One thing I have learned about myself is that my surroundings really influence my state of mind.

I need organization.

Clutter stresses me out.

I feel anxious when everywhere I look, I see clutter.

I think I have passed this on to my kids too because I mentioned that this weekend we were decluttering the house and they were all into it.

So that was our mission.

With decluttering our environment, we are also able to focus on the things that matter most. This weekend was a great weekend for that. We cleaned shop, and got to spend some great quality time with each other (and of course, I want to document these little moments).

On Friday night, Rob took Gabe on a date. They went to the airport to watch planes land (and had some dinner too). Gabe is a fanatic right now about planes (and wants to be a pilot) and knows a lot about them. Rob loves them too. So it was a date from heaven. Rob used this time as a bit of an opportunity to have a heart to heart about “things that a 13 year old boy may have questions about”. Gabe came home and said, “So there we were, enjoying watching the planes, when all of a sudden Dad started talking about “you know what”!!! Pretty funny.

Zandra had a playdate and stayed over at her friend’s for dinner. That gave me and the Sam man a chance to go on a date for sushi (his choice). He chatted the entire time about the important stuff going on in his 6 year old life. Adorable.

Zandra came home from her playdate, and informed me she had opted out on a sleepover as she wanted to come home and hang with me. We had planned to start a new (to us) TV series together and I had just borrowed season 1. I was totally fine with her bailing on me to hang with her friend – but was happy to see she wanted to come back and spend that time together (see – it’s not all me the SMOM pushing myself on my skids:). So we had some popcorn and watched 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls.

The remainder of the weekend was just as productive. I went for a run and then breakfast with my girlfriend, finished off a long overdue report, did groceries, ran errands and did laundry. Rob took Sam to a birthday party, went to the boat to clear stuff out and cleaned some of the boat stuff for storage, and went and got some boxes for our declutter mission. The kids got all their homework done, played soccer and rugby (Zach got himself a ball so they had to try it out) and we went to church as usual. We even had a movie night with snacks and all and played a game of cards. Finally, Josh and I made dinner as it was his turn for the Surprise Sunday dinner: Chicken, Mushroom and Bacon Pie with wild rice and lentils, followed by pumpkin spice cupcakes with brown butter icing (they were so delicious – thanks Martha Stewart). That was in between the declutter mission. Phew. No wonder I’m now zonked.

We decluttered like crazy. Every room. The kids were sports about giving away things they really don’t use anymore. I know sometimes it’s hard – but it feels so good to have space! It’s like our house can breathe again.

Decluttering also makes you realize how much stuff we accumulate, but how little of it is really meaningful. I kept telling the kids “Pretend we are moving and this is the only stuff you want to take”. Then I usually suggested half of what they wanted! When they really asked themselves the question “When was the last time I used this” it was usually quite easy to figure out. It also helped them rediscover things they had forgotten! They rebuilt some broken toys, and started playing with “lost” things they had found.

At the end of the weekend the house felt cleaner and everyone felt better. Maybe they just felt better because I felt better, and when the Mama is happy, all the cubs are happy.

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