I had a bit of a meltdown earlier this week. You see, our kitchen is a source of chronic frustration for me. No matter how good we are at wiping up spills and washing dishes, the clutter always finds a way in there. And once a little bit of clutter has nestled itself onto the countertop, a little more inevitably ends up there too. And so it continues until pretty soon it’s impossible to even fix dinner.
Or maybe that’s just the way it is at my house.
But I’m committed to making it work this time. Part of desiring a simplicity driven, minimalist lifestyle is making more time to spend with the family and spending less time stressed out and frustrated because things are messy. I don’t want to be concerning myself with “How am I going to prepare dinner in that messy room when we get home?” while we’re out having a family fun day. I don’t want to get home and be frustrated and annoyed after an otherwise lovely day.
I want to honestly live the simple life I claim to desire. That’s going to mean paying attention to things and keeping them under control. That’s going to mean organizing the places that are readily visible as well as those that aren’t. (The non-visible places are still a work in progress.) And that’s going to mean training everyone else, especially the children, that the kitchen counter isn’t their personal dumping ground.
Keeping the counters clear is only part of the solution, though. Have you ever heard of feng shui (pronounced “fung schway”)? It’s an Asian concept that essentially says that you will feel the way your living space looks. If your area is cluttered and messy, you will have messy thoughts and ideas. If your space is perpetually untidy or in disrepair, you’ll likely be unhappy there.
So when Will and I were cleaning up the kitchen the other night, we did all we could to make the feng shui better, too. (As renters, there’s only so much we can do…) I reorganized my spice shelf because it had gotten very untidy. I made sure everything that belonged in a cupboard was in its home and that the cabinet doors shut fully. I even cleared off the front of the refrigerator, which had been covered – in a messy, disorganized way – with papers (coupons, kid stuff, etc). The only things that went back up were the things that we need/use on a daily basis, which during this season are the boys’ summer reading logs and the paper that records their Good Behavior Points.
All this took about an hour, maybe a little more, but we’ve kept it up for several days now, and I’m much happier with the room.
Now we just need to do the other rooms in the house!