A Note from Karen Keim
Have you ever rocked a baby to sleep? Isn’t there just something about the calm that settles over both the baby and you as their body relaxes and gives into rest?
Our first child was a tiny, precious addition to our life. The first days at home really boiled down to the simple things, basic routines like sleeping and eating. As long as those things went smoothly, our home was peaceful and settled, and we could enjoy each moment. Rocking her in my arms was one of the best parts of the routine, a part that became a favorite moment for me with each of our children. I would often look into that tiny little face and wonder… Who will this little person become? What interests will they have? What will their future hold?
As parents, we all have dreams for our children. Dreams of them succeeding at whatever life has for them. We want them to grow and learn, so we do what we can to help that happen. Sometimes that means saying an encouraging word when they try something new, other times it means giving a book to stimulate their mind, or a toy to get their body moving.
Even before children are old enough to ask for things, toys begin to accumulate in our homes. At least they did in ours—stuffed animals, books, puzzles, dolls, cars, all kinds of things that make eyes light up and put smiles on faces. It became a whole new season of life. During their waking hours, our children played nonstop—getting things out at twice the speed that I could put them away.
I loved their joy and laughter, but our home sometimes felt chaotic, which made me weary. Maybe you can identify. We want to encourage the learning, right? We wouldn’t take the toys away for the sake of never having the chaos, so what do we do? Establish organization. Create routines. We do what we can to inspire the opportunity for growth while trying to minimize the weariness and frustration. We found that having a designated space for toys made the play possible and cleaning up a lot easier.
At our house, our playroom had shelves, baskets, drawers, cabinets, and a storage bench. Everything could have its own place—dress-up clothes, Legos, Melissa & Doug puzzles, books… everything. Everyone knew where things went, and at bedtime many times, we would simply set a timer and race the clock as we all worked together to return things to where they belonged. By making cleanup a game of racing the timer, sometimes that routine was even part of the fun.
Our kids are older now. My early parent wonderings are slowly becoming clearer. Interests and paths of music, writing, sports, and cooking, among others, are becoming apparent and are being pursued. It’s an older stage with different joys and challenges and routines.
In each stage, balance is needed for everyone’s wellbeing and success. Whether for a playroom, pantry, garage, laundry room, or kitchen, at Keim, we can help you find organization systems that can meet your family’s needs. It is my hope that, whatever learning and growing is going on in your home today, you and your family can be experiencing joy and peace in the midst of it.
From my home to yours,