About The Mom Hat

It’s true. I wear a lot of hats. More figurative than literal, since I do not personally own a lot of actual hats. I believe in just-enough when it comes to possessions. My closet is a lot more bare than most closets I have seen, and I like it that way. Clutter drives me bananas.

My aunt gave me a useful piece of information when I was helping her clean house once upon a time. This was Back In The Day when I was just a pre-teen; ⅔ of my life ago. She said when it comes to going through stuff, go through it often, and more importantly, be ruthless. Have I used an item in the past year? No? Find a new home for it. Do I constantly pass it up for a different item of clothing in the same category? Time to go- it’s just clothes.

Back to the Mom hat. I promise the clutter trail has everything to do with it. You see, I decided to organize the children’s room. We recently moved our youngest child out of our room and into his siblings’ room. The uninterrupted sleep was fabulous. The mess monster that was their room was not.

It was time to launch Project Organize. It took me at least three hours to sort everything into piles. Dress-up, dolls, train set, blocks, Lincoln Logs, Legos, and that’s just a start. I got rid of a lot of stuff that accumulated. I bagged or boxed a lot of toy sets, labeled them, and stacked  them on closet shelves out of reach of the younger two. Keeping their room clean is not only possible, but worlds easier now. I know it won't last forever, but for right now, I'm going to enjoy the good feeling of a job well done.

From their room we moved on to chores and school routine. They have a chart. We have a routine with a flexible schedule. We are liking each others’ company more than we had since being shut in by the cold.

Now I’m not saying things are perfect. I spent a good portion of my time last week breaking up fights between my two sons. There was a lot of boundary-testing going on. No one can predict the timing of these phases, just the inevitability that they will happen and they will make us feel like crap. And we shall get through it! My OneWord365 this year is STORM and so far, it is living up to its potential. But I’m going forward and through with my chin up and my eyes blazing. The same way I approached the overwhelming mess in my kids’ room (AND our storage closet, I might add. Two monsters in two weeks.)

We are not all neat as pins. We are a family of creatives and we like to spread out. But having a place to put things away is a nice balance between healthy chaos, i.e. creativity, and unhealthy order. Yes, too much order would also be maddening. There’s no scope or spark for the busy mind and imagination. So we need to find a nice way to meet in the middle. Somewhere between stark and glitter rainbows, there dwells a happy medium. Call me an optimist, but after the last week, I think we’re well on our way to finding it.

Jamie Bagley