Maintaining a home is keeping things fixed and in good order, clean and tidy, and fresh and up to date. Maintaining can bring about the opportunity for creativity and problem solving. Homes are an ever-changing palette.

My tidying method usually involves staring at a room for a minute and deciding what I want from it. I get the big furniture figured out, and then start sorting through everything else. It’s on trend to donate your stuff to thrift stores, but I was amazed at how much garbage I hung on to: broken toys, scrap paper, broken items, old boxes, torn clothing. Not everything is worth a thrift store. I took loads to the thrift store and filled up my garbage can. I removed thrift store furniture that had served its purpose, electronics that were hardly used, toys that were too bulky, an extra fridge that was basically overkill, broken doors, old windows, and a whole shed of stuff that was from the occupants that lived here ten years ago.

If you want to study organzing and tidying in depth, I highly recommend Marie Kondo’s books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy.

After initially moving and decorating, I started to develop a routine of maintenance. I would improve what bugged me the most, but stayed away from purposely looking for problems. If it didn’t bug me, I didn’t worry about it. I changed out a side table, curtains, pillow slipcovers all when they bugged me. Our home has popcorn ceiling, which I think is one of the first things people tend to upgrade. But it’s never bugged me much, so, for now, it’s staying.

I’ve done more updating in the areas that I frequent, like the main living space and our bedroom. Other areas of the house I don’t worry about that much.

I use a cleaning schedule to keep my home clean and prevent housework from being overwhelming. I also have a running to-do list of things that need to be repaired. My favorite part of maintaining is adding my own touches through creative projects. I wouldn’t consider myself very crafty or artistic. I add to my home creativity by finding new things to add, often at thrift stores, switching out items, no-stress crafts, ideas for new wall hangings, re-arranging furniture, and adding art my kids did.

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