I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Truly Home

Something a bit unexpected has happened over the past few months. I have discovered that I'm no longer living in the future and have started really living in the Heap. I know, you thought I was already doing that, didn't you?


When we first moved to the Heap I was able to cope by keeping up a constant dialogue with myself about how things would be "soon". I did without things, danced around piles of boxes, and generally lived in denial about reality. I was relatively happy, but I wasn't content. Not really.

The change snuck up on me so I can't really pinpoint exactly when it happened. One day I got tired of moving the wall clock around and decided to put it up on the wall. Then, I decided to stop avoiding company and hosted an essential class. I cleaned out my bedroom and organized everything, getting rid of all the boxes. All of the sudden, I looked around the house and realized I didn't feel a sense of shame. I wasn't thinking about tomorrow or when things were perfect. I was not only happy, I was truly in the moment.


Ready to move in.

Yeah, I still have dreams about how we'll fix things up. It's not that I don't see the way things are or that I don't care about making improvements. It's just that I'm truly okay with how things are right now. We are safe. We have everything we need. Life right now is really good.

It's also a mess.

If I'm going to really live here I'm going to have to get my usual organization in place. Turns out I can live with ugly, dingy, and broken, but I cannot live with disorganized and cluttered. I started moving in when I cleaned out my bedroom and that was a great warm up, but now it was time to tackle one of the real problems.

The kitchen.

One of the biggest problems in the kitchen is the lack of cabinetry. We've had a couple of shelving units for awhile, but they are difficult to keep organized. There is no way to completely eliminate them, but I knew moving some things around could help.

I don't have a pantry either so a lot of my available cabinet space has been used up with food. I knew I could move some of it out simply by moving unopened, stockpile items to another location. I have a ton of spices and vinegars too and I seriously needed to find a way to make them easier to get to.

What is it about the top of the refrigerator? It's so easy to let that space become a dumping ground! That's exactly what had happened for me- if I had an item that didn't really have a home I'd just toss it on top of the fridge. It didn't take long for it to become a hot mess-a  hot mess that fell on top of anyone so foolish as to try to get something from up there.

My mom gifted me a new cabinet so I decided to use it for my spices and baking supplies. I alphabetized the spices so they'd be easy to find and grouped like things together- top shelf, spices; bottom shelf, flours and sugars. I can close the doors and it looks so much nicer than the second open shelf did. The remaining shelving unit houses dishes I couldn't find a spot for and appliances that I use very frequently.

The cabinet that used to have spices now has dishes. It's amazing how much stuff fit into that one small space!

I moved out any pantry items that weren't opened and put them in a new storage area that I created with the shelving unit I no longer needed in the kitchen. The remaining items got grouped in ways that make sense for our family. We have a beverage area, with our teas, cocoa, etc. and a box with all of our sprinkles and cake/candy decorations. The very far upper corner is difficult to reach so I put something I use pretty rarely up there.

In every kitchen there are those things that just do not lend themselves to being organized. I decided to quit trying to fight it and just put them in bins- one for small tupperware and one for various utensils. The bins make it easy for the kids to put them away and keep them looking mostly organized.

TaDa! I'm officially moved in to the kitchen. Every box that was labeled "kitchen" has been unpacked and everything has a home. It's not pretty, but it's very functional and organized and I'm.....yep....content.


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