In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Living Simply - Where to Begin

Sometimes the task of organizing our homes is so overwhelming that we either don't start or start and stop to the point that progress is never made. Today I just want to share my simple, but effective, idea that I use about twice a year to "spring" clean and de-clutter. I use a note-book and list a room at the top of every page; I recommend having a page for each room even if you don't think that there's anything that needs to be done in that room. Then I list everything that I want to do in that room, no matter how big or small. At the bottom of the page, I have a separate little list for anything that I need to buy to finish the job of that room.

I usually start in the kitchen since that's basically where I live. I would divide my work in doable sections for that area, such as:

Clean outside of each cabinet.
Gut and organize each top cabinet.
Gut and organize each bottom cabinet.
Clean out pantry.
Move canning jars from kitchen to storage room.
Etc, etc,

On the bottom list, I often add things as I'm cleaning, like -

Bulletin board
Chip clips

Of course, while I'm organizing that room, I am constantly bagging items to sell or donate that I don't need anymore. I always ask myself, "If I get rid of this, will I actually miss it?" If the answers no, it's got to go.....

Another thing is that when I, for example, move the canning jars to the storage room, I don't spend time finding a place for them unless I've already completed that room. I would tackle that job with that room. That allows me to continue spending my time in my "assigned" room.

I find the notebook a nice way to accomplish something everyday and I can usually work through about two rooms in a week.

Slow and steady wins the race.


  1. Jenny,

    Thank you for posting a link....I read about a couple of ladies who did this same thing...only they did it together...tackling things at one's home and then going to the others...they did it over weeks...sounded like fun to me...and I like your idea...I'm gonna' try it...

  2. so when are you going to come do that at my house for me?? :)

  3. i like the slow and steady part...that seems to work for us; i can get too overwhelmed by all the needs to be done and then not do anything!! blessing our homes is a constant not a "all done"! THANKS for the tip, and i love your header picture!