Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Little Every Day Is Still The Motto

 Artist: Honor C. Appleton | Source: I Am A Child

There is always one moment in childhood
when the door opens and lets the future in.

~ Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

When I was a little girl, even before I had siblings old enough to play with me, I loved to play in my south-facing farmhouse bedroom. Oh, I liked to play in the kitchen and the living room too, but the tiny room that seemed perpetually filled with light and sunshine was a favourite spot. My little iron frame bed sat in one corner and a little table I think my dad made sat under the window where pretty curtains must have fluttered on summery days.

A tallish dresser sat against the wall by the doorway; I still remember the pretty floral decals my mom put on after she painted it. Funny, I don't really remember the drawers that must have housed my socks and shirties, white cotton undies, tops and bottoms, but I can tell you about the two bottom drawers. That's where I could keep my play things -- I loved opening and closing those drawers and finding my treasures.

From the beginnings of my very young life, I was already turning into a dyed-in-the-wool, bonafide collector and saver of all manner of treasures -- paper and otherwise -- which I stored in those two deep drawers. Scraps of paper, coloring books and story books, pencils, crayons, cherished old creamery cheque stubs and handbills with all that lovely empty space on the backs for drawing and practicing my letters ... not to mention assorted knickknacks like empty spice tins and buttons and bits of ribbon. Wooden thread spools. Ohhhh, I loved all that clobber. It was my stuff.

Alas, I wasn't very good at keeping it all tidy. And things got messy in my room. So there would come that blessed day when dear Mommy would clean it all up for me. I helped. Although a little nervous about what she might discard, there would come that moment when the job was done, and it was all neat and tidy again.

How I loved my little room in that moment. Something happy would well up on the inside of me. A feeling of contentment and blissfulness. I loved the tidiness ... I loved that the clutter was gone. And, most interesting was that I now wanted to be in that space. I wanted to play there. And create. I'd look in my tidy drawers to find the crayons were back in their box and discover some 'lost' toy.

Some things never change. As you know from our last post we've been cleaning, decluttering, sorting through every drawer, cupboard, closet and shelf. Lots done, more to do. Today we tackled the laundry cupboard -- funny how you have to clean out the closet that holds all the 'cleaning' supplies. The flower vase shelf was ungainly and I don't remember the last time I wiped off little drip blobs from the fabric softener bottle. But when it was all straightened out, I have to admit when I came by later, I had to open the door just so I could stand there and feel the bliss of my tidy space.

As we've been checking off the tasks day by by, I admit to feeling a shift ... a sense of liberty, even a feeling of clearance (like when an airplane gets clearance for take-off). I'm enjoying my home again. And, I have renewed urge to make something ... like the old cartoon Herman when he felt so inspired, he said to his wife, 'Quick, give me something to invent.'

Clearing out the old makes room for the new. Having things in order is like balm to my mind. And like candy to my creativity. Our brains like order, I'm certain of it. They work for us more efficiently when there is some sense of order in our physical space. I feel like I can relax into other creative work now because I don't have all this stuff hanging around, cluttering my space and my thoughts. I told my sister the other day that I even had the urge to start up a writing project I'd buried a while ago. And we're not even done this 'clearing the clobber' project yet ... just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait!

A little every day is still the motto. In the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began".

Here's wishing you a beautiful day!



  1. I enjoyed just about every single line of this post, Brenda. I can identify with so much - from being a collector from an early age to being able to enjoy the result of a freshly sorted space to the Spurgeon quote....

    Can't wait to see the result of the emerging creative process in you ♥

  2. I loved this post! It makes me want to go do something RIGHT NOW. I also love a tidy home, space, or cupboard. It doesn't always look that way but oh the pleasure in the aftermath. Happy Day to you Brenda.

  3. Oh, my! I'm a "collector," too! Yes, a tidy space is most appealing, though that's not always apparent around here.:-) Hugs, Nellie

  4. I am nodding my head as I am reading along. Yes, physical clutter = mental clutter for me too. And it is such a satisfying feeling to have a space conquered! I can relate to standing in front of a shelf or a closet admiring the order and calm of that freshened up space. :)

  5. SO timely. We're brand new empty-nesters, right smack in the middle of moving. Every word here rings so true to me right now. With each bag that fills to be thrown out, or every box that fills to be given away, my mind becomes clearer and clearer. I'm a huge fan of living in simplicity and keeping the few things we have in order, yet I'm always amazed how clutter creeps in...and how much it weighs us down.
    Love Spurgeon's quote.

  6. Oh, how I know what you feel.
    Your childhood must have been wonderful. The word pictures of your charming bedroom, give me warmth.
    Care on, my friend. I'm cheering from the sidelines.

  7. Good memories of our cozy bedroom with the south-facing window! It's still one of my favorite things--curtains fluttering in the summer breeze. :)

  8. I have often thought of the word clobber since reading your post last week...Definitely seems to be a constant need for keeping it at bay here too..I like stuff...just too much stuff makes stress..balance, balance the ultimate quest! :)) Happy declobbering my friend and thank you for the inspiration!

  9. Your words have perfectly conveyed the satisfaction that comes from tidiness. I'm slowly working on my sewing/crafting room, a place that can quickly become a real mess. When it's clean, I'm inspired to create. Alas, although I enjoy teaching, this regular work does cut into creative time. Ah well, there are times and seasons for everything.
    Enjoy sorting through your clobber.

  10. Ahhhhh...makes me want to go tidy something. Wait. I have been wading through stuff and things all week. I'm gaining, but have a long way to go and I know that I would not have the words to express the feeling as you have.

  11. Your last post inspired me to clean up my sewing room and now I have a project I am working on! I love the story of your little bedroom as a child. It reminds me of my little room and the hours I spent dreaming and creating there. Sweet memories. Tidying up always gives such a feeling of accomplishment and well-being. Happy clobber sorting! xo Karen

  12. thanks for the inspiration, I'm working slowly on my piles, files and stacks of things....

  13. A lovely written post that I could relate with in so many ways! Organizing a mess is usually what helps my creative juices flow! In fact, just today I needed to rearrange some things, and once things got in order, it felt so good! You have shared, in a beautiful way, the joy that comes with the sense of satisfaction when things are in order and clean. Thank you for sharing this today :)

  14. Hi Brenda, its' funny how we do remember parts of our childhood. I wasn't always neat either. I share a bedroom with my little sister. I am definitely neater now. Organizing makes me feel good. Love the after effect.

  15. Your description of your childhood bedroom is evocative.... I remember as a teen -- when I first had my own room -- how it used to get messy every day, and every day I'd have to clean it up, and I made note of what seemed a strange pattern. What seemed strange was how quickly it turned into a mess of clutter.

    Now, I envy the process you are involved in, and the orderliness and beauty that is unfolding through and to you and your husband. It is special to have a man who will do that with you! It will be years before I will see that kind of freedom around here, but I will try to keep your vision before me. :-)


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo