November 15, 2008

The Balancing Act: Comfort Zones

Comfort zones. We all have them. Mine is a green sofa that we bought from a dear friend. She rues the day she let it out of her grasp, so I let her have visitation rights whenever she wants.

But more than that particular piece of heaven furniture, our living room/kitchen are the center of comfort in our home. This one open room is where we spend most of our time...reading, watching tv, reading, playing board games, and reading (well, some of us more than others). When this area of the house is messy, it affects all three of us in a negative way. It's tough to flop on a couch piled high with unfolded laundry, or do homework on a bar loaded with dirty dishes. In the old days, the coffee table and end tables served as nothing more than a place to hold things I didn't want to put away. Shoes, magazines, newspapers, you name could probably be found in our living room.

I've learned that taking a few minutes every night to concentrate on this area of our home pays big dividends. As long the living room/kitchen are clean, it doesn't matter what the rest of the house looks like...we function better as a family. We relax more, laugh more, enjoy each other more. When I have my morning quiet time, I'm more at ease because my surroundings are peaceful.

I admit, there are days when I'm just too tired to deal with it. Still, even when I skip a day, I'm surprised to find how quickly I can restore order. (Again, decluttering was the springboard!)

What room/rooms serves as your family's comfort zone? If you think about it, I bet there's one spot that says "home" to you more than another. Perhaps it's your bedroom, a playroom, or the kitchen. Ask your family what room they enjoy most when it's clean. Then concentrate on that room. Even if you don't have time to vacuum and dust often, keep it tidy (if you have small children, invest in inexpensive baskets for quick toy storage). 15 minutes a day is all it takes to make a noticeable difference in the life of your family. And aren't they worth it?


Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

You are so right. I find that if my house isn't in order, I can't function well. I feel agitated and ill at ease.

A huge thing for me is cleaning the kitchen the night before. I have THE HARDEST time getting out of bed in the morning if I know the sink is filled with dirty dishes.

Our living room has become the new center of our home. We've just "done" it and we love it. The other night, we had a fire blazing and sat around talking and reading and embroidering and just being together. It was wonderful!

Alana said...

I used to try to keep everything in order all of the was maddening! I have recently started focusing on just the main living area and letting the other areas go for longer. It makes me less crazy!

Lisa Spence said...

You've hit the nail on the head with this one. As for me, as goes my kitchen, so goes my attitude!

much2ponder said...

left a comment, did you get it? I thought for sure I left one, but it did not show up.

Kelly said...

Same here... our kitchen / breakfast room/ family room. If it is neat when I go to bed and wake up it sets such a positive tone for my day.

On those nights I am too tired to straighten up before bed I always regret it in the morning. Unforunately tonight is one of those nights!

Glenda, saved by grace said...

Our living room is our hangout.Kids everywhere. I keep things straight by telling the kids that when they leave the room, look around and see if anything that is out of place belongs to you, if so pick it up and put it where it belongs or take it to your room ect...I tend to get aggitated when things are out of place, and I really hate that about myself.

Have a great day!