“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Okay, so last week, we shoved the clutter in all the places and cleared all the spaces. The week before, we determined roles and responsibilities of all the housemates. At this point, we have a clean slate and no questions about who is keeping what clean and how.
Now it’s time to dive deep, room per room, cupboard per cupboard, drawer per drawer, and make life easier. It’s time to give yourself permission to change what’s not working. If we don’t like what we are doing; if it is not easy or fun to accomplish, then we won’t keep it up. It would be insane to continue this way, and still hold the expectation that it will eventually result in a happy, orderly, kept up home.
Let’s get the picture with a story…(swipe left)
On a dark and stormy night, with wind howling and branches rustling, I unsuspectingly opened my kitchen cupboard and was trampled!! (By containers!) I barely survived the chaos and mayhem taking over...I let out a scream in fright!!
Okay, drama aside, my container cupboard was a nightmare.
I hated putting my containers away because they were in constant disarray, falling out of the cupboard, and in a backbreaking bottom corner cupboard in my kitchen. The container situation was so out of control that whenever I had a clean dishwasher full of containers, I swear to you, I did everything and anything else but put that load of dishes away. Why? Because it both physically and mentally hurt me to put those dang containers away. I felt actual pain bending down to put them in the cupboard and frustration tossing them all back in as they fell over each other. This situation disrupted my peace and caused me action paralysis; it was not sustainable.
Then one day, I saw a Rubbermaid Container Set on sale, and something clicked in me. My current process wasn’t working and I needed to do something different! So, I bought 3 of those Rubbermaid Container Sets.
Shortly after, I donated all of my old containers, rearranged my kitchen cupboards, and put my shiny, new containers in an easy to reach upper cupboard. I made a mental boundary that day, telling myself I would never accept random containers into my collection, opting to donate them instead. And here we are, over 5 years later, and my collection has remained! And, yes, my dishwasher gets emptied without physical or emotional delay. The only change is that my containers now live on the top shelf of my Lazy Susan, conveniently located to the right of my dishwasher.
As I write this, I caught myself wondering, why did it take so long for me to give myself that permission to change what wasn’t working.
And after staring off into introspective space a few minutes, I realized that in order to give myself permission to change what wasn’t working, I needed to first be aware of the fact that it was, indeed, not working for me.
Change is good. Awareness is hard. But your life will transform when you become aware of what you need to change to make it better, easier, more fun, and sustainable.
But who am I kidding, containers are easy!! What about organizing the innards of an entire room? I spent my weekend doing just that (after weeks of mental meditation, taking note of what I like to do, what I actually do, and how I can make it easy to ask my toddler for help).
Here are some photos of the evolution of the internal organization of my childrens’ playroom:
These pictures show you that constant change is necessary to finding what works best. You must experiment, change up your environment, and not only work with yourself, but with those you live with. And when you embrace that, you will find your peace.