One of the challenges of moving into a new home is how to make the new space work for us. As I struggled with trying to make it welcoming I also tried to find ways to let the kids help keep it up.
When I started as a mom, I had three kids in four years. They were little all at once. It was hard to think of them as able to help. Fast forward several years and add one more kid and it took some friends and a few blogs to encourage me to delegate!
Now that we are starting fresh in a new house, I wanted new systems in place to make it easier for all of us to keep things looking nice. My friend Miriam, a fellow mom of four, gave me the first new system. She requires her kids to do their own laundry after they finish fourth grade. I really liked that idea. My kids declared I wasn’t allowed to swap ideas with my friends anymore. Too late.
As I started reading The Nesting Place, I found another encouragement that helped. Author Myquillyn Smith takes an entire section to reassure her readers it is OK to put nails in your walls. She was shocked at the number of people paralyzed with indecision in their own homes because they might put a hole in the wrong place.
I laughed. I realized I had that thought too. What if I don’t like it there? Then I have a hole in the wall. “So what?” Myquillyn asks. I laughed as she described a wall in her family room that had over 80 holes. To see what readers were terrified of, she decided to patch them all. It took her less than an hour. Seriously? That’s it?
Armed with new enthusiasm, I realized I could fix one of my kids’ problems that was making me crazy—wet towels on the bathroom floor.
In our old house we hadn’t had any place for them to hang so after bath night, I had just washed everyone’s towels. Three times each week. It was a lot of laundry. Towels, especially for kids, can be reused a few times. (One friend says she tries to see if they will last a month. You go, Mama.)
Now in the new house I had an empty wall in a bathroom with damp towels laying at the base, mocking me. My new friend Myquillyn (seriously, I know I sound like a stalker) also encourages readers to shop your home for what you have to work with. I realized I had the second component to this solution already in my possession—something to hang them on.
A few years ago I had purchased Dog Leash Holders from IKEA as a quirky thing for my son to hang his hat collection on. He loved them. But his collection has long since grown beyond three hats. Jackpot! Dog butts to hang towels on it was!
I didn’t over-think it. I didn’t even measure. I just grabbed a towel to see what a comfortable height was and drilled a hole for a screw and anchor. I eyeballed the other two. I opted to stair-step them so even little Lucy could reach her hook. Seriously 10 minutes later, I had towels hanging off the floor. I cheered. It was exhilarating.
So as you try your own journey of Bringing Balance Amongst the Boxes, don’t be afraid to hang things up. I’ve begun hanging things in the other kids’ rooms even though we plan to paint. I realized I could be waiting months with their prized decorations sitting in boxes and their rooms feeling unfinished. We can paint over holes and find new places later. For now, let’s take a few chances.
After all, they are only holes in the wall.