I have found that the Broken Window Theory applies within our homes just as much as it applies in the neighborhoods of large cities. A few months ago, I gave an example of a broken window in my home, and a couple of weeks ago, I shared another potential broken window on the Copperswife Facebook page. Remember that?
Though my desk was not *that* bad, I know from past experience that it was headed for complete chaos. The stack of stuff waiting to be filed, shelved or otherwise dealt with had grown to the point of toppling several times a day. This also wasn’t the ideal place for me to keep my Bible, either.
The book ends, holding up these books and binders, were not doing the job, and I found myself pushing everything back into an upright position often, and the boys’ *in* boxes were often overflowing by day’s end. The desk, however, wasn’t the only problem.
Meet Handel, my canary. He sings beautifully, but as you can see (even in this blurry photo) he is a messy eater. At the time I worked on my desk, Handel’s cage was on the tiled breakfast bar opening between the dining area of my kitchen and my schoolroom. The shells from the bird’s seeds ended up in two separate rooms!
I wanted to move the bird cage closer to a window, but the most likely place was already occupied.
This is my Desk Apprentice, and it is one of the most useful purchases I have ever made. The center section, and about half of the side sections, were filled with things that we weren’t really using anymore.
I emptied the Desk Apprentice of everything that was no longer in use and then took everything off my desk. Bit by bit, item by item, book by book, I was able to put all of the “stuff” that was on my desk top into the Apprentice. All of my correction manuals and answer keys can be grabbed from my desk chair. The books I’m using for the China study I’m doing with my grandkids are in one of the outer compartments, and each of my sons has an outer compartment labeled for him to put his completed school work to be corrected. Pens, pencils, Sharpies, book marks and highlighters occupy the four corner compartments, and the shelf along the top holds my tiny stapler, paper clips, tape and my beloved, can’t-live-without-them Post It Notes.
The papers that need to be filed are now in a hanging folder in the center section, and I have a couple of times scheduled during the week to work on filing so that the folder doesn’t become a “broken window”. I have other hanging folders there for the things I take with me for my Saturday Planning Retreat (post coming soon!), as well as for the unit study guides I’m hoping to write soon. There’s even room for my Bible and the notebooks I use for sermon notes at church.
Everything is easier to find now. Though the desk wasn’t bad to being with, it’s much, much better now.
The bird is happier by the window, especially in the early morning and evenings when we can open the window. The cage looks nicer there, too. He still tosses his seeds around and makes a huge mess, but that mess is contained in one corner now and can quickly be vacuumed up.
An added plus is that my breakfast bar is now clear and can be used throughout the day, or to decorate with a holiday or seasonal vignette, and I don’t have to clean bird seeds out of the highchair before my grandson sits in it.
You know, it’s important that we set the example for our children to keep things neat and organized. It’s certainly not acceptable when my kids aren’t able to find their school stuff, and it’s not acceptable for me to not be able to find stuff I need, either. By finding a way to straighten up my desk and keep it neat and organized, I was also able to keep the canary’s mess more contained, free up our breakfast bar/counter to be useful, and keep my grandson’s high chair clean for his next visit.
I reclaimed one small area with far reaching benefits! I love it when that happens!
Are there any “broken windows” in your home? Or maybe a window with a small crack, like the one my desk had become? I encourage you take care of that one area now, no matter how small (or large!) before it effects the area surrounding it.