It’s easy to look at the outside when it comes to a Waldorf home. I think we see the beauty of the wooden toys and the simple space and just get mesmerized by it and wish to imitate it any way we can. I used to think that if I had all the right Waldorf things then everyone will somehow be happy playing and everything will just fall into some magic rhythm. I learned fast that having the right toys would not make anything more Waldorf. There are many stages of the home that all come together to make it a home. The first one that I would like to look at specifically is the physical side of the home.
Less is more people say.
In the book Simplicity Parenting there is a really big emphasis on simplifying things in all areas of your life. One thing that the author mentions is to look at simplifying your own home. The first question I wanted to ask is, what does your home space feel like when you first walk in? What would an outsider say about your entry way? Is your home relaxed, overly controlled or out of control? Are you in a phase of your life where you are collecting or purging? Is there a flow to the home or is there clutter in the hallways?
Where does your family spend most of their time? Or is the center focus missing? Is that space welcoming for everyone to have a relaxed time in? Are books available for kids to look at and relax with? In my own living room we have two couches facing each other to encourage conversations within the family as well as visitors. We also have board games available to play at anytime. Overall, does your family/living room make you feel cozy? If not, do you need to move things around or get rid of things? Reorganize things?
We tend to leave lots of things that are on top of selves, it really only creates unnecessary clutter. In terms of the things you leave on shelves, do you use them a lot? Does it add beauty to the living space or take away from it? Does it look cluttering to the eye? Is there something that does not belong there? For me, I tend to always have this problem with clutter on top of the bookshelf’s. I usually use that space as a dumping ground for a lot of my work-in-progress things to keep away from the baby and then I forget about it causing a lot of clutter on top to start piling up. It took a lot of consciousness on my part to put things back into their place and not have the clutter on top. I found small storage shelf’s inside the actual bookshelf that I could put my work into very helpful since it was right there and I could just put it in.
Going into the kids bedrooms, I really like to use the big storage bins such as these ones. There has been some epic toy purging phases here and honestly if it was up to me they would have way less toys than they do now. What we have left are all open ended toys such as:
I really got tired of stepping on mountains of toys so now they play with one thing at a time. What does the toy supply at your house look like? Do you have toys that your kids do not even use? Is there a constant pile of toys on the floor and in the living room? Is there broken toys? Can you get rid of toys that your kids are not using?
As you can see so far I really do not think that it is about having the right stuff to have a Waldorf home. I think it’s more than stuff and more about the space and how it makes you feel. How does it make your kids feel? I do believe that the base of any home should be that physical space and then the rhythm. That is what is going to help you make your own Waldorf home.
Sometimes I do admit that it is hard to not clean the clutter and very tempting to leave things on the floor as they are. Having designated clean up times are important to us and we work at it together for now.
I hope that I have given you some good questions to think about in terms of your physical home. It took me a long time to understand that creating a Waldorf home was really not about the wooden toys and nature tables. If you are drawn to the nature table and pine cones that is great but you do not have to be. I do have a home that I would personally call Waldorf but that is my own humble opinion.