you’ll end up right back where you started. Once I discovered the power of decluttering, I began to see my home in a new light.
One of my favorite quotes is by William Morris. He said:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I went through every drawer, closet, nook and cranny in my house asking the question: Is this useful or is this beautiful? Suddenly, I no longer had a need for all of those magical organizers.
Nowadays, when I see that something in my home isn’t working for us, I can envision solutions that don’t require us to buy more stuff. I am all for re-purposing what we already have.
We live in our homes, so we shouldn’t feel confined to using our spaces in a certain way. I can’t tell you the number of times I have re-purposed the rooms in our home to suit our needs for that season. Maybe you homeschool but you rarely entertain for dinner – for this season, your dining room might function better as a school room. Maybe you have a guest room that sits dormant 51 weeks out of the year – perhaps it would be better suited as a craft/hobby room or an exercise room for you to use every day.
As a recent example, I was struggling to find storage for all the books we have in our home. While I did purge a number of our books that we no longer needed, we are a homeschooling family that values and enjoys reading. I loved the idea of open bookcases in our family room, but for this season of life with a toddler, I knew I needed something enclosed if I didn’t want to spend 14 hours a day picking books up off the floor.
I did not want to buy anything new, so I decided to use our china cabinet in the dining room. Previously, we had a nice set of plates on display that we never, ever used. Not even once. So, I decided to create a home library in our dining room. And I have to tell you, it brings me far more joy to walk past and see the books we love than it ever did to see those plates sitting there collecting dust. Useful and beautiful.
Do you have any tips to share for re-purposing items you already own? Are you using your home in any unconventional ways to meet your family’s needs in this season of life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.