Because Choosing Your Battles Saves Your Sanity :: How Having One Decent Space Makes all the Difference

night stand

The first room in our house that was kind of livable/done-ish was our bedroom.

I knew we’d be knocking down walls (they were knocked down in the kitchen before we even moved in) and living without a sink or stove or ceiling in the kitchen. We needed a place where we could close the door and pretend like the mess didn’t exist. When you move to a new place it’s so nice to focus on one space where you can quickly feel sane and at home.

Even today, our room still doubles as my office. We (Chad) just finished painting the barn and office exterior (photos coming soon!) and my office has been taped up with plastic and no air conditioner all summer. Right now that dinky window unit is looking pretty great.


It’s not fancy and it’s hardly organized or sanitized with three kittens a dog (and did I mention the mouse?!). But one trick I’ve learned that helps keep me un-crazy-fied is to keep my floor picked up and free of clutter and random hairballs. It does wonders for any space.


My mom (who has an impeccably clean house) always says “If the floors are clean then the whole house is clean.”


I also try to always evaluate what is working for me. For months I had this desk in our room. And then I made a discovery. I had never, not once sat at this desk and done one thing. And also, the desk only looked clean and tidy like this that one time when I took this photo. Yes, I used it to hold all sorts of piles and the chair was the perfect place to hang sweaters, but this desk just served as a great place to put stuff “for now”.

That desk was helping me keep my room messier! So as much as I love the desk itself, I cleaned it off…

real desk

…and we moved it out. It sits in the basement now, but I’ll use it in the barn in a few months.


Clearly, all of my problems aren’t solved. But this photo was taken yesterday when I was in the heat of two days of doing a little photo shoot that took over our entire house, a Christmas photo shoot for a company where I needed to pull out Christmas decorations, send in photos, then wait to clean everything up until the photos were approved. My house was in a half mess/half Christmasy holding pattern for 48 hours. But even I have standards…

hall mess

Here’s the hall outside our room…


There was an imaginary barrier at the threshold of our room. I knew from experience that I needed to have one calm space where even if I had to have a mess that looked like Christmas threw up in our hall, I’d have one uncluttered space to retreat to.

Here’s more of the mess from my instagram, click the play button to see the little video (& there’s music).
wherever you are
I’m trying to remember to start where I am, with what I have, and to sometimes do the least amount required to avoid catastrophe. So while my blinds might be dusty, my bedroom floor is clean and tidy. Because sometimes you decide to know thyself and choose thy most important battles.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the dust I forget to chase ,

The courage to clean the things I trip over,

And the wisdom to know the difference.



Sometimes (every time) we have to choose the easiest road to rest. For me that means dusty blinds and at least one uncluttered floor, preferably in our bedroom.

for you

A Giveaway

I’m so grateful for companies that partner with Nesting Place, who give me free rein to show my imperfections. Today, you have a chance to win a great little helper in your home. Dyson, who basically has a cult following for their innovative technology–for vacuums is sponsoring this post. Thanks Dyson!


One person will receive a Dyson DC59 Motorhead it sounds like a fancy car but this is the latest “digital” slim cordless (!!) vacuum. Who cares about the blinds, let’s clean the floors and forget about the rest! Oh wait, I think this thing cleans the blinds too!

254_5c3ffe3ae7366882d6cf39c7c208d2d7(white uniform, empty, clean white home and vehicle not included please insert your own colored clothing and possessions that need vacuumed)

WINOne rule to enter to win, pop over to the Dyson DC59 Motorhead site (it will open in a new window), scroll through the info and then come back here leaving a comment what feature would be the most useful for you and what space in your home you try to keep the most sane–and then you’ll be entered!

Winner chosen August 18th, prize value: a cool $549.



  1. linda kopecky says

    Hi! I currently have another high-end brand vacuum, with a cord. It is heavy and frustrating to use as I have had 2 back surgeries, and just recently both knees replaced. Having this light-weight beautiful vacuum would make my life much easier! I have 2 cats and I am vacuuming every other day on carpet and wood floors. I LOVE THIS VACUUM!!

  2. We recently moved into a house with beautiful hardwood floors in some rooms and carpet in others. Our current vacuum will only work on carpet. Not only would this vacuum work for all our floors, it would make cleaning up after our guinea pigs easy-peasy.

  3. Wow, this looks amazing. The fact that is it so light weight and cordless with extensions to do the stairs is what really sold me! For a person with a bad back, this is fantastic! thanks for the chance and have a wonderful day!

  4. Wow! My favorite feature would have to be that it cleans multiple surfaces, even ceilings! And it is so pretty!

  5. Uhhh what WOULDN’T be a great feature to have and what room couldn’t benefit from this beast? Fingers crossed!

  6. I would the lightweight feature! My house is 2 story and having to lug the vacumn up and down this one would so much easier!!

