Daily Life & Decluttering {Blessing our Home}

The snow is swirling in a blizzard-like fashion out my frosty kitchen windows. All babies have been tucked into their beds for an afternoon rest and quiet time. The house is fairly clean and dinner is simmering on the cookstove. I have poured my cuppa tea and opera music is playing faintly in the background ….

Earlier this morning, with the warmth of the cookstove keeping the kitchen cozy, it seemed like a good idea to give Loyal his bath in the kitchen sink. He is growing so fast and I just adore his chubby little body! He’s like butter in my hand – so soft and gentle.


My husband and I have decided to transform a tiny extra room we have (on the main floor) into a school room with desks for the girls. As they are getting older and needing more quiet areas for studying, we thought this would be a good use of space. We were inspired by a visit to a friend’s house recently. They had a separate room set up with individual built in desks for their eight children to do their school work, keep their books organized, etc. It was just what I was needing for a mid-winter project inspiration!

So this afternoon, after the school books were closed, we set to spending 25 minutes to emptying out the back room, bit by bit. My husband asked me why I wanted to start this project of emptying out the room when the built -in desks are not even made yet, but I don’t think he realizes how long it takes to get things done with a baby and toddler… homeschooling and, well, life.

So the girls and I started today – I have this procedure where we only do small cleaning projects for about 1/2 hour to an hour as everyone gets a little distracted and frustrated if we spend too much time in the basement, cleaning off bookshelves, etc. So to ensure the children still have free time in the afternoon, I tell them we will put on a timer and set to work for a short period of time. After that timer goes off, everyone will receive a freshly baked cookie (or treat of the day) and the little ones are tucked into bed for rest. It is a good way to get things done in the winter months, when we are all cooped up inside (especially on a wintery, blizzard day like today), but ensure the task or chore does not snowball into a huge day-altering project!


[In just half an hour, we have 7 bags of items to toss to the local thrift store. Amazing how clutter can build up. I am always surprised at how much we collect when I feel as if we de-clutter monthly! Is this, perhaps, a large family problem, or perhaps just a problem in general?]


With the back room nearly cleaned out, I needed to make room in another area for the hutch that was storing fabric for sewing projects. I decided to try it out in the kitchen. We shall see if I like it or if it will feel too crowded – sometimes I change things around too often that the girls always ask me if another baby is on the way… I guess they know me well. 🙂

I love to re-arrange and make the home look fresh and pretty. Yesterday, we took down all the white lace curtains and washed them in hot soapy water. They were hung up by the afternoon, fresh and clean. The week before, we washed down all the kitchen walls which were very dirty from our wood cookstove. We also took down the lace curtains in the kitchen and washed and hung them, freshly cleaned. It did not take long with all of us working together and it was a good way to get warm during a very cold day that came our way (-30 degrees!). Those who were the coldest were the ones that climbed the ladder to wash the 10 foot walls – height rises, you know … they were soon warm enough to throw off their sweaters.

I always find myself encouraged after a room has been cleaned, freshly washed curtains are hung up and shelves are dusted. It makes such a difference! I love making a house a home – it is such a nice way to bless with minimal effort. Lighting a beautiful homemade candle can make a room smell lovely and cozy, as well. It’s a personal goal of mine to ensure dinner is cooking on the cookstove, as well, by lunch time – the house smells yummy and delicious, as we all await the lovely dinner hour. Tonight, we are having lamb chops, raised and butchered by our neighbour, (seasoned with olive oil with thyme, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary) and garlic mashed potatoes.

Last night, my husband brought home some roses  – they are so lovely and give such cheer to winter kitchen.  I am grateful for them! I love roses, but of course, they are so expensive to buy, especially in midwinter.

What are your favorite ways to bless your home?



January 16, 2018 - 9:05 am

Chris McCoy It gives me such joy to see the impact of flowers… to think of the journey of those vendella roses…grown in Ecuador, they would have come from one of two major producers, both of which have reformed their entire growth operation to become more socially responsible…gone are e days of underpay and temporary workers to farms now which have included schooling for the children of their employees, medical facilities, education for special needs children, family support and a true desire to better the people who work for them. Then a journey by air throught the USA to the doors of Canada where the are shipped to florists and lovingly arranged in celebration of a life…knowing those flowers will share emotions of love, respect, remembrance, and all the while, the family unknowingly are feeling the chemical effects of having endorphins released in their brains (our natural healing and feel good drug) easing the sorrow of a loss. The blessedly being passed along to a family, a nursing home, a hospital, a shelter where the bring joy again to a family! They have a very long journey across the world, to come to serve such a wonderful purpose. They can be dried, make into pot porri, pressed and painted onto pillar candles with melted wax, sprinkled fresh into bath water to release natural oils, composted into soil to enrich growth of other plants…so many things. God had a good plan when He made flowers 🙂 one of my favourite things. Hugs and love to you all from our home xoxox. Chris, rob, wes and Tommy.

