I looked around the house one evening this past week and realized: we did it. The semester is coming to a close (three more class days!), and the house has remained pretty well organized and clean throughout. It's not perfect, of course. Blankets are often strewn on living room furniture after use. Papers find their way to surfaces where they don't belong. But they don't do so constantly, and they get put away before more mess piles on top of them. We've also made the commitment to clean the house every week.
Anya has done a particularly amazing job keeping her room organized once we opened up a closet and put most of her toys on the shelves in it. (Samuel's room is another story. He's teaching me about letting go of complete control over the house.)
And it's worth it. When I walk through this house, and when I return home to it at the end of the day, I feel calmer. Centered. Grounded. Less stressed. Home has returned to being a haven after a long day, rather than yet another source of tension.
What makes your home feel like a haven?