I’ve jumped on this move as an opportunity to renew and reboot the rhythms and practices that help me keep a peaceful home. Some things have to shift entirely because the systems that were in place no longer apply.
The care of the laundry is definitely a new rhythm all together. Every house we’ve lived in before basically had a laundry room that I could shut the door to when needed. In this new house, it’s right off the kitchen and there is no extra room for piles of laundry to be laying around. There’s not even really a proper place to fold or hang clothes at the moment (that will hopefully change soon)- perhaps at most a load could rest there after being cleaned. Definitely rethinking how I approach this constant need in our house. The clothing ‘clutter’ has to stay to a minimum- we’ll definitely continue to keep a tight rein on the amount of clothing each person has.
I’ve noticed already how a well-constructed, well-cared for house is already making my cleaning easier. It’s not something you think about exactly, but take the bathrooms, for instance- there are clawfoot tubs. There is no mold-attracting grout to deal with. There are real tile floors, not the strange laminate stuff (which seems to be an affliction in modern houses). I’m looking at a ten minute cleaning routine in there versus nearly half an hour or more in every house we’ve lived in before. Those minutes really add up! The entire house is very old (and heavily polyurethaned) wood floors, which are much easier to keep clean. So I’m shifting around what gets cleaned and when…it already seems much more manageable in our busy household.
We also used the excuse of the move to continue to pare down the children’s toys. This is such a big thing. The only toys that made it into the new house were useful, creative (and often beautiful), open ended toys. I will be ruthless about this from now on. I am beyond tired of throwing away cheap plastic toys that lasted less than a week with my rough and tumble toddler boys and girls!
Where and how we homeschool has shifted again. We’re back to the kitchen table on the main floor, with some low shelving units to help keep everything contained (and a little space for a nature table). I’ll share more of it soon. This means how we school has shifted again…Ben works almost entirely independently and often slips off to his room as needed to complete work in quiet. Lorelei and Isaiah need me most of the school day; Isaiah really struggles with the noise the younger ones generate. It means that I spend our first hour at the table getting everyone started and then Ben and Lorelei move into most of their work. Isaiah does what he can handle, and then we regroup after lunch (when the littles are down for naps) and he does the bulk of his needs-more-quiet tasks (like math work).
I’ll be interested to see how this all settles in. It already feels more peaceful and manageable to me, and I swear that has much to do with gaining back missing minutes from hard-to-care for houses. I don’t know how to say this kindly, but this nearly hundred year old house is strong and sturdy. It is so worth it to use materials that last. I’m not as worried and stressed out by what my rough and tumble family might do to the house- this house has held multiple families like ours over the years, and is hardly the worse for the wear. Why we continue to buy and live in horribly constructed cheap houses really makes me wonder.