This space is to share fun preschool ideas and activities. I am also passionate about children exploring their outdoor surroundings. Thanks for stopping by to see the latest Adventure with the Kerr's!

Wednesday, August 18

Simplify your surroundings

I wanted to talk about something I have been noticing the past few simplifying your surroundings can make you happier! One of my new favorite books (well it's been my favorite for a while) is Simplicity Parenting written by Kim John Payne has really influenced me in how I live and how the enviroment I create for my children(and preschoolers) makes a difference.

Let me now take you back about 9 years ago....I was a young, spontaneous, independent, happy to be out of the house, just graduated high schooler.  Toward the end of that first year I remember that my room was sooo messy I was sleeping on the couch in the front room. I would clean up my mess every where else in the apartment except for my room. 

Looking back on this experience let me tell you what I learned:
*I didn't want to deal with the consequences I was making in my life. (Not ready to clean up.)
*I respected others (by cleaning up my mess in other places) but not myself.
*I began to see that I develop ADD when there is a mess. Instead of hitting the problem straight on, I run around cleaning everything else up except for the major part.

Ok, now fast forward to the present. As I have become a Mom cleaning up after your child is part of your everyday, this-is-what-I-do routine. In addition to cleaning up after 2 children there are the household chores of cleaning. Just recently (like the last 2 months) I have began to see how important it is for children and for myself to organize, reduce, and keep your area tidy.

In the book Simplicity Parenting, pg. 67, he says, "If you give a child less and less complexity, they become more interested, and this cultivates true powers of attention." Not only does this simple statement apply to children but also adults!

Let my tell you what I have learned about the environment we live in and play in:
*When the house is clean and in order my son is WILLING  to put his things away when he gets them out. If we already have a big mess out and there is too much stuff everywhere he won't do it.
*When the house is clean I am sane! I can focus and therefore be productive, which means I feel better about myself.

The whole point of me writing about this that I used to be really bad at having a house that was in order and subsequently my ADD would be sky high. I would feel so overwhelmed I wouldn't know where to start. After reading Simplicity Parenting, I have realized that MORE=MESS, we do not need more to be happy, and stuff is still stuff. The less stuff we have around the easier it is to organize. When my surroundings are in order my mind/emotions are more in order which makes me a happier me!


Rachel Swan said...

This is a great post, V. Sorry about yesterday, I really want to chat more about this. xo

Heather said...

Great post, and way cute picture! I totally agree with you. I have seen this in our lives too. We learned this principle in Germany last year. We hardly had anything, and our apartment was simple, clean, and since we didn't have much it was organized most of the time. We were so much happier. I've been trying to apply what we learned there, but I will admit, I've struggled at times. I've got to read that book. Thanks!

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

Oh man, I couldn't agree with you more. This is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately too. I just went from an '05 dinosaur phone to one that is much fancier than my computer. I hesitated to buy it, not because it was $200, but because I didn't want to become one of "those" people. I don't want to add more chaos and over-stimulation to my life. It's so hard to be minimalistic and peaceful in this day and age where there are endless distractions. And that's for me, as an adult - it's scary to think of bringing kids into the mix. But thanks for the reminder; could you re-post this in about a year and a half?

Deborah said...

I am totally with you here on this post. I agree - more stuff is just more mess and when my home is out of order, then my family seems to be out of order. We are always at so much more peace when we simplify and keep things in order. I also like what you write about avoiding caring for your personal space/disrespecting yourself. That really made me think tonight because I tend to do that.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

So true!!! The kids really seem to play with their toys more when there are fewer of them. Plus, it's less clean up for me! I noticed I'm in a much better mood whenever the house is neat and tidy. Amazing how much the environment you live in can affect you!

Stacy said...

Vanessa...I love this post and totally agree with you. This is something I have struggled with my whole life. Although I feel like I am a great organizer, there seems to always be too much to organize. Love this advice. Definitely going to get this book!

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