Let’s Make This The Year

Let's Make This The Year

Let’s make this the year that we get organized.  Not just organized, but simplified.  Let’s finally get rid of all that clutter and unnecessary items, that are filling up our homes and leaving us little breathing room.  Just organizing is not always the answer, because sometimes we are organizing junk, instead of discarding it.  Maybe what’s excess or unnecessary for you, is necessary to someone else – let’s donate.

I have to confess that while organizing is my strength, purging is my weakness.  I tend to keep items, especially sentimental ones, way longer than I should.  I am working on this.  I am trying to practice what I preach.  I don’t think I will ever be a minimalist, but I don’t want to hold on to things that I am not using and probably never will.

Just imagine your whole house organized, everything has a home, nothing is out-of-place.  Doesn’t that give you a feeling of peace?  Granted, I have never lived in the utopia that I just described, but I am just stating that to show the connection between organization and peace.  Mess begets mess and that brings about feelings of despair and hopelessness.  Order begets order and that brings about feeling of peace and optimism.  At least that’s what it does for me.

So join me in the challenges that I will share with you this year and know that YOU CAN DO IT!  Organizing is not overwhelming if you take it one step at a time.

Let’s do it!  Let’s make this the year!

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Let’s Organize 2015

Let's Organize 2015

A new year!  Whether you are one to write down resolutions in multiple lists, or just a short list behind your calendar, or even if you are re-using last years list since it’s still not checked off as done!  Not that I would know a thing about unresolved resolutions…Ahem!

Even with a blog about organization, I need more organization!  Sometimes blogging about organizing can be kinda messy.  :-)  I also have some fitness “goals” for myself this year that include new eating habits.  I want to be at a weight that I feel comfortable at and over this past year I have put on some pounds that are literally weighing me down.  Excess weight can be similar to clutter.  I don’t have any unrealistic goals and I won’t to do some crazy diet.  I just want to feel comfortable in my clothes and be intentional with my food choices.  I already eat organic and natural food at home, but I need to be honest about the other stuff I am consuming when I go out.  Fitness is a focal point for me in 2015.

Let's Organize 2015

This year I am less about “goals and resolutions” and more about good habits.  Don’t get me wrong, goals are great but I am more in need of better habits and that will take time and commitment to create.

There are some good habits that I want to create for my home as well.  I want to continue doing my morning home routine and my evening routine because they simplify my life.  I also want to buy less items for the home this year, especially the impulse buys.  I donate so many items that are barely used.  How many black pants do I really need?  How many throw pillows?  How many trays?  I always encourage you to purge items that you don’t need and I do the same in my home.  But the fact is, I wouldn’t have so many items to purge if I made better purchasing decisions to begin with.  I am also a sucker for clearance sales so I end up buying items that I don’t love just because they are on sale.  That is something that I intend to change this year.

Let's Organize 2015

I would love for us to accomplish some weekly organizing tasks together that are manageable and 100% guilt-free (who needs more guilt?…not I).  If you don’t get around to them in the timeframe given it’s ok, just catch up when you can.  The goal is not to live in a perfect home that looks like it isn’t lived in.  The goal is to create a space that shows pride and contentment in our surroundings.  Not a place where you can’t put your feet up on a table, but a space that makes you want to put your feet up.  Don’t worry, the tasks will be easy and manageable and you will customize them to your family’s needs and routines.

I hope that you are on board with the 2015 Home Organizing Challenge and that it brings more joy and peace into your life and home.  We are starting this week so stay tuned!

Are ya with me?! What are your objectives this year?

xo,

Maria

Enjoying the Better Part

Let me be the first blogger to welcome you to 2014!  Ok, maybe I am the last.

I have a perfect excuse though.  My husband surprised me with an apple computer for Christmas.  I was so excited to use it, I disconnected my old computer and connected the new shiny silver one.  I sat down to start blogging and then…I had no idea how to even open the internet browser.

GracefulOrder.com

Of course, it took me 20 minutes 2 minutes to figure out how to open the browser but the rest was a new world for me.  Basically, I have spent the last week getting acquainted with this computer and I know that I will love it, once I know how to use it.

About the blog…

I want to do something different this year with the blog.  I want to go room by room, so that we can organize our entire home together.  I didn’t want it to be a “challenge” where you feel pressure to keep up.  We have enough pressure from other venues.  Not here.  Nothing “graceful” about pressure.  I just want you to go at your pace and be inspired to start somewhere.  In a few days, we will start with the kitchen and then move into the rest of the home.

