Simplifying our home is beginning to take shape. We’ve paired down on the amount of stuff that we have. I’ve bagged up lots of clothing, and have boxed up décor items, appliances, dish sets and glasses that don’t have a true use in our home.
As I go along, I continue to come across things that I realize I don’t want or need any longer. Gee…is something changing in me? It feels good to have space – or air – on shelves and counter tops, as well as in dressers and closets. Who knew that de-cluttering could be so freeing?
But I do have to say one thing…even a simple home gets messy.
We thought that when we became empty nesters, our home would always be clean, figuring the mess was made by our boys and their friends. Well…this is not the case. Truth is, HB and I can be messy at times and have found that we are perfectly capable of using up every dish, glass, and piece of silverware in the kitchen. I still manage to leave heaps of clothing and shoes on the floor. The heaps are just smaller now. Papers still pile up near the front door, on side tables and the counter tops. Dust accumulates on shelves and floors, and fluffs of dog hair still find their way into corners.
And at times, all of the above stays in this state of being for several days. In fact, it’s been the case this week. Our schedule has been busy, and while we’ve managed to throw a few meals together, we’ve left a lot around the home undone.
Last night we came home and because of the state of the kitchen, we decided to go have a salad somewhere. When we returned home, I decided that I was going to pick up the living room so we could settle in, without guilt, to veg in front of the TV for the evening. As I was carrying some paperwork to the dining room table (my gathering place where I sort) HB came into the kitchen and started unloading the dishwasher. I told him that he didn’t need to do that because I was just planning to clean the living room so we could relax. Honestly, I wasn’t in the mood to clean more than that. But he decided he would just do a little bit while I was finishing up.
Funny how sometimes it just takes that little nudge, because after I was done cleaning the living room I came into the kitchen to help with the dishes. He rinsed them off and I loaded the dishwasher. In about 10 minutes, our little kitchen was spotless. We even took the time to scour the sink and wipe down all the counters and cabinets.
Once that was done, we headed for the living room. But as we watched TV, I found I had new energy so I got up during a couple of the commercials and finished up the dining room table; grabbing the items that gathered there and putting them in their rightful place. I did a quick dusting (gotta love Swiffers!) and sweeping and then settled down to relax for the rest of the evening.
Our total time spent cleaning…about 30 minutes. 30 minutes! Our messy living room, kitchen and dining room were completely clean – in 30 minutes – and it felt…amazing!
Every day continues to be a lesson learned for me. I’m realizing that the idea behind living a simple life isn’t about having an immaculate home at all times. Because, regardless of how little we have, HB and I are just going to have those weeks where things get messy.
This is about time…our valuable and precious time. The less stuff we have, the easier it is to clean. The easier it is to clean, the more time we have available to do the things that we enjoy doing together…even if it’s spending an evening vegging in front of the TV.