Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Slow Home Challenge
I’m not a slob, nor am I a pack rat. I typically have a yard sale once a year, and every other month I make a trip to the local thrift store and donate a bag or two of things we've outgrown or no longer use. Yet, the endless stuff still seems to keep finding its way into my home, and each week as I tirelessly try to manage and decrease it, countless hours are stolen from my valuable allotment of time. In addition, my inability to create efficient and truly functional spaces throughout my house to help manage this stuff, has caused my home to become chaotic and somewhat void of tranquility and comfort. My name is Kate, and I suffer from an inability to slow down. I need help.
I'll admit it, I’ve always suffered a bit from a lack of organization, but after becoming a mother, moving in and out of three different homes, within three years time, and having the poor sense to overextend myself in every way possible, things only proceeded to get worse. Over the past year as the chaos continued to stretch across all aspects of my life, I felt my spirit sadden, my enthusiasm wilt, and my creativity become nearly void. I stood feeling somewhat helpless as cherished friendships faded away, my children begged for more mommy time, and a never ending to do list nearly brought me to tears each night. I began to feel somewhat crazed, and seldom enjoyed the gift of any true accomplishment. Then, in the midst of it all, my marriage suffered a huge blow, and all the chaos that surrounded me made it nearly impossible to mend those circumstances. My life as an individual, wife, mother, and also as a professional, had spiraled out of control. I was miserable. I also knew that if the chaos didn’t decrease, or better yet stop all together, I might never have the opportunity in this life to realize my true potential.
I began to take stock in what mattered most to me. I knew that nothing would ever change until I initiated a change of pace and started making time for a very necessary self evaluation.
What I came to realize:
Chaos sucks, and I was done letting it control of my life. (duh).
So what next? On the heels of this incredibly intelligent revelation, I spent months devouring books that focused on getting back to basics, simplifying life, and learning how to make the most of personal and family life. I learned a great deal from some amazing resources, yet at the same time, the books provided too many variations of methods, ideas, and suggested practices. Soon I felt exhausted from information overload, and sadly, more overwhelmed than ever.
Then, a few weeks ago I came across this article in the NY Times. It discussed an up and coming movement called Slow Home. Similar to the slow food concept, the slow home movement encourages taking the time to celebrate quality, and to appreciate the good in life. Slow homes focus on simplicity, depend upon well made products, and promote efficient architectural design made to enhance a home's overall functionality. In other words, the slow home movement inspires the increasingly popular notion that more isn’t necessarily better. A slow home helps us to avoid the clutter and the chaos, and through the absence of such things, we’re better able to achieve more of life’s positive experiences.
That, is exactly what I want to accomplish. Armed with more motivation and more at stake than ever before, I am committing myself to a 12 week challenge toward creating a variation of a slow home.
Over the next couple of days I’ll lay out the framework for this plan and outline my weekly goals. Beginning Monday, September 19th, my Slow Home Challenge will begin. Each week I’ll target a specific room in the house, working to improve the overall efficiency and functionality of each space. I will also dedicate a week (or two!) to de-cluttering my personal life.
I hope you’ll follow along...and maybe my experience will inspire you to begin transforming your own house into a slow home as well!
Thanks for reading,
Posted by kate at 4:04 PM