Do you feel overwhelmed? Is your environment making you a little crazy? Do you worry about whether you’re giving the people you love the attention they need?
With the flood of demands and opportunities that rush toward us, it’s easy to be swept away….
As the manager of my home, often the first challenge I face is just getting quiet enough to ask the question: “What is most important right now?”
If you find yourself asking the same question, I have three concepts to help you clear away clutter, expedite meal preparation, and invest in family relationships.
#1 — “EVERYTHING YOU OWN, OWNS YOU BACK.”
Stuff requires attention. Physical clutter can undermine mental clarity.
Before we got married, I watched my fiancé sort through a box and get rid of several items I would’ve kept — not because I needed them but just because they were useful.
His philosophy was so different from mine! I stockpiled for the future; he minimized clutter, even if that meant he might need to buy a replacement later.
It took me several years to recognize that, “Everything you own, owns you back.”
Now, before I make any acquisition (even one that is “free”), I carefully consider what it will ultimately cost in in terms of physical space and mental energy.
#2 — DOUBLE IT AND HIDE IT
Are you familiar with batch cooking (also known as freezer cooking)? If not, there are excellent resources available to help you plan batch cooking sessions that will fill your freezer with meals.
However, sometimes tackling a new task can require more energy than we can spare. The pace of life can be so stinking fast…
If your life is in a state of chaos, perhaps try something less demanding than freezer cooking. Instead, whatever you cook for dinner, simply “double it, and hide it.”
Double your recipe, and then — before you serve your family — put away for tomorrow half of what you prepared today. (In our house, if I don’t “hide” that second, it’s at risk of being eaten.)
#3 — MAKE BREAD ON SATURDAYS
Shortly after my first baby was born, a friend taught me how to make homemade bread. (This was long before “gluten-free” had woven its way into our vocabulary.) Delighted by the result, I began to study of the art of breadmaking.
In one book I read, the author made a suggestion that lingered with me long after I ended my breadmaking era. She said, Bake bread on Saturdays.”
She emphasized the value of being available to your family at a consistent time and place each week.
Whether your spouse and children can expect to find you kneading dough at the kitchen table or weeding in your garden, establish a regular activity that leaves you free to listen and talk in a place your family will know they can find you. KEEP WALKING!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,” but sometimes the pattern we follow looks like “two steps forward, one step back.”
And be patient with yourself and others as you labor to overcome chaos and bring order to your household!
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