I was talking to a client with 3 young children on the phone yesterday and her biggest problem is she just can’t get on top of the washing – whether it is folding it, ironing it, putting it away – it just kept piling up all over the house. My advice to her was, will the world end if the washing isn’t folded? Her priorities have changed from when she was a single, care free, house proud woman to a sleep deprived mother of 3 and I suggested that she stop beating herself up and be more easier on herself. I think we can all take this advice when it comes to house work!
This morning I read a blog from Small Notebook that also touched on the same topic that I thought I would share:
If you’ve come upon a brick wall in your efforts to reduce and simplify, take heart.
I’m afraid we have the idea that if we can declutter enough, if we can reduce our possessions, if we can stop being concerned about having things, then our lives will become simple, and it simply isn’t true.
Owning fewer things definitely helps, but it doesn’t solve everything. The process of reducing doesn’t even end because there are always more papers or something to go through later.
But we do have a few other tricks to simplify and make things easier.
1. At our house each family member gets one cup in the morning and uses it all day. (“You want a drink, child? Where is your cup?”) At the end of the day there are four cups to wash, not sixteen.
2. There is no possible way, no chance, that I could keep my family’s stuff picked up all by myself. Even though I have seriously decluttered, there is still too much mess for one person. Keeping it all picked up is something our family does together, five minutes at a time with a song playing, and we all help to pick up each other’s things, not just our own.
3. Organise your stuff, but know when to stop. Organising your stuff should save you time, not consume it.
4. Put hooks on the wall in the entry way so you have a place to hang coats and bags and keys. When your family comes home tired, it needs to be as easy as possible to put things where they should go.
5. Fake it. Move all the papers on your messy desk into a tote bag, or simply close the door to a disorderly closet. One day you’ll have to deal with them, but you don’t need to have everything simplified right this minute.
6. Don’t let the dishes pile up. I know all too well the feeling of “I can’t do the dishes because the sink is too full of dirty dishes.” It’s a downward spiral.
7. Keep your bag ready by the door so you have the essentials you need, without having to remember them every time.
8. Box up half of your child’s toys and rotate them every once in a while. You don’t need to get rid of them, but they don’t all need to be on display or on the floor. Better yet, let your child decide which toys he is done playing with for a while. Do the same with children’s books.
9. Declare toy-free areas. My kids can play with their toys in their bedroom and the living room, but my bedroom and the kitchen get to stay toy-free.
10. Give up. I have a quilt that goes on the couch, and I used to keep it nicely folded. I was folding this quilt four times a day because I was the only one who cared. Why?! Now I just throw it on the couch and it looks fine.