Friday, March 7, 2014

Simplifiying our Home: Conquering the Moutain

I am also trying to simplify some family habits that we have that just drive me crazy. The first was the dirty clothes on the living room floor. I know, most people have this issue in the bedrooms, but we had this issue in the living room. We had dirty socks, sweatshirts, workout gear, pajamas, You name the article of clothing it has probably seen my living room floor. When they did get picked up they just got thrown to the bottom of the stairs and I ended up with a trecherous clothes pile at the bottom of the stairs. Some days it felt like the Mt Everest of clothes was forming at the bottom of the stairs and I would have to strap on some crampons and get an ice ax to climb to the top.

I was tired of the clothes on the living room floor and I was tired of navigating a mountain of dirty clothes at the bottom of the stairs. I decided that I had two options. I could try to change our habits or I could come up with a different solution. If I tried to change our habits that meant nagging Mark, Ashlyn, and myself to take the dirty clothes up to the laundry hampers in the bedrooms. Eventually I would get tired of nagging and they would get tired of listening, so nothing would change. Obviously we have been through something like this before.

I had to think outside of the box. I knew that the clothes were going to end up in the living room, and eventually at the bottom of the stairs. So what could I do to stop the process of them going from the living room to the bottom of the stairs? After I had asked myself this question a hundred times finally on the 101st time the clouds opened up and the light shone upon me ala Lion King.

Put a small laundry hamper in the living room! 

I know, who has a laundry hamper in the living room? I proudly say that I do! It has only been a couple weeks, but as of right now it has solved our problem without the nagging!

This was originally destined for shoes, but is now thriving as a laundry hamper.
Ashlyn happily puts her dirty clothes in there. I don't have random socks sticking out from under the couch. I even have a convenient place to throw my dirty kitchen towels. Now, I may eventually get one with a lid, HomeGoods here I come, but for right now this is what works for us. This was a simple solution to an odd family habit. I am loving this process so far.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simplifying our Home: The First Great Purge

The older I get it seems like life just gets more complicated. Yep fairly certain that statement just made me sound like I am an old lady, but think about the stages of life. As a baby you just eat, sleep, cry and poop. As a toddler you are learning to walk and talk. Then you hit preschool and you start learning the alphabet, counting, and imaginative play. You are now in school and comes reading, writing, math, and science. And on and on it goes in life learning more and more complicated tasks, facts, and theories.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love to learn new things and I love seeing Ashlyn learn something new everyday, but sometimes all of that learning can cause us to over complicate the things that should be simple. Right now at my phase in life I am feeling like my home is over complicated. I am on a mission to simplify my life by simplifying my home. 

No, I do not have a complicated automated home with a robot maid named Rosie and son named Elroy. Now, I really wouldn't mind having a robot maid named Rosie, maybe then my dishes would be done all of the time. A robot maid would be nice, but then I would always worry about it going all terminator on my ass and trying to destroy the human race and all that jazz. Yep totally think about robots taking over the world, or even zombies for that matter.
See Rosie the robot totally look like she could turn into a terminator at any moment.

What I am talking about is the complication of having too much stuff. Yes, I know it is a total first person problem talking about having too much when there are people in the world that don't have anything, but this is what is going on in our home right now. I am on a mission to simplify our home. I am tired of having stuff that has no meaning or does not serve a purpose to our family. I am tired of having boxes in my closets full of stuff that just sits there taking up space. I am tired of my cupboards being full of gadgets and items that I have not used in years. I am tired of having stuff in my home just to have stuff.

I have started the Great Purge in my home and it feels so refreshing. I have started cleaning out closets, sorting through boxes that haven't been opened since we moved 1 1/2 years ago, going through my kitchen cupboards, etc. I made a rule that if the item has not served a purpose in the last 6 months and if it has no sentimental meaning to our family then it has to go.

I now have this huge pile in our basement ready for a garage sale when the weather warms up. I have also decided that whatever does not sell is not coming back in the house, but will be donated. Maybe someone else can find a purpose for these items in their home.

This is just my first pass, so I am sure I will have more to come, but I cannot tell you how freeing this feels. I don't know why but cleaned off spaces and empty shelves just feel comforting. Maybe it is because I have no attachment to these items, or maybe because the emptiness is giving me inspiration for creating meaningful purpose to that place previously filled with stuff. I am not sure, but whatever the reason it feels good.