On [Living and Working] Spaces
Every once in a while, Garrett and I will be caught up in an ecstatic frenzy of rearranging, reorganizing, and reshaping our living space.
The first time it struck us, we deep cleaned our little studio apartment and hauled five trash bags to the dumpster and five more trash bags to Goodwill. So long, nasty unneeded clutter! The next time, we entered into our "out of sight, out of mind" storage closet and did another round of purging and throwing out and organizing.
This past week, we randomly decided that we were due for a change of scenery, and we rearranged the main living spaces in our apartment. Moved the couch. Moved the tables. Moved the lamps. Moved the bed. Moved the dresser.
Over the course of living together, we have discovered that the simpler and the cleaner our space, the better. Having a tidy and purposeful home isn't just a nice feeling of cleanliness: it is a very tangible, outward sign of the rhythm of our life together.
Charlotte Mason wrote that "atmosphere is one third of learning". I could not agree more. That is why I care about having students clean every scrap of paper off the floor, put every pencil in its place, and stack their books neatly in their desks. It may seem anal and annoying to some, but I honestly think that having a classroom that reflects the goodness of order is worth having. Being tidy is a habit worth instilling in children, whether they be my own children or my students. It makes a difference whether or not your car looks like a junkyard, whether you make your bed everyday, whether you go to bed with a tidy living room.
We are physical human beings,. Our physical spaces matters. The space in which we live our daily lives reflects our minds, our hearts, our priorities, and our habits.
So, make it beautiful! Make it comfortable and unique. Take pride in your space, no matter how little or big or grandiose or simple. It's yours, and the good life might very well start with clean sheets, a clean counter top, and an inviting home that beckons us to become the best version of ourselves.