The Unprepared Environment

We have shown you our prepared spaces in our home, but we are now pulling back the curtain and showing you a fuller visual of the chaos of daily life with young children. We are a Montessori family- but that doesn’t mean we are perfect or perfectly organised, just trying!

I had mulled over this for a long time, but was inspired to action by this Messy Montessori post– I tend to be too perfectionist about the house and Mars’ post has given me the guts to keep it real.  

Toileting and self-care area 

In this photo which I shared on Facebook, there’s a place for everything and everything in its place.

Pull back the camera though… And you get this. Ah wonderful. Floormats hung up like curtains and some dirty laundry in a bag. Doesn’t look too bad, you say?

Here’s a broken laundry pole, a spoon my husband entrepreneurially taped to a chopstick for digging coins out of the dryer and a couple of lone socks which he claims will be “marched through successive laundry loads”.

Our “classroom” (actually a corner of the study room)

This week’s Care of Self trays on the shelf (guess which is their favourite?). Previously I wrote about the children knowing how to keep the materials on the trays and put the trays back when they are done. That is still the case, but the shelf itself…

…Is a neat oasis surrounded by laundry. Laundry swamps even the peace tray on the study table 😩 And this is the amount of laundry on a good day.

Finally, our floor beds in a shared nursery

So clutter-free and calming.

But remember the wardrobe we made into a kid-sized dressing area with a Daiso extension pole?


That used to hold our spare mattress with a retro ’80s-looking sheet, and the mattress had to go somewhere.

Logically, it wound up on the floor. This is naptime. Note that little light near Emmy’s hand, I’ll come back to it later. And those cubby boxes near the fan? The children have sorted out their books and blocks.

But where did Emmy find those cubby boxes?? They actually hold the children’s homewear in the drawers, but she pulled them out (Dylan claims this was all Emmy’s idea) and the clothes I carefully organised last week are now garbled up again.

But then you catch sight of the most unexpected moments, like a faded rainbow dancing near Emmy’s hand while she sleeps, refracted by the mirrored chest of drawers which she opened earlier.  

And I am reminded of my favourite quote by an unknown author, “The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you show the child the work”, and I try to breathe out the messes – and breathe in the moment.

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