rituals, routines and systems

I’ve always been a sucker for systems. Maybe it’s the accountant in me, but I’m happiest when I have a system in place for, well… anything. Everything. At work, at home, in my car, in the shower. Things work best for me when I’ve figured out a routine for them. It makes me happy. Things just fall in to place. They happen like they’re supposed to.

Being at home with a toddler makes this more challenging, as the day is filled with more variability than my accountant brain is used to, but I make it work. There’s something about having everything organized and in order that just makes me feel at peace. It’s akin to spring cleaning for me. Clearing the excess clutter out of my day and focusing on the most efficient way to get things done.

I had this process down at work. I loved it. I loved the challenge that came with taking a process and improving on it. Or scrapping an old one and starting from scratch. Or finding a new and innovative way to approach a task.

I always get an itch for early spring cleaning this time of year. I just get bogged down by stuff by the end of the year. I think the quickly approaching holidays and the commercialism surrounding the whole thing starts to get to me. I find it overwhelming. Blame it on the cynic in me.

A few years ago, Ben and I started celebrating “boxing day” at our house. Not traditionally an American holiday (Canadian, I think), we’ve embraced it as our own and look forward to that annual cleaning process. At least, I do. We box up things we haven’t used in a while, then send them off to charity. It’s become even more essential now that C is in the mix – since she outgrows toys and clothes so quickly, and our house just isn’t big enough to accommodate storing all that extra stuff. Plus, I like knowing that our old things are going to a good cause and will hopefully bring someone else as much enjoyment as they did for us. We keep a select number of things for the sake of sentimentality, then decide what we don’t need and part with it.

This process usually extends beyond a single day and in to the week following Christmas. A thorough cleaning, organizing and purging process. It’s nice to get things out before the end of the year, both for clearing out the old and for the last minute tax incentives. It’s a great way to start the new year.

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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