Minimalism-How to Make Less Work
I know I have heard a lot about minimalism the last few years. We have all heard the age old adage that we are making it harder than we need to. When it comes down to it, what does that really mean?
It took me MANY years of parenting before I really began to understand how I was not helping myself out any and that often I WAS complicating things and making more work than was necessary.
Only now am I even learning how to get a handle on some things that have consumed and overwhelmed me for years.
Thanks to a suggestion by my sister, who has seen my mountains (yes multiple, not a typo!) of dirty dishes, I am embarking on this new journey of making less work for myself.
I have a lot of kids, a lot of house, and a lot of other responsibilities that I have to tend to. So, there are many occasions when either laundry or dishes really get away from me and before I know it I am staring at mountains of laundry and/or dishes. At that point I completely shut down. It's like prepping myself to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro without all the feel good endorphins that keep you moving.
To read my tips about how I finally got laundry under control, click here.
Out With the Old
One rather ordinary day my sister told me something that started me down the minimalism path of learning how to create less work for myself.
She has a friend who was fed up with the never ending piles of dishes (yep). So she threw away ALL of her dishes and had each of her kids pick out one bowl, plate, cup, and a set of utensils that they were responsible for. After a meal they were in charge of washing their own dishes so they could use them at the next meal.
Since three out of four of my kids still need help with everything, I knew that exact scenario wouldn't work for me, but it got me thinking. If I could keep only enough dishes to create two loads worth of dishes, then I could keep it under control.
Even on a crazy day, I can do one load of dishes in the morning and one load at night. My dishwasher has a long cycle (about 4 hours) so it's just not possible to do more than two loads a day.
Over the next few days I went through ALL my dish cupboards and got rid of duplicates. Some I gave away and others I boxed away to use when my kids break the other dishes. Taking those boxes out of the kitchen was like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders. I felt excited the way that you feel when you know something really good is about to happen.
Less is More
The new system is working great. Sometimes we don't have cups to drink out of and then someone has to hurry and wash a few cups. The mountains of dirty dishes are gone. Now it's down to a single, smallish pile of dishes that feels doable for whoever has dish duty for the day.
I've done a similar purge with clothes and toys for the same reason. It forces us to address the problem before it becomes so big that no one even wants to try. Minimalism for me is about making sure that we have enough without having too much. If any of our items become so numerous that we don't have the time or desire to care for them, then it is more than we need.
I'm brushing off that old way of thinking and wracking my brain for other ways that I can apply minimalism to make less work for myself. What are your favorite tips for making life easier? How have you incorporated minimalism ideas to your household, parenting or generally living habits? I'd love to hear your thoughts below or post a picture on Instagram #peachtreedr so that I can see the great ways you are making less work for you!