It’s a normal Tuesday afternoon, Pat and I are starting on dinner while Rylan is playing with her toys in 3 minute intervals before coming and wanting to help cook or help wash dishes. At 2 and a half there are a lot of things she can do. There are also a lot of things that I just want to get done because, honestly, who has 3 hours to do the dishes to then have to re-do them and clean up the water that’s flooded the kitchen while she was “helping”. Some days I do. This Tuesday was not that day.
So while Pat and I take turns distracting her from each other so we can get stuff done, I’m also trying to clean out and reorganize the whole kitchen. Not because this sounded like a good idea but because for the last 3 months I’ve got this wild hair up my bum that we are going to become….wait for it…. minimalist!!!!” (me with a giant smile and jazz hands, *cue husband eye roll*)
So I’m doing dishes, working on dinner, rearranging cabinets, throwing things away and trying to entertain a toddler. Looking back I can’t believe my meltdown didn’t end in a hospital visit with some bad ass drugs. Okay… .Deep breaths… just keep going down the list. Start clearing off the table. There’s no room for anything until we get the new smaller table with hidden storage. I had successfully cleaned out one area and dinner was in the works when the sink started to back up. Meaning I couldn’t do dishes.
I slam my hand against the faucet turning it off, dry my hands way harder than necessary and slam the paper towel in the trash can. Super reasonable reaction. I then start slamming drawers and literally throwing things in the trash not even caring that I was still using that spatula. Minimalist now we only need one anyway. Pat comes in from being outside on the BBQ and just stops in the doorway. He gives me that look like knows whats coming and even though we’ve only been married for 4 years he really does know me that well to know it’s not safe in our kitchen.
“I hate this kitchen. I hate our tiny house. I hate that we aren’t trust fund babies who only work for fun.” I’m still slamming things and throwing things away but he doesn’t comment on that. He simply takes Rylan back with him to the BBQ so I can meltdown in private. Which of course makes me feel like a total psycho! Awesome. Just once when I’m being completely irrational I’d like him to come in and start screaming with me and get in on the meltdown. Couples who lose their shit together, stay together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a hallmark card. Then again I’ve always thought I should do the writing for them…. sorry I’m back.
So I’m in the middle of melting down while my husband is being all reasonable and supportive (ugh), when it hits me…. I don’t have to do this right now. I really don’t. I can only do so much and quite frankly I’m killing it when I am rational enough to actually think about it. I work 3 days a week as a human verbal punching bag (I mean receptionist), I teach Les Mills classes on the days I’m not at the hospital, I’m starting a blog and trying to start a podcast, I have a toddler, and trying to reorganize our whole lives. Not to mention trying to work out our budget and follow the Dave Ramsey plan. Nope I don’t have to do this right now.
My very wise sister-in-law once told me that I should put a timer on for 15 min each day and work on a certain area for that 15 minutes and only 15 minutes. So that’s what I’ve been doing and in the last week I’ve made some progress. I’ve gotten my closet organized to the point where I can close the closet doors (don’t judge me, I’m making changes), the foot of our bed is no longer a disaster, and the bar in our house if finally cleared off. Although that’s a daily task that takes a lot of effort on all of us.
Luckily for me Rylan has Aunty Jen’s genes and likes to be clean. For a toddler she can be super helpful when it comes to keeping her toys in her room and wanting to take baby wipes to clean the baseboard. Yup my kid cleans the baseboards and I still have a cluttered house! I’m actually judging myself so don’t worry about it. She’s good at her tasks it’s when she wants to help with mine that I lose patience and become snippy mom.
I’ve subscribed to a few different podcasts to help with the daily motivation of staying clutter free. The truth is when I can walk in my bedroom at the end of the day and see my nice pretty bed made and walk around to each side without having to dodge a Barbie, dog toy, or even a pair of my shoes, I can breathe easier. When I walk into the kitchen to start dinner and the counters are clean and there’s no dishes in the sink its like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Even better when I open the cabinets to find whatever ingredients or cooking utensils I need and its right there, easily accessible! It’s not quite better than sex but its towards that end of the spectrum.
Its becoming clear to me that this is not something that’s one and done. My new “minimalist lifestyle” is an ongoing, constantly changing beast of its own. I was never the best at keeping my room clean but now as adult I am learning that I can breathe easier and am more productive when things are clean and organized. One of my favorite podcast does audio classes on Minimalism for Real People and High Five To Your Future Self. Seriously the best thing for me. Its sparked that fire and has truly been so helpful. When I think of giving my future self a high-five it makes me want to prep my coffee, lay out clothes, do all my dishes the night before and get everything prepped for the next day, week or even the next few hours.
So hopefully between a super helpful husband and child, podcast motivation, and the general drive to give my future self a high-five, I’ll be on track to having a nice clean grown up house. Until then the journey is super fun and while I hope there’s no more tears in the kitchen I’m sure there will be. That’s what makes its great. I’ve listed some links to podcasts that I really like and that have helped me. But if you come over and my kitchen is a mess is my fault not theirs 🙂
Picture is our house the first christmas we moved in. We are in fact “tiny living”. We do have half an acre and since then my husband has gone full blown Clark Griswold.