“Although it was considered by many to be a poor home, the worn pine floors shone with a fresh scrubbing, gingham curtains danced merrily in the windows, a hearty fire blazed in the corner, and the simple dishes were stacked neatly in the cupboard, ready to serve the fragrant bread just pulled from the oven. A picture of order and peace pervaded, welcoming all who stepped from the wintry outdoors across the inviting threshold.”
Similar scenes have appeared in many of my favorite books over the years. The above, while spun from my own imagination, is more likely a mental mash-up of several long-cherished tales. Tucked among the pages of many such old-fashioned stories is a quiet historical testimony of the value of keeping order in the home. This order shouldn’t be stringent, however. Rather, as expressed in the above mini-fiction, it is welcoming and pleasing to the senses.
As we embark on a New Year, it is fitting to glance back and glean from those who have proved the wisdom of decluttering, simplifying, and organizing.