  7. Looks like it would be my savior to having clean floors everyday. No plug would certainly make me want to use it everyday for keeping up with 3 dogs.

  8. Susan Christy says

    I love that it’s cordless, lightweight and has 3x the suction power of other vacuums.

  9. I think the best feature is how portable the vacuum is. We live in a tiny fixer upper which I love but with two small children a big bulky vacuum just doesn’t cut it. It would be awesome to win this considering all the allergies in our house. Whatever makes cleaning easier is a Godsend.

  10. The absolutely best feature is the lack of a cord – so much easier to carry around and do quick jobs. I agree with your mom and this would enable me to at least keep the floors clean!

  11. I just love the fact that it is cordless! Love that convenience. I have been looking at these for a while…

  12. This looks like just the thing I need to keep my floors (and my ceiling fans) clean. New York is a very dusty place and I feel like the dust always reappears the very next day after I clean! I’m now craving this dyson. I also love how small and portable it is, since I’m in a small apartment and don’t have much room to store things. I hope I win!!!

  13. All the extensions! And I can use it on wood and carpet? AND no cord? Sign me up!

  14. This looks like the PERFECT vacuum! Cordless, able to go from carpet to wood floors, able to do stairs easily, reaches ceiling fans…wow. With three kids under 5 and a dog, our floor is never totally clean, but this would surely help!

  15. Claire Payne says

    We’ve been living in rentals for 4 years as my husband finished his time in the Marines, got his bachelors degree and now graduating from a 6m fire academy. With two kiddies in tow, I would use this to gain back precious space in our closest that our old clunker of a vacuum currently hogs up. Space is precious!

  16. I would love the fact that i could easily clean my stairs!!!! i currently have a vacuum that is heavy and has a cord and to big to clean each step! this vacuum sounds perfect for the job !!!!!!!!!

  17. I have always wanted a Dyson and the fact that this one is cordless and so easy to store…wow! I definitely try, like you, to keep my bedroom the most sane. I just made an offer on my very first house, combination of wood and carpeted floors so the fact that this does both is awesome and with two dogs to clean up after this would surely make life easier!

  18. I NEVER clean my stairs – ever! There’s something about them that just makes it way too annoying to clean. i am hoping that this slim and cordless feature will help my stairs become clean again!

  19. My favorite feature would have to be that it’s a cordless vac! I can just see myself zipping up and down the stairs and around the kitchen island, sucking up all the dog hair that seems to accumulate on a daily basis!

  20. Amanda Smith says

    I have a ten month old baby who spends a large portion of his day exploring the floors and putting anything and everything in his mouth. I would love to have the capability to clean the floors without the hassle of putting him somewhere safe while I wrangle with our heavy corded vacuum. It sounds like it’s light enough I could even use it one handed, a major plus for this mommy! Also, the hygienic canister would be amazing; our vacuum smells funky if I catch a wayward pea or piece of fruit tossed from his high chair, but the bags are too spendy to just toss before they are full. As if that wasn’t enough, even after vacuuming there is still a layer of dust from having the windows open from the summer heat; it never seems to get clean enough to keep his onesies to not look like he was belly crawling through a barnyard!

  21. Love that it is cordless! Very useful to zip around sucking up mountains of dog hair (3 pups). I try to keep my kitchen “sane” because its the center of the house. If the kitchen is sparkling, I feel relaxed!

  22. The portability! We live in a tri level with carpet, tile, laminate and rugs. Being able to use one vacuum for all floors would be amazing! i love that it’s so light as well :) I agree with the floor being clean – the space seems clean thing too. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with the house I clean my floor and then everything seems ok again. :)

  23. Lindsay Marie says

    I love that it is cordless and lightweight making it easily mobile throughout our split-level home! It would be a thrill for sure to assign vacuuming chores without having to lug our vacuum up and down all the stairs!

  24. I love that it’s lightweight and easy to life! We have hardwood on the main floor but carpet upstairs and in the basement – I hate lugging my heavy vacuum up and down two flights of stairs! I definitely try to keep my bedroom as our little haven/sane place. Nothing like a cozy bed and a nice clean floor. :)

  25. I so need this! My son’s dog is living with us now giving us three dogs now to try and keep the hairballs at bay. This would be such a blessing to receive.

  26. Amanda Danielson says

    The weight would make the vacuum the most useful for me! How awesome to have so much power in such a compact instrument. I try to keep the living area the most sane because that is where we spend the most time.

  27. CORDLESS!!! It would be so nice to grab for quick clean-ups without having to drag a cord around!

  28. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever drooled over a vacuum cleaner…but the picture of the stairs got me! I’ve got hardwood steps to the basement and carpeted steps to the second floor in my home, and this vacuum looks like it could handle both with ease!

