One of the best things about kids going to school is having more time to do things without having two little ones underfoot. I’m finally getting to tackle ALL of those projects that I planned to do during the summer. Here’s the thing I’ve learned over the last few weeks of school being back in session – I get more accomplished when I focus on one project at a time and don’t let myself get distracted by other things.
It’s simple, I know. But when you are the mom of two small kids, you just get used to opening juice boxes, kissing boo-boos, wiping up messes, making dinner, answering 72 questions, responding to a work email, and tossing a load of laundry in the dryer. Often all at the same time. It’s totally different to be able to sit down and go through the kids’ closets – without interruption – and separate out all of the clothes they’ve outgrown.
I’m Getting Organized And You Can Too
This week I’ve been organizing my kitchen, and it’s making me so happy. Here are a few things I’m doing to make life in the kitchen easier:
- Hide the appliances I never use. I had several appliances lined up on my counter that I rarely use. They were taking up space, and I was getting tired of looking at them. So I cleared space in my cabinets and stored all of them. I’m giving myself six months. If I find myself pulling something out of the cabinet often, I’m going to keep it (and it might even move back out on the counter). If I find there are appliances I don’t use and don’t even miss, I’m going to donate or give them to a friend. I’m doing the same with the novelty items, like that doughnut baking pan that I’ve only used one time.
- Tackle the junk drawer. Do you have one of these? It’s that catch-all drawer in the kitchen that holds batteries, twist ties, take out menus, and an assortment of other random things. We had one, but it is now an organized space that holds things (like those twist ties) that I do actually use.
- Take everything out of the pantry (and fridge), and then plan dinner. I found so many things buried in the back of the pantry that I knew I had, but hadn’t really made a plan to use, so they were just sitting on the shelf. I sat down and made a meal plan for the rest of the week. Taking everything out of the pantry or fridge will force you to really see what you have and help you to create a plan for storing food that actually works. I’ve learned that hiding my cream cheese behind the butter is a great way to think I have no cream cheese and buy extra that I didn’t really need. This is also a good chance to put the snacks that kids can grab themselves on a low shelf.
- Go beyond organizing the space to organizing the system. In the spirit of meal planning, I’ve also started making lunches the night before. It’s so nice to be able to hand Sophie a pre-made lunch I put together the night before instead of trying to toss together a sandwich early in the morning when I’m in a rush. Meal planning, cleaning up the dinner dishes right after dinner instead of soaking them until later, and using the slow cooker on the days when I know I will be too busy to cook at night are all things that are saving me time.
Jessica — Mom of Sophie & Jake