I grew up in a home with lots of sayings and superstitions, passed down the generations, from one kitchen table to another, across the years. By the time I was born most of these traditional quirks were thrown out there with a light spirit, but at the same time some were taken very seriously.
They ranged from the super superstitious,
“Don’t put new shoes on a table” (Bad luck)
“Don’t open an umbrella inside” (Bad luck)
To the inconvenient,
“Don’t cut your nails on a Sunday” (Bad luck again)
“Don’t cut your nails on a Friday” (More bad luck)
“Don’t cut your nails on a Wednesday” (50-50 bad luck)*
And there there was the just plain odd,
“Cream eats dirt” (Meaning a cream carpet or coat doesn’t ever get really dirty)
But in the middle of the old wives tales there was some old wives wisdom which was worth listening to.
My favourite was “A little bit of what you fancy does you good” but by far the most useful in terms of a tiny house life, or anyone who wants to keep belongings and clutter in check is:
“A place for everything and everything in its place”
It’s really the only advice anyone trying to tidy up and clear the clutter needs. And on the face of it, so simple.
Tidying up is still going to be a chore, particularly if you have kids and they spread everything they own and everything you own across every clear surface each day (or is that just in my house?)
But if there is a clear spot for each item to be tidied away then it’s a lot less onerous to be able to pick something up and put it straight in its place. If you don’t have a good place for it to go then you have to pile it up somewhere out of everyone’s way.
In a bigger house this isn’t much of an issue – you have a basement or a playroom which is just for this purpose and you can shut the door on the mess once you’ve moved it there.
But in the tiny house there are no dumping grounds out of sight, because there simply isn’t the space for it.
Without kids it’s a little easier to reach this zen-like state of everything having its own place (especially if both partners are on board with the concept.)
But kids act like magnets to stuff. Stuff of all kinds. Toys, books, paper, paper creations, school projects, play dough, old dried play dough which is apparently very, very, very precious and mustn’t be thrown away EVER. Bad Mummy.
But “a place for everything” is the goal in our house and working towards that goal involves a number of different techniques and processes.
And it’s an ongoing process, a constant work in process. And the start of something wonderful if we can just stick with it!
A place for everything and everything in its place.
That’s the mantra of our tiny house and making this philosophy a living, breathing motto will be the subject of this blog and covered in posts and observations falling into the following four categories:
Decluttering – making space
Organizing – creating the right spaces
Daily tidying – maintaining the space
Training the rest of the household – not being the only one doing all the above!
It’s not going to be just work, work, work, I think we’re going to find time to add some fun and joy in there as well.
Join us on this journey and let me know how you are making everything your kids own fit into your small spaces.