Graceful Order

2014!  My biggest resolution this year is to be Present.  I don’t want to be in a hamster wheel that keeps me from one event to the next, because I want to enjoy today.

I have two boys that still want to share every aspect of their days with me and I want to cherish that.  I want to be more organized so that I can be more spontaneous.  I want an organized kitchen so that I can be inspired to bake cookies and get flour everywhere with the boys.  I want an organized closet so that I can put things away quickly and I can get back to the things that matter.  I want more order so that I can enjoy the disorder.  Does that make any sense?

Of course, this means that I have to say “no” a lot more than I am used to because I am, without a doubt, a people pleaser.  I want to be liked, loved.  Don’t we all want that?  But when we say “yes” to too many things, we indirectly say “no” to others.  I don’t want to say “no” to spending time with the boys, with my husband.  I don’t want to say no to spending time with the Lord and even having some alone time.

And of course, spending time with my apple computer.  I seriously need to YouTube some tutorials (as soon as I find the YouTube icon).

So my resolution is simple but difficult for me to execute.  I want my focus to be on what I am saying “yes” to.  I intend to make memories.  I intend to take less pictures.  Is that a shocker?  It’s kind of crazy because I really see the importance of pictures, but I feel that I stay behind the camera way too much.  I want to create the moments and not worry as much about documenting them.  Here is one moment I had to document last week.  The boys playing at the park and my little one, who insisted on wearing his dino pajamas at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

At the park

I want to let go of guilt.  I always feel like I am not doing enough.  For example, I scrapbook and I am always behind…like years behind.  Will the kids not know how much I love them if I don’t have pictures of every missing tooth and a journal entry about it?  Think about it.  I have like 1 album for my entire childhood…zero journaling…and I feel loved.

We always notice people who seem to do more than us.  I recently shared with a friend something that I read and impacted me.  “We compare our behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reel”.  No one has it all.  We all fall short somewhere.  So you didn’t bake cookies with your kids this past Christmas.  So what?  There were lots of things that you did do.  So you didn’t work out as much as you would have liked last year.  Don’t let that disappointment keep you from believing in yourself this year.

One of my favorite bible stories is about Martha and Mary.  Jesus and his disciples stay at Martha’s home and she is consumed by working on being a good hostess while Mary (her sister) sits at Jesus feet listening to what he was saying.  Martha eventually complains that Mary is not helping her by saying “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” and Jesus replies…“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

When I first read that scripture I didn’t understand because I tend to be such a doer.  I used to think that her sister should help her and that way she wouldn’t be so stressed out.  But I was wrong.  This is not a story about how being busy is bad.  This is a story about priorities.  Martha is not wrong for serving food, she is not wrong for being a good hostess, she is wrong for being worried and upset over trivial things.  Her priority at that moment was incorrect.

If you have a choice between listening to words that feed your soul and arranging food perfectly on a platter….well…Mary certainly chose the better part.

So I want to remind myself to be more like Mary.

I will not eliminate taking pictures, or journaling, scrapbooking, cooking big meals or any other thoughtful thing that I do for my family and friends to show love.  I do want to eliminate the guilt.  The little voice that always says that I am not doing enough.  I will never be able to do it all, all the time.

I want to put the serving platter down and sit down and listen.  I want to be present.  I want to choose the better part.

And I wish the same for you!

Maria

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A New Year

Almost 2014.  Wow!

The older we get, the faster time seems to pass.  Or maybe we are just more aware of the value of time?

Either way, it’s a new year.  New goals, dreams and opportunities to make memories.

In our family we start the year by eating together.  We end the year the same way…

I see a trend.

January 1st we always make the same meal.  Lentil soup and Spanish omelets.  They don’t seem to go together but somehow they work.  Spanish omelets are hearty and can stand alone.  Sometimes we serve it with a salad.  Lentil soup can also stand alone or you can serve white rice as a side.

A New Year

Since we purchase a Ham for Christmas Morning, I freeze the bone with some of the ham and I use it for my soup days later.  Here is the lentil soup.  Enough to feed the entire neighborhood that I live in.

Or just enough for my family.

A New Year

I usually make some sort of white cake as a dessert.  Either coconut cake or carrot cake.  This year it’s carrot cake.

As a refreshment, we serve white sangria.

A New Year

Basically, this is just another excuse to get everyone together.  We are all so busy that if we don’t schedule time for family, we don’t see each other.  It is important to make an effort, make traditions, make memories…

Start the year with family.

This year let’s spend more time with family.  Let’s extend more grace to others.  Let’s add that to the resolution list.

Happy 2014!

Maria