Keeping it Clean

We had some friends for dinner last Thursday. At least one of their sons works seasonally for a local berry farm. He shared a conversation he overheard from some of their customers. Here is the main idea:

We came here because the place we normally pick ran out of strawberries. We will not return to that other place. This place is so much cleaner. So much nicer.

Those few sentences teach me a lot. We focus on producing a quality product but not on creating an atmosphere of beauty. It may not always be pretty but we get it done. And we do a good job.

But I have to admit, we could have less junk laying around. I suspect that turns some people off. At the same time, people roll in and marvel at our garden. So we are doing well in some areas but I know we can do better. Our shop is full of all kinds of who knows what. At least we could hide that. As I have said before, much of the iron in the pastures can be hauled away. A little paint here or there…

But that isn’t limited to the yard. It’s also the house. If it matters what customers see when they pull in the driveway, it must also matter what friends see when they walk in the door. I have shared before how hard we work to de-clutter our house. Somehow any flat surface gets covered in papers needing filing or artwork from our children. It just piles up. Books out of place, stray socks, stuffed animals, knitting, legos…you get the idea. Beyond that, there are clothes we no longer wear, shoes we have outgrown, furniture we have worn out or broken, books we will no longer read. You with me here?

Previously we were purging our home every 6 months but Julie has really stepped up our efforts to purge our home of clutter in the coming year, working on a weekly basis. This is one of her 2014 goals. Ranging from ridding ourselves of surplus Christmas decorations to activities. If this interests you, keep up with us on her blog or on Facebook and participate with us this year. You can also count on me to detail every little thing that we do on the farm…including working to make it pretty.

Handful of Acorns

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7 thoughts on “Keeping it Clean

  1. You too? Our pastor has been talking recently about decluttering as a way to encourage hospitality. Less clutter > Less mess > Less excuses. But you are now the fourth place I’ve heard the declutter message in the past couple weeks… ok, I think I get it now; I’ll get started.

    • Ditto. I have heard the declutter message a few times lately. Maybe because we are making the moving to a smaller house.We are reading a Bible study series book called The 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker. Well worth the read.

      Now, the hard part, getting started purging.

    • We went to visit some friends a few years ago. First time in their house we wondered aloud…gee! Where is all of your stuff? Their house was small but very nice and well furnished…just uncluttered. I don’t even remember seeing a bookcase…let alone a bookcase with books stacked two deep, some laying on their sides on top of others with odd papers, toys, juggling balls, playing cards, board games and whatnot picked in as well. I think there are three rolls of pennies there too. Was that too autobiographical? I mean, I’m looking right at the bookcase in question realizing how much …well, realizing how much reading I do. A lot. And how little organizing I do with it all.

  2. You’re right, we have to get rid of clutter, but even those of us who have too much stuff have got to get rid of dirt. Even though my house has too much stuff in it, it looks better clean than it would dirty. Organizing our stuff is one step. Cleaning stuff out is one step. Cleaning is the most important step. Cleaning is such a big job it takes active participation from each individual who shares the space – constantly. No, one person should NOT have to wipe down the walls and ceiling, wash windows and curtains, do laundry, sweep and scrub or vacuum floors, dust woodwork, clean light fixtures, dust picture frames and bookcases, wash dishes, wipe down cabinets, vacuum furniture and the thousands of other jobs. Clutter just makes it harder.

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