I try to live my life with everything in moderation. So when I diet (this comes to mind first because I’ve been doing a bit of it in the last six months), I eat as healthy as I can at home so that when I go out or to someone’s home and they offer something sweet or off my diet, I can accept it without guilt and without being rude. In this way, it is easier to stay on my diet at home..I have tried strict all the time diets and I fail within a week. This one has been working since January.
My home: I try to keep the major things done so that if someone should stop by unexpected, I won’t be horribly embarrassed by my house. I have been doing one thing consistently and another frequently that are helping. Every night, I make sure my sink is clean. I dry it out so it doesn’t have water spots (this is a FlyLady thing). In doing this every night before bed, I have to make sure that my dishes are done. This way, my dishes don’t stack up like they have been prone to in the past. The second habit I’m trying to include in my life is doing a load of laundry every time I have enough to do one load. I still make a full load by doing everything there, but by doing only one load in a day, I’m much more likely to do it fully: sort (I actually don’t do much sorting..just if some whites need bleaching), wash, dry, fold, put away. When I was doing three loads of laundry once a week, too often it was ending up left in the washer or dryer or unfolded in the laundry basket. This, of course, leads to things going missing (“Katie…do I have any work pants left?” Mike would whisper to me over the sleeping baby and into my happy dozing state..to which I would reply “I don’t know…didn’t you look in the dryer..the laundry basket..on the floor!?”..and so on).
So I’m making improvements in a few areas. Recently, though, I have become inspired to change the way I think about the environment. I may not buy into some thing whole-heartedly, but one thing I can acknowledge is the amount of garbage we produce. It’s getting a little out of hand. Sarah McGaughey’s No More Garbage blog has been my inspiration. We also recently had an art from garbage show here in Fort St. John that was really incredible. A way to reuse my garbage or recyclables and be artistic at the same time – what could be more perfect?! In a way, I was doing that all those years ago with my Creating Sara dolls…using old dolls (I never bought a new one from a toy store or anything) and scraps of fabric, nails, pins, old jewelry, etc. to make something unique.
Now I come to the problem. It is very very hard to balance creating art and keeping a clean house when your house is 800 square feet. I like my little house…in fact, I love my little house, but without a basement or a free room, my projects end up on my dining room table, on the couch, in the kitchen, and so on. I would so love to have a house with a basement and a room just for Mommy. I could spread out, have a few tables that could be paint splattered or cut into without it mattering. I could keep all my craft/art supplies in one place so that the kids wouldn’t be getting into them all the time. As it is, I have one tower with four drawers and a small two drawer unit on top right next to my desk in the kitchen. My yarn is, I think, in my bedroom closet. My knitting needles are on the coffee table in the living room, behind a picture frame. My fabric is usually in Jenny’s room, on the unused top bunk, along with an assortment of other craft items that didn’t find a better place. This means that when my kids are napping or in bed for the night, I am out of luck if I want any of the things in a bedroom. Currently, I have a half finished rag rug in my fabric container in the middle of the living room (just in case I want it while the kids are sleeping, I haven’t put it away yet), and the dining room table is covered in plastic bags in one form or another, an iron and ironing board and a number of other items that haven’t found their home yet.
My problem is that I can’t seem to balance these things…and now I’ve added another problem.
I would love to recycle everything I can, but where would I put it all? One option, I suppose, is to use one bin or garbage can to throw everything into and then sort it later (not really a great idea), but what I’d really like to do is have some stacking blue bins to keep everything in. Then the question is, where on earth do I put them?! I’m running out of room!
Just like food won’t solve every emotional problem (or any, for that matter), a bigger house won’t solve this problem. I know this deep down, but it doesn’t make my desire for more space any less real.
There are a few solutions…but all of them require time and work that we either don’t have or don’t know how to do. One is to build a floor to ceiling storage unit into my living room wall. I like the idea, but I’m not sure if it would really be worth it. We did put up some shelves when my dad came up to visit in May, but they’re up so high that anything stored there is best left there unless I have a stool to stand on all the time.
I’m griping. Meanwhile, baby is crying in his bed and there is lots that could be done around the house. Bah, humbug.