Thursday, May 19, 2011
Simplicity Habit #1: Wake Up To An Empty Dishwasher
Simplicity is living intentionally with our possessions. It is cutting clutter. Space clutter, time clutter, mind clutter, life clutter. It is paring our lives down to the things that we value most. It is creating habits that allow us the freedom to do the things that bring us real joy. The real focus, I believe, of the simplicity movement (which is in no way new) is mindfulness. When we know why we are doing the things we do, and we have good habits that help us to keep our lives and homes and minds clutter free, we make room for joy. For spontaneous play. For Friends. For Love. For Real Life.
So, I have been making note of some of the habits that have helped me simplify my life, and will be sharing these over the next couple of weeks. In the end, I hope to do a link up so that each of you can add to the list! I am by no means an expert, but from experience, I can tell you that when I follow good habits, my life is more simple, more relaxed, and much more peaceful, which in reality is what I am after.
Simplicity Habit #1--Always wake up to an empty dishwasher.
I have tried so many different systems for dishes. I have found the one that brings me the most peace throughout my day is this. I admit that I do not always follow it. When I do not. I am sorry. So, the habit can go a couple of ways depending on your preference or amount of dishes. Option #1 is to run the dishwasher in the afternoon and then unload the clean dishes while making dinner. Obviously, this chore could be done by anyone in the home, not just Mom or Dad. The dinner dishes are loaded after supper and the dirty dishes are added throughout the next day until we are ready to run it again in the afternoon.
If the thought of dinner dishes sitting overnight in the dishwasher makes you cringe, then you are a candidate for Option #2. Running the dishwasher after dinner and then unloading it before bed. This way we actually DO wake up to an empty dishwasher, but either way we are loading the dirties throughout the next day. I actually alternate between these to options depending on how many dinner dishes were created. And trust me, most evenings Hunky Hubs and I are tired. We just want to go to bed. We do not want to unload the dishwasher after the kiddies are tucked in. But the next day goes so much more smoothly if I take the time to do this.
Why it works: I am lazy. If the dishes in the dishwasher are clean when I get up in the morning, I will do whatever it takes to not unload those puppies until absolutely necessary, which means the dirty dishes pile up in the sink and on the counter all. day. long. Am I right? With an empty dishwasher however, I can blissfully pop in the offending cups and plates all day long one or two at a time and keep the kitchen relatively clean throughout the day. Nothing, and I mean nothing, creates peace as much as a clean kitchen. Admittedly, there is no less work involved in this habit, but by eliminating the stress of piles of dishes in the sink, life is simplified.