I am constantly waging a war against stuff.
It’s not because I’m naturally minimalist–far from it. I’m actually a bit of messy packrat. No, my crusade against Too Much Stuff started because I live with four other mess-makers, and I’ve stepped on one too many Legos (ouch! they really really hurt) and spent too long under beds, pulling out everything from overdue library books to puzzle pieces to dusty, scribbled-on papers that we cannot recycle or throw way because, “Mom, I need this.”
There are some things we possess that fit our lifestyle perfectly. Things that work so well that I don’t even notice them anymore–but I would miss dreadfully if they were gone. There are two specifically that come to mind–two objects that have made my life function so much more smoothly over the past several years.
The first is our dining table. Back when my husband and I upgraded from our 4-person garage-sale-find poor-newlywed table, we went shopping for a new one with several firm conditions.
First, it had to be able to seat 8 people comfortably, with room to squeeze in an extra 2 or 4 at the corners. Next, it had to be expandable and have self-storing leaves, so we didn’t have to go hunting at the back of closets every time we needed to open it up. And lastly, it had to be sturdy. This table, we knew, was going to get spilled upon, colored on, poked at with forks, and banged with fists, toys and books. We couldn’t baby it, couldn’t coddle it, couldn’t overprotect it with placemats, tablecloths and coasters.
And we found it. Our perfect table, around which we’ve sat for many many meals, from leisurely brunches to hurried dinners before taekwondo to feasts with friends. We’ve done school at this table for the past three years, leaving all our books at one end and eating meals at the other. The kids have painted and colored and done all manner of art at this table; my husband has cut out sewing patterns on it. It’s the perfect fit for our lives.
Next up is the Behemoth, our all-in-one scanner/printer/copier/fax. I paid a lot of money for that thing, and I felt a little bit silly when a massive eighteen-wheeler pulled up to our house and its driver heaved in the 80-pound box. (My older two children were lined up in front of the window, watching with rounded eyes as all those wheels rolled by and stopped right outside our house.) But that printer has been worth its weight in gold for this writing and homeschooling mama. From printing out novel drafts to photocopying samples for the end-of-school-year portfolios, from printing e-workbooks and handwriting paper for school and coloring pages and puzzles for fun… the Behemoth gets a regular workout. It’s been a lifesaver for home education.
And the best part? It’s on the wireless network, so I can print from my laptop anywhere in the house without having to physically plug into it.
I love technology.
What about you? What things do you own that function so well and make your life run so smoothly that you hardly every notice them? That are a perfect fit for your life?