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Finding Home

An essay on clutter.

Schoolside is our home. The four of us live, love, and grow here. But often, I wish it were my home. Because if it were mine, I’d give away half of everything in it. I wouldn’t have to tolerate piles of paper, the printer on the floor, or the large purple exercise ball that wanders around in our living room unused. I wouldn’t have to adjust to the unkempt boot rack, the recycling outsmarting its container, or the stack of warped LPs haunting the upstairs hallway.

For me, clutter trips up my ability to love. Judge me how you will, but it’s the truth. Without simplicity and order, I have no capacity for inner peace. Without inner peace, I’m incapable of being the best version of myself.

But here’s the thing. Schoolside isn’t mine, and if the clutter disappeared, so would my family. And if my family left, I’d die. And so I do what I need to do to keep my heart open. I sweep. I give things away. I encourage everyone to pass on what isn’t useful anymore. I choose pets that don’t shed. And every now and then I stomp through the house demanding that my husband and daughters put their bloody stuff away. They see my tipping point, and they oblige.

So when you read Vinehart Farm, keep this blog post in mind. There’s a reason why Eva “starts fresh.” What’s your clutter tolerance? Any compatriots out there? Join the conversation! Otherwise, check back next week for another segment of Finding Home.

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5 thoughts on “An essay on clutter.

  1. Corlies Delf on said:

    I am the hard case who creates lots of clutter, and loves uncluttered order. I have to resist the temptation to be quite hard on myself about it.

  2. Corlies Delf on said:

    And it is something I love about Lucy’s house — the order and loveliness of it!

  3. Carol Douglass on said:

    I stepped back and looked long and hard at my house shortly after my parents died. My parents died three months apart and the stuff that we had to deal with was over whelming . I now make decisions based on want or need…sometimes the want prevails!

    • My husband and his brothers and sisters went through the same thing last year. It’s a tough way to grieve, having to deal with “stuff” while feeling so awful inside. Every year, when my birthday comes around and my family asks what I want, my requests get smaller and smaller. “Postage stamps!” I say.

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