I like to keep life simple. Order and routine is calming to me. However, it’s not always easy to keep order, routine, and simplicity while raising a three and four year old. As fast as I can pick up toys in the family room and sort them back into their designated storage space, the girls are just as fast at foiling my best efforts. Tornado-Clean Up Crew-Tornado Strikes Again is a really fun game for them. The kitchen table and rug underneath is another area where I just can’t win. My four year old eats like a bird. Tiny little pecks and nibbles, no matter how tiny the item is to begin with. She can make a single raisin last five minutes. FYI- Crackers, when eaten in tiny bits, leave crumbs e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
Fortunately, there are three things I have done to maintain simplicity and order to at least some routines in my household.
- I bought only white towels and washcloths.
- I emptied the kitchen cupboards of excess plates, cups, and bowls to equal that of what the dishwasher can hold.
- I did a complete re-org of my pantry this summer, and created a printable Master Grocery List.
These three things have made my life a lot easier. They are simple ways in which I gained back some control over my time and routines and am now better able to spend my time doing other enjoyable things. I even have a separate laundry basket for the whites. When it is full, I grab it, no sorting needed, and add detergent and bleach. I kind of like how it seems almost hotel-like. A staycation every time I do laundry.
The exercise of emptying the kitchen cupboards of excess dishes was just something that needed to be done. Otherwise I was left with a cupboard still full of dishes, a full dishwasher, and some extras on the counter. We do run the dishwasher a little more frequently now, but I really appreciate being able to see my counter space at the end of each night. We have just what we need. The dishwasher is usually either half-full or half-empty. I guess it depends on how you look at it.
The re-org of the pantry has been the biggest time and sanity saver of all. You can read all about it in an article I wrote at the end of August called The Pantry Kanban Saved. I faithfully use my new grocery list every time I shop. We really do not deviate too much when it comes to food. I even organized the list so that it goes with the layout of the Super Target we shop at. What used to take me a couple hours now takes half the time. I no longer come home with product and find that I already had two jars of spaghetti sauce either. Saving money, time, and sanity! What are your favorite money, time, or sanity savers?