Hello there! This is Amy Sorensen, and I don't want you to get the wrong idea from that title. I’m not a person who loves cleaning my house. I’m glad if it’s clean…but I don’t generally get inspired by housework.
Still, this is also true: last week I was working on hanging up clean laundry and all of a sudden I was inspired to make a layout. Laundry-room inspiriation…not my usual impetus, but whatever, I’ll take it!
I was hanging up my sons’ school uniforms, and thinking about how funny it is that while he doesn’t love wearing a uniform, he is fairly particular about what pieces of the uniform he’ll wear. Only a light-blue shirt (even though he could wear red, navy, white, forest green, or yellow) and only khaki shorts (even though he could wear blue shorts, or even blue pants. What is it with boys only wanting to wear shorts, even when it’s cold?) It hit me, right there in my little laundry room, that this is an unrepeatable detail of our life right now, and it would be a shame not to scrapbook it.
So I took a picture of him the next morning and made this layout about his “uniform uniform”:
This experience left me thinking about where ideas come from and what I might be missing out on by not paying attention. So I made a little goal for myself, to watch for scrapbooking inspiration over the next week, whenever I was cleaning my house. This layout was inspired by the most dreaded of household tasks, cleaning the bathroom:
(Please note that in real life, the pieces on this layout are straight. It is always so hard for me to photograph layouts without a bit of a skew!)
It’s not immediately obvious why. We are finally replacing our worn-out shower with new titles, and I’m so grateful not to have to clean that white tile and grout ever again! But I’ve been thinking a lot about tile. Rectangle or square? Straightforward rows or some tiles tilted at an angle? Big, 24x24 tiles or smaller 8x8 ones? And then there are the endless hues of brown you can pick from. It all left me thinking I needed to make a grid-style layout, evocative (sort of) of tiles.
Finally, I found the idea for the journaling on this layout while I was cleaning my kitchen.
Not one of those quick, drop-all-the-dishes-in-the-dishwasher cleanings, but a deep and detailed one involving rubber gloves and scalding hot water. Lots of time to think, in other words. I was pondering my son Nathan, and why, when he told me the fabulous news that he’d gotten a job, I went into my bedroom and quietly sobbed. I wasn’t immediately sure why sadness had been my first response, but as I pondered it while I was cleaning the kitchen, I realized it’s because him getting a job means things will change—and I sort of don’t want them to! I sat down and wrote this journaling right after I finished the kitchen (and washed my hands!), and it was cathartic to come to an understanding.
I haven’t made them yet, but I have other housework-inspired layout ideas to work on over the next few weeks:
- While cooking a big Sunday dinner, I decided to make a layout about each of my boys’ current food likes and dislikes. I don’t know about your house, but in ours there is a huge disparity between who likes what. It makes for interesting dinner choices!
- A few other laundry-inspired ideas: current favorite outfits or fashion choices, struggles with finding clothes (my teenagers both have LONG torsos, so finding non-belly-Ts is an issue, for example), the tall socks trend and how it makes me think about my dad.
- I started to think about each of my kids’ cleaning personalities. Some of them are cleaners by nature and some of them aren’t.
- My windows need to be cleaned, but oh my, it is a task I dread. My mom, however, never let a spring or a fall pass without washing her windows. I need to tell that story!
- I’ve never documented some of the biggest messes—you know, the ones that become family legend. Like the time my daughter filled up the entire back cubby in our minivan with chocolate chips. They melted into a big, cubby-shaped block of chocolate that she’d dig at while we were driving. How have I not ever scrapbooked that story?
This little goal of mine reminded me that really: inspiration is everywhere! It almost makes me feel a little bit more excited about the fact that I really need to vacuum right now. Almost!