Nesting: Harnessing the crazy for good

Today I am officially 28 weeks. I don’t know when the nesting bug is supposed to kick in, but for me it hit yesterday. I think the fact that Liv and I will be heading back to Canada next month and that I’m looking at the calendar and counting weeks has something to do with it. See, right now we’re in the middle of a training class, then we get a week off, Vision Trip week, week off, and then our new volunteer Barry arrives. On his heels is a couple that will be coming to start a research project on the filters… Yeah, if you’re wondering if life ever slows down around here, I think the answer is no.

So, with all those things in mind I’m trying to work through the stuff in my head that I need to get done or get ready before I leave. I’ll be gone a while for about 3 months, again, and while this time there will be someone staying in our house there are still things that need to be done so I don’t come back with a newborn and have to do all of it. I want to come home, put clean sheets on the bed and unpack bags. Done.

Yesterday I started to make a list in a notebook of stuff that I wanted/needed to do. Interestingly enough, I also stumbled across a blog about becoming minimalist. It made my heart beat faster. Why? Because truth be told, as much as I like “stuff” I would love to have less of it for so many reasons.

The truth of the matter is that we live in a house that is less than 900 sq. feet. That’s not a ton of room, at least not by today’s standards where the average family lives in over 2500 sq. feet. I like that we only have so much room for “stuff” in our house, but even with limited space we’re still pretty good at packing things in.

I do like that over the last 5 years I’ve gotten better at deciding what I want in our house and what I don’t. What sentimental things do we want? How many towels do we need? What do we really use? I’ll be honest, it’s a challenge, and most days I’m not that fabulous at keeping things “under control”.

So now the nesting has set in, and I have a time limit, and I have inspiration. When I get in the “mood” I know I need to harness that and work with it. Being pregnant has some limitations, like energy levels, but I’m going to work with that. What I’m hoping to accomplish over the coming weeks is a paring down of life for the Rollings. I said I had some good reasons for this. Here they are:

  • The biggest one is that I am flat out tired of picking up everyone else’s crap. There, I said it.
  • I am tired of my husband saying, “Where is…” and me having to give him an explanation of exactly where on the shelf etc. it might be.
  • I am tired of Olivia’s drawers oozing clothes out into her room because she thinks she needs to change clothes 7 times a day.
  • I am tired of our desk/work area never being tidy enough to put down a piece of paper to write on without moving a bunch of stuff first. And my husband always saying, “Where is the receipt book/calculator/anything else he wants?”
  • I am tired of being tired and having to try and control the “stuff”.
  • We live in a culture where many go without things/food/clothes etc every day. What kind of a testimony is it if we keep accumulating more than we need to live with?

So, the solution? Less stuff. Only the stuff we really love or need or use. And giving that stuff organized homes to live in. In some cases, labels so my dear husband can walk in the storage room and see that there is in fact a container that holds light bulbs.

My “to do” list includes some of the following:

  • Clean and organize the shelves above our desk (this is going to be painful for Chris…)
  • Sort Liv’s clothes and only keep what she actually needs.
  • Sort through accumulated things like bug spray, sun screen etc. Keep what we need.
  • Sort my sewing stuff. Give away fabric I haven’t touched in over two years.
  • Go through bathroom drawers and eliminated collected items. (You know what I’m talking about…)
  • Sort through toys and get rid of the stuff that is annoying, small pieces or not being played with. Again.

I’m hoping that by sharing some of my goals it’ll help keep me on task. The biggest thing for me is that having to always be cleaning up makes me a) want to hyperventilate, and b) just flat out exhausts me on a good day. I don’t want to have that sense of panic settle in because our house is controlling us. I don’t want to be frustrated because right after I clean there is stuff all over the house. I am tired of being annoyed that I’m the one that seems to do all the work of keeping order. If there is less, there is less to clean up. Period.

And, just to get the ball rolling yesterday, I tackled the storage room. I started at one end dealt with the shelves that had been gathering things. I took stuff out, resorted it, threw some stuff away, put other back in containers and labeled them so we can SEE where things live. Other things got reorganized and found new homes. Stuff that was accumulating on the floor got put away.

In the process of doing that it led to attacking the top shelves of our linen closet. It meant taking everything out, which was mostly outgrown clothes. I have to be honest. I LOVE that we’re having a boy and I can get rid of three years of accumulated girl baby stuff/clothing. We have friends that have a childrens home with a 3 month old baby girl and some toddlers not much smaller than Olivia. ALL of her outgrown/not used stuff is going there, or has already. What I have left for clothes for Liv to grow into fit into one side of a small basket. Diapers are being stored up top out of reach until we need them.

I tackled a small cupboard in the kitchen too, which took all of about 3 minutes. It was just a case of reorganizing things and putting like with like. I won’t need to buy napkins for a while…

It’s freeing to go through this. To get rid of stuff. To claim space. I’m kind of giddy about going through the whole house. And, I know that there are things that I won’t be doing until after I get back, like my clothes because of what will fit post baby etc. It’s a process. A good process.

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

3 thoughts on “Nesting: Harnessing the crazy for good

  1. To me it is always good to “re-access” what stuff I need at least once a year. A good lesson in re-evaluting what is really important in life. Good for you Leslie!

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