Friday, January 8, 2010

Simplicity- Step One

"God made man simple; man's complex problems are of his own devising." Ecclesiastes 7:30 JB

I have been thinking about the idea of simplicity lately...and how I tend to over-complicate things. For example, when I called Addie's doctor today to cancel an unnecessary appointment, I went into a long explanation of why I was cancelling instead of just saying, "I'll see you next month at her 2 year appointment." Or, how I tend to jump in and try to do all of the laundry in one day in addition to all of my other daily responsibilities, and by the end of "Laundry Day", I'm over-protective about anything going into the hamper and frustrated that I couldn't do everything on my to-do list.

So for my own peace of mind, and for the sake of the rest of my family, I have made some changes for myself, and everyone over here just seems to be falling in with my new plan of attack.
  1. Have a morning routine. Knowing what I am doing every morning takes the guess work out of the first part of the day. Morning routine items include my devotions, putting on the coffee, getting Brian's lunch together, putting a load in the wash, changing Addie's diaper, emptying the dishwasher, waving "a-bye!" to Brian/Daddy as he sets off to work (a-bye is Addie version of bye...I don't know where the "a" came from), breakfast for me and Addie while watching Joyce Meyer (check your local listings for times in your area), drying my load of laundry, devotions with Addie, her reading DVD while I get dressed, and taking the meat for dinner out of the freezer. It seems like a lot, but actually, several of these things take little to no time at all.
  2. I only do one load of laundry a day. It goes into the washer as part of the morning routine, and once it is dried and folded, I don't think of laundry until the next morning. I also have been letting Addie help me put her clothes in the hamper. This step is taking some time now, but it will pay out dividends in the future as she learns where her dirty clothes are to go. She also helps me load the washer. This also takes time, but she enjoys it and one day she will be able to help me with the laundry the way I helped my mom. It also helps me slow down and adds just that much more quality time to our interactions with each other.
  3. The dishwasher is loaded throughout the day and the dishes are washed at night. This method has kept the sink empty throughout the day. However, this also calls for the dishwasher to be ready for dirty dishes. As I mentioned, emptying the dishwasher has become one of my morning routine items. Again, I let Addie put our spoons in their proper place- another lesson that takes time now but will be worth it down the road. (At Christmas time, my Christmas dishes were kept in a lower level cabinet, and she loved putting the dishes, one at a time, inside...with Mommy watching very carefully. Okay, so I held onto the dishes as she put them in the cabinet.)
  4. We pick up as we go along. Throughout the day, as things get pulled out for use, I have been making a conscious effort to make sure they go back as soon as we are finished using them. So many times, it is easier to say, "I'll get it later." But later, more items have been added to the pile. Addie is also being taught to pick up after herself. When we play with the toys, we have her help us put the toys away when we are done playing. Of course, we clap, and she is eager to find something else to put away.
  5. I do a "Clean Sweep" several times a day. Throughout the day, things are bound to get left out accidentally. We do a "Clean Sweep", which is basically beginning at one end of the house, walking through each room making sure that it looks the way it is supposed to, and moving on tho the next room. I usually time myself for 15 minutes for the whole house (because the house is already in order, this should only take 15 minutes). The kitchen is always the last room that I hit.
These steps are ways that I have been able to streamline/simplify my morning, and I am able to accomplish more during my afternoons. It also has helped me to not make my to-do list overly complicated and unrealistic (I am notorious for having unrealistic to-do lists).
Tomorrow is our Saturday Recipe Swap. On the menu... Simple Pork Roast. Have a Fabulous Friday!

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