January 16, 2018 - 6:37 am

Gigi Thank you, Rebecca. I love having lights around, especially in the dark winter months.

January 16, 2018 - 1:07 am

Rebecca Kurber I love the twinkle lights in the hutch!

January 15, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Gigi Sue, that is too funny – I do the same thing! However, I have an on going box for giveaways, not a garage sale. I don’t think I could manage a garage sale, even though it would be a great experience for the girls!
And that’s a great idea re: the electric warmer. You inspired me to pull out my old scentsy burners – 🙂 Thanks. I just added some of my homemade candle wax to the burner lid. Thank you for the idea!

January 15, 2018 - 9:25 am

Sue We are always decluttering here also, and it is only the two of us! Our years of shopping second hand for the family have really “stuck” with us 🙂 My solution is to keep a large cardboard box at the ready to put in items that we no longer want and when the box is full, i store it away until i have enough boxes to justify a yard sale. This has been a blessing for us as we always bring in a good chunk of cash from the sale! (Maybe ladies with children can partner with other moms to get the the job done?)
I love all your twinkle lights and how you put them on your open shelving! I string mine along the top of curtain rods at Christmas time and leave them there all winter long. I also enjoy comfy smells and use candles but instead of burning the wick, i set the glass candle on an electric candle warmer. I feel like it is safer and and the smell seems much stronger as one large candle smells up our entire house! Thank you for sharing your ideas and beautiful photos of your home and family… it is a blessing to us!

January 14, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Tara C Love this idea! Setting a timer for 1/2 hour is a great idea for getting those things done.
PS – My hubby met your parents recently (through a Kijiji purchase) and we found out that your sister attends the church that we go to. Small world! I met her a couple of weeks ago 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 4:54 pm

Gigi Thank you, Donna. A timer is definitely a great idea. 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 9:56 am

donna I love reading your blog. I always set a timer for work time as well. Even now, with my last two being 19 and 18, when we are starting a project they will ask “how long do you think we will work”. Thanks again for taking the time to post about your life. God bless.

January 14, 2018 - 7:09 am

Gigi Jen, I will surely take photos! It will be a long project though…

January 13, 2018 - 7:55 pm

Jennifer Wow! I would love to see photos your new school room for the older girls! And boy oh boy ,do your two little sons look similar! So cute!!

January 13, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Monica We have six children so far, so eight of us. PS. I’m currently taking a break from “spring” cleaning my dining room (even tho it is near 20s outside and the fire is blazin’) so thanks for the inspiration! We burn wood as well, so my curtains were black on top! Yikes.

January 13, 2018 - 11:31 am

Gigi Monica, I completely agree – the same thing happens with us. It is a blessing but it needs management! A good rule is one thing in, out thing out – of course, that does not always happen in the same day, but I wish it would! When we moved from our last home, our basement was filled with junk and clutter. I am determined to not allow that to happen this time around. I feel like I am constantly decluttering but it is okay, so long as I can stay on top of things. Last week, we also went through the house and de-cluttered and cleaned out all the drawers except in the dining room. It felt great!
P.S. How large is your family?

January 13, 2018 - 9:22 am

Monica I love this post! I can definitely agree that clutter loves to “drop out of the sky” with large families. Last year I probably took 30 bags of items to our local thrift store and already this year I’ve packed up four bags awaiting the thrift store. And still the “decluttering bug” has bitten me hard. It always does with a new year. I think for us, we get such wonderful donations during the year because our wonderful friends and church family think “big family, growing kids” and they are so correct—so they bless us with wonderful hand me downs and other odds and ends. And either the things we replace become clutter or suddenly someone has way too much of something and it does pile up. I love to see how you’ve brighten your space—lovely indeed. I’ve been in a huge decorating “funk” lately so it was nice to be inspired by someone who takes what she has and gives it a new home or a fresh look. Thanks for posting—stay warm!