Let the hospitality begin!

family lunch table

I’ve been plugging away at the decluttering.

1300 items have been ticked off and removed from the house, via the bin, the op shop, and the post office.

And now, at last, there is space.

On the weekend we hosted 15 family members for a big birthday lunch. For the first time, there was not too much stuff to move out of the living room or kitchen. For the first time, we could actually seat 19 people in the room, using what tables and chairs we had (or could borrow). And for the first time, there was not too much to put back in the living room after they left (even less after I did a bit more decluttering and organising the following day!).

Our eldest daughter has finally started to study upstairs in her room, rather than at the dining table, at least now while she has major exams, so that has helped enormously to keep our surfaces clear, also, in this busy room.

Since then, I’ve been enjoying our open and decluttered space so much. It was the perfect space to recover from a cold in these last few days, and to enjoy the winter sunshine streaming in.

As I sat nursing my cold, I started to read and dream again about offering hospitality. It all seems so much easier with clear space. Space to sit, to cook, to think, to plan, and free time to do it all in. I’d love to offer hospitality to anyone, even if it’s just a cup of tea. Neighbours, friends of friends, kids, strangers, anyone.  That’s my dream. That’s what’s been motivating me to declutter more this time than ever before, and goodness knows I’ve tried before.

Because people are more important than things.

I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long to understand that.

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What is the purpose of our home?

bench

I’ve been thinking about why I want to cut down on our belongings. And I’ve realised that it comes down to the purpose of our home, and the specific purpose (or purposes) of each room.

I want our home to be a place of welcome, love, work and rest. A place where we can each express ourselves and enjoy the pursuits we love; and a place where we can invite others in to enjoy the warmth.

As for fulfilling the purpose of each room …

When I walk into the living room I want to relax, and chat.

When I walk into the kitchen, I want to cook.

When I walk into the dining area, I want to eat, and chat some more.

When I walk into our bedroom, I want to sleep, or get dressed.

When I walk into my craftroom, I want to create, and relax.

When I walk into the study, I want to make music, or use the computer.

When I walk into the laundry, I want to clean.

And although that all seems quite self-centred,and self-satisfying, (and possibly there’s a little too much relaxing?? But I am a phlegmatic, after all!) … What I’m really saying is …

I don’t want to have to move stuff out of the way before I start doing what that room was intended for.

We might as well not have all these rooms, if they can’t be used for the purpose they were intended.

I don’t want my energy and resolve drained before I even get started cooking, or relaxing, or creating.

We’ve been going great guns this weekend, tidying out my husband’s workshop, and have chucked out hundreds of items. We’re up to 900 items decluttered since January. That feels good, and I know I’ve decluttered a lot from inside the house recently, also. But this week I’m going to try this new way of thinking. As I walk into each room I’ll make a mental note of just what it is that is stopping me fulfilling the room’s purpose immediately. I expect that in each room I’ll find the same problem – a lack of a clear surface. So then I’ll take action, which no doubt will include more decluttering, and perhaps also some tidying and organising to improve the room’s function.

I really like this post about the purpose of our homes, also. Nester asks some great questions here.

What are the purposes of the rooms in your home?

What’s in the way?


Photo taken last April, when I worked for a month on keeping the kitchen bench tidy.