I think my feelings of desperation and isolation coincide with the start of winter and daylight savings time.
Darkness, bleh. I am a warm, sunny weather person. I like it hot and bright!
My older kids are whining and fighting like animals today. The babies are whining and grabbing me, pinching my nipples, head butting my face without warning, and cry every time I put them down with toys.
My sinuses hurt and I’m drowning in my own disgusting drainage. I don’t know if it’s from allergies or the mold in this house. Ugh. Probably both.
At least I’ve gotten my household chores well under control. Have I written about this? It’s still crazy with the babies, but if I hadn’t have simplified then there’s no way I would be keeping up.
When we moved I only unpacked enough dishes for basically one day’s use. No more stuffed cabinets! I kept a matching set of bowls, plates, and glass cups. Only a few kid cups and water bottles, what would fit on one shelf. Only a few mugs, about one per person.
I threw away all of the random Tupperware. We only have six matching glass bowls with white plastic lids, one large glass bowl with lid, and…that’s ALL. No more cabinet packed with various containers and an avalanche of random lids. Gone, gone gone! I do keep a few plastic lunch meat containers to use here and there, but no more than 2 or 3 at a time in the cabinet.
Doing the dishes is now super easy! If I’m behind then we run out of dishes, but it’s only a 10-15 minute job (sometimes less) to get them all into the dishwasher. People can’t just keep on using more, and more, and more dishes to create a disaster.
In turn, putting away the dishes is also extremely easy–only a few specific items that match together and slide right into the cabinet. Whew.
The cabinet space at this house is tiny and it doesn’t even matter.
We have one double door cabinet of plates and bowls.
One single door cabinet with cups, mugs, and water bottles.
One single door cabinet with a set of pans and a couple mixing bowls.
One single door cabinet with some of my speciality odds and ends like the Ninja blender parts, casserole dish, etc.
One small cube shelf with the stand mixer, blender base, bread maker, instant pot, waffle maker, etc.
I love to cook, so we do use all of these items regularly.
So we have basically five kitchen cabinets of items and a small shelf for appliances. That’s all we have!
And we only have one drawer of measuring cups/can opener/pot holders, a drawer of silverware, a drawer of sharp knives that don’t fit into the silverware holder due to size, and a drawer of baggies/foil/plastic wrap. There’s also a cabinet of organized spices and baking goods, of course.
It’s going to be so easy to pack when we move again.
All super thrilling information about my life, no? Bahaha.
I’ve done the same thing with clothing. It has been life changing.
The kids have enough clothes for about a week. Roughly seven outfits, some pajamas, a pack of undies, and a pack of socks. They each have a couple dressy outfits for church or whatever, a pair of boots, a pair of tennis shoes, and a pair of dress shoes. That’s iiiiiittt.
I do 1-2 small loads of laundry a day. (We have seven people.)
I keep the clothes separated by type with a basket for each type. Darks, lights/socks/undies together, towels, sheets/blankets, and cloth diapers in a wet bag.
As soon as the small baskets get full of darks or lights then I throw them in the wash. Since they’re small loads it only takes a minute to fold them when they’re done vs. the mountains and mountains of laundry I used to have.
If I get behind, which let’s face it…that happens…we can’t just keep wearing clothes and building up a laundry disaster. We run out of clothes and they have to be washed. Built in checks and balances on life right there. ;)
And all we have to wash if we do get behind comprises of only a few loads, not an entire day’s worth of doing many loads of laundry or anything extreme.
This has enabled me to change the sheets on a weekly basis rather than putting it off because it’s just more laundry, so that’s nice. We always have fresh sheets and clean towels. The kids can easily find their folded, matched outfits in the drawer instead of digging through 25 baskets of unsorted clean laundry, or worse having half of an outfit lost forever in dirty clothes.
I actually enjoy doing laundry and dishes now because it’s easy and satisfying instead of scary and overwhelming.
This has helped my stress level so much. Even though I’m dead tired and overwhelmed by babies I don’t have to panic over laundry and dishes ever. I just have to dedicate 30 minutes or less to each task per day and it’s always under control.
Maybe not everyone used to own way too many dishes, cups, and clothes…but I did. If you’re overwhelmed box up EVERYTHING except enough for 1-2 days for your dishes and a week for your clothes. Try it!
You can keep it in boxes in the garage for awhile in case you find you need it. If you haven’t touched it after a few months then don’t even open the boxes, just drop them off at the donation place and don’t look back.
I donated an entire U-Haul full of things when we moved here. No lie. Pulled up to Goodwill and unloaded it all, then drove away. It felt kind of panicky, but at the same time it was very freeing and I haven’t missed those things at all.
The next time we move I want to do it again with things we haven’t needed to unbox during the year we’ll spend living at this rental house.
I wish I had done this simplifying years ago! It’s been about four months since I did it, when we moved here, and I am never going back.
With the holidays coming up family is like, “What sizes clothing? What toys? What kitchen gadgets do you want?”
And I’m like noooooooo!
We can’t go back to having a million things causing stress. I don’t want anything. I want to say Merry Christmas and eat a nice meal together.
Simplicity for the win!