  29. No cord! Because seriously, how awesomely quick and convenient is that?

  30. I would appreciate the six minutes of increased suction power to clean my van… I can never get all of the dirt up with my current sweeper. My place of serenity is my master bedroom… I try to keep it clutter free … Helps so much with getting a good nights sleep.

  31. Love that it is light and cordless! Perfect for cleaning a ledge over my front door!! Thanks!

  32. We’re about to move into our new home that has four flights of carpeted stairs. This vacuum would be amazing!!

  33. The feature that appeals to me is the convenience of vacuuming stairs – no cord and lightweight! It would definitely make the job of cleaning the basement stairs easier! Thanks for the encouraging post!

  34. Ohhh, a cordless vaccum that could go from the hardwoods in 90% of my house to the 2 bedrooms with carpet in one appliance, catch me, I swoon! Truly, I have had different Dyson models on my “wish we could afford” list since we were married, almost a decade! I also appreciate your partner companies that allow you to grace my computer screen with beauty and great ideas!

  35. Oh, what feature wouldn’t be most helpful to me…?! This cordless vacuum would be so convenient to keep upstairs, to get all the cobwebs out of the corners of our ceilings, it would probably be lightweight enough for me to DELEGATE vacuuming to my 6 year old (what, someone helping me?), being cordless would prevent my 1 year old from tripping all over the cord. {sigh} I would absolutely love to own one of these Dyson cordless vacuums!

  36. Well, the cordless feature would be really helpful, since I live in a basement apartment with wide spaced and hard to get to outlets. I also try to keep my bed and the area around it more clear and calm.

  37. Wow! This would certainly be a joy to have. I, too have a multi-level home, with carpet, porcelain tile, and hardwood. This sounds wonderful for all 3. I really could use the extra power and something so light weight. Having rheumatoid arthritis, a heavy vacuum and the ensuing tangle of cord (who is also a clean freak), is a nightmare me. Sounds like a ‘dream machine” to me! I would very much much love to have this Dyson!

  38. Sheri Elmont says

    This is exactly what I have been looking for. I need something I can just grab to run through the house to suck up all the dog hair and debris she brings in on the hardwood floors. My regular vacuum requires water and more effort that I sometimes have time for.

  39. I am a neat freak trapped in the body of an art teacher… I love the feeling of being barefoot in my home but working full time it is so difficult to keep up after a 120 lb. Rottweiler, a 15 month old baby girl who wants to help mommy do everything (including currently pulling the vacuum cord out of the plug when I do find time to vacuum) and an adorable but messy wandering eater of a husband. A cordless jusher (I know I pronounce it but not how to spell it out!?) as we call it in my house, would be amazing to at least keep the living room at bay.

  40. Alison Mothershead says

    I dream of a vacuum that has no cord AND works well! I would always be vaccuming!!!
    Right now I am working on making my bedroom my sanctuary, with the help of my husband, so that all the projects we have around the house won’t make is too crazy!

  41. cordless. seriously. like no cord. bagless. light. everything.

  42. Well, considering my current vacuum only sucks through the hose and not the floor attachment, anything would be great! However, I love that this is cordless and works on multiple surfaces. We have hard wood floors and 3 kiddos, so I would love to clean up after them so easily!

  43. I think the best feature is that it is cordless, but also easy to handle. We have a very open floorplan, so the DC59 would be a dream to have in our home. Downstairs is hardwoods and rugs, and the stairs and upstairs are carpet, so being able to use on both types of floor would be fantastic.

  44. Being a stay at home dad with a 3 year old boy and a 10 month old little girl and 2 dogs the Dyson DC59 Motorhead would be a dream come true and a real time saver!! Cordless Yes!! I try to keep the whole house sane!!

  45. Love the fact that I can breeze up the hardwood stairs with it and still hit the carpet in the bedrooms. Handy as a pocket.

  46. Cordless!! Need I say more? My living room is my sane room. Needs to be clean and picked up.

  47. Wow! perfect for that quick clean up in the entry way. I have 5 kiddos going in and out the front door so dirt gets tracked in easily. The cordless feature is great because it could be docked anywhere and carried where you need it to be and since its not heavy the kids can vacuum up their own mess! Win win. :-)

  48. That vacuum could make all my housecleaning dreams come true :-) I try to keep the kitchen and family room clean most of the time… but it is an uphill battle. It would be so nice to have a small, cordless, powerful vacuum I could zip around my wood floors and rugs everyday! I tend to procrastinate on dragging out my big old upright out of the closet.

  49. I can hit the dog hair on the floors and the couch with all those adjustments!

  50. I need to get my sanity back. Messy 4 & 5 year old, messy husband, stairs, and very busy schedule!!! All I’m asking for is to have clean floors. At the moment, I’m picking up the trash to put it in the vacuum!! This would be a dream for me! Love my family! Would love for them to live on clean floors and make our living room our peaceful haven for cuddles.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.