Welcome to My Mess

My house is a bit of a mess right now. Laundry needs folded. Dishes need washed. Not to mention the living room and schoolroom that could use a good tidying:


That’s my life, my house right now. And while normally messes made in a clean house frustrate me, today they don’t. I’m trying not to see so much of the mess. I’m trying to see the life that created those messes.

Lily and Grace spent the day yesterday having tea parties with their dolls, building with blocks, doing science experiments, and trying out new art projects. So much life. So much love. So much fun. And yes, so much mess.

Sometimes it’s okay to be messy. The important thing is to keep cleaning it up so new messes can be created and more life and memories can happen.

It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about the Spring Clean Your Home and Heart eBundle this week. Sometimes my house looks pretty clean, sometimes it doesn’t. And my heart? Oh, it needs renewing! I just read A Gentle Answer over the weekend (it’s in the bundle), and it was so soothing to my weary, wintered spirit.

I’m already noticing a difference in my response to how I react to my children when they make – and then fight over – their messes. And they’re already noticing a difference in me, too.

Go check out the fabulous details, and make sure to enter to win a Kindle Fire or Paperwhite (winner’s choice) while you’re there!

How do you feel when you see messes in your own house?


Kindle Giveaway & Spring Clean eBundle

Many of us do a little spring cleaning in our homes, but have you considered that sometimes our hearts could also use a little freshening up? As we near the end of a long, dreary winter, it’s time to fling open the curtains so we can welcome the light and warmth back into our homes and our hearts.

And just like a breath of fresh air coming through the open windows, the incredible sale I want to tell you about will help infuse life directly into your heart and home.

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From video courses to organization guides to fun printables, this spectacular eBundle is sure to have you feeling motivated and inspired as you spring clean.

Plus, 20% of these resources are absolutely brand new so you’ll be among the first to experience them! And with top authors like Darlene Schacht, Amy Lynn Andrews, Mary Clendenin, and many more, this is one amazing deal you won’t want to miss.

Spring Clean Bundle All books with dates

The best part is you can give away any books you’ve already read or don’t want to keep so that you can bless your friends with fun, frugal gifts throughout the year!

Except, that may not actually be the best part, at least for my readers.

The real best part may be that I’m giving away a Kindle Paper White or Kindle Fire this week and this winner gets to choose which one they want! This will be absolutely perfect for when you’re reading the books from your Spring Clean eBundle!


So many amazing resources. An incredible deal. See all the details here. Then come back to this post to enter the giveaway below!* (Blog subscribers, you may have to click over to the blog to view the giveaway form.)

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Spring Clean Bundle All books

*Please note that the winner’s entries will all be verified before the prize is shipped.

(Affiliate links were used in this post. Thank you for your support of this site!)

Why I Stopped Waiting for Perfect

“Mommy, come play with me,” my little one requests. We only have ten minutes before bedtime and we still need to brush teeth and put on PJs. Tomorrow, I tell myself. Tomorrow I’ll have more time to play.


Except that when tomorrow comes, it’s filled with school lessons, office work, laundry, and dinner. Then, before we know it, it’s nearly bedtime again. And as I reflect on our week, I know this whole time I’ve been waiting for perfect:

  • The perfect amount of energy to clean.
  • The perfect slower schedule to be a really fun mom.
  • The perfect mood to exercise.
  • The perfect timing to watch a movie and fold laundry.
  • The perfect opportunity for a service project.

I try to absorb the realization: I miss out on so much good because I wait for perfect.

But I can make my house clean enough even if I’m tired. I can jog in place and do crunches in the living room when it’s too cold to go for a run outside. I can appreciate my husband even though he doesn’t do everything just the way I’d like (I’m pretty sure I don’t do everything exactly how he’d choose, either).

I can also savor time with my kids today even though we’re busy. Here’s a photo and caption I shared on Instagram over the weekend. I’m so glad my desire for perfection didn’t stop me from seeing the beauty in this:

If I continue to wait for perfect, then I’ll spend the rest of my life waiting because perfect will never show up. What I have – and what all of us have – is today.

We can eat healthy foods that fuel our bodies and give us energy. We can savor the fleeting moments we have with our family members. We can organize and declutter so we no longer need to spend time searching for missing items.

In spite of our imperfect circumstances, and in spite of our shortcomings and struggles, there is hope and redemption. We can do amazing things. And those first steps towards amazing things start at home.

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Declutter Update (Nathan’s spare closet)

Nathan completely surprised me on Saturday evening by cleaning out his closet! I was so excited when I realized what was going on and I ran upstairs to help! 3 bags and 1 hour later, we were done!

I love the imperfectness about his closet – it’s a wonderful reminder to me that organization isn’t always about perfection.


Organization isn’t always about beauty or perfection. Sometimes organization is simply about being able to find what you need, when you need it.

Nathan’s Closet Summary:

  • Spent 1 hour decluttering Nathan’s spare closet.
  • Filled 3 trash bags with trash.
  • Filled 0 trash bags for donation.


  • Time spent cleaning, decluttering & organizing my home in 2015: 52 hours (not including everyday maintenance)
  • Bags for donation: 22
  • Bags of trash: 21
  • Plus we purged 1 huge Christmas tree, a bag of egg cartons, and a broken bookshelf.LiveDeclutter2015b

The Incredibly Simple Laundry Solution for Winter Gear

{NOTE: The winner of the $100 organization contest is announced at the bottom of this post!}


Tonight I had an epiphany.

My family went sledding after work. Afterward my husband suggested that we go back inside through the basement instead of the kitchen. As in, “Let’s not track in wet snowy clothes all over the kitchen floor.” Brilliant.


Then we took it a step further. The washing machine isn’t far from the basement entrance so we dumped our wet clothes directly into the machine and turned it on.

No mess in the kitchen. Boots and coats drying downstairs out of the way. Snow clothes are already clean.

So simple. So perfect.

I could also do this with swimwear in the summertime. Or muddy clothes in the spring. Why, oh why have we lived here for nearly 10 years before thinking of this?!


Would it be going too far if I have everyone start keeping a clean pair of PJs on top of the dryer and just use the basement door after work, too? Come home, toss clothes in the washing machine, put on pajamas. I think I may give it a try.

How do you simplify your clothing & laundry situation?


Day 27 of 31 Days of Simple Organization.

 Winner Announcement!

The winner of this month’s $100 organizing contest is Lara from Oklahoma! Congratulations, Lara! And a HUGE thank you to Grape Vine Studies for sponsoring this fabulous giveaway! Go here to see Lara’s amazing before & after photos.