Minimizing and House Rituals

Emily DaFoeComment

How many of you out there have household rituals? I never thought of myself as a real ritual person, but over the years, I have realized that my Type A personality has created some good habits that help our household more a bit more slowly.  For instance, the first thing I do in the morning is to make the bed! I can’t feel good about the start of the day with an unmade bed, and thankfully, this practice - or morning routine - has rubbed off on my son! Every morning he asks me to make his bed - winning! While I am not a crazy clean freak, I do like a tidy house. Since I work from home, I also like to see order and everything put away, so I don’t sit and stare at it while I am trying to focus my tasks elsewhere.

Taking rituals aside, I am in the midst of a very cool lifestyle e-course designed by Courtney Amado from the blog Somewhere Slower. She is a mother of 5 who moved her family from London to Byron Bay after traveling the world for a year with her family in tow. Sign me up for that! Last week our topic was in our home. Thank goodness we have all taken a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and started purging all of our crap! After this past week, it really made me think of our home, what we had, and what I could eliminate. Apparently, it struck a cord, because the trash bags came out the very next morning for a good purge - starting with my son’s room!

When I got pregnant, my husband and I always joked that he could play outside with rocks and sticks. I have never been one to have a house full of toys, but my ideas of getting rid of all the cheap plastic toys we have gathered along the way became solidified when I listened to a great podcast on Goop by Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, that stressed the importance of a value-centered home. Give the podcast a listen, it’s really wonderful. 

So, this podcast, in conjunction with Courtney’s topic of home, encouraged me to purge the toys and old books. Yes books, listen to the podcast and you will get it. Along with my son, we chose to keep only his favorite toys: Matchbox cars, Legos, the Brio Train Sets, Magna-tiles, all the horses and animal figures, and a few airplanes. This may sound like a lot, but everything managed to fit into a few baskets! We went through all of his books, and he chose the ones he didn’t like as well. We did have to negotiate on one thing - his wooden farm set - and that was 100% ok. I may have snuck in a few things here and there, but all in all, he was very happy with his assortment he was left with. One of the things I love most about our little boy is that he loves to collect rocks and feathers. We hunt for the best ones when we are outside, and keep them in sweet jars in his bedroom. They are his treasures, and I love that!


Next was just clearing the space in the rest of our home. While I admit I haven’t had a chance to purge everything, I am going with one room at a time. Now with a little less clutter, at the end of each day, I have my son pick up all of his toys and put them into their designated baskets. We call this the Clean Up Game and I picked this trick up from his pre-school. It works like a charm and he’s happy to have a clean room before he goes to sleep. 

Having adopted a kind of evening ritual in our home, I now have a few of my own. At the end of each day ( most days at least ) after Waylon is asleep, I clean up the kitchen, tidy up the living room, light some candles - or palo santo - and try to relax. Whether I am scrolling the web, reading a book, looking at insty, or binge-watching my new favorite Outlander, it’s nice to know the house is clean and I am not waking up to a huge mess. The perk is the more I purge, the less I have to tidy!

What are some of your favorite household or daily rituals?

xx